How important are social media updates? Do you spend time perfecting them before you post them?
A good social media update can be the difference between making a positive or negative impact. A positive impact can help you engage your fans, get more followers, and drive traffic. A negative impact will just ruin your brand. This has become really important, as people have been losing jobs, getting kicked out of the Olympics, and even spoiled their hard earned reputation by making spontaneous social media updates.
So before you post that update, make sure you follow all the five points listed below to make an effective and positive impact, engaging your fans and followers:-
#1. Will it affect someone negatively?
When you make social media updates you need to make sure you avoid making negative comments.
A study by Dan Zarrella shows that making negative comments can have a negative effect on your profile. It could take you years to build a good reputation and brand image, but one mistake can ruin all that in mere minutes in this transparent Internet age.
An example is the recent update made by a British fashion brand, Celeb Boutique, who sent out the tweet “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress;) Shop:)” Now, Celeb Boutique posted this without knowing that #Aurora was actually trending because of the gun fire at the premier of The Dark Knight Rises movie in Colorado. The tweet created an uproar which led to many people sending them tweets (responses) about the mistake they had made and how much it upset them.
Even though they deleted the tweet and apologized later with the above tweets, the damage had already been done. To make things worse, this tweet was picked on by popular websites and blogs that spread the word even more. There was also a story about boycotting them. If they spent some time and actually found out why #Aurora was trending by typing this in the Twitter search bar and looking at the results, they could have avoided all this. And to make things worse, they posted another tweet later that day “It’s a fabulous Friday, what are your weekend plans?? #fabulousfriday” which enraged more people.
So before publishing that update, take a look at it and verify to make sure it doesn’t contain negativity or has the potential to create a negative effect.
#2. Can it be made into an image?
In a recent study, Facebook found that photos and images are shared the most – more than links and videos. So before posting an update, if possible, make it into an image or a photo. Let’s say it’s a post about a product or something you have done. Instead of just publishing an update in a few words, take a photo of it in action and publish it along with the words and the description.
A great example is what Andrea Vahl of Social Media Examiner does. When we share a link of a blog post, we usually just write a few words about it and publish it along with the link.
What Andrea Vahl does is that she takes a screen shot of the post and then publishes it, letting people know more about the new article by writing a headline and providing the link. I have observed that this method gets them more likes and shares. I recently tried it out myself for a blog post and found that it does increase traffic. So before making an update, think about how to make it into an image and share it on networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
#3. What do you want to achieve with that post?
Always ask yourself what you want to achieve with this post?I Is it just to get more likes or more comments or retweets or to increase traffic? A recent study by Facebook shows that if you want more likes in your updates, ask people to like the post, if you want more people to comment on your update ask a question. If you want more shares, post more photos, photo albums, and videos.
There is also a study which proves that asking for a retweet by using the message “Please Retweet” in your tweets can get you more retweets.
So always set a goal for your social media update and think about what you want to achieve and model your update to meet this requirement.
#4. Which network will this suit best:
Every update isn’t for every social network. Some will suit Facebook better, some Twitter, some Pinterest, some LinkedIn, and on and on. Choosing your social network updates will be all about the type of audience you’re planning to target and the type of content you plan to use.
If you’re targeting other businesses (B2Bs), LinkedIn or Twitter would be a better bet than other networks.
An example is my white paper blog. I publish most of my posts on LinkedIn and Twitter, as most of my audience (other businesses) are on these sites. A white paper is a small niche in the niche of content marketing, and my audience are other businesses, so these networks play a better role in driving engagement and increasing traffic.
#5. The best time is?
Another important factor is time. Different networks will have different peak times for sharing content or posting updates.
According to bit.ly, Facebook has the highest click through rate between 1 – 4 PM on weekdays.
For Twitter, this is between 1 -3 PM and for Pinterest, it’s Saturday morning.
What you need to remember is that these are just general times where the best average times have been found effective. If you want to find out your own specific time, you can do it by using tools like bit.ly, Tweroid, Tweetwhen, etc. If you’re using software like Buffer or Hootsuite, they should already be tracking your updates, and you can use this information to find out the best time for you to share content.
So follow these five steps and work on your updates so that you can make the highest impact and influence your audience positively.
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Do you follow the above steps while making your updates? Are there any other extra steps one should take? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments in the comments box below.
Mitt Ray – has written 132 posts on this site.
Mitt Ray is the Founder of Social Marketing Writing and the Director of imittcopy (The White Paper Blog). He is also the author of the book White Paper Marketing. Connect with him on Pinterest and Twitter @MittRay.