Slow Your (Social Media) Roll

It’s no secret that we’re big believers in social media and the power of blogging here at REQ. We are active on TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn. We all blog regularly and share our posts across several platforms, including Google+ (great for SEO).

We often encourage our clients to embrace social media and blogging when we feel it’s right for them. Social media gives companies the opportunity to engage directly with their audience and blogging can be a great way to share company news and insights, especially in the absence of hard news that would interest reporters. However, it seems to me that all too often companies are jumping on the social media and blogging train without much forethought.

Don’t be one of those marketers! Instead, follow these tips for launching your social media (and blogging) efforts in 2016.

  • Pick the platforms that are right for youThere are so many social media platforms to choose from but you don’t necessarily need to be on all of them. Each platform has its pro’s and con’s, and you need to review and decide carefully which platform makes the most sense for the audience you want to reach and the story you want to tell. (If it’s helpful I previously wrote a social media for beginner’s guide and reviewed the top platforms for your reading pleasure.)
  • Social media is not a one-way street. Keep in mind that social media is supposed to be just that – social. Engaging and interacting with your followers is encouraged. That said, some platforms allow for more visible engagement and interaction with the audience than others. Think about the message you want to convey and how visible you want the interaction to be, then choose your platforms accordingly.
  • Determine how often you will post. Just like with most marketing and PR efforts, consistency is key, especially if you want to develop a good social media following. Some platforms, like Twitter, may require daily engagement while others like Facebook and LinkedIn are fine to update just a few times each week.
  • Identify your content sources. Sharing compelling and engaging content is the whole point of social media. What kind of news and tidbits do you want to share, and from where will that information come? But don’t stop there. Social media is a great way to share all the compelling content you are creating! Press releases, news stories featuring your company or about your industry and blog posts are a few good places to start. Thinking beyond the basics and looking at creative content – infographs, videos and photos – are other good options.
  • Figure out how often to blog. Blogs are a bit of a different beast and each organization has to determine what works best for them based on the resources available. Step one is figuring out who will be authoring the blog posts and how much time they can commit to those duties. If you’ve been following our blog posts for any length of time you may have figured out by now that each and every one of us is responsible for writing one blog post per month, which means we post around 15 times a month. This may not be feasible for all organizations and some may find that with resources constrained they are limited to posting only one to two times a month or maybe one to two times per week.

These are just a few tips to think about when venturing into the world of social media, though this list is certainly not exhaustive. However, if I can leave you with just one last piece of advice it would be this – you have to walk before you can run. Social media can be an incredibly powerful tool, but using it effectively requires planning, patience and consistency. Take the time to do your research on the different options available to you and really think about how you are going to develop followers and what information you want to share with them. Then, when you’re ready, take the leap. I promise you won’t be sorr