Curious to know 7 things you should always do on social media? Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ are where millions of people visit multiple times a day. How many times do you visit your social media accounts?Do you want to have more of an impact on or influence your network? Speaking of your network, do you want to have more followers – or better quality followers? These 7 tips should have you off to a good start.

7 Things You Should Always Do On Social Media

 

Know which platforms fit you (and your audience)

I can remember when in early 2012 I gave a talk to a group of real estate agents and told them about Pinterest and how it was the next big social media platform. I just happened to be right and I’d like to think of myself as someone who isn’t afraid of being an early adopter. Do you want to know how many things I’ve “pinned” on Pinterest? 3. Three. Tres. I’ve never connected with it and if I tried, it would come off false, and I would have a hard time building any sort of audience because of that.

Find a platform that fits you. Start with the big four (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn) and go from there. You’ll gravitate to the one that your friends and colleagues are on first. But if you’re going to be using social media to garner leads or drive traffic to your website, but sure your target audience is using that platform.

TIP: Looking for something established but doesn’t get alot of pub – try Path for your closest friends and family.

Be sure you know what is public and what is private

Have you ever seen a very private conversation take place in a very public way? It doesn’t matter if it is happening right there in front of you or online – it can be pretty awkward. The best way to avoid this (and other embarrassing moments) is to really know what you see and what the world sees. Become familiar with the “setting panel” in any platform you’re using. All of them allow you control who sees what. Not ready to let any see what’s happening on your Facebook page? Here is what the settings panel looks like:

Facebook privacy settings

Play around with these setting until you’re comfortable with them. I would start by sharing things and being found by only people I know. You can always open up the curtain to your life, but once something is viewed you don’t want to be viewed, it is impossible to get it back.

TIP: Each of the big four have the ability to create lists, circles, or groups that you can share specific things with. It’s a great way to tailor a specific message to a specific audience.

Don’t follow everyone who follows you

I know there is a common belief that you should follow, friend, or connect with you. I’m not saying you should ignore these people. All I’m saying is that social media can be very “noisy” and “cluttered”. I try not to add to the noise because I don’t want to be ignored when I actually have something important to say. But there are plenty of people out there who think it is a badge of honor to have 5000 Facebook friends (which is the limit) and not have one real connection with any of them. I can’t imagine what their News Feed looks like…to me, it would look like just a ton of white noise.

TIP: Before you accept a request to connect, have some guidelines in place (do you know them?, do they add value?, can you add value to them?). If you randomly add connections, you’re going to have random information that will dampen your experience and effectiveness.

Engage (But don’t engage with the wrong people.)

Be social. Like someone’s picture. Say congrats. Wish someone a happy birthday. Thank someone publicly. Comment on a post a positive way, even if you disagree – then give your take on it. You will be shocked at how people will respond to you. That being said, keep in mind, that there are people online who live to take people down a notch. They are affectionately referred to as “trolls”. I haven’t had the “pleasure” of being addressed by one yet, but if I ever do, I would do my best to ignore them.

TIP: Positively engage with at least 21 people for 21 days and be intentional and sincere about it. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Have a plan or routine

I was once told to follow this rule: “Spend every day on social media, just not all day.” It may be the first 20 minutes, 20 minutes, or the last 20 minutes – but try to make it a routine. Doing this will keep you focused and may help keep you out of the rabbit hole of kitten pics and sports clips (I know, who doesn’t love those). If you are posting content to drive traffic to your website or to capture leads, be sure to post during times that your audience will see it. Twitter feeds update every second, so if there is a message or content you want your followers to see, posting it multiple times a day could be solid plan.

TIP: If you want to batch and schedule your social media posts, try Buffer – it’s how I post most of my social media.

Show that you don’t take yourself too seriously

Every once in a while, get personal. I don’t share a lot of personal stuff, but when I do, they get commented on. I think showing your audience and connections that there’s a real person on the other end of the “line” is important. Do you want to show that you are knowledgeable? Yes. Do you want your audience to know you’re a professional? Of course. Do you want your audience to know that you love spending time with your family? Or burn dinner on occasion (or a lot)? Don’t be afraid of opening up every once and a while…just not too much.

TIP: If you want an app that allows you to take personal pics and put a nice filter on them, try Instagram – it’s not a new app, but it keeps getting better. You can share directly from it to your Facebook and Twitter account.

Don’t be afraid to start from scratch

Did you jump on all the social media platforms and now they are all a hot mess? Or you’re going to give social media marketing a shot and need things to be branded correctly but don’t know where to start? Start over. Burn them all to the ground. Begin with a clean slate. If you have a following or a bunch a friends online, give them a heads up via so they know how to get in touch with you. You may find that after starting over is the best thing you ever do on social media.

TIP: If you want to start over on social media, be sure that all of your old accounts are truly closed. If not, you risk confusing people who think they are following you but are really following an abandoned account. You may also want to create an email dedicated just for your social media accounts – it will make things easier for you to sign up or start over.

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