Social media is an essential component of any PR or communications strategy, and it requires dedicated commitment to authenticity and consistency to be worthwhile.
While PR and social media management are different disciplines, having a good social media presence can increase PR opportunities and visibility for your brand. If you want to amplify your PR efforts by bolstering your social media accounts, here are some dos and don’ts to consider.
Social Engagement Don’ts: What Not to Do
Social media can feel a bit like the Wild West, so it’s helpful to understand the basic rules of the road. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, but here are a few general behaviors to avoid on social media:
1. Don’t try to be on every platform. If you’re stressing about maintaining a small army of social channels, worry no more. Being on every social media platform isn’t necessary, nor is it always a best practice. Brands often set up more social media accounts than they can realistically manage, and it quickly becomes apparent which ones they favor and which ones get ignored. Rather than spreading yourself too thin across every channel, direct sustainable effort toward the platforms where your audience is most likely to engage with you. Work smarter, not harder.
2. Don’t post the same content across platforms. Once you’ve identified which platforms generate the most social engagement from your audience, give each one the attention it deserves. Your audience may follow you on more than one platform. If you post the same content to each account, they’ll be less likely to engage. It’s okay to repurpose content, but be sure to differentiate it across platforms. Big announcements (e.g., mergers, promotions, or other exciting pieces of news) are a notable exception—you’ll want to post those updates everywhere.
3. Don’t expect to go viral. Clients often ask me, “How can we make this go viral?” The answer is simple: You can’t. Going viral is an organic, happenstance occurrence. Take, for example, Jimmy Fallon playing Wordle on the air. The creator of Wordle certainly didn’t plan for that level of visibility, but it changed his life. Building social engagement requires hard work, and you’ll set yourself up for frustration if your main goal is going viral. Instead, focus on showing up consistently. If magic happens, you’ll be ready!
4. Don’t only push content out. Social engagement isn’t a one-way street. For a robust social media strategy, you’ll want to interact with other accounts on each platform. Read your feed, pay attention to trends, and identify opportunities to contribute in your space or industry. You’ll build more goodwill by engaging authentically with the community than by just sharing your own content.
Social Engagement Dos: Simple Strategies to Bolster Your Social Media Presence
Now that you know what not to do on social media, here are a few best practices to help you garner authentic engagement that grows over time:
1. Do post at least once a week. Posting at least once per week is the minimum standard for social engagement. If you’re struggling with what to post, consider creating branded visual assets that you can repurpose easily.
Items that use consistent imagery, like quote cards or graphics, can be used repeatedly with new information and content. Not only will this approach give you a structure to fall back on, but it will also help cement your brand identity.
2. Do use real photos. Building an adequate vault of images and visual assets can be challenging, but it’s more effective for garnering social engagement than relying on stock photos.
That said, if you need to use stock photos, don’t despair! There are plenty of resources that allow you to get creative with stock photography, like Canva. Once you find a relevant stock photo, you can customize it with text and other design elements to create a more valuable piece of content.
3. Do make it a priority. If your goal is to turn your social media presence into a significant driver of sales or visibility, hiring a dedicated, in-house social media manager is your best bet.
Ideally, the person who manages your social media content should understand your brand inside out and have the time to keep up with trends and push out relevant content in real-time. This level of commitment is difficult to achieve with a third-party company or an in-house employee who has other major responsibilities.
4. Do drive your audience beyond the social post. One of the benefits of social media is its ability to drive people to your website, online store, or other assets. Social posts should have a clear call to action directing your followers to connect or engage with you elsewhere to maximize their impact.
The beauty of social media is that you can make it your own. These dos and don’ts are guidelines, but ultimately finding what works for your audience is a game of trial and error. If you’re wondering how to take your social media strategy to the next level, contact me today—I’d love to talk about social engagement with you!