Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are a great, efficient way to reach customers, strengthen customer loyalty and foster their engagements. However, too often companies do not keep their online presence active amongst the various platforms and join a social media site just to say they did. About 79% of businesses have a Facebook page, 59% are on Twitter, 39% have a blog and 33% have a YouTube account. So here is a guide to teach you how to use your social media sites.

What do users expect?

Customers do not like your page or add you to their circles for your benefit. They want to get something out of it.

Almost half of social media users say they follow a brand on social media to get discounts and deals. The other half of users followed because they love the brand and just want to follow it.

What content should I share?

While creating and sharing exclusive deals and promotions is a sure way to make your customers happy, there are also some other things you can share.

  • On Facebook- share pictures, videos, news, interesting anecdotes or product releases. Facebook is the social platform where you can apply the most variation with your posting topics. It is better to post content directly on Facebook rather than link to it, so publish photos or create albums through Facebook instead of posting a link to an album on your website or external app. The same type of content would be appropriate on Google+.
  • On Twitter- Post links or short anecdotes that relate to your other material. You can also post some pictures, but not a full album like you would on Facebook. Twitter is a great place to post more impromptu pictures. Do not hesitate to interact with your followers and to answer questions or respond to comments*.
  • On your blog- Blogs allow you to post more content at once than other platforms. Therefore, blogs are a great place to make announcements, give advice/tutorials/recipes, post about industry news or show an inside look at your company.
  • On YouTube- This is a great platform for more complex content such as how-tos. For example, a landscaping business could show how to repot a plant, or a plumber could demonstrate how to snake a drain. YouTube is also a good place to post interviews, teasers or short documentaries on what happens inside your company.
  • On LinkedIn- This platform is best used for professional content such as press releases, news, your business’s take on industry news and events and employment offers.

*When replying to comments on Twitter, if you start your tweet with @username, only followers that follow both you and @username will see the tweet in their timelines. Therefore, most of your followers will not see your reply on their timelines and it does not count as a post (just like in our Coca-Cola picture above). So feel free to respond to as many comments as you want, as they will only appear when particular Twitter users visit your Twitter page directly.

How often should I post?

The ideal posting frequency varies greatly according to the site. Below is a list of our recommendations from the most often to the least:

  • With Twitter, it is a lot easier to filter information and followers tend to glance at their timelines. You are expected to post often. We recommend posting at least once or twice a day, up to every 30 min or so.
  • On Facebook and Google+, we recommend posting, at least, every two days up to three or four times a day.
  • The number of blog posts you should generate varies considerably with the content you provide. It is a lot harder to provide filler content on a blog than it is on Twitter. Therefore, post as often as you have content, but try to post at least twice a month, and up to 2 or 3 posts a day. If you post several times a day, try and vary the type of postings such as a video, a short article with pictures or a longer article with more reading material.
  • Activity on LinkedIn is a lot more sparse than on the previously mentioned social sites, so one post per week to a maximum of one post per day is a good bracket to follow.
  • Just like a blog, the ideal posting frequency on YouTube is dependent on how much content you have to post. Most of your customers will access your YouTube account from other social sites rather than by following your channel. Therefore, it is best practice to post all of your brand’s videos on YouTube.
Keep in mind that these are simply guidelines and not inflexible rules. The most important thing to remember with social media is to maintain a consistent presence and to communicate with your customers.