The Do(s) & Don’t(s) of
Social Media for Businesses
If you’re in business, you’re likely on social media. As you’ve no doubt noticed, not all social platforms are created equally. The content you share on Facebook is not appropriate for LinkedIn and the pictures you share on Instagram do nothing on Twitter. So what goes where? Review this guide for the do(s) and don’t(s) of posting on each social media page and examples of companies that are doing it right.
First, know that you do not have to be on every new channel that comes up. Think about the resources your business can put toward social media and your goals for social marketing. Social media is time consuming and if you don’t have the time to put toward every platform, consider focusing your efforts on the one or two that make the most sense for your business. For example, while every business should be on Twitter and Facebook, Instagram is more suited for brands with interesting visual content to share, and LinkedIn is useful for B2B service providers and recruitment.
For Facebook, be careful not to over post. Aim to post 1-2 times a day. Keep your posts relevant and personal. Content with images and videos garners the highest engagement, so include a visual component with each post. Use each post to spark a discussion by asking a question, including a poll, inspiring shares, etc. It is widely understood that to truly make Facebook work for a business, you will have to pay to promote your post or page.
For promoted posts, it’s important to use Facebook’s targeting tools, which allow you to tailor the reach of your posts to a specific demographic. Don’t focus solely on posts at the detriment of the landing page itself. Facebook lets businesses add tabs for things like events, reviews, jobs, coupons and more. The travel agency Intrepid Travel has an effective Facebook page. Intrepid regularly posts travel videos that serve as both useful content for their followers, but also encourage followers to use their services. Their page includes tabs that allow users to book tours on Facebook and to review tour trips they’ve taken with the company.
On LinkedIn, the ideal time to post is 7a.m. to 9a.m., Monday through Thursday and you should post 4-5 times per week. Content on LinkedIn should be geared toward a professional audience and should be educational, not just promotional. The page itself should look like a professional brochure, and your information should be current and detailed. Don’t burn the connections you make on LinkedIn by sending sales pitches or spam, and instead cultivate relationships by being active and helpful in groups. Amway’s page is a good example of how a company should use LinkedIn. They frequently update the page with job opportunities and relevant business news. Their profile gives a clear overview of what the company is about, with useful links and attractive, professional images.
Businesses on Twitter need to post multiple times a day to get and stay in their followers’ feeds. Content needs to be relevant to your industry and can be a combination of shared content and resources, audience engagement in the form of Twitter polls, and original content. Keep everything in your brand’s voice and use visual content to increase likes. Don’t overuse hashtags. One to two hashtags is ideal, and more than that will lower your engagement. Warby Parker excels on Twitter, using contests to attract interaction and followers. Warby Parker uses visual content in almost every tweet, using tweets to showcase their frames, entertain their followers and to announce interesting collaborations.
Instagram is where you want to post your best and most interesting photos. Don’t mistake this as a platform for your advertisements though. Instagram is a great place to tell your brand’s story through a consistent style and voice. Use hashtags to start a conversation or track a contest and to attract followers. You should post on Instagram daily, but in general don’t want to post more than 2-3 times a day. Use Instagram Insights and Instagram Analytics tools to track which types of posts are the most successful. Share user photos, but only with permission.
Beverage brand Califia Farms has a great Instagram account. Their distinctive bottle is featured in most of their bright and beautiful photos. They also post quick, funny, instructive videos that are useful for their followers. Furthermore, all of their content has a consistent look and voice.