Looks like it might be – here’s why it pays to keep one eye on the future

The modern communications infrastructure is complex, there are no two ways about it. More and more, clients we work with and people we meet are overwhelmed by the vast array of social media opportunities and pitfalls at their disposal.

But the environment has become so confusing in the corporate landscape that we keep hearing the same questions:
– Which platforms are best for me, and why?
– How often do I post and what content?
– What if I get trolled by people trying to disparage my company?…To name but a few

Today we take social media notes from Guy Kawasaki, American marketing specialist and Silicon Valley venture capitalist who boasts 7m G+ followers, 1.5m Twitter followers, half a million Facebook and Pinterest followers, 58,000 Instagram followers and is considered a LinkedIn Influencer. To say the least he knows his stuff. Here we cover his top tips to rock social media across the various platforms…

Facebook

• Not everyone will see your posts! Facebook algorithms work best on engagement so use video, imagery and high quality content to make people interact and improve wall visibility
• Keep it short. Don’t write long copy posts; a couple of sentences introducing a link to a curated piece drives far better engagement performance
• Don’t be selfish. Interact with other pages to improve the engagement you receive for your own content

Google+

• Google Hangouts is massively underutilised. It’s a public chat forum not dissimilar to having your own TV channel. Use it to improve followers and engagement and get your message broadcast
• Monitor key Hashtags. This and checking assigned #’s helps to keep you on top of key clients, topics or your own updates
• Use stylised text! Not every platform lets you do this, so use it for emphasis and to add standout to your posts

Twitter

• Don’t neglect the search function. Real value can come from searching as well as posting on Twitter. Use it to track key influencers in your industry, search for relevant topics and use it as a learning tool as well as a public forum
• Repeat your Tweets! Twitter can be so busy for heavy users that you can cater to differing reading habits. Guy suggests for an interesting Tweet, don’t be afraid to post it 3 times, at 8 hour intervals. This could lead to triple the engagement
• Add multiple images per tweet. This is another trick to add massive engagement to your posts. People are interested in great photos!

LinkedIn

• Quality is Key. The highest content standards are expected on LinkedIn due to its professional environment. Proofread and ensure your posts are adding value for your followers
• Personalise when connecting with others. Don’t be lazy and use the default ‘connect with’ message. Add something personal, show interest and you’re far more likely to make a connection that could lead somewhere
• Participate in groups! Often overlooked, groups can be a great way to widen your network and build knowledge through sharing forums and Q&A’s

Pinterest

• One to watch. Not many organisations, particularly in the property and construction industry, make the best use of Pinterest, however it’s making huge waves in the USA and what starts there, often ends up in the UK. This has even been dubbed as the new Google search engine by some in the know
• Don’t use your own photography! Unless you’re a professional photographer that is. Pinterest is all about the quality of your imagery, curate and share images that are truly stunning to behold
• Hold back on the ‘#’. Pinterest is all about aesthetics. Don’t ruin your posts by overdoing on the unsightly and needy looking hashtags

Instagram

• Limit your image caption. It’s Instagram after all. People are here to witness a slice of your life visually, not through a ‘TLDR’ summary. Try to stick to 10 words max
• Piggyback on the Popular. Whether it’s a trend, hashtag or theme, the crowd have spoken. Do not be afraid to copy what’s successful in your own style or concept
• Go ‘#’ crazy! For some reason this is accepted on Instagram when it’s frowned upon by Pinterest users, so go nuts

Finally, here are our top 3 tips for generally taking control of your social media accounts:

• Don’t look clueless. Buying followers and overpromoting yourself or company is a recipe for disaster. Stick to one promotional post per 20 informative posts to keep your audience from turning their backs
• Content is King. The better the content the more popular it is. Fact. Make sure your posts add value for your audience whether it’s information, analysis, assistance or entertainment. Also always run your content through the ‘re-share test’. If it’s something you don’t think others would be willing to risk their own reputation to share, it probably needs rethinking
• Dealing with Trolls. You can interact but don’t fight back. Guy Kawasaki uses the ‘Amateur Boxing rule of Social Media’ i.e. 3-rounds. This gives you two openings to interact and back your own corner but after this, STOP:
The troll posts – Keep your cool
Round 1. Your own personal counter is round one. Make your statement coherently and calmly
Round 2. The likelihood is, the Troll will respond (sigh…)
Round 3. Your final chance to react, keep it clean and no matter what, end it here and take the high road