With 72% of people on the Internet active on social media, 53% of people on Twitter recommending products in their Tweets and over 400 million snaps sent every day on Snapchat – social media is a big deal.
Therefore, your brand will want to put its best face forward on all active networks. So get ready, because we’re sharing our top 10 community management tips to help you get the biggest ROI.
1. Don’t “like” your Facebook page’s posts on mobile.
As of now, there is no way to switch from using Facebook as your brand to using it as your personal account on mobile. This means every time you “like” or comment on one of your brand’s posts, photos or videos, it will show up as a like or comment from your brand.
To avoid this, don’t “like” any of your brand’s updates on mobile. On a desktop, switch to your personal account, then “like” or comment on your brand’s updates.
2. Use pic.twitter.com to post images on Twitter vs. auto-linking your Instagram account (and make sure images are cropped right).
Auto-linking your Instagram account to Twitter may be easier for you, but what’s easier for you creates an extra step for your audience. Using pic.twitter.com allows your image to automatically display in your followers’ Twitter feeds, without requiring them to click.
When you auto-link your Instagram to post to your Twitter account, your Tweet copy shows up along with a link to your Instagram photo. This requires your followers to click through and open Instagram in their mobile Web browsers. If they aren’t logged into their Instagram accounts in their browser, there is yet another step they need to complete before they see your photo. Would you go through the trouble? Probably not.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Which of these Tweets would you be more likely to engage with?
Lastly, make sure your photo is cropped to a 2:1 ratio or resize it to 440 x 220 pixels to avoid awkward cropping when it shows up in the Twitter feed. For instance:
3. Know the image size requirements (or use our trusty source to find out).
Optimally sizing your images for each social media network increases engagement rates and improves the professional look of your posts. In short, it makes it look like you know what you’re doing.
These size requirements change often as social media network layouts evolve, so it’s important to stay current. We’ve created this social media cheat sheet blog post that we frequently update to save you some Googling time. Feel free to bookmark it.
To showcase the importance of staying up-to-date, take a look at the difference in something as overlooked as Facebook link previews. The correct image size gives your brand more real estate.
4. Don’t shy away from negativity.
Oh no! Someone complained about your brand on social media and everyone can see it, now what? The worst thing to do is to ignore or delete the complaint. More than likely, the person who complained about your product or service did it because they are unhappy with a recent experience and want you to fix it. Now, read that sentence again.
Yes, they want you to fix it, meaning they want to continue to have a relationship with you. This is a good thing. But if you’re still not sure what to say, try our five-step approach for responding to negativity on social media:
- Acknowledge. The problem is real to them; show you’re taking it seriously.
- Apologize. Don’t be afraid to say you’re sorry.
- Explain. This is an opportunity to offer your side of the story, including key messages.
- Offer next steps. Get their contact information, check into more details, etc.
- Read it out loud. If you wouldn’t say it, you shouldn’t write it.
5. Use real photos vs. stock imagery.
Since people can readily detect the difference between real photos and stock imagery, using stock photos dehumanizes your brand on social media. Think of it as one more obvious quality that differentiates your content from the content people log in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to see: their friends and family members’ posts.
You’ve taken the time to craft original and fresh content based on the value your brand can offer, so we recommend going the extra mile to make your visuals just as original and fresh.
6. Always search a hashtag before using it.
The purpose of a hashtag is to curate conversations about a topic. Including a hashtag adds your message to that conversation; so you should only include hashtags that make sense. We’ve all read the horror stories on lists of “Top Brand Fails” where someone skipped over the step of searching a hashtag before sticking it in their Tweet. It usually ends up horribly offensive and all over Buzzfeed the next morning.
Save your brand’s reputation (and your job) by performing a quick search and thinking about whether you see a conversation your brand should take part in or avoid. When in doubt, ask, “If this were the topic of a trade show, would it make sense for my brand to have a booth? If this were a magazine, would we run an ad?”
7. Stick to your “one thing.”
This is where strategy comes into play. Jay Baer, president of Convince & Convert, tells social media marketers, “Unless you’re one of the very few companies that already has a natural community of raving fans (Apple, Nike, etc.), people don’t care about your company enough to get involved with you online in a meaningful way. Instead, you have to find the ONE THING in your company that is truly defining and interesting, and build your social media program around that.”
Your one thing will likely be derived from your organization’s operations and culture. Your Facebook posts, Tweets, pins and Instagram photos should always tie back to your one thing. For example, “engagement experts” is Wimmer’s Diamonds’ one thing, and their social media posts and promotions showcase it.
8. Be proactive and human.
People use social media to connect with friends, not logos, so it’s important to showcase your brand’s personality. You need to be someone who attracts your audience members. What do they look for in a friend? Find your brand’s voice or create a persona and act like a real human: “like,” comment on and share others’ content.
9. Horizontal video works best (and keep it under 30 seconds long).
Facebook’s news feed is giving video a lot of attention right now, and many brands are trying to capitalize on it. Are you? You should be. But read these tips first.
Videos are not photos. You may think that sounds obvious, but many overlook the fact that you can’t just rotate your video after shooting it like you can with your images. Holding your phone horizontally when you record will help you create significantly better videos. TV, computer and movie screens are all horizontal. We just weren’t made to watch vertical video.
See the difference?
It’s also important to keep your videos short. According to a study by socialbakers, videos less than 21 seconds performed best in terms of completion rate.
As every second goes by, the possibility of your viewer exiting your video increases. If you’re using a call-to-action in your video, you’ll want to use it sooner rather than later.
10. To direct message someone on Twitter, they must follow you.
To avoid people receiving spam messages, Twitter requires that someone follow you before you can direct message them and vice versa.
These 10 tips are just the beginning of the tricks we have up our sleeves for social media community management. We’d love to discuss strategy and tactics specific to your brand, too.