The “Other” Social Dilemma
While many of us associate the catchphrase The Social Dilemma with the documentary and various congressional hearings, there is a different social dilemma out there that we get asked about quite frequently.
Undeniably there is still much to uncover about the health of social media practices from every angle, but inarguably social media is here to stay.
For the majority of clients it isn’t a question of “to social media or not to social media,” it is more a question of “how to social media” (and on which platforms).
To address this topic we put the following social media primer together and wanted to share it with our Haj Media clients and friends, alike.
To be transparent (and to help manage expectations), we always like to tell people that there really is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one company, does not necessarily work for another. So, it is important to find what works for you and then use that “intel” to build your strategy.
For all companies, it is especially critical to monitor your platforms to see what posts/content are garnering the most (positive) attention. Check for any patterns (if certain days/times/content have the most impact on your audience), and then build off of that. While a lot will be trial and error (this is normal), there are a few social media best practices that are tried and true:
- Consistency Is Key (even more than frequency) – People will come to learn when/how often to expect content from your “brand” – so develop a plan and be consistent (this doesn’t mean that on busier weeks you can’t post more surrounding an event/announcement, etc.), but it is good on normal days to develop a rhythm for your followers
- Quality Over Quantity – Lots of posting but not much substance will lose you followers across all platforms pretty quickly
- Fresh Content – While you can develop your own rhythm and it is quality over quantity, it is critical that your page not look neglected and always have fresh/current/timely information posted
- Engage With Your Audience (including partners/industry leaders, etc.) – Involve people in your posts/start a conversation by tagging them and making sure you are responsive to comments, mentions and messages
- Soft Sell Vs. Hard Sell (on most platforms… excluding ads or at times on LinkedIn) –People like to know about “real” people and “real” situations (vs. sales-pitch type posts); While there is room for both, posts that promote a product or service when tied to an actual person/story/statistic of interest is typically better received and more sharable
- Use Hashtags (but don’t oversue them… and, when you do use them, use them well) – Sites like RiteTag can help you find the best hashtag for a given Twitter or Instagram post by comparing the popularity of hashtags in any given subject area (i.e. #investment way outperforms #investments)
- Individualize – Unfortunately in the social media world, “one and done” does not apply, i.e. do not copy and paste your Facebook content/post into all of your other platforms; while it is highly likely that you will only choose certain platforms for certain posts (not all), if you are using one post across multiple platforms you will definitely want to change up the tone/lead-in for each depending on the platform (see more below)
- Authenticity Is Everything (don’t force trying to be something you or your company are not just because using trends will get you more “eyeballs” – find your USP and play to that
Facebook – Think “Educational & Entertaining (Lifestyle/Conversational/Longer Posts)
- # of monthly active users: 2.7 billion
- Largest age group: 25-34 (26.3%)
- Gender: 44% female, 56% male
- Time spent per day: 38 minutes
Types of Content:
- Blog Posts
- Curated Content (find great content from partners & third-party sites & share)
- Videos (including Facebook Live Videos)
- Facebook still remains the most-used and engaged-with social platform.
- Due to Facebook’s sheer size and engagement rate, it makes sense to advertise there in some way, shape or form (even if that means cross-posting). The influx of boomers to Facebook highlights why it’s such a prime place to run ads, particularly among older demographics with more money to spend.
Instagram – Think “Impactful Visuals” (Thoughtfully Composed & Artfully Presented)
- # of monthly active users: 1 billion
- Largest age group: 25-34 (31.1%)
- Gender: 57% female, 43% male
- Time spent per day: 29 minutes
Types of Content:
- High-Resolution Photos
- Behind-the-scenes company/event photos
- User-generated content from around the web (sharing the “best of the best” while giving credit to the original creator/user)
- Quotes (one of the most popular content types)
- Find quotes that support your brand mission or relate to something your company is announcing (use your own photos, whenever possible)
- Instagram Stories
- The fact that Facebook and Instagram share the same ad platform presents many cross-promotioal opportunities for brands.
LinkedIn – Think “Company Branding” (For Existing & Potential Clients, Partners & Hires)
- # of total users: 738 million
- Largest age group: 46-55
- Gender: 49% female, 51% male
- 63% of LinkedIn users access the network monthly, and 22% weekly.
Types of Content:
- Thought Leadership
- Company News/Milestones
- Company Culture
- Employee Achievements/Experiences
- Job Openings
- A higher-educated, higher-earning B2B demographic makes LinkedIn a potential goldmine for ads.
- Great place to find targeted and motivated audiences for your campaigns (email and otherwise).
- Attach an image or video (i.e., YouTube); LinkedIn found that images generally result in a 98% higher comment rate and since links to YouTube videos play directly in the LinkedIn feed they usually result in a 75% higher share rate.
Twitter – Think “Quick, To-The-Point News” (Less Clickbait-y & More Straightforward Delivery)
- # of daily active users: 187 million
- Largest age group: 30-49 (44%)
- Gender: 32% female, 68% male
- Time spent per day/week: 3.53 minutes per session
Types of Content:
- Industry News
- Company News
- Customer Service/Customer Interactions
- Curated Content (find great content from partners, industry leaders & third-party sites & share it – RT)
- Use the “pin” option to feature a “fresh” post of your choice at the top of your Twitter page.
- Use multimedia when possible to connect/draw attention (include links with link preview, photos of infographics, GIFs & videos).
- Because people and brands tend to tweet many times a day, it’s more suitable to share several blog posts or pieces of curated content per day on Twitter than other platforms like Facebook.
Here Are Some Additional Social Media Resources From PRNEWS That We Found Helpful & Think You Will, Too!
AP Style Updates: Social Media (prnewsonline.com)
Weighing the Costs and Benefits of Arriving Early on Emerging Platforms (prnewsonline.com)
Facebook Outage Serves as a Reminder to Diversify Communications Platforms – PRNEWS (prnewsonline.com)
*Statistics and information pulled together from various sources including, but not limited to, Buffer, PRNEWS, Rite Tag, Sprout Social and more.