Managing social media accounts is, like any creative pursuit, simultaneously straight-forward for the beginner and delicately complex for the more advanced curator. Social media marketing is even more nuanced the further down the rabbit hole you go.
Apart from just appreciating the current trends on social media, which a lot of your average punter is likely aware of. It’s best to start from an account management perspective with an understanding of the key platform businesses and individuals are playing on.
So here it is, your breakdown and top-line guide to the top social media platforms and how to use them as a social media manager.
First cab of the rank is actually also the oldest social media platform (pre-dating Facebook, and even Myspace!).
So why is LinkedIn used, and how has it remained popular, and grown over the years? Well as opposed to Facebook and many other social media platforms, LinkedIn is specifically targeted towards the more professional aspects of our only social profiles. It is a network for businesses to connect, recruiters and companies to find staff, and hopefully for job hunters to find jobs. But LinkedIn is much more than just a recruiting tool. It is a place for individuals to grow their personal/professional brands, and for companies to showcase everything that makes them a great place to work.
Tips to use it well:
Build a strong business page. There is no point alerting people to discover and learn about your brand if there isn’t a great presence on the platform for them to discover and engage with. So your details and info sections need to be updated and punchy. Distilling the core of your business down to a few sentences can also be a great way to ensure people get a full understanding of your brand.
Post more long-form content. If posting more engaging and more in-depth content means you need to post less frequently then do it! Many businesses believe it is more about how often you post than what you post, but with LinkedIn, it couldn’t be more unsuitable. LinkedIn is a place where professionals learn and talk about professional topics, posting constant status updates about what you had for lunch is a great way to have individuals unfollow your page.
Get your staff to engage and sell themselves: It may seem counterintuitive to encourage your staff to make themselves look more employable on a popular recruitment network, but by having your staff spruce up their own profiles and link themselves closer to the business it can pay off in many different ways, including making your business look more inviting to potential staff and more reputable to future clients.
Second, we have the most famous, and probably the most notorious social networking platform of modern times. Over the years Facebook has worked hard to successfully shake off the mantle of being a disruptor fad, to being a crucial utility in the day to day lives of billions of users and millions of businesses. Today, not having a business page on Facebook is akin to not having a Yellow Pages ad in the nineties.
Tips to use it well:
Create resonating content: One of the best things to know about Facebook is the fact that a lot of users share their interests, and amongst a whole other amount of data, their engagement information (i.e. which types of content they most interact with). By delving into your fans interests you can uncover clever content strategies, for e.g. if the majority of your audience like automotive, and say cooking content, you can look to build content that merges their interests.
Engagement periods: Knowing when your audiences are most likely to interact with a post is a simple but effective way to optimise the number of engagements your posts will receive. Facebook and a number of content management tools have this as a common feature.
Have a paid social strategy: Unfortunately, and for quite a while now, Facebook has made it more and more difficult to get organic (free) views on any of the content you post. As users have liked more pages over time, their available space in their newsfeeds has shrunk and become more valuable. So be prepared to put some money behind any post you feel is important for your followers, and others to see. As often if you don’t ‘boost’ a post, it will barely reach even your own fans.
Third on the list is the more stylish younger sibling of the Facebook family, Instagram. Originally a filter app for making snappy shots even snappier, Instagram has turned into a bustling social network in its own right. Notorious also for pinching rival platform technology (cough… Snapchat!) Instagram really positions itself as an inspirational app that highlights the more photogenic aspects of your life.
Tips to use it well:
Consistent aesthetic: As Instagram is at its core an image sharing app, it is important that your page and your scheduled content has a unique identity and a consistent visual theme. There is nothing more jarring than an Instagram page with discombobulated colouring and styles. And trust us, consumers see this and they take a mental note, even if they don’t say it!
Engage, engage, engage: Another key to increasing your Instagram standing is to ensure you are engaging with like-minded accounts and relevant hashtags. Spending 30 mins a day liking and commenting on various accounts and posts can do wonders for your own social engagement metric generation.
Use the story feature on the reg: Instagram users don’t always browse down through their news feeds all the time, but many will cycle through their stories at the top of their feed each time they log in. As stories only have a 24hr time limit before expiring, users put more of an urgency on reviewing them, and they can be a great way to showcase a more informal side of your business than the more curated images feed.
Next up is the digital black sheep of the social media family. Snapchat has had a turbulent history, and in some circles has fallen out of favour. Nevertheless, Snapchat still holds a place, particularly amongst the younger demographic. But unlike Facebook, it is not a platform for every business.
Tips to use it well:
Geo-filters: One of the key selling points of Snapchat, and something that both Facebook and Instagram have both nibbled away at, is the Snapchat filters. If you are in the business of planning events then you can’t go past the specifically narrow geographic targeting of having a custom filter at your location. But perhaps ensure that your demo is likely to have Snapchat downloaded on their phone in the first place.
Youth targeting: As briefly touched on, Snapchat is very much targeted to the younger audiences. It is also very narrowcast, in the sense that messages are usually sent to one, or a small group of people, as opposed to just posting to every one of your contacts (plus hashtags). But if you can reach your target audience through the app, you’ll likely have a captive audience.
Discounts and coupons: Snapchat is also quite a good platform for pushing quick deals and promotions. As the posts generally disappear after 24 hours you don’t need to worry about expired messaging, and it encourages customers to stay on as regular engagers in order to grab deals.
If Snapchat was the black sheep in the social media family, then TikTok is the contentious New Kid On The Block. Originally, and still, a Chinese owned app – TikTok has seen rapid growth and expansion in Australia. But this expansion has followed the obvious security concerns of foreign data collection. Undeterred, however, is the youth of Australia who has embraced the frivolous, and many times shameless nature of the app itself (self-recorded dance challenges).
Tips to use it well:
Challenges: Hashtags challenges are the key differentiator of the TikTok platform. Careers have been forged with a cheeky dance, or a unique skateboarding and cranberry sculling vid, but like any new platform, content moderation and control over material can be still a bit wild west.
Getting on bandwagons: Despite the security concerns many brands have raced to jump on these hashtag challenges as a way to connect to their customers in an agile way. Particularly in a way to connect to younger audiences. Bandwagons, just like new social media platforms can be volatile so we recommended staying up to date with the latest trends but only use what social media platforms are relevant to your brand.
Content, content, content: One of the main sticking points with TikTok is the nature of the content its uses. Short high-frequency video may seem like it is easy enough to do every day with your phone, but actually creating and curating this content can be time-intensive and creatively exhausting.
There are many social apps across the current landscape, and a couple more you should be thinking about depending on your businesses target audience, your communications needs, and your sales goals. But the golden rule really to start with is not to set up an account on a social media platform just for the sake of it. It’s not always the place for you or your business, and unless you plan to do it well – it is probably best not to do it at all.
Do you need a social media manager? Contact Patch Agency’s social media specialists today.