If you own a small business, you’re probably making use of social media marketing. Right? But do you have a general (or specific) plan, or do you just wing it and hope for the best?
One of things Fresh + Fit does for our clients is develop language guidelines and a corresponding social media strategy. Essentially, this includes brand-based etiquette for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There are 5 main categories we generally address when it comes to social media strategy: tone, hashtags, tags, images, and frequency of posting.
Since all three of these social media platforms are quite different, we try to create an overall symmetry between them, while staying true to each of their unique benefits:
Facebook Social Media Strategy
Tone: This will be the same for each platform, and will completely depend on your brand’s identity. If your brand is fun, spunky, and upbeat, then this is the tone you set for all your social media posts. If your business is more informative and educational, then the tone set on social media will need to match that vibe.
Hashtags: On Facebook, hashtags should not be used in the main copy. Instead, place all hashtags at the end of your post. Many businesses choose to separate their main post copy and the hashtags by using periods or spacing or both. Facebook is great, because you have no limit (or a very, very high one) to the number of characters you can use in a single post.
So hashtag away!
The reason behind not using hashtags within your main copy, is simply because it makes the copy harder to read, which can dissuade the reader from reading your whole post.
(Which would be too bad, since you took the time to write it. Right?)
Tags: Unlike using hashtags, it’s okay to directly tag people or pages within your post. Facebook tags don’t display the ‘@’ symbol in front of them, so it looks cleaner.
Don’t be afraid to tag more people or pages at the end of your post (along with hashtags), if you didn’t directly reference them within the main copy.
Images: Images are imperative on Facebook. They will come up automatically if you’re using a URL within your post, but if you’re not, add something relevant that catches the eye of your reader. Remember, a picture is worth 1000 words, so choosing the correct photo is an art in of itself.
Frequency of Posting : All platforms are a little different, but 1-2 posts a day (maximum) is what we recommend for Facebook. Although the algorithms change every few months, they’re designed to recognize ‘Facebook spamming’, which is essentially posting on your business page way too frequently.
When Facebook’s algorithm picks this up, it will respond by making your page less visible, not more. It’s Facebook’s way of disciplining businesses who spam their clients.
Moral of the story? 1-2 posts per day, and stay consistent with what you choose.
Twitter Social Media Strategy
Tone: As we wrote in regard to Facebook, the tone of your tweets should match your business’ brand model.
Hashtags: The main difference between using hashtags on Twitter as compared to Facebook, is the character limit you are obliged to follow on Twitter. Because you’re limited to 140 characters, hashtags can be used within the main copy of your tweet.
BUT: if you have room to use hashtags at the end of your tweet, then do it. As with Facebook, hashtags can be distracting, and are always better when placed at the end.
Tags: Use within the main copy of your tweet, and add to the end if you’re not directly referencing whomever you’re tagging within the main copy of your tweet.
Images: Although not necessary, images always make for better tweets. People are very visual, and a great image can catch a reader’s eye and compel him to read your tweet—and share it!
Frequency of Posting: With Twitter, feel free to tweet as much as once an hour throughout the day. With our clients, we make sure to schedule at least 3 tweets per day, and then with comments and shares, we typically end the day with around 6-7 tweets.
Here’s the bottom line for your Twitter social media strategy frequency: minimum 3; maximum 12.
Instagram Social Media Strategy
Tone: Ditto for Facebook and Twitter. (See above.)
Hashtags: As with Facebook, it’s best to leave the hashtags at the end of your post, separated by spacing or punctuation—especially because you have an unlimited character count.
Tags: Feel free to tag if relevant within the main copy of your post (and yes, you need a paragraph—don’t post images with no copy), and then you can tag more at the end.
Images: The most important part of Instagram! Images for Instagram are not only required, they need to be good. For this platform, we recommend spending more time on the image than on the actual post copy.
Visitors to your Instagram feed will see the first 6-9 images, so it’s important to make them beautiful and diverse.
It’s also important to your social media strategy that Instagram photos are original and unique.
Frequency of Posting: Instagram posts can go up 1-2 times per day—as with Facebook. If you post more, it will look like spam. (But again, try and stay consistent. Post every day!)
Creating language guidelines and a social media strategy is important for any business. Develop your own, stay true to your brand, and above all? Have some fun!
Call us to talk social media strategy, guys–we have your back on this. To find out which social media platforms might be best for marketing your business, read this article by Forbes.