This may be a popular topic seen a lot online - "Top # Best Practices for Social Media" - but are they really or are they just generic practices to think about?
To understand the best practices when it comes to social media, we must first understand social media and the connection it provides to a larger audience.
Whether you are an individual person, a business, a company, nonprofit, or group, social media is meant to connect us, and keep us connected. However how you use social media channels is what determines how you are connecting with others.
Lots of articles and blogs will tell you it has the "best practices" however is this universal?
Why are we researching articles that are trying to advise like these "best practices" will actually work for everyone? The biggest problem with this makes it seem like you will absolutely be successful if you are doing things exactly like everyone else does and that's just simply not the case.
In social media, you need to find your place. You're not every other person, company, or group. You need to make yourself unique. Make people stop scrolling! But how do you do this? Well, let's not talk about best practices; instead, let's discuss how to start uncovering what's right for your company goals - beginning with social channels.
Choosing the right platform(s)
How do you know what platforms are right for you and your brand? First, let's break down the channels and what the overall audience is on each one.
Twitter: The platform for celebrities, politicians, and big businesses. Honestly, not too many "normal" people are on Twitter anymore. The audience is still typically other celebrities, politicians, and big business to interact and watch each other's moves, even calling each other out at every opportunity. This is also the platform for news outlets, PR professionals, and journalists to track what is going on and coming straight from the horse's mouth. It is also the fastest-moving platform! You can put up 20 tweets in a single day, and you might get a couple of "20 tweets in an hour??" comments, but typically no one is blinking an eye because you only have so many characters.
Facebook: This is the platform for small and big businesses. This is a platform meant to build a community and encourage your community's involvement. Facebook is typically a good platform for any company and brand! This is what makes Facebook universally helpful. You can create pages, community groups, and use different features it offers on your page. This is also the best platform to utilize when you want to push your content organically to build and engage your audience. Unless you are a celebrity, politician, or influencer, it's not a bad idea to keep a Facebook as long as you're willing to learn and work with the channel to use it to your benefit.
Instagram: This is your showcase platform. What is the aesthetic you're looking to create? This is the platform where a picture speaks 1000 words. The photo grabs the viewer's attention before they even read the post copy.
However, Instagram may or may not be for you or your company! Don't post JUST to post. You should always be thinking - "Why am I posting this?" "What is the goal for this post?" "What can be taken from this photo?" "Does it have anything to do with my company?" "How do I connect it back to the brand?"
The Instagram audience is the one that will respond to what you have to show for your company, so make it post-worthy and always post with purpose.
Youtube: This is more for influencers and for company ads/commercials. This is also a great platform to host content and share on other channels.
Influencers - Use influencer platforms to talk about your products or services.
Ads/commercials - Use ad spend to get your ads onto popular YouTuber videos
Host platform - Instructional videos, site videos, informational videos, videos that you're including in emails/newsletters. These can all be kept on YouTube but not made "Public." Make them "Unlisted" instead, and only those who have the link (clicked on the video through your website or email) can view these videos.
Your own content - Post with a purpose and if you are going to utilize YouTube, make sure you have a plan, a strategy, an outline, the right equipment, the time to edit, and are ready to properly cross-channel promote.
TikTok: Last but not least, TikTok. This is the HOT platform right now. Everyone wants it, wants to do it, and be "TikTok famous," but is it still right for you and your brand? Do you have the content to build a platform? The biggest points to remember for TikTok are as follows - have the time to plan and create the content, have the time to edit it properly, and MAKE IT INTERESTING. You have 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and 3 minutes to create an interesting or funny piece of content that will grab people's attention. Don't make an ad! Make content.
Evaluate and review
In all, review and evaluate the platforms that will be the most helpful to you and your brand. Don't create channels just to "have them all." In the end, if you think more platforms will help, plan and prioritize. Social media takes just as much strategy as every other part of your brand/company takes to build and grow.
Choose the platforms to start with, then broaden and build once you've got steady content on #1 and #2. Slow and steady will be more productive and beneficial than you think!