In my time as a social media manager, I’ve encountered a lot of people who think they could do my job simply because they have a Facebook or Twitter account.
I have been on social media since the early days of MySpace. I was on Facebook back when you had to have an .edu email to join and there was a dropdown list of status update options. I hopped on Instagram back when Taylor Swift was the only one talking about it. (What I’m trying to say is: I am that millennial all those thinkpieces warned you about.)
But even being involved in social media for half of my life didn’t make me a social media-marketing expert. I had to study up on the rules of the game.
Following the rules
I see a lot of businesses making really basic mistakes on social media. Believe it or not, there are a lot of different rules and best practices you need to follow in order to have success on social media.
Facebook, in particular, is a fickle creature. A Facebook page for a business or organization is very different from your personal page.
In a person’s feed, Facebook puts emphasis on posts from your Facebook friends over those from pages you’ve “liked.” So it will only show you posts that it thinks you’ll like from those pages. That’s why you’ll notice posts often reach just a fraction of the people who like your page.
So in order to increase your reach, you need to play by Facebook’s rules.
Videos will get you the most reach, followed by images and then links (because Facebook wants people to stay on Facebook).
I highly recommend adding images to your links, but you need to be careful about what kinds of images you use. One of Facebook’s biggest rules is that text cannot cover more than 20 percent of the image, which was created in an effort to cut down on spam posts.
(While we’re on the subject, please don’t use images that you don’t have the rights to. There are plenty of free stock image sites, and it’s not cool to steal someone’s work without credit or compensation.)
How you can up your social media game
These are just a few examples of the rules of the game. There are many, many more — and they’re always evolving. What was true a year ago is no longer. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date on the latest news and advice in social media.
Here are some of the blogs I use to stay on top of the social media marketing game:
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know about “the rules.” That’s why there are social media marketing experts out there to help. We learn the rules and manage your social media for you so that you can focus on running your business — not the intricacies of Facebook’s algorithm or LinkedIn best practices.
Got questions? Feel free to shoot me an email.