How to Create Effective Social Media Content

Create original and interesting content they say. It will help increase your social media success! How does one do that? And who are “they”? Unfortunately there isn’t a set-in-stone, magical, sure fire way of making amazing content all the time. But perhaps I can give you a few tips.

Set your goal: Did you want to increase your traffic? Increased your fan base? Generate interactions? Increase sales? To determine what you need to do, you need to figure out where you are going and WHY you are creating this content. This will also help you tweak your posts as you go.

goal

Know your followers/customers: What do they want? What do they like or react to? If you are unsure you can always read the comments that they normally post on your posts. If you do not have comments on your posts, you can always go read them on successful posts of a company / blog in the same genre as yours.  Follow current events and trends as well.
know

Share what interests your target audience: Target readers, not buyers. Ask yourself what you can offer them versus what will you get from them.  Entice emotions; Canadians are most likely to share posts that they find interesting, funny, or those that they find are important.

Make it easy to share: Things that have share buttons functions are more likely to be shared; do not create the work for your follower. Make it easy to read and scan; infographics are some of the best shareable content.

Some crowd favourites:  Make sure to remain in the parameters of your expertise when creating content and when at a loss for ideas, some of these gems have proven to be successful: Giveaways (contests), List of the top <subject>, reviews, “something” of the year/month/week (Think Sexiest man of the Year for Peoples), and showcasing your company by showing the human side, such as team members and behind the scenes pictures.

PPLS

 

There is no magic 8-ball way of predicting how people will react on social media. It is a game of trial and error. Take note of what has proven to work, and what has does not. This should help you increase the quality of the content you share.

What tips do you have to help create social media content?

Why you should always respond to complaints and negative reviews

Your company is online – finally. Things are going well; engagement is great; and then you see a post: someone has a complaint. What do you do? Just read on by as it you have not seen it? Maybe you can delete it? Just say sorry and carry on? Or just get upset and “show ‘em” who’s boss! Well actually, the best thing you can do is acknowledge it and reply back.

Most people will not complain publicly about the little things. They may complain to their friends, but to actually go online and write something out? They must really be upset. They want their voices to be heard, to know that they matter. Answering is expected, and also within a short timeline, less than 1 hour actually. (This is the day and age of the internet where everything happens instantly).  Also, answer them on the platform that they contacted you on. There is nothing worse than being told to please call this number, or to please send an email when you clearly complained on Twitter, Facebook, etc..

comms

First thing you need to do when you encounter this online is to take a quick moment and collect yourself.  Replying to complaints angry is not the answer. Find out how you can help – if you can offer assistance or a solution immediately, do it! If not, take the time to acknowledge them and find out what missing information is missing so you can. Do this first part online, as you want to display to other followers that you do reply and help out all of your customers. Any following exchanges can be done in private messages.
good customer service

Someone who you have helped through a bad experience will not only be a repeat costumer, but can even have an increased brand advocacy, by up to 20% greater, and even become one of your greatest allies. However, ignore that person or give them a bad experience, then their brand advocacy can drop by 50%!

Yes, there are trolls out there, but they are few and far between. You should still answer them, at least once. Use humour, facts, and kindness in responding to trolls. If they continue on their rampage, this only paints them in a bad light, and shows that you attempted to help them with their issue.

trolls

Don’t feed the trolls!

At the end of the day, it all boils down to customer service. We can all relate to having a good or bad customer service experience, and we know how a bad one can taint one’s opinion of a place. With the amount of information that potential and current customers get bombarded with online, good customer service will be what can make or break you.  And good customer service becomes free advertising!
What are your thoughts on dealing with negative reviews or complaints?

The art of online etiquette: Facebook manners

Technology has made us able to communicate with people we may not have had the opportunity to have had exchanges with in the past. Just like in real life interactions, good manners should be respected in all our interactions. Online manners, commonly known as netiquette , are things that we should all be aware of. One would think that common sense would prevail, but just like in real life, some have unfortunately missed the memo to treat others the way they themselves would like to be treated.  Seeing that there are many social media platforms available, I have decided to make a quick guide of Facebook manners.

Facebook_Png_01
Read the pinned post or rules
Most of the Facebook groups have rules to help maintain order and keep interactions friendly on their wall. Rules can be placed in the group description, under the files section, but they are often posted in a “pinned” post. This post stays on top of the wall, and is easily accessible on mobile with the link <View pinned post>.  This may save you from receiving a warning from the administrators, or getting removed from the group entirely. Or you join a group and see a common expression used. You innocently ask what it means, but what you do not know is that this is asked on a daily basis.  And the answer was in the pinned post, that you failed to read. Now, you managed to annoy a majority of the group, and depending on the nature of the group, may have hurt your image with potential partners or customers.

pinned

Read the comments
Someone asks: “Can someone recommend a solution for issue X?” and there are 50 other comments are under this question.  You should read through all of them before adding your answer. If someone has already answered as you would have, then a <like> or <reply> seconding the comment should suffice. Spamming the comment board with 45 of the same answer does not add any more value to the conversation. It also can be taken as disrespectful; makes others believe that you think all the 50 others who commented above you are not important or worth your time.

DON’T YELL
Writing a text entirely out of capitalized letters is considered yelling. You wouldn’t yell and shout while having a conversation with someone in person or over the phone, well unless I am talking to my husbandwhile he is watching TV.

Random friend request
It is not because you and Jane have 12 friends in common, or are part of the same groups, that you should send them an “out of the blue” friend request. Before you send them a request, you should send them a message, or tell them verbally that they should expect one.  There should be a reason why you would want to connect with this person’s personal Facebook account.  (By the way – it is not rude to NOT accept all the friends request you receive – you can keep your account as open or private as you wish).

friend request
Tone and Intent
The written word is all about the reader. What you think is a witty sarcastic comment, may be taken as an insult by another. What you think is funny could be seen as offensive. In a face to face exchange, we depend on facial cues, body language, and intonation of voice. None of this is applicable in written exchanges. Just be mindful on how your interactions could be perceived. They really need to invent a sarcasm font… *S?  </sarcasm>?

Random business messaging
Do not “spam” friends or strangers with your business. You may be excited about your products, but telling me you sell a miracle weight loss pill, or an age defying cream, or an all natural cure for erectile dysfunction may not be the best way to recommend yourself, or make (keep?) friends. How would you react if someone walked up to you and offered to “help” you with your problems?
Mass tagging
@Jane, @John, @Mike, @Alice, @Stacy, @Rob, @…. Check out this newest promotion my workplace/business/friend has!
If you want to share with specific friends, take the time to write them individually, and with a personal note, with info you think would be appropriate for them.

We can easily forget, sitting behind our keyboard and screens, that our interactions are not just limited to the written word. That what we view as common practice online, seen by another living being, could be viewed as inappropriate. Would you act the same way as you do on Facebook in a face to face setting? The above Facebook faux pas are some of the most common ones that I have encountered, however there are many more out there.
What other netiquette practices would you have liked  to see mentioned?

What do you mean I can lose followers?

You finally decided to go out on social media. The amount of followers keeps growing and growing, yay! Until one day, you log on and have a few less, and that amount of followers instead of going up is slowly going down. What gives? Here are some of the most common reasons why followers have decided to leave.
You post too often
You really should not post more than 6 times a day, and it should not be posted all at once. This causes you to clog, or spam, people’s walls.
Here are some guidelines on how much you should post depending on the platform you use.

daily posts

Daily posts

 

Your posts are too “salesy” or all about you
A great way to ensure this is not an issue is to share/like/retweet related or partner businesses posts. Offer information that your target audience would find interesting or useful.  Showcase employees, customers, or behind the scene imagery in your posts.
You do not engage
Reciprocity is a great way to network and promote organic growth.  Make sure to reply to all the comments or tweets directed to your wall. Also take the time to like and share partnership posts.
You do not share imagery or videos
The majority of sensory receptors are in the eyes. Posts that contain imagery have a greater engagement than those that have purely text or links. There should also be a limit to the length of your posts, 4 lines or less. If you have longer articles to post, consider using a more friendly platform for that sort of information, such as Google +. If you do not have your own pictures to share, there are tons of free stock images available online (do not use someone else’s picture without consent, that opens you up to copyright infringement lawsuits).

Your posts are redundant and repetitive
Your posts are repetitive and redundant. Your posts are…  To avoid this, create a content management plan and have it ready for the following week so you are not looking for those last minute items to post.

You post too little or random content
If you have no new content, or nothing of value to say, people may loose interest in you and leave.

KRphant1

Wait, why is there a cat picture in the middle of a social media blog?

Writing style or gross spelling and grammatical mistakes
This may turn off certain followers. Write in a style that caters to your target audience. Using your most “proper Shakespearean English” when writing to fellow “gearheads” may not be the best way to engage a crowd and keep followers.
#You #hastag #everyting
#There #is #such #a #thing #as #too #many #hashtags #for #Facebook #and #Twitter. The general recommendation is no more than two. Some platforms, such as Instagram, offer you more room to hashtag and therefore catalog your posts, but try not to overwhelm your message.

hashtags

Hashtags – also know as the pound or number sign for some who are not as internet savvy.

There are many reasons why followers will leave. A smart and organised management plan can help you create a successful social media campaign. Consistency and value of content are key components that are important to remember.
What are some of the reasons you have unfollowed someone on social media?

Comm0011 – Algonquin said they would give 1$ to the Student Association for every like on this post.

Ah, the internet.  In the day and age of technology, information is accessible and shared faster than ever before.  And nothing helps to share information than social media- usually in 140 characters or less, or even better, with a picture or meme. But how to sift through all the information and decipher what is real, what is not and what is manipulated?

meme def

source: merriam-webster.com

Prime example of mass sharing with dire results in technology-land:

cnet.com

source cnet.com

In 2013, this official looking advertisement was shared multiple times online and people believed it! One would think that common sense would prevail, that upgrading software does nothing to hardware, but apparently not.  Quite a few fell for the hoax and ended up ruining their phones.

There appears to be a general trust with all things said on the internet. But perhaps we should look at things with a more skeptical eye.

lonegunmen

source: Fox TV

 

Some of the things shared are purposefully manipulated to scare those who do not know how to do proper research on the internet. Here is a popular anti-vaccine meme shared and the debunked by the popular Facebook page Refutation to Anti-Vaccines memes please note that all facts are pulled from different sources and papers and always referred on the memes themselves or in the comments.

Ravm

source RtAVM

Or maybe someone made a simple math error and created a meme that was shared multiple times over.

FB screen shot

The correct answer is $4.33. Source: Facebook screen shot

This goes to show how easily those who use social media like to take things at face value without fact checking.  The Deadpool movie appears  to have started an online media campaign portraying itself as a romantic comedy. Are they lying? No. Are they misleading? Oh so very much. Could you imagine the poor person believing they are going to see the latest Ryan Reynolds movie without watching the trailer because of, you know, spoilers?

deadpool2

Source: Official Dead Pool movie Twitter account

The internet is a great place to find information, as well as misinformation.  There is no gate keeper. No council that reads over every post or page created to see if the information is true. Some mistake opinions for facts. Some create false sites for their own entertainment, such as The Onion or The Beaverton.

How can we prevent the spreading of lies?  We need to teach those who are using the internet, regardless of age, that there are tools out there to be used.  Not believe everything simply because it is on the internet. Asking questions on a public forum usually isn’t always the best way to obtain true answers.  If “facts” bring you to a place where you can purchase a replacement, or alternative, or cure to what is talked about in the meme, search for something without a particular interest as an alternate source.

So where to start to find out if things are true or not? There are many places to fact check. Google scholar and, Google books will help you find official publications versus the amateur blogs that are out there. To check your urban legends, Snopes is normally a good place to check.  Political facts (lies?) making the rounds again? Check out FactsCan.
You can also simply ask the originator of the post for their sources and research. From there you can judge if it a trust worthy site.

Remember, anyone can post online.

MADEMEME

Yep. I made this.

Do you fact check what you see online? Will you start checking your sources? If so where do you find your information?