As a millennial, I often feel like the world automatically assumes that I already know all there is to know about social media. And while I understand their point of view since I can learn how to use a new social media platform in a matter of minutes, millennial’s understanding of effective social media for businesses is often vastly overlooked.
While I might spend hours using a number of apps to get the perfect filter and crop for my strategically timed Instagram, before I began interning I must admit I knew only how to post for myself– not for a business. I began my first internship wanting to phrase things in my voice with minimal knowledge of what to post for corporate social media creation besides continually using promotional material. However, I have learned immensely during my agency experiences about crafting effective social media for businesses and I’ve boiled it down to four main tips:
Steer Away From Solely Promotional Material
As I mentioned before, many millennials think that the main goal of social media for business is to sell the business. While of course this is an important part of the process, consumers will “unfollow” or “unlike” a business that only posts promotional material. For example, At RLF we post a variety of content that shows how our business is a fun place to work by posting things we do around the office. Moz, a marketing company, suggests different types of content to create and publish on a business account including:
- Tips and Tricks
- Non-promotional company information (volunteer work or pictures from a holiday party)
- Job or internship openings
Post Industry Related News
Another type of content that is crucial to a business account is industry related news. While this might not be appropriate for your Facebook page, Twitter is the perfect platform to show that your business is informed and following the trends in its respective field. At RLF, I craft 5 tweets each day that come from industry relevant sources such as PR Daily, AdWeek, and AdAge that make it clear to our audiences that we are experts in our field. A rule of thumb is that 20% of content should be related directly to the company, while the remaining 80% should be industry related news.
Use Relevant Hashtags
Before I began interning I thought hashtags were just a fun way to play with a caption. Of course I understood the uniting power of hashtags in strategic campaigns and their ability to link people buzzing about the same topic, but they were something I did on my personal accounts solely for fun. Last summer while interning at Sarah Hall Productions my entire perceptions of hashtags changed when my internship supervisor mentioned that we should post something about the #LikeAGirl campaign. It was right as the campaign was gaining popularity and with more than 79,000 posts on Instagram today, posting something on the topic with the hashtag on our company page not only made us appear relevant in our industry, (it was an advertising campaign) but also our audience answered the question we posted and it had an incredibly high level of engagement. At RLF, we utilize hashtags on industry related topics we post such as #socialmedia, #advertising, #PR, and #marketing. Each of these hashtags have thousands of tags on Twitter and can unite similar industry experts worldwide. However, one thing I have also learned is to limit the number of hashtags you utilize. Two is the most you should ever post because engagement actually goes down after two hashtags are used. For business, hashtags cannot be overrated since tweets with one or more hashtag are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted than those without any.
Ask Questions to Get Your Audience Engaged
Engagement rate is one of the best ways to measure the power of your following. If your company page has a million followers but none of them engage with your content, then they are not worth much to your brand. One of the easiest ways to increase your engagement rate, however, is to ask questions. Click Z, a marketing company, suggests questions to ask to engage online audiences. My favorites are:
- How can we help?
- Who wants to win a prize?
- What do you think?
- Did you know?
- Have you seen this yet?
While millennials might be exposed to social media in nearly every facet of their lives, it doesn’t mean they necessarily understand how to craft effective social media for business. They are an adaptable crowd that learns quickly and by implementing the tips and tricks I discussed here, they are sure to reap the many benefits of corporate social media and lead your business to success.