Social Media 101

  • Kirsten Ballard
  • 06.30.2016

In honor of Social Media Day, we sat down with Grace Estle, Social/Mobile Product Manager for the Cox Media Group Ohio to learn about the tips and tricks of managing a brand online.

1.       It’s called social media

The biggest mistake Grace sees from other brands is the heavy focus on pushing out their own content.

“It’s about connecting and building relationships,” she says. “Just posting your content on social media doesn’t make you part of the conversation.

2.        Don’t be a link pusher

Vary your posts. Content marketing is about adding value to a reader’s life. That can be in the form of a photo of video. Grace says especially on Facebook, she’s not seeing enough video. Facebook is affording opportunities by promoting videos and Facebook Live.

“A lot of media companies haven’t jumped on that the way they should,” she says.

3.       Know how, and when to post

Grace recommends posting on Facebook three times a day. “Think of it as good morning, good afternoon and good night,” she says. Those posts can be photo, video or a link.

“It is very conversational, keep the descriptions short, you only have a few seconds to read what the tease is,” Grace says.

4.       Know your platforms

Posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat should all be different. “Your fans don’t want to see the same thing over and over again,” Grace says. If you’re on multiple platforms, vary the descriptions. “Position it differently, you will have people who will cross over and it doesn’t want to seem redundant,” she says.

She says Facebook is the biggest driver for website visits; on the other hand, she has not found a large benefit to participating on Tumblr yet. “They all have their place,” she says.

Before launching on a platform, decide the purpose. Is it a website-driving channel, or a branding channel? Snapchat is a branding platform; it doesn’t drive website views, but it creates a brand and name recognition.

5.       Use your metrics

Using the data collected on these platforms will allow you to drill down into specific topics and types of posts that perform well. Grace says your metrics will help refine the direction and tone to take with your social channels.

6.       Pay to Play

As algorithms change, publishers are seeing a rise in paying for exposure on social media. Grace says these are difficult waters to navigate.

She will “boost” posts on Facebook that have a lot of potential or ones that are already performing well to get more juice out of them.

As you explore new channels and platforms, remember that experimentation is a part of growing on social media. To keep up, Grace subscribes to newsletters to learn what works and what’s new. “A lot of times, it’s learning from each other and tapping into those national resources that are out there.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Kirsten Ballard
Kirsten is the Social Media and Blog Editor at the News Media Alliance.