Social Media Guidelines: Choosing & Optimizing Your Platform
Social Media Goals
Define the goals that you want to achieve via social media. Your startup may want to focus on at least two of the below goals to facilitate growth in your business.
Brand awareness – Sharing relevant content, including articles, blog posts, photos, and customer feedback quotes, enhances the credibility of your brand. Pay attention to the content that gets the most engagement from your audience. See the next section below for tips on how to measure engagement.
Content distribution – Great, on-brand content will lead your followers to share posts that extend your brand impression. Content, such as blog posts, photos, customer feedback quotes, and updates, should be short and digestible, and generated on a regular basis depending on the platform. See the next section below for suggested frequency of content for each platform.
Lead generation – If you want your social media to attract and acquire new customers, then your goals could include driving traffic to your website or blog, promoting attendance at upcoming Rev events, or garnering new customers. Be sure to use hashtags on all platforms – it’s the most effective way to organically attract followers. See the next section below for which platforms are most effective for your goals.
What social media platform is right for you?
Build a community on the social media platforms that make sense for your business goals.
“WHEN WE BOOST POSTS, WE SEE TWICE AS MUCH ENGAGEMENT, TWICE AS MUCH WEBSITE TRAFFIC AND OFTEN DOUBLE OUR SALES.
JARON SCHNEIDER, FEATURES EDITOR, FSTOPPERS
– If you’re building an audience and looking for customers, it’s worth spending a lot of time, and minimal amount of money, on promoting Facebook posts.
– By spending as little as $5 to promote a post, Facebook is the best platform to reach the masses. Facebook lets you see the maximum potential market that your post could reach, and allows you to set specific demographic information to match your target customer.
– Third party sites, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, allow brands to schedule posts to make posting more convenient. They also offer analytics to help you easily and effectively determine the content that engages most with your target audience.
Best times to post on Facebook:
- – The days that receive the most impressions are Thursday and Friday, with Monday through Wednesday getting the lowest engagement rates. In addition, Facebook spikes by 10% on Fridays.
– Generally speaking, the best time of day to post on Facebook is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and more broadly, 9 a.m. through to 7 p.m.
– You can access the best times and days to post on Facebook by accessing your page’s “Insights” section, then by clicking on “Posts.” In the graph section for “When Your Fans Are Online,” you can see the days and times when your fans are using Facebook. This data is constantly updated, so it’s a good idea to regularly check these stats to help effectively reach your audience.
- – Twitter is the best platform to engage with consumers on a one-to-one basis. Experts say that consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they follow. Using hashtags will increase the likelihood for people to discover your brand, and follow it.
– Third party sites, such as Hootsuite and Buffer, allow you to schedule posts with shortened URLs, making posting more convenient. These sites also offer analytic capabilities so you can track your engagement, impressions, and followers.
Best times to post on Twitter
- – Twitter feeds move quickly and brands can lose relevancy if they are not frequently engaging with the Twitter community. Because of this, the shelf life of a tweet only lasts about eight hours, so it is recommended to post at least four tweets a day to ensure you maximize your exposure in consumers’ newsfeeds.
- – The best days for business-to-consumer brands to post on Twitter are Wednesdays and the weekends. According to social media scientist Dan Zarrella, Twitter engagement for brands is 17% higher on the weekends. For business-to-business brands, weekdays provide 14% more engagements than the weekends.
- – Twitter users are more active on their way to work and are more likely to use Twitter during school or work hours. For maximum retweets, post at 5 p.m., 12 p.m., and 6 p.m.
- – Instagram enables consumers to get behind-the-scene snapshots of brands. If you have a very visual brand, such as in the food or hospitality industries, then posting on Instagram daily is the best level of commitment since it reaches a wide audience.
- – Using hashtags will increase the likelihood for people to discover your brand, and follow it.
Best times to post on Facebook
– According to TrackMaven, Instagram engagement stays consistent throughout the week with slight peaks on Mondays and slight dips on Sundays. Off-work hours seem to achieve higher engagement, with more consumers interacting with posts from 3-4 p.m.
- This is Part 2 of a two-part social media guideline series about promoting your brand to achieve your goals, while also involving the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. See Part 1 here. Guidelines were created by Isabel Balla and Kristi Krulcik from the Rev: Ithaca Startup Works marketing team.