We live in a golden age of communication. Thanks to Social Media channels news and opinion has never been so readily and freely available. I’ve found myself following breaking news stories on Twitter because you get the story as its happening and you can cross reference across a number of media outlets.
Having something to say is one thing, but knowing how to say it and push it out is another. With so many people using so many ways to be heard you need to give your post the best possible chance to be seen.
Here are 7 best practices you should follow if you want to post regularly on social to try and engage your audience.
- Stay positive – I think it goes without saying that positive contributions across any medium will be better received than a negative one. At the end of the day if you’re trying to engage your audience you need to show them you have knowledge, can help, can advise, are open to communicate. People are unlikely to respond to a negative post in case they get on the end some negativity themselves.
- Fact Check – Posting something because it sounds good or looks impressive will come to naught if its inaccurate or misleading. If you’re not 100% sure about the content, a quick Google search will help you fact check but also help gauge how the post might be received. If other people have used this information a quick glance at the likes, shares, retweets or comments will give you a sense of its accuracy and the reception it may get. If its been widely shared already there may be no advantage to you posting it.
- Use images, video and links – Pictures speak a 1,000 words. A catchy image trumps a block of text every time. It also increases your chance of success.If you have a catchy and relevant picture with your informative post people could a) like or share the post or b) like or share the picture.
- Ask questions – Its an old trick when talking to someone you should ask questions if you want to control the conversation. Its not as straight forward with social media but you have a better chance of generating some engagement if you post something that requires a response.
- Reply – If someone does take the time to comment on a post or reply at the very least acknowledge the contribution or thank them for taking the time. If appropriate, you should also make a follow on comment or post.
- Be regular – As I Said in ‘5 Things to help you get started in Digital’ blog post… Little and often trumps dump and disappear. The fact that the internet and social channels are 24/7/365 you don’t need to issue a ‘War and Peace’ sized declaration every time you post. You may not have the time, budget or manpower to drop serious knowledge in every post. But you’ll loose mind share or relevance the longer you leave between posts.
- Tag it – If you’ve taken the time to post something in a channel make sure you familiarize yourself with the tags the channel use. Tags will help index your content and make it easier to find when people are searching. The #Hashtag is used in a lot of the major social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Google+). If your plan on posting regularly on a topic or event, use the same tag repeatedly.
Why not try these out and let me know how you get on.