Social media is a fantastic tool for marketers. It is a great opportunity to engage with your audience, and develop relationships which work for both the consumer and the organisation. But it’s not always easy: the internet is full of examples of organisations that have not only got it wrong, but got is so wrong that their mistake has taken the web by storm.
So, what boxes should you tick before you hit ‘post’? Here are ten essential items for your social media checklist:
1) Is my post part of the bigger plan? If your content is not part of a wider content strategy, then you need to go back a step. If you don’t have a wider plan, question yourself as to why you are posting in the first place: what do you want to achieve?
2) Does it play by the rules? Different social networks have different rules on content and images or media. For example, in Facebook adverts, your image can only have 20% or less text in it. And if you don’t think Facebook checks, I can promise you that they do!
3) No spelling and grammar problems? This is a really basic one, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t very common! Small typos or the incorrect use of there / their / your / you’re / etc. really infuriate people and distract from the message which you are trying to communicate. The only comments that you will receive are people correcting your spelling or grammar!
4) Is this appropriate for this social network? The reason why people have more than one social network is because they like to show different sides of themselves to different audiences. Would you say the same things on Facebook or Instagram as they would on LinkedIn or Twitter? You should ask yourself whether your message is firstly appropriate and secondly relevant for the audience.
5) Am I sending this to the right people? On some social networks, it is possible to segment your audience, so you should consider this before posting. Is this message relevant to my audience; can I segment them and send more relevant message; what do I want the audience reaction to be..?
6) Is this content going to work? In case you hadn’t noticed, there is absolutely tons of content on the web! This means that getting your message noticed is very difficult. However, one of the factors that will help is whether your content will inform, entertain or pique the interest of your audience, so spend time working on this.
7) Is this a good time? We have all woken up in the middle of the night with a great idea for a social media post – but posting it there and then isn’t necessarily the right idea – unless your audience are international and at their desks when you’re sleeping! There are some great articles on the web about the best time to post depending on the social network and the market you operate in, so make the most of these insights.
8) Should I pay for this? Sorry to break this news, but social media isn’t (necessarily) free anymore. If your content is particularly important, it is worth considering whether you should put some money behind its distribution – if you’re not sure, check out my blog on why you should run paid social media campaigns.
9) Credit where it is due? If you have been inspired by someone else’s content, you should really say thanks. Mentioning another user in a post also makes a connection with that person, so there’s another benefit other than just being nice!
10) How can we track this? One of the objectives of your post should be to engage with your audience, so you need to have a plan in place as to how you will respond to feedback (positive or negative), and check how the post performed – if you capture this, you will learn something about your audience every time you post.