Social media is a minefield, especially for the uninitiated. You can find guidelines and various dos and don’ts lists all over the internet and some are more useful than others! Detailed guidance will vary wildly between each company using social media so it’s tricky to make recommendations with a broad brush.
However, recently we were asked for a list of guidelines for a client to follow and we’re made them more general so they can help you too!
Really basic social media guidelines
1. Think about what you want each post to achieve. The phone ringing? Directing people back to the website? Starting a conversation? Give every single post a purpose.
2. Good sources of content include news.google.com searches for keywords, Google alerts, news hacking and of course self-promotional content and blogs from your own website.
3. Include a link back to your website when posting self-promotional content to make it easy for people to find your products or services.
4. Always ensure that Twitter pictures are in a 2:1 ratio, otherwise they won’t display on people’s feeds. Use pictures wherever possible in tweets (utilise Unsplash and Pixabay for eye-catching royalty-free images).
5. Attach multiple photos to both Twitter, Facebook and Instagram updates, if appropriate.
6. Don’t use too many hashtags on Twitter – limit them to one or two per tweet. There’s no rule on where to put your hashtags – put them in the middle or at the end, just don’t overuse them. For Instagram – use a good blend of relevant terms.
7. Double-check everything you post. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes and that your links work.
8. Avoid using all capital letters as online it is perceived as shouting. Also avoid using asterisks (****) to draw attention to competitions, promotions or events
9. Generally, avoid mentioning your competitors or sharing their content on social media. Maybe pretend they don’t exist.
10. Stay true to your brand and voice – professional, friendly but not overly familiar, warm, not stuffy, approachable.
11. Make content visual wherever possible. Social media continues to be image and video-led so trying to catch the eye with copy-alone is a real challenge.
12. Keep an eye on current trends and see if you can put your own relevant spin on any. Most of the social networks favour relevant and trending content in their algorithms.
13. Remember to tag in any collaborators that you mention where possible, include their username in your content. This also goes for location tagging. Any extra information you can add only serves to put your content in front of more people.
14. Ensure all pictures are professional and true to your brand. Brand strength and consistency is absolutely crucial on social media and across the internet so don’t let off-brand or low-quality imagery let you down!
This list is clearly not exhaustive but if you’re just beginning, they’re a great starting point. If you have any queries about social media management, feel free to get in touch and if you have any suggestions for this list, let us know!