Social Media: Getting the Most out of Your Content

getting the most out of your social media content

Use a social media plan to get the most out of your content

You’ve taken several hours to write a blog, create a new Slideshare presentation, research and design an infographic or shoot and edit a video.  The content is compelling and on brand. You feel good about it. I don’t have to tell you that creating your own content is hard work and time consuming, so of course you want to get the most value and reach. If you’re like a lot of people, here’s what you do. The content is live and you post it to social media using a nicely worded Facebook post, a tweet, perhaps a post on Google Plus or LinkedIn and, if you have great images, you probably pin the best one to Pinterest.

Then you sit back and wait for the likes, shares and comments to flood in.

And you’re very often underwhelmed, right?

Here’s what I recommend to get the most out of that content, using social media of course!

Facebook

The first day your content is live, post it on Facebook. Plan on posting this content several more times over the next week or so, but make sure to craft the posts so they look different. Use a tool like PicMonkey or Canva to create a graphic to go with your post and change out the image. If you’re using a quote, try Quozio, an easy quote generator with several style options. Be sure to word each post differently. Watch and see what types of post engage your audience the most and use that information to craft future posts.

Twitter

Twitter’s audience is more tolerant of repeat content, most likely because the average interest decay of a tweet is about two hours. The first day you’re safe to tweet three or four times if that’s part of your normal twitter pattern. Also, as soon as you publish your post, craft a month’s worth of tweets, the number depending on how often you typically tweet per day, and use a scheduler like BufferApp, Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule them out over the month. Similar to Facebook, each message should be different, using different hashtags and copy.

Pinterest or Instagram

Your blog should contain one or two high quality images that are pin and/or Instagram worthy.  As soon as you hit publish, pin those images and include descriptive content including keywords. Keep these image heavy platforms in mind when you’re choosing the image for your blog and you’ll get better results. Use Instagram to generate engagement around your posts as well, as Instagram tends to receive higher post likes and comments than other platforms.

Google Plus

I still recommend using Google Plus as a viable platform for sharing content. It allows you to post long form status updates or a short post with a link back to the content. Each post to Google plus is actually a separate webpage, showing up in search depending on the plus 1s and sharing it receives. This is a perfect platform for sharing content from your own website, as the link juice from those plus 1s and engagement is passed back to the content itself. Share the content from your personal Google Plus profile if appropriate, which also allows you to email everyone following you there. Share to your company page as well. As you do for Facebook, post several times over the month using different images and copy, and try making one post the full copy.

LinkedIn

Your strategy for LinkedIn posting can be similar to your Google Plus strategy. Share your content on your own personal LinkedIn profile, as you’ve most likely developed a professional network on the platform that sees you as a thought leader in the content area. If you have a company page that’s appropriate for the content, share it there as well. Then craft several different posts, each time with different lead in copy. Add an opinion as to why you thought this content was a good share for your network. LinkedIn also allows you to share content in a long-form post on the platform through LinkedIn Publisher, and similar to Google Plus, allows you to share the entire post in blog-like format.  Look for the pencil icon in the status update section to create your long form content.

LinkedIn long post

Use the pencil icon to write a long form blog in LinkedIn

All in all, a good rule of thumb is to create around 20 different posts as soon as you’ve published your content, as the main ideas and language and still fresh in your mind. Don’t forget the non traditional platforms such as StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Reddit as well. Spend some time creating supporting images, then use a content calendar to plan your posts. Then remember to analyze the results.

How do you typically share new content? What are your favorite platforms for spreading that content on social?

The Answer to Setting up Multiple Social Media Profiles

Multiple hatsYou’re a complex person with a diverse set of skills, hobbies, likes and dislikes and friends. You’re a salesperson who’s also sports fanatic with a love of gardening.  You’re a marketing professional with strong political views and a love of cooking and great food. You’re an office assistant trying to break into the music business with your band. How do you showcase all these sides of your life on social media? Should you have more than one Facebook or Twitter profile? Should you set up separate LinkedIn profiles for the different business aspects of your life?

Here’s what I recommend, and in some cases, what’s permitted by the terms of service for these platforms.

Multiple Profiles on Facebook?

No. Setting up more than one personal account is against Facebook’s terms of service and, if they catch you, they could shut down both your accounts AND any pages associated with them. Why? A personal profile is what  you get when you register for Facebook with your email address. It allows you access to pages you manage. It’s how you connect with family and friends, share your personal brand, likes and interests, family photos, and like the brand and celebrity pages you enjoy. The data around likes, interests, and the authenticity of the personal profile is Facebook’s most valuable asset.  Multiple profiles defeat the purpose and confuse the data.

Multiple Profiles on Twitter?

Yes.  You can be as many different people on Twitter as you’d like. If you want to keep your personal feed of sports jokes, political views and television shows separate from your business profile there is nothing in the Twitter terms of service that says otherwise. Think carefully though. If you’ve put your name in some way on both accounts, the odds are that people are going to find both if they search for you, thus linking the two “yous” together anyway. If you’re really serious about using Twitter as a business tool, remember that both online personas will reflect on your personal brand.

Multiple Profiles on LinkedIn?

No. It is clear in LinkedIn’s User Agreement that multiple profiles are a misuse of the service. If anyone turns you in or if LinkedIn finds your multiple accounts they can suspend the service, or at the very least force you to pick one account to use in the future. LinkedIn is meant to be a place to showcase your professional self. This isn’t the place for your love of cooking, unless you’re a chef, of your love of baseball unless you play second base. This is the place to offer up your professional self and network with other professionals. If you wear multiple hats, use the skills, experience and specialties sections to showcase all your different talents. It’s possible to have more than one current employment listed, so use that feature to highlight your current diverse roles.

Multiple Profiles on Google +

Yes. This one is tricky. Each time you sign up for Google you automatically get a YouTube channel and a Google Plus profile as part of the service. You can have multiple Google accounts, but understand that Google plus IS Google. It’s the backbone of its personalization features.  The benefits of a Google Plus account include improved search engine ranking for articles you publish, the ability to show your profile alongside your published articles using authorship markup and different circles of contacts for targeted marketing. If you’re using Google Authorship for improved search results make sure your profile is clearly you, with a real name and a good headshot. Any other accounts should not confuse your audience. Martin Shervington explains Google Plus for Marketing clearly in this podcast. If you are using multiple Google accounts, here’s advice on how to switch between Google accounts easily.

Multiple Profiles on Instagram

Yes. Just like Twitter, it’s possible to have multiple profiles on this image sharing platform if you want to keep your hobbies and interests separated. Since this is a mobile phone app, doing so can be clunky and time consuming. Think this strategy through before deciding to move ahead. There are some apps that can making managing multiple platforms easier, as this blog from Digital Trends outlines, but rest assured it will be a bit unwieldy.

Bottom Line

Multiple personalities? The answer varies depending on the platform. Before setting up and populating multiple profiles on any account I recommend checking the terms of service to make sure you aren’t violating any user agreements. I’d hate to see all your work building connections and content go down the drain. I’d also recommend thinking through how this will support your overall personal brand and business goals. If the bottom line is if you’re worried that something you might post could hurt your business reputation, perhaps you should consider not posting it rather than hoping no one will connect the dots to the other you.

How are you handling your diverse talents on social media? Let me know in the comments, tweet me @suereynolds or post it on my brand page on Facebook, where I share my thoughts on social media marketing.

 

Social Media Branding and Photo Size Roundup

Maintaining consistent branding across your social media and web marketing presences is important to your overall brand strategy. Here’s the first in a series of articles on each social media platform and how to make the best use of the tools there to maintain a solid, consistent brand. Let’s begin with a roundup of photo sizes, rules and updates you’ll need to keep your accounts looking sharp and up-to-date.

Facebook Timeline Cover and Profile Photos

Facebook Profile Picture Size

For Facebook brand page profile pictures upload a square image of your brand’s logo or use another square image that represents your brand. The display size for the profile picture on a Facebook Timeline brand page is 160 x 160 pixels. Uploaded images must be at least 180 x 180 pixels and will be cropped to fit.   On your Page’s cover photo the profile picture displays 23 pixels from the left side and 210 pixels from the top. Read Facebook’s full detailed post on cover photos here for more details.

Facebook Timeline Cover Photo Size

Facebook Timeline cover photos are 851 wide by 315 pixels tall. Images smaller than this will be stretched to fit, which could affect the quality. Use a high quality image in this space to welcome your fans, but make sure you follow the rules and regulations for Timeline cover photos. Cover photos can not contain references to discounts, contact information or calls to action such as “get it now” or “become a fan.”

To add a cover photo to your Facebook Timeline, hover over the cover photo area and click “choose cover.” From there you can upload a photo from your computer or choose a photo from your Facebook photo albums. Either way, choose an image that represents your brand and your personality.

Facebook gives you the details on cover photo sizes here.

Here’s how both the cover photo and the Timeline photo are placed on the page:

Facebook Timeline photo placement

From Facebook.com/help

Google + Profile Settings

Google Plus profile pictures should be 250 pixels x 250 pixels. Google will ask you to crop images larger than that to fit upon upload. Cover images should be 940 x 180 pixels or you can use the thumbnail images as an option, which are each 112 x 112 pixels. Unlike Facebook, Google (currently) doesn’t have the same restrictions for branding and CTAs in cover photos so brand away!

YouTube Brand Channel

Unless you have an official  brand channel, your YouTube profile photo is the same as your Google profile. The current wisdom for a YouTube background image is 970 pixels wide; however, YouTube offers a lot more options through it’s official brand channels. Brand channels have a 970 pixels wide x 150-pixel-high banner which supports an image map so you can add links to your image. There is a 640-pixel-wide video player in the main content area and a 310-pixel-wide sidebar for displaying stats about your channel and links to your other social media accounts. On YouTube brand channels your image avatar should be 1600px by 1600px and should be a JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG. For a complete guide to setting up an official YouTube branded channel visit their how-to page here. 

Twitter Profile Branding

Twitter background images should be no more than 90 pixels maximum on the left and must be in PNG, GIF, or JPG format, smaller than 800k. For your Twitter header image, use an image 1252×626 pixels (with a maximum file size of 5MB). Upload this image in the “design” section of your profile.

LinkedIn Branding

If you’ve made a company page for your business on LinkedIn, there are more options for branding available. Minimum size for the header image is 646 x 220 pixels but LinkedIn will allow you to crop a larger image once you’ve uploaded it. Logo images should be 100 x 60 pixels. If you’re adding banner images under the products and services pages, those images should be 640 x 220. LinkedIn allows company pages up to three banner images. Use this space to highlight your most important products. 

I’ll continue this series with in-depth instructions for each platform, but for now let this serve as a cheat sheet of sorts. Do you have any suggestions for branding your pages? Leave them here in the comments or on my Facebook page.

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