Six steps to launching a new social media account

You’ve decided it’s time to create a new social media account for your company, but you’re not exactly sure where you should start. Whether you’re thinking about creating a LinkedIn Company Page, Twitter account, Instagram account or Facebook Page, you need to think about several factors before you dive in. Here are a few things to consider before you create a new social media account and push out your first message.

Identify your audience. Identify your target audience and determine who you want to reach. Most importantly, is your target audience on the platform you’re considering creating?

Spy on your competition. See if your competition is on the particular platform you’re interested in creating. If they are on a given platform, see who your competition is connecting with on that particular platform. Look at the different types of content they’re sharing. See what’s working well for your competition and what is not working as well. What types of content have the highest engagement?

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Identify the content you’ll share. Ask yourself why people would want to follow you. What do you have to offer?  Give them a reason to follow you by positioning yourself as the expert in your given industry. If you’re in the insurance industry, consider sharing tips, industry news, original visual content (such as infographics and photos from conferences), etc.

Frequency. Ask yourself if you and your team are able to devote enough time to another platform. How much time do you have to tweet/post on the new platform? Don’t set expectations too high, meaning, don’t plan to tweet three times a day, if you only have time to tweet a few times a week.

Ensure voice/tone is consistent. Be sure there’s a designated person tweeting and not several. This will ensure your tone is consistent throughout. Make sure your tone is appropriate for the industry you’re reaching out to.

Determine your end-goal and be realistic. Are you looking to increase traffic to your website? Consider sharing company news, blogs and other pages on your domain. Maybe you’re looking to create overall awareness for your company. Share company news while sprinkling in relevant industry news that will pertain to your audience.

Don’t try to tackle too many goals at once. Stick to a few until you’ve perfected your approach and go from there.

Those are just a few things to consider before you jump into creating a new social media account. Have anything to add? Comment below.

Photo credit: Foter / CC BY-SA


Are Automated Posts the Best Solution for Your Social Media Efforts?

Many companies and the marketing and communications agencies that represent them use social media management tools such as SproutSocial, Hootsuite or Radian6 to manage their social media accounts.

Many social media professionals love the scheduling features of these tools. Often scheduling tweets and Facebook posts in advance is done to save time, but is this having a negative effect on your engagement?

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1. Don’t be a robot. If your company’s tweets are posted everyday at 10 am, noon and 2 pm, followers will notice that. It will seem like you are simply tweeting three times a day because that’s what you’re expected to do, not because you have genuinely useful or relevant information to share. Also, it seems robotic, like a real person didn’t take the time to craft the tweet him or herself.

2. Interaction goes both ways. If your posts are all scheduled, you will be missing opportunities to interact with your followers. Say someone asks a question on Facebook. Ideally you would respond to their question in a timely fashion. One way to be sure you catch notifications quickly is to have your social media management tool up in the background of your computer, so that while still working on other projects, you can occasionally check to make sure you haven’t missed anything.

3. Stay up to date on the news. If your posts for the day are all already scheduled, you may not be taking into account breaking news and events that come up that affect your industry or company. When these things happen it is important that you respond as soon as possible, so as not to get lost in the crowd. Simply taking a half hour during the day to go through your news feed as well as search the news for any relevant industry updates, is a great way to share or retweet the timely news your audience wants to know.

There is absolutely a place for scheduling automated posts, such as if you want to share company news or a link to your newest blog post. However, scheduled posts have to be mixed with live posts in order to most effectively communicate with your audience.

Consistency Matters on the Social Web

When it comes to managing social media platforms, consistency matters. From the content that is shared to the voice/tone, being consistent is vital. Below we explore a few ways to keep everything in sync.

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A few things to consider …

  • Frequency matters. Ensure content is shared regularly on platforms. Posting four to five times a week? Stick with that posting schedule that disperses your posts evenly across the week. Avoid disappearing on platforms for an extended period of time.
  • Avoid randomness. Stick with content related to the industry or your brand identity. It can be confusing when seemingly random content is shared especially if someone is visiting the page for the first time.
  • Voice consistency matters. Be sure the voice and tone is similar when posting, responding or engaging with others especially if a few people manage the account. This helps establish a friendly rapport.
  • Keep the company name consistent. Avoid confusion and stick with the same company name. For example, decide whether or not your will use your company or brand’s full name or acronym.
  • Keep the logos uniform across all platforms. If you have different versions of your logo, ensure you are using the same one across social accounts. This helps people find and recognize you across platforms.

Feel free to share any additional tips in the comments!

Photo credit: mkhmarketing / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

What’s one more social media platform?

There is such thing as being on too many social media platforms.

When new platforms are introduced, too often companies and brands feel the need to jump on the “exciting new platform” bandwagon. By the time agencies like ours are called in, we find important research, including audience and competitive analysis, wasn’t done. If you don’t have the advantage of working with a public relations agency to help establish or advance your social media strategy, at least ask the following questions before adding yet another new social platform to your list of things to manage.

webtreats / Foter / CC BY

Before you decide to jump on another platform, ask yourself these important questions:

  • Is my audience on the platform I’m thinking about joining?
  • Will my audience be receptive to the new platform I’m thinking about joining?
  • Does it make sense for me to join the new platform? (For example, if you’re thinking about setting up a Pinterest account, but you do not have any visual content to share, it probably does not make sense to join yet.)
  • Do I have relevant and interesting content to post? Will others view my content and will it be shareable?
  • Do I have the extra time and resources to devote to this new platform? Take into account how long it will take to set up, the cost of the graphics for the platform, daily monitoring, creating valuable content, etc.
  • If I create a new account will I be “present?” Sometimes companies create an account and then forget about it or they simply don’t have the time. Having an account where you’re invisible may not send the right message about your company.  Don’t be a robot. Be present.

You don’t need to be on every social media platform to succeed at social media. Sometimes less is more.

If you do not have the resources, time or your audience is not on a certain social outlet, it does not always make sense to be on that platform. It’s better to invest your time on a few social platforms that make sense for your business rather than being on several platforms where you’re not able to devote your the time.

Which platforms make the most sense for your business? Have you had more success on some platforms versus others?

Photo credit: webtreats / Foter / CC BY