Understand your platform
This point is two-fold. The first is from a practical standpoint - you need to understand how posts appear on the platform.
Each social media network has its own methods for posting content – there isn’t a one-size fits all solution as what works well for one platform won’t (or can’t) work on another. Instagram for example, doesn’t support URLs in either the description or comments, which means posts can’t be used to directly drive traffic to a landing page on your website. Know what features to use on each platform:
- Hashtags helps to group similar content and is used massively by Instagram and Twitter, less so by Facebook and LinkedIn
- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow tagging of other users in posts and images, with users receiving notification that you have done so.
- ‘OpenGraph’ information is shown on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter when a link is shared, giving users extra information (Image, Title and brief description) about the link shared.
The second point is to know the audience of each platform. Most social media users primarily use one platform so it’s essential that you understand both the overreaching demographics for each platform – LinkedIn is very business focused and clean-cut, Snapchat is a lot more relaxed and intimate – and on what platform your target audience mostly exists.
Know your audience
You need to both know and understand your target audience. Sounds like a given, I know, but it’s surprising how many businesses don’t give thought. If you’re a local business, then your audience should be from the local area. Make your posts resonate with these users by calling out local areas in the content of your posts. Look closely at your target demographic (age, gender, job title, household income) and use this to your advantage by marketing directly to them – most platforms have the facility to promote your posts to specific demographics using these targeting methods.
Post at the right time
Make sure you hit your users when it will make the most impact. This ties directly with the previous two points of knowing your audience and platforms. Use the insight tools of each platform to find out when your audience is most active and look at posting your content then. As a general rule, Facebook users tend to be more active during the morning, at lunch, evening and just before bed, but you may find that your LinkedIn users engage more with your content when it’s posted out during the working day. Knowing exactly when to post content will help you post at the right time to get the most engagement.