I work with small businesses, non-profits, and individuals looking to improve their social media marketing and brand presence. In my first week working with a new client, here are the 4 areas I look to fix or improve upon.

Control Privacy Settings

It sounds obvious, but you need to be sure that your accounts and posts are visible to the right people. For most brands, that means making sure that everything is “Public”. For individuals, it means learning how to protect content meant only for “Friends and Family” while opening up specific aspects of your profile to “Public” view. Gaining mastery over the privacy settings can be a frustrating and confusing experience, but it is essential to protecting yourself so that you can put out the right image.

Use @Mentions

A commonly missed opportunity I see is brands who don’t @Mention other pages in their posts. @Mentions are important to use because they provide context for your audience while generating a notification seen by the owner of the page you are talking about. This gives them a chance to share or respond to your post.

On most social media platforms, you can link to another person or brand in your posts by typing the “@” symbol, followed by their username. As you start to type it out, the service will usually suggest the right page for you to select.

When crafting posts, be mindful of your usage of proper nouns. Look for appropriate cases where you can link those words or phrases to the associated page. Social media is meant to be… social, so find ways to interact with other pages.

Respond to Notifications

Many organizations struggle to manage the customer-service aspect of social media. There is often no formal definition over responsibility for accounts, leading to many missed opportunities which present themselves in the form of notifications.

Your account is typically notified whenever someone:

  • Likes or Shares a post.
  • Leaves a comment.
  • Sends you a Direct Message (DM).
  • @Mentions you in one of their own posts.

Unlike the traditional aspects of your business, social media is running 24/7 and that means that there is potential for a big marketing moment to happen at any time. Organizations who are most successful on social media have embraced the need for flexibility and quick thinking.

Initially, it is often necessary to simply verify that notifications are turned on and that they are flowing to the right person. I’ve dealt with too many organizations who had them turned off or flowing to an email inbox nobody checks to take this for granted. Once that is taken care of, you can improve upon your response protocol.

Bring “Insights” into Decision-Making

Social media marketing has an advantage that other aspects of business don’t, metrics (often called Insights by those companies). Social media services are tracking every user-behavior imaginable, and those that relate to your page are generally provided to you. It is critical that every decision is informed by the analytics provided by those Insights panels. Absolutely everything your organization does on social media can be optimized. There is evidence to inform even simple decisions such as “What time of day should the post go out?”.

Embrace the new tools at your disposal. Decisions don’t need to be made off of gut instinct or on a whim. The justification for any social marketing decision should come from the data.

Michael Wilson
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Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson works with small businesses to build and protect their brands online. He is an IT Generalist whose primary services include: Web Design & Development, Cybersecurity Consulting & Training, and Social Media Marketing. He also provides outside support for organizations that need someone to manage their email & web hosting, webinar & video production, or digital photography. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Multimedia Web Design & Development from the University of Hartford.

Every organization needs someone on their team with a handle on the technology of the day, and a vision for how it will affect the future. Michael is passionate about helping people to better understand how business and technology intersect. In addition to his consulting work, Michael is a blogger who writes to better inform his audience on technology issues. He writes guides and tutorials for popular services and gives his take on how big technology news stories will affect ordinary people and their businesses.
Michael Wilson
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