Studying our favorite social media accounts shows us the basics of successful streams that attract loyal, engaged followers: they post regularly, they stay true to their branding, and they promote conversation. Social media best practices go further than that though
But there are a few more rules to keep in mind.
Social Media Best Practices
- Be authentic. That’s a word use a lot in online forums, and for good reason. Your audience – your potential clients and colleagues – wants to feel as though they truly know you. Let them in. Give them behind-the-scenes glimpses of your personal life in-between your professional postings. (But not too behind-the-scenes! Keep your dirty laundry to yourself.)
- Promote yourself, but promote others just as much. The most powerful communities are built through mutual respect.
- Vary your images and content. Every so often, surprise your audience with another peek into your personality. Trademark content is great, but a bored audience relishes the unexpected.
Alexis Ohanian said it well: “Being effective at social media means capturing people who have short attention spans. They’re only a click away from a picture of a funny cat, so you have to make your thing more compelling than that cat. And that can be a high bar.”
- Refrain from posting after cocktail(s) hour(s). Loose lips sink social media ships. (Say that five times!)
- Step away from the subtweets, those obscure hidden messages intended for someone specific but you just can’t tell followers who it is. Who knows? It might be them.This practice is not only annoying, but also negative and immature. And annoying, negative, and immature accounts are not followed for long.
- Use scheduled posts with caution. There’s not much worse than promoting personal or sponsored content at the same time a stressful national headline or disaster is trending. Staying up-to-the-minute with current affairs will help you avoid tone-deaf, offensive messages.
- Try your best to be interesting, but try your damnedest to stay interested. Remain open to the vast possibilities and connections you can make online. Smart phones and social media expand our universe, and we can now connect – truly connect – with others on the opposite side of the world. Learn something new with every fresh follower.
The currency of stellar social media content is not money, but trust. Earn it on the daily. And, above all, know when to be silent and disconnect from the internet. It’ll still be there when you return. We promise.