Q: Okay, so I have profiles on the social media channels I want…now what do I put on there?
A: Social media are integral to promoting your business in a cost-effective way, and can be very successful if used well. Yet, that blank space waiting for a status update can be intimidating. What’s next? What do you want to share? Here are some brief guidelines for three of the most popular social media services.
Facebook: With the allowance of plenty of characters, Facebook is a great venue for longer articles. Think of this site as a place to share more insight and plenty of photos. First you should create a Facebook page for your business (learn how here). This is a great place to put important news of your organization/business and photos of events and projects. You have the ability to “pin” a post that hangs at the top of your page despite any newer posts, which is a great way to promote an ongoing sale or upcoming event.
Twitter: Limited to 140 characters, Twitter is a fast-paced environment that is a great channel for quicker updates and link sharing. Most tweets have a shelf life of less than three hours, so you will find yourself posting to Twitter more often than other channels to stay on top of the newsfeeds. Here you can post pictures taken with your mobile device quickly and share up-to-the-minute tidbits on your company or yourself.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a more professional online community that gives you the chance to showcase your accomplishments and connect with colleagues. What you share on Facebook and Twitter will not look the same here. Articles and opinion pieces fare well. Do not be afraid to join groups of your interests and participate in discussions. This is a great way to network!
As a general rule, always keep in mind that just having a social profile isn’t enough: it must be dynamic and alive. if you find you never update your Facebook page or don’t even have a profile photo on Twitter, it may be better to take that profile down instead of leaving it sit and cause damage to your online presence. You need to commit and make time for your social media efforts, and once you get the hang of it, it won’t take much time at all!
Learn more about social media by attending Laura Krawczyk’s October 14 class at the Twin Cities Daily Planet office. This, and all our other upcoming media skills classes, are featured on our classes page. Have a question for our geeks? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave your question as a comment below.