New to social media? Here are 5 high-level tips to get you started!
Andrew: Hello, everyone. It’s Andrew Bowen, your host of CBR’s B2U podcast, bringing business resources directly to you through the Internet. Today we’re continuing our discussion with Hayley Lyons, a content strategist at CGR Creative. This is the third and final part of our conversation with Hayley. If you’re just now tuning in, you can get caught up at CBRbiz.com/podcasts. Hayley, welcome back.
Hayley: Andrew, thanks for having me.
Andrew: You’ve very welcome. Like I said before we got to this section, I’m really glad that you’ve broken everything out into five very easy to digest bullet points, both on how to start writing content, get people to read content, and now we’re talking about social media. So a lot of our listeners are new to social media. I know the world of social media is very complex. I am actually very new to it, even as a millennial–very slow to adopt, alright? But if you could package what business owners and entrepreneurs can do into a few quick posting tips, what would they be?
Hayley: Well, Andrew, obviously I love lists and five seems to be my lucky number so it should be no surprise that today I have five tips for posting to social media.
Hayley: Alright, let’s get started. And keep in mind that there are probably 100 tips I could give everyone on all of this, and it was really hard to narrow it down to five.
Hayley: These are my five favorites, okay. So tip number one is always to post with purpose. You’re not just posting whatever comes to your mind. This is your business page, not your personal page. Don’t share what you had for lunch. Everything should be posted with purpose. You might have more characters on Facebook, but keep in mind that shorter posts are actually more successful on Facebook. We’re talking less than 80 characters on Facebook. So although you can write more than that, I would actually recommend writing less than that.
Andrew: Okay, so if your recommendation is 80 characters on Facebook and Twitter’s maximum is 160, am I correct in feeling like what your response to this question is gonna be is yes, so a lot of people are packaging information into pictures with just a little bit of text to kind of get more of a message across than would have been possible with just words?
Hayley: That is exactly right. And I’m going to step back and just say that Twitter is 140 characters. I just hate to correct you, you know, in the recording.
Andrew: That just goes to show you how much I use the Twitters, okay?
Hayley: But, yes, but no, you’re exactly right. For Facebook they are using images, and links are incredibly, incredibly successful.
Andrew: Okay. That explains why it comes up red every time I have a thought. It’s always 20 characters too long.
Hayley: No, you just have big thoughts.
Andrew: Oh, thank you. Okay.
Hayley: Yeah, so post with purpose. Identify your goal, as well as the value your post is offering. Make sure you’re using the right tone and that your brand’s voice is present. And make sure you’re using the right key words, power words, and phrases to attract attention. Be conversational, human and concise.
Andrew: Alright, so a lot of it really just runs over from the first couple things we talked about.
Andrew: It kind of builds on itself.
Hayley: It all kind of ties together here.
Andrew: Alright. So what else do we have?
Hayley: Okay, tip number two. We’re going talk about tagging, both of the tagging variety and the hashtagging variety.
Hayley: So, we’re going to start with hashtags. Just as you’re posting with purpose, you need to be sure that you’re tagging and hashtagging with purpose.
Andrew: Can you explain to the listeners exactly what a hashtag is?
Andrew: Because I’ve already screwed up once in trying to explain. So I’ll let you kind of tell everyone exactly what a hashtag is.
Hayley: So a hashtag, and even if you’re new to social, I’m sure you’ve at least seen them, it’s when you have the pound sign (#) followed by a series of words or maybe a single word or something like that. The intent is to allow you to join a bigger conversation. And so say that you’re doing #charlottefood, then you could click on that hashtag and follow it to see everyone else who’s posting about Charlotte food.
Andrew: Okay, so it’s really tracking topics.
Hayley: Absolutely. And you could have also have seen it used ironically, I’m sure, as well. Or I am guilty of using it in real life conversation and so it’s kind of just become one of those things that’s grown beyond what its initial purpose was.
Andrew: Yeah, infiltrating our lives with hashtags.
Andrew: And anybody can create them. You can create whatever hashtag you want.
Hayley: Yes. You can start your own hashtag. You can follow an old hashtag. It’s totally up to you. In a tweet I would recommend using no more than two hashtags, but be mindful of them. As I mentioned before, you can use them ironically, and although that can be funny sometimes, I would be really mindful of how that’s affecting your brand. You don’t want to use too many hashtags or too many hashtags that don’t make sense.
Hayley: And I know that Facebook has started allowing you to use hashtags and kind of promoted that for a little bit, but I would actually just omit that from your marketing strategy for now. I wouldn’t use hashtags on Facebook. It just doesn’t really make sense there right now.
So that’s hashtagging. And then as far as tagging goes, if you’re sharing a third party article or talking about a specific person or organization, be sure to tag them. Let them know you’re talking about them. Not only will they be more likely to share your Tweet, but that will increase your engagement as well.
Andrew: Yeah, that makes sense. So because I haven’t been able to put my plug in for my Quality of Life Explorer, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Quality of Life Explorer, what we have a problem with is tracking who’s sharing any of the information they find there.
Andrew: And if only we were tagged more often.
Andrew: But that’s partially on us because I’m also giving this podcast and listening so we can actually come up with a good social media strategy.
Hayley: Oh, perfect.
Andrew: So I’m done pitching myself. We can go back to the, what are we on, the third piece?
Hayley: Well, no, you make a really good point is by tagging you, I mean, social media is meant to be a conversation, and so tagging is important. It just kind of keeps that conversation going.
Andrew: Thank you.
Hayley: You’re welcome. Number three is attach an image. And here’s a little fun statistic for you is that tweets with images get 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. So using an image is pretty much a no brainer. Always be sure that they’re properly sized for whichever social media platform you’re using. Make sure that they’re high quality and clear. And this is just like a fun little tip that I’ve been reading is that the images that get the most engagement are the ones that have bright colors or that show some kind of a mood. So it could be like a man screaming or a woman laughing. Those tend to get the most engagement.
Andrew: Oh, wow, okay, so that’s a lot more interaction based on just having a picture versus words.
Hayley: Right, exactly.
Andrew: Do you have any sense as to why that is? My experience is because like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, especially on mobile because I feel a lot of people are on mobile now more than their desktop, is because it’s just the scrolling feed, where a picture really pops out.
Hayley: I think that’s exactly right. I think it has to do a lot with how we take in information now. Sadly, we’re not looking to read as much as we wanted to before so it’s whatever stands out the most to us. And a picture’s going to stand out more than a sentence probably would.
Andrew: That’s great. Alright, so I think we’re on number four.
Hayley: Number four. So you’ve got your post composed. You’ve got an image attached. Things are looking pretty good. Tip number four is to fine-tune the details. This means if you’re attaching a URL, make sure it’s the right URL.
Andrew: Very important.
Hayley: And if the URL is for a Facebook post, clean your post up. So this means that once you paste a URL into your post it’ll populate and you’ll have the little featured image come up with the article title. Go ahead and delete the link from the post because once it’s populated people can access it.
Andrew: Right, so you don’t want a double link, essentially, is what’s happening.
Hayley: Exactly. It just kind of makes it look a little prettier and it’s a little clearer.
Hayley: And my fifth and final tip, which as a copywriter I kind of have to say, is don’t forget to give your post one final proof. There’s nothing worse than being called out on social media for an unfortunate but avoidable typo.
Andrew: Yeah, and it may be because I was raised with an older sister who turned into be an English major, but on social media I see they’re, their and there messed up, two, too, and to, and what’s the other big one? There’s they’re, their, too, two, and anyways, using the wrong words that are homonyms.
Hayley: Oh, there is. You’ve got me over here racking my brain. There are so many. And I’ll tell you. I’m not one of those people that goes and fixes other people’s posts because I’m certainly guilty of it too, but definitely you want to proofread before you share anything.
Andrew: Yeah, it goes back to keeping credibility.
Hayley: Yes, absolutely. And Andrew, I didn’t tell you this, but I actually have a bonus tip for this one.
Andrew: I don’t know if we can break the cycle.
Hayley: I know. I know. So yeah, we’ve got our five tips and we have one bonus tip.
Hayley: When it comes to social media, you do need to pay to play. So these days, if you’re posting, unfortunately, organic posts for businesses are not always getting the most traffic. Facebook advertising is awesome. I would really recommend it for small businesses. Do sponsored posts, advertising; that is the best way to make sure your stuff is seen.
Andrew: Alright. So add social media to your advertising channel budget, essentially, right?
Hayley: Absolutely. I think it’s very effective.
Andrew: Alright, because the newspaper, hardly anybody reads it anymore.
Hayley: That’s right.
Andrew: In paper form, anyways. The Observer still has a website. So great, Hayley. Well, thank you so much for giving us so much information, especially that sixth bullet point, about blogging and posting to social media. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we end today’s podcast?
Hayley: I think that’s it. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Hayley@CGRCreative.com or you can even tweet me @Hayley_Lyons.
Andrew: Alright. And the “at” is an actual @ sign, for we social media…
Hayley: Yes, for tagging.
Andrew: …know-it-alls like myself. Alright, everyone. To find out more information about CGR Creative or to listen to archived podcasts, visit us at CBRBiz.com. Thanks for tuning in to CBR’s B2U podcast presented by CBRBiz.com. I’m your host, Andrew Bowen, and until next time we mean business.