We all use social media in one way or another, whether it’s to procrastinate by scrolling though our personal feeds, to keep in touch with distant relatives, or to stalk our favorite celebrities. But social media isn’t just a tool for personal engagement; it can also be an extremely important asset to a business/brand. Hootsuite University offers some amazing courses on the use of social media for your business, several of which I found especially helpful for my specific interests. As the social media manager at a clothing boutique, we have recently decided to do a complete overhaul on all channels, which means Hootsuite had some amazing tips for success that I found very useful. Let’s take a look at a few here:
- Your cover photo, profile picture and background photo should be visually appealing and reflect your brand.
- Hashtags can even be incorporated into your cover photo! What a cool idea.
- You should have a precise and descriptive bio that includes information pertinent to your brand and possibly customer service contact information.
- Consider the location of your customers when selecting your business location.
- Share 6 striking photos to boost the visual impact of your page
- Pin tweets that have garnered high engagement to the top of your profile.
- Create a brand hashtag to encourage audience engagement and brand interaction.
- Integrate public and private lists so that your feed is easy to navigate.
- Engaging visual content is the first point of contact! This means that you want bright and vivid high resolution cover photos as well as profile picture of your brand logo.
- Kate Spade has one of my favorite examples, showing how you can integrate your profile picture with your cover photo to create a seamless continuation:
- You want to pick a profile picture and stick with it, as well as maintain continuity throughout your page (as well as throughout other social media channels).
- You need to clearly communicate your brand through your “about” section as well as include a website url, address, and phone number so that search engines can index you.
- Choosing a vanity url (that little thing behind the Facebook.com part) that is either your brand name or conveys a clear message of who you are is extremely important for people searching you.
- The use of filters for photos, 3rd party applications, and the pages to watch feature are all important for helping you stand out from the competition!
- The insights tab is your best friend! It can tell you how much engagement your posts are getting, allows you to monitor negative feedback, and helps you understand what kind of content is resonating with your audience.
- LinkedIn is interesting in that it has a search algorithm that greatly favors pages that are filled out COMPLETELY. That means that the more information you include about your business the more likely it is to get featured!
- It’s important to write your company description with SEO (search engine optimization) in mind; include key words that should be associated with your business, and keep in mind that visitors will only be able to see the first 200 characters of your description; you want it to be interesting enough for them to click for more!
- LinkedIn groups are great ways to connect with potential customers; use these to follow relevant content, post your own content and engage with other users.
- Cover photos and profile pictures are still important on LinkedIn. High resolution and clear pictures convey professionalism and brand continuity.
Using social media channels like these can be extremely beneficial to your business. But how are you supposed to act when you use them? Well, there’s certain etiquette that, when followed correctly, will help you to boost your engagement while maintaining your professionalism. There are six main things to be aware of when engaging through social media:
- Be yourself!
- No one likes to engage with a brand that comes across as fake. It’s important to know who you are and to be able to convey that.
- Be transparent.
- You want to disclose information that the public should be aware about. For example, if I was communicating with my boutique through social media, I would want my affiliation with the company to be clear to anyone reading the interaction.
- Be respectful.
- Play by the rules.
- Each social network has it’s own set of rules, which you should be aware of when posting.
- Listen Frequently.
- Listen to what your communities are saying! You need to pay attention to the conversations, which means keeping a close eye on all social media channels frequently.
- Engaging effectively requires that you pay attention to what your community is interested in, so that you can have quality content that promotes easy engagement.
We’ve talked a lot about some of the more popular social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) but another one that really interests me is Tumblr. It’s been around for a long time (I remember people using this in middle school!) which is a good indication of a quality platform because it hasn’t been rendered obsolete over time (sorry Myspace…). For me, Tumblr is an amazing platform where I could optimize it to show the creativity of my brand, especially when it comes to sharing fashion and trends. I love the idea that the fashion brand Cole Haan has, where they relaunch their page every so often to convey different themes. For example, they released a tumblr page with all of their content changed to reflect a theme of history, as seen below:
The whole point of tumblr revolves around the idea of storytelling, which Cole Haan constantly does by redeveloping their page to tell new stories. Another interesting concept is one created to convey the idea of a fashion magazine:
If you look into their archives, you can see that there are old “issues” of the magazine available. What this brand did is create completely shareable content in an extremely creative format that conveys different stories with each new “edition”.
In addition to having this extremely unique interface, tumblr users actually spend more time per session on this site than any other social media channel. That means you have more time to convey your message and to interact with your fan base. And you have access to a wide range of consumers, from almost equal amounts of men and women to ages between 18 and 45. With the ability to integrate all other social media platforms AND have content that is 100% shareable, this is the ultimate creative and engagement driven platform.
Thanks for the read and don’t forget to #tag away!
Psst. Want to know the best times to post on your favorite social media platforms? Check out this awesome infographic!