I’m often asked at events or even by friends about different things relating to social media. Funnily one of the questions I hear is:
“Yeah I just don’t get Twitter”
As a self-confessed Twitter addict this can come as a surprise, then again I have to remember I’ve been using it for 5 years. One of the problems is that social media can change so quickly. There is always something new to look up. So in order to help people out there I’ve come up with an A-Z of social media of things that I feel are the most important things to know about at the moment.
Take a Deep Breathe, Heres the A to Z of Social Media
A is for Analytics – If you’re a business but aren’t using analytics then you really are missing out big time. From identifying your audience to the kind of posts that are working for you to even what images work analytics should be a cornerstone of your social media efforts. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all have in built analytics and when combined with Google Analytics they form a powerful arsenal to start off your social efforts.
B is for Buffer – Of the social media tools out there that let you manage multiple accounts Buffer is one of the best and easiest to use. One of the key reasons for this is the apps that are available for it on Chrome and Twitter. Instead of having tweeting out an article straightaway you can use the Buffer button to not only send the article out through whichever social channels you have connected to it but you can also schedule it. As well as that you can send it out through more than one channel. Buffer makes it sooo easy to share relevant articles and pages.
C is for Canva – This tool is terrific. Its an image tool for designs and images that can be used by everyone. If you’re stuck for an image Canva has a vast bank of images that you can harness and use in your social media efforts. As well as that the social media feature allows you to tailor images according to the dimensions of the various social platforms.
But wait there’s more!! Canva now has a feature in place that lets you work on 1 image but Canva adjusts this to various social media networks. It really is a god send for anyone who doesn’t have experience of design
D is for Dashboard: If you’re using a social media management tool then get used to mastering these. Whether its Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or one of the other huge selection of tools master your dashboard as early as possible. They help you to mine down into your social profiles and make the most of not only the networks but also your time and efforts as well.
E is for Engage – If you’re on social media and all you’re doing is sending out posts without anything coming the other way then you’re in trouble. Reach out, interact with others and get to know what others are talking about. Search out chats and see how you can add to them. If you give great advice then people will interact and follow you.
F is for Fun – While its a serious business out there it doesn’t hurt to add some humour to your social media. People love to be entertained, and humour is one of those emotions that resonates with people and will help them to remember you. At the same time it can help you out as well.
G is for GIFs – GIFs are so much fun and thats their strength. On social media people like to be entertained. If you can find a GIF or create one that resonates with people and makes them laugh then terrific. GIFs are also great for engagement, trust me I’ve been putting them up recently and checking the analytics and the result are impressive.
H is for Hangouts – While Google+ hasnt set the world alight (understatement of the social media era) the Hangouts feature is still terrific for fast paced businesses who are in multiple locations. Hangouts allow multiple people to talk to each other online. So whether you’re located on different floors or on different continents you can have a conference like you’re in the same room. You can also conduct interviews and record them for later use.
I is for Instagram: While this one is a little obvious there’s getting around the fact that there are now more monthly users on Instagram than there are on Twitter. The fact that Instagram is pictures first is its key strength. Its really easy to use. It has replaced the daily routine of going through your Facebook newsfeed with going through a feed that has no algorithm so as a result YOU can tailor what YOU see rather than an algorithm trying to work it out for you. While Instagram does have its issues (as I have discussed already) its so clean go through. By following the right accounts you can get up to date on whatever it is your interests are.
J is for Juggle: By this I mean juggling the social media networks you’re on and also the content you put up on them. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, StumbleUpon (there are so many channels) you have to Juggle being able to use each network to the most of its potential while not getting lost in spending too much time on them at the expense of other business tasks. At the same time you have to juggle what content to put up on them.
K is for Klout: Now this is a fun tool that helps score your social media accounts. It also highlights to you the content that has had an impact. As a result you can tailor things and adjust so that your social media marks improve as a result. At the same time Klout also lets you find out about what content is popular at the moment. If you share interesting content then you build engagement as a result you increase your social media score. Its an interesting and worthwhile tool for people to use.
L is for Live (chat/stream) – We might have mentioned certain tools called Meerkat and Periscope. Well you can now add Blab to that list (its amazing how fast things go in the world of social media). Where Meerkat and Periscope lets one person do a live stream Blab lets four people. This is an interesting for when it comes to hosting webinars and chats. For the people tuning in they get to learn and interact from those hosting the chat and for the hosts they can build on their reputation and engage with people from all over the world. Its interesting times that we live.
M is for Measure: You should always be measuring how your social media efforts are going. Research each of the networks, identify the key metrics and then see how these relate to the goals that you want to achieve. For example with LinkedIn if you’re using it to generate leads and sales then number of people who wish to connect with you, people who have viewed your profile and replies to messages you have sent could be the 3 KPIs. Always be measuring and identifying what works and what doesnt.
N is for Newsfeed: That page that you scroll through everyday has had some interesting changes. If you’re a business look at these changes and see if it creates any opportunities for you. The biggest change recently (apart from the dislike button myself and Stephen has discussed about) is Facebook video, does this create an opportunity for you to post a video up showing behind the scenes at your business that will get peoples attention and show the human side of your brand. The number one tip I would give is always be on the lookout for news about algorithm changes.
O is for Optimise: By optimising your presence online you’re giving yourself and your business the best opportunity of being found. This can be simple things from making sure you have your Twitter profile fully complete (from background to have the right keywords in your description). This is of more importance since the recent agreement between Twitter and Google. For LinkedIn the goal should be real simple, become a LinkedIn All Star
P is for Pics: Pictures really do speak a thousand words. If you’re planning on putting content up online ask yourself the question “Would an image better portray what I’m saying” The right images can get peoples attention. In an era where peoples attentions spans are getting shorter and shorter getting their attention and maintaining it is crucial. It is also important to put up good quality images, these represent your business so you want to make sure that you put your best foot forward.
Q is for Quotes: These are a real bug bear of mine, as far as Im concerned putting up a quote just for the sake of it is just lazy. Too often my newsfeed is full of quotes with a Minion in it, which is just a lazy jump on the bandwagon tactic. If you’re going to put up quotes put some time and effort into it. Come up with something unique (that you have said) and if you’re going to add an image be sure its one that adds to the quote rather than one thats just….well generic.
R is for Realtime: Realtime is what Twitter was made for. The number of Tweets sent out per day is terrifying. On any given day I myself will on average send out 10-15 tweets a day. When I’m at an event where the engagement online is in realtime then this could go to 50 or 60 (I think I have a problem). The Startup Weekend in Limerick was a great example of engaging and interacting with not only the participants but also potential customers and advisors not only in Ireland but also globally. If my phone isnt near meltdown at the end of an event then I havent done enough.
S is for Snapchat: This network has blown up in 2015 and is becoming one the key social channels for young people. The fact that there is 4 billion video views EVERY DAY is a telling state in itself. Businesses have copped onto the potential of this networks and the stories feature is a terrific way to broadcast an event you may be at. Basically you can take a collection of short videos and show people the experience you’re having at the event. Its a terrific way to personalise the experience.
T is for Tweetdeck: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Tweetdeck is the number 1 tool to help you manage your Twitter profiles. I did a quick presentation when I joined BlueChief on how to use Tweetdeck and what was the result? Everyone is now using it. From making max use of the columns to manage lists, live chats, interactions with customers and hashtags Tweetdeck lets you do all these things. Oh and did I mention you can schedule with it as well.
U is for Updates: When it comes to social media always be on the lookout for the most recent updates. The last 2 weeks alone have seen updates for Facebook (layout updates) Twitter (a greater than 140 character tweets) and Pinterest (a clothing recommendations feature). The social media landscape is one of the fastest changing, advice from 6 months can become redundant with one update so it pays to keep up to date with the recent news. So be sure to check out for the recent news.
V is for Video: I’ve written about this before but video is that important for businesses to utilise. Whether its through how to or FAQ guides (a useful starting point if you’re stuck for ideas) a quick run through about your business or a quick snip of an event that you’ve been at video is a great way to answer customers questions and show them the human face of your business.
W is for WhatsApp: Not another social media channel!! Well the good news is this isn’t one. Its a messaging app that lets you communicate with people based on your mobile number. Think of it like a text service, only its free. You can create groups and message them on mass and you can share pics and videos like that. It is a great tool to utilise for businesses. Whether its local groups or as a customer service tool WhatsApp just makes it easier to engage with other.
X is for Xray: By this I mean check over EVERYTHING before you post it up. Be sure your spelling is dead on as it is the standard for businesses to have the right grammar in their content, otherwise it appears sloppy (trust me I’ve made the mistake from time to time). Also be sure that the images you put up are the best they can be. Check for the dimensions so that all your content appears as professional as possible. Once you have a post/tweet typed out always make sure to have a quick look over it.
Y is for You: While everyone starts out with the same tools its up to you to tailor what content you want to send out and what you want this content to say about your business. Do you want to be just all sales sales sales (this approach is very risky) or do you want to also provide people with value through the content that you share. Ask yourself the queestion:
What do I want people to think about when it comes to my business?
Z is for Zzzzz: What does that have to do with social media? Simple you need to take a timeout from social media at some stage, we all do. Being involved 24/7 can get exhausting especially given the amount of content that is created daily. From my own experience the best thing to do is find something you really like (this is vital) and put your phone, tablet or laptop away. It can help shape you both as a person and as a professional.
Want to add to the list?
There you have it the A to Z of social media. Now I might have missed out on a few obvious things (Facebook being one) but I wanted to add a personal view point to this area that is still undergoing so much change. If you have any questions or want to add to what I have already said then please leave a comment. If you want to learn more about all things social then check out how we can help you.