From the Intern Desk: 4 Quick and Dirty Tips to Social Media
Hey there, marketing professionals/geniuses/world changers. It's lyss.c (my stage name for when my rap career takes off), the integrated digital marketing intern at SyneCore Tech. You probably don’t think you need to know any of the nonsense the marketing intern is spewing; I talk about things like #instavideo and snaps for #SnapChat, all in #hashtags (like #foreals). You’ve been doing this whole connection, integrating, social media thing for a while now, and I’m just messing around.
That might be true, but since I’ve been working with social media from the business perspective, I’ve naturally been trying to categorize and think of social media in a more systematic, strategic way - and not just as a place to yabber-on about my #girlcrush on T-Swift and live out my inner-hipster with post after post of my Instagram-ed coffee at a cafe you’ve never even heard of.
As I’ve asked questions, heard some advice from the my kick-ass colleagues and read article after article, I’ve come up with a list of four things businesses need to remember when posting on social media channels (note the Instagram-ed list in the top right):
Sometimes it's easy to forget about the physical space when so much of our interaction is digital. Geo-location features on social media channels attempt to further integrate a brand across all fronts - both digital and physical. Whenever you tag your location on a social media channel, it reminds the consumer where you are, and they then, whether subconsciously or consciously, think about your brand in relation to their location. It's another way to connect.
So, be sure to tag the location whenever you post a photo on Instagram, Facebook or the like. At SyneCore, we are sure to add the location whenever we photograph life in the office, like when celebrating Flag Day (super important):
Tagging the location, especially when it’s your office, further connects and promotes your brand to your audience. AHA! Integration rules.
Whenever you’re posting an article, tag the author. Likewise, whenever you’re posting a photo, tag the people in it (unfortunately, brand/company pages can’t tag people on Facebook or LinkedIn, but it does work on Google Plus, Instagram and Twitter). This encourages the people you tag to interact with and/or share the post (especially if you give them super nice kudos!).
@SyneCoreTech Thanks for the RT!— PGi (@PGi) June 21, 2013
The cool thing? This expands the reach your social media channels beyond those that are already followers.
Similar to the effect that tagging people has, tagging other brands and sources further extends your reach to other fans of that brand. For example, let’s say you’re having a taco fiesta courtesy of Qdoba and you decide to Instagram this super spectacular Wednesday afternoon you’re having. What do you do? TAG @QDOBAMEXGRILL.
This exposes your content to all the people engaging and searching for the brand you tag, and if they’ve got a rocking social media strategy, they just might respond to you. It’s, like, basically the biggest win ever.
Remember that one time when #Facebook got #hashtags and it was the most #annoying #afternoon in the #historyofever? It looked like a small #army of #teenagegirls on #Instagram took over your #newsfeed (sidenote: if you're in need of some pointers on #hashtag #courtesy or just want a fun read, check out this fantastic article by Steven Sefton that got me thinking about what it all means - well, not life but definitely #hashtags).
While occasional #obnoxious #hashtagging is #funny and #ironic (sorry - it’s the #hipster in me talking), hashtag overkill is not a strategy. Instead, try using one or two relevant hashtags that categorize your post or photo. This will help align and engage your business's content with the bigger conversations.
EXCEPTION - When you’re trying to gain a following on Instagram, one useful engagement trick I have discovered is using one or two hashtags in the photo description and then posting several more relevant hashtags in the comments below.
This keeps the clutter out of your photo decription, but still connects your brand with Instagram users. Hashtag use on Instagram hasn’t received quite the exhaustion that it has on other platforms, so go ahead and #HASHTAG away!
When it comes to social media, more reach = more interaction = more LOVE for your brand. Think about it: nobody likes the guy at parties who can’t stop talking about himself (seriously, it’s a huge turn-off). The same goes for social media. You must give a little to get a little. The best rule I’ve found?
Be curious and courteous.
That means engaging in the bigger conversations that are happening, like searching out hot topics and using hashtags in your own thoughtful responses, and tagging people when you use their posts or respond and compliment their work (you’ve gotta extend their reach/scratch their back, too!).
Social media may be digital, but it’s not (or shouldn’t be) changing the ways we are expected to interact with each other; the rules of being genuine, involved, and gracious still apply. Those businesses that find success on social media already know as much.
But, hey, that’s just the intern’s perspective.
P.S. If you liked the quirky, silly photos featured in this post from SyneCore's Instagram, come follow along with us at synecoretech. (Note: we only post an Instagram-ed cup of coffee occasionally.)
Alyssa is a junior at the University of St. Thomas pursuing a double major in Communications & Journalism and English, which allows her to do two things she loves: writing and talking about writing. She is excited to be spending the summer as an integrated digital marketing intern at the Minneapolis-based agency SyneCore Tech, where she hopes to continue to learn about this crazy, little ...
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