Social Media: A Beginners Guide To Being Cool

Best Practices for Using Social Media
It is a self-evident truth that having a social media account is not the same as using that account. This can be applied equally to all social media platforms.

I’ve included a list of some of my own best practices that will help you grow your followers, control your public image, and win that popularity contest.

First, invest in the management tools you need. Social media is unprecedented in the influence that it can offer your brand, spend a little of your marketing budget to get the most out of your socials. Analytic tools will allow you to make sense of all the noise. I use Unfollowers, Twitter Analytics, and Edgar.

Don’t be a wallflower and join the party. Like posts in Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. Thank followers, follow back, and play nice in the sand box. You’ll need to create a presence and establish yourselves before you’re see the followers/following ratio flip.
It is critical at this point to present your company as real (not a robot) and ideally maintain a sense of casual cool. It works for Google.

Court popular social media accounts to gain exposure to their followers. If you can get a post re-published by an online radio talk show host, you can have your brand immediately presented to 150,000 followers (or more).

Use the Re-tweet/Like voting system to engage with your audience. (I.e. “Re-tweet for the red pill — Like for the blue pill” etc. Bias the vote so that the more popular option is re-tweeted. You’ll gain easy exposure this way if the question is fun and speaks to your audience.

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Use trending keywords daily (if possible) to keep your brand name/logo in the most popular searches.

Be gracious and follow back anyone who follows you. Don’t be mean: that’s not how you make friends.

Often when you publicly thank a user for following you they will like the post. Anyone can then see your name in the (relatively) short list of liked tweets for that user.
Also, saying nice things makes people want to re-post those nice things, with a link back to your site. This is easy self-promotion and it all adds up to build a certain ethos for your brand. You always want your company to be viewed as the nice girl/guy; you want to be Taylor Swift.

Encourage your audience to check out a new followers page within a thank you tweet/message/whatever. It’s easy to automate a message like: “These [folks] were kind enough to join us, be sure to check out their awesome stuff too!” People love that.
Remember your audience is comprised of real people; treat them with respect, always.
Test out all links before re-posting them from another user. Sometimes the links are dead and then that becomes embarrassing for your company if you re-blog it. Know where you’re sending your audience. Don’t waste their time.

Original content is gold.

Re-tweeting other news stories does not really help you, but it does provide free content for your account and helps foster relationships with your audience (or new businesses connections, it happens a lot).

Further to the above point, stay on top of your inboxes. Reply to your messages. Prove you’re not a robot.

How to introduce yourself on social media
This is a basic plan to get your socials percolating away. I’ve used it before, it works.

Follow smaller companies first (they want the readership and will tend to follow back)
Generate content and especially dialogue.
Pass 100 followers.

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Start using user search tools (such as Unfollowers.com), Follow users that fit with key hash tags, for your business e.g. #pizza #yeg
Wait.

After 48 hours you can go ahead and un-follow inactive (zombie) accounts or those users who don’t follow you back. You can’t advertise you business to someone who isn’t home or won’t open that digital door.

Repeat process with different search terms.
Comment on the posts of the most popular accounts.
Generate dialogue with new users.
Leverage the audience of others.
Play nice in the sandbox.

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PixelNerd is located in Edmonton, Alberta. We have been creating engaging online experiences that draw on our experience in Graphic Design, SEO, and Website Design

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