Blog Post

The No Bullshit Guide To Using Social Media in Business

It’s Monday morning, you know you’ve got to get your social media posts scheduled for the week or you’ll forget to do them, so you’re sat in front of an empty Twitter or Facebook status update page. This is when you realise that you just haven’t got a clue what to post, but know you have to do something.
What are the options? Discounts on products? Well that didn’t work last time, you didn’t even get a like or retweet. Maybe a post about how good your customer service is and a picture of a cat? Maybe a a brag about how incredible your products are? Just stop…you need help.

Commercial approaches to Social Media
I’ve promised you no bullshit, and I’m a man of my word. There’s nothing worse when you expect to read about HOW to do something, and they only cover the WHY it’s important bit. I hate those guys. Such a waste of time reading it for me and my Tinder dates.

So how do we as an agency manage social media campaigns? Well we go through a tiered system for content creation which comprises of four main elements.
1: Content approach
2: Content curation
3: Visual content curation
4: Targeting protocols
5: Promoting

Content approach
When you’re posting content in a business context, the same rules apply as if you were posting personally to friends and family. Your content would be meaningful, and varied. The tendency is often to post corporate messages with sales focussed agenda’s every day, but I can guarantee you that this isn’t going to work.
Try this. Rather than consider that specific day’s social media post in isolation, consider your whole year’s social media posts and try to split the content into 3 approaches, using a common system called the rule of thirds.
* 1/3 will promote your business, services and expertise
* 1/3 will surface and share ideas, thoughts and opinions
* 1/3 will be personal interactions with others

Content curation
Now you have a direction for what type of post you’ll have, you now need to consider the written content. Where will it come from? Look at it in this way and choose one the following:
* Content created by you right now
* Content created already
* Content provided by someone else somewhere else.

Content created by you now is just that. You have an idea of what to write, so get writing! Simples. EG A post about "Hump Day" or current affairs.

Content created by you or your company on any digital format already (website content, white papers, blog content, leaflet wording, testimonials etc) can be used to its full capability by taking snippets and using it on your social media posts. This is called syndication and is a widely accepted and adopted method of content curation and maximises your content and efficiency.

Content created by someone else is just that. If you’re sharing ideas, thoughts and opinions, it may be other peoples thoughts in order to start

or continue a topic for debate. Taking someone else words, crediting them, and using their @, is a great way to develop your status as an expert in your sector, and to connect with people who are huge in your sector.

Visual content curation
Choosing a strong, visually enticing image, video and/or link for your posts is absolutely mandatory. Bear in mind that Facebook’s new algorithms will serve your content to followers based upon the popularity of the channel. Visual content with less text will normally receive more attention and therefore increase the popularity.
So, get snapping or videoing, get Boomeranging or Giphying and post something that people will like and/or share!

Targeting Protocols
This is often the stage that gets omitted from ongoing social media content, but is most impactful to the reach.

Your targeting protocols should do one or all of three things.
1. Join existing conversations/trends/topics
2. Create your own conversations/topics/trends
3. Find and target specific people, companies, groups and organisations (not an exhaustive list, but you get the gist right?)

Join existing conversations
What social media network you’re posting on will affect what types of existing conversations and trending topics there are and how to discover these. The way to do this is by using #’s. e.g. #DPblog.
Sites like Instagram will tell you the popularity of # words and phrases so you can choose the right one for you, but other sites like Twitter will only tell you the top trending ones, but will instead show you relevant users and posts according to the search term. This isn’t as useful as it sounds, so we use Hashtagify to find the most popular #’s.

Create your own conversations/topics/trends
Above I mentioned how to find existing topics and trends, but you should also start to build your own unique ones yourself. I recommend developing a set of #’s for the various things you do that audiences are most likely to want to hear about and engage with. This then gives other people the tools to regularly tune into your discussions to learn, develop, be entertained, or what have you.

Find and target specific people, companies, groups and organisations
Finding, targeting and connecting with people on sites like Twitter can be difficult. We use Moz’s Followerwonk to search for influencers in a sector by specific keywords e.g. HR Northampton. This will bring up top conversations and user profiles so you can connect and join in on discussions. This is networking in its purest form and really impactful, especially if you’ve selected to do personal interactions on a specific day.

So this gives you a flavour of the basics of commercial Social Media posting, and hopefully some direction for posting varied and rich content. Feel free to continue this conversation and get involved using #DPblog and your own hashtags…but I guess you already knew that right!

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