8 Simple Social Media Tips

Posted: 01/10/2012 2:32:15 PM by WorkInCulture editor | with 0 comments

So you’ve finally convinced your boss (or yourself, if you are your own boss), that it’s time to start using social media.  First off, let me say: good for you!  While most people and organizations in the creative community have embraced the power of social media, there are still some people who don’t see the value.  But I’m not here to preach conversion; I’m here to help those who have already seen the light!

1) Figure out where your audience is
There’s no point setting up a Twitter account if the people you want to reach don’t use it.  Many people just jump on Facebook because that’s the network they’ve heard of, so they assume that’s where all the action is.  It really depends on what you do, who you’re looking to connect with, and what you want out of the whole experience.  Do some research, talk to colleagues, peers or look at the websites of those similar to you and see what kind of platform they are engaging on.

2) Do one thing really well
You may find that your audience is split between more than one social media platform: they may both use Twitter and Pinterest frequently for example.  But if you’re starting from scratch, choose one platform and focus on building a solid following, and solid presence, then consider where you might want to expand to next.  You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too many points of contact, and more than likely, you won’t have the time to dedicate to more than one platform.  It’s much better to do one thing really well. 

3) Create content
So you’re here now, you’ve signed up for Facebook, or Twitter, now what?  People aren’t just going to flock to you without you giving them something worthwhile, and yes that means doing more than just plugging your own projects.  Content doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be an interesting photo, a good article, or even just a helpful tip.  Give people a reason to follow you, and they will.

4) Engage don’t sell
Social media gives you access to a huge audience, it’s also very personal.  People who follow you have let you into their own personal world, you become part of their day; they wake up with you, go to sleep with you, and sneakily check in with you while at their desk.  If you just start blasting followers with nothing but self-promotional ads for your latest event or newest piece of work, you’ve broken the trust, and people will tune out very quickly.  That’s not to say you shouldn’t promote your projects on social media, but try and bring some real value to your followers and they will be much more receptive when you finally do some shameless self-promotion.

5) Never Automate
Since social media takes time, and people are busy, it becomes very tempting to start automating things.  Setting up tweets a week in advance, or having a bunch of canned Facebook wall posts so you can focus on other things is the wrong way to do social media.  It totally defeats the whole idea of engaging with your audience when they are there, responding in real time, and actively participating in the conversation.  Canned messages lack authenticity.  Also don’t have an automatic ‘thanks for following message’, everyone knows that it’s automatic, and it comes off as insincere.

6) Don’t be afraid of negative comments.
Part of putting yourself out there, is expecting to get a little bit of negative feedback.  Of course if you aren’t on Twitter or Facebook, people can still badmouth you; you just aren’t there to respond.  It can be tempting to delete any negative comments, but it lacks a certain transparency.  Negative comments can be constructive, and while you may get the odd crazy or irate person, you will more than likely also talk to a lot of great, interested and engaging people.   At the very least you’ll get some creative suggestions for improvement. 

7) Check in on the weekends
I know what you’re thinking, are you kidding me, on the weekends too?  We’ll social media isn’t a nine to five medium, it’s an all the time medium.  If you had a customer call with a complaint on your day off, would you ignore it?  If you did, you probably wouldn’t have much business, so why should Twitter or Facebook be any different?  It doesn’t take much to check in on your computer (or smartphone), once or twice during the weekend, and respond to any comments, or post an interesting article or two.   Trust me, you will get major points for not just sticking to the 9-5 routine. 

8) Quality not Quantity
Don’t focus on the number of followers or likes you have focus on the quality of your audience.   It’s much better to have a smaller audience that actively interacts with you, than to have thousands of followers who don’t ever engage with you. 


Andrew Sutherland

Marketing Intern


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