The Best Advice About Social Media

Every so-called “social media expert” has her own two cents about the absolute best way to get more followers, traffic, and customers through social media. The problem is, there’s a lot of bad advice floating around out there.

When you hear the following suggestions, run the other way!

1. Tweet Every Hour
Sure, you want to be active on social, but that doesn’t mean you want to clog up your followers’ streams with your updates. The fewer people someone follows, the more your updates fill up their stream, and that gets annoying.

Instead, aim for 3-5 updates a day per network, depending on what it is. It’s perfectly acceptable to be more active on Twitter and less so on LinkedIn, given the way people use each tool.

2. Get on As Many Social Platforms as Possible
Here, it’s not about quantity but quality. Likely your customers aren’t hanging around on 18 different social sites! They’re probably spending the majority of their time on one or two channels. Figure out what those are and put your attentions there. That way, you can really focus your time on building relationships with individuals.

3. The More Followers You Have, the Better
I’ll say it again: quality. Not quantity. Followers don’t mean anything if they’re not part of your targeted demographic, and if they don’t really care about your brand. When you follow people who are following you, first hesitate, read their bios, and decide if they’re a good fit for the kinds of content you deliver before you follow back.

4. Use Automated Tools to Promote Your Blog
While, yes, tools that automatically publish your new blog content to your social networks are helpful and time-saving, they don’t do a lot for really engaging followers. They simply automate a social update by including the title of your post and the link to click. But be honest, which would you rather click on?

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The second one is ultimately more engaging and more likely to get people to click on it to learn more. It’s fine to use the automated tool, but schedule additional shares of that same post with hand-crafted messages, then compare which gets more clicks.

5. Share the Same Update Across all Networks
Again, customization is key. We use each social platforms differently. We look for nice images and heavier content on Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook, while we want quick and dirty updates that tell us why we should click to read more on Twitter.

Also: many people will follow you on multiple platforms, so you don’t want to deliver the same update to them multiple times. Give them a reason to follow you across the board. Know your network and your audience on each, and tweak an update to offer slightly different twists on each.

It all boils down to using social media to interact with followers in the way you’d want brands to do so for you. Don’t be annoying. Deliver value. And pay attention to your messaging.