It seems like social networking sites have been rolling out faster than brands have time to react (Pinterest, Google+, Foursquare, etc), and the pressure to continually be active and engaging on each one can be overwhelming, not to mention confusing. So how should your brand approach each uniquely designed platform? If you aren’t getting the engagement you desire, you may be using your social sites incorrectly. So today, we’re going back to basics with a quick lesson in social media best practices for the top social networking sites.  
 
Facebook

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Facebook is currently the leading social site in terms of referral traffic, and should be your top priority in terms of social networking. Facebook is where the people are; it’s incredibly share-heavy, engagement prone, and media loving. With Mark Zuckerberg’s latest announcement that Facebook Timeline will be available for brands at the end of this month (less than a week!), the stress on visual content is more critical than ever. For proper etiquette on Facebook for better engagement, you should focus heavily on these types of posts: 

  • Create a call to action- promote shares, likes, and ask questions  
  • Post photos and video content often
  • Tag users whenever appropriate
  • Be human. Expand content from solely about your company- broaden your posts to industry news, ask for fans opinions, and always respond. See Get With The Social Media Game Plan for further content ideas 

  

 
Twitter

Twitter is incredibly information-hungry, article-sharing, and media-loving. It’s been deemed the conversational search engine of the social networking platforms, and should be treated as a venue for real-time, brief, valuable information. Improve your engagement by embracing Twitter’s anatomy and heavily focus on the following:
 

  • Articles that are relevant to your industry
  • Opt out of open-ended questions; instead, shoot for “yes-no” type questions, polls, or action-prone content
  • Utilize trending topics when appropriate (this is where hashtags come in)
  • Timing- do an analysis on best times to tweet with a free tool like, Tweriod 
  • RT industry influencers and followers when appropriate
  • The First Five- optimize your content for best SEO by utilizing powerful, search-engine friendly keywords in the first five characters of your tweet (see image below for example)


Your Company Blog

Your brand’s blog isn’t necessarily a social networking platform by definition, but when talking about best practices for each social site, it’s vital to take a look at your blog’s current performance. How have you been utilizing this critical aspect of your brand? In order to provide best practices for social, the foundation of your brand’s content and overall presence should be centrally located on your blog. Here is a quick refresher for how you should engage your subscribers:

  • Make a point to always be relevant, updated and consistent 
  • Post something that has absolutely nothing to do with your brand (but still relevant to your industry) 
  • Don’t neglect holidays or important current events 
  • Open up the floor to your subscribers 
  • Make sure you have plug-ins to your social platforms



Your turn: How will you change your social media etiquette for better engagement? Visit /excelamktg for further customized social media marketing ideas, innovative campaigns, current social media trends, and insider tips for small business success.

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