Tips to Refresh Your Social Media Accounts in 2018
I read a Forbes article from Ryan Holmes, founder and CEO of Hootsuite, last month that caught my attention and that I wanted to share. Holmes discussed the negative presence of social media, including fake, bad, and depressing news, constantly streaming our feeds as of late, and shared “tips” to instill value and hope when logging into social accounts.
Being that we are PR pros at REQ, we must be fully aware of ways we can help our clients best, especially for those in which we manage/assist with social media accounts. That being said, I’ve revamped Holmes’ tips to fit the needs of clients, rather than personal use. But please note, both are extremely important. As an avid consumer and die-hard fan of social media, I believe these tips can help everyone.
I’m sure we all know that doing too much of anything is bad – even social media. While grabbing your phone and scrolling through Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter is ever so tempting, we shouldn’t be doing it constantly. Holmes suggests allocating “social media times” into your schedule. Aside from doing actual social media work (such as drafting/scheduling posts or creating a monthly plan for your client) I think you should schedule a time block in the morning and afternoon, after lunchtime, to simply browse the various social media platforms you use to catch up on client and competitor news. There’s no need to log into accounts every time your client receives a like, mention, or a retweet because that’s an easy way to get distracted. As Holmes says, “The goal is to treat social media less as a snack-food binge—all empty calories—and more as a deliberate gateway to richer, more nourishing content.”
Be a savvy media consumer
The ability to make sound judgements in social media is key, especially at a time when sites are filled with gimmicks. You know not to click on the red flashing font that says ‘click here to win a free iPad.’ However I’m not speaking to ads, but more so to content. According to Holmes, you should “scan your news stream with your own internal radar up.” In PR, there are times social media can become a pitching outlet. While this isn’t a bad thing, it’s important to know what’s fake and what’s real. Speaking to my earlier tip, you should be aware of competitors and know what is relevant in your client’s field of work. What reporters are writing and discussing news pertaining to your client? Does it look too good (or too bad) to be true? If you aren’t sure, you can definitely always ask. However, being in the know with all media can help lessen these social stunts.
Reboot your follower list
First thing’s first, you can’t make any executive decisions without consulting your client. I personally think going through your social media list and unfollowing/deleting individuals and rebuilding from scratch is a great idea. However, it’s not something you should do on a whim. When conducting any kind of audit, you need permission. If you think rebooting could transform your client’s social feeds from negative to positive and insightful news, I would definitely suggest it. You have to remember, you didn’t always work with your client, so you may not be aware of every single follower on their lists. It may be worth taking this tip to heart in the New Year and go through an audit together, to be sure you are following the right people and are receiving pertinent news.
As Holmes’ says in his article, being a global citizen is important. However, being a local citizen is just as important. He suggests following local groups – such charities, bands, sports clubs etc. – to make your social media experience more rewarding. In your client’s case, this can also be very useful. Following local publications, groups, and forums can help you stay in the know. You can find pitching opportunities, speaking/award opportunities, and events/parties that your client could be a great fit for. Engaging with these connections can also boost your client’s name, making them more known in the community.
Demand algorithm ethics
Without getting too technical, social media algorithms are a way of sorting posts in a user’s feed based on relevancy instead of publish time, according to Sprout Social. Holmes’ suggests changing your settings to ignore the popularity factor (top stories, popular tweets, newest content from accounts you engage with the most) and view content in a strict chronological order. While some may prefer viewing content that is more clickable and comment-able, others prefer structure and veracity. This tip could really go either way for me. I see reasonings in both, and think that you should do what makes most sense for your client. The important thing is that you and your client are aware of these settings and come to a decision together.
Like Ryan Holmes, I suggest you take these tips with a grain of salt, or perhaps a donut sprinkle. Although they may not pertain to you directly, there are great things your client can benefit from by refreshing their social media accounts in 2018.