The Creative Communications program taught me so much about social media and I’ve had the opportunity to use those skills in a working environment over the last few months. I have been so lucky to work at Manitoba Theatre Centre in the marketing department and I’ve been very involved in social media for MTC. Over the next couple of months I am working under the title of Social Media Coordinator for the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.
I have had success and a few mistakes along the way but the important part is being proud of your successes and learning from your mistakes. I have listed 10 Social Media Tips (and hints) for Facebook and Twitter below, I hope it’s helpful.
- Search for yourself: Creating an account isn’t much use if no one can find you so search for yourself to make sure your profile is visible.
- Interact: Social media is about two-way dialogue so interact with those you follow and those who follow and interact with you.
- Character limit: The Twitter character limit is 140, but 125 is ideal. It allows room for a retweet and a comment.
- Public replies: When you are conversing with one or more individuals via Twitter the conversation is only visible to those following all parties. If you would like all your followers to be able to view all of your interactions just place a period directly in front of the @ symbol. This tricks Twitter into thinking it is not a reply and therefore everyone following you can view it. (ex. “.@bmay4real”)
- Retweet: Retweeting valuable tweets is a form of interaction and it keeps you active with those you follow. Those you retweet are likely to check out your profile and maybe retweet you.
- Don’t spam: Limit your daily tweets, and try to make them visual and/or valuable to your audience. Tweet maximum of once an hour (that is only, I repeat ONLY if you have valuable information) more than that and unfollows are likely in your future. Facebook posts are not as easily lost in a newsfeed so post a maximum of 3 times daily.
- Use relevant hashtags: Hashtags allow everyone using that same hashtag to have their tweets show up in one place. When the hashtag is clicked on your tweet will show up in that hashtag feed. If a trending hashtag is relevant to something you are promoting or talking about use the hashtag and it could give whatever you are promoting and/or talking about more exposure. Also if you are trying to promote something using a hashtag in all of your promotional tweets and get others to do the same, it will create buzz around your promotion if you can get it trending.
- Tag people/organizations relevant to your post: When making a blog post or a promotional post on Facebook or Twitter remember to tag the relevant parties. If you are promoting a blog post about your favourite blogger remember to tag @bmay4real on Twitter and @Brittany May on Facebook so they will get notified of your post. This worked for me when I tagged Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls, when tweeting about my blog post “Books: The Painted Girls” she read my post and even left a comment on my blog. It pays to tag.
- Different platforms, different messages: If you are on both Facebook and Twitter make sure each post has the same messaging but says it in a different way. Your Facebook likers and Twitter followers are different audiences so cater your messaging to each platform. Chances are many people follow you on both platforms and they won’t want to read the exact same message twice so get creative.
- Creative messaging: On Twitter you have 140 characters (or 125 as said above) to get your message across, you can attach images, videos or articles but they only show up as links in a Twitter feed so your language has to have a hook to get readers to click. Facebook is much more visual because photos show up right in the feed, you can view videos right in the post and with links you are able to choose a thumbnail image. On Facebook you can use more words if you have to but if you can say it with a picture that’s best.
PROOF, PROOF, PROOF
Learned this one the hard way… A few times. People are more likely to read and respond to a grammatically correct and well written tweet with correct spelling. Check before you Tweet!