Recently I wrote a post that had 10 practical social media tips. I wrote that post because, when I deliver social media advice, I like to give people key takeaways. I want them to listen to what I have to say, then go away and put those tips into practice, almost immediately. Then I feel like I've provided some value in what I've just said.
When I was writing those 10 tips I knew I had more tips to give, so I began a second list of 10 practical social media tips. Here they are...
1. Don't tweet your Instagram photos
Once upon a time Twitter and Instagram were friends, and every time you shared your Instagram photo to Twitter the actual image appeared in the feed. But then in 2011 things went sour and they fell out. As a result, Instagram photos no longer appear in feeds. Thus, your Instagram tweets won't generate as much engagement as a tweet with a photo uploaded directly to Twitter. So don't share those Instagram photos - keep them within that platform and upload the photo separately to Twitter.
2. Don't cross-publish your content by connecting accounts
Recently I saw a tweet that said 'Hit 'Like' if you agree!' I couldn't hit like though. You know why? Because I was on Twitter!! This update came from a person who connected their Facebook and Twitter accounts. This is lazy social media. It would've taken another minute or two for that person to share the content on Twitter. Plus, they wouldn't be publishing incorrect messages. So don't publish the same content on two different platforms simultaneously by connecting accounts.
3. Don't say 'Find us on Facebook' / 'Follow us on Twitter' without giving your username
So many businesses tell their customers they're on Facebook and Twitter simply by having their logos on their advertising, or having phrases like 'Find us on Facebook' everywhere. The problem with this is that they are presenting their customers with a challenge. It's the same as saying 'Find us on the Internet' without adding your URL there, but nobody does that. Why? Because it's a stupid idea! So is saying 'Find us on Facebook'. Instead say FB.com/yourbusiness or have @yourusername with your Twitter handle.
4. Try to provide value in everything you say
I always advise people to ensure everything they say on social media is one or all of the following: engaging, entertaining, inspiring or educating. If it isn't one of these things, maybe you shouldn't share it as it provides no value. So before you pin that next image or post that next tweet, think to yourself - 'Does this provide value to my followers?'
5. Be human
Social media isn't B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer), it's H2H - it's Human to Human. When you tweet a brand you know there's a human behind that account tweeting. So make sure you act like a human!. Share content features your team, sign customer service tweets off with a name... let people know they're dealing with a person and not a logo.
6. Keep up to date with social media updates and trends
I'm not a socail media expert. The reason I'm not is because there's no such thing. But I do know a bit. The reason for this is that I read a lot. Check Facebook's Newsroom regularly to see if there have been any algorithm updates. Another good resource is the Twitter blog and Instagram blog. Also, independent blogs like Social Media Examiner and RazorSocial have lots of good advice.
7. Get noticed by 'influencers'
An influencer is somebody who has a wide reach. This could be an individual or it could be an organisation such as a DMO (Destination Marketing Organisation). As you are in the travel industry, DMOs are key influencers, and since you're promoting their product, it could be in their interest to share your content.
So let's say you're a tour company in Queenstown, New Zealand and you get a beautiful photo of The Remarkables (the neighbouring mountain range), you could try reaching Tourism New Zealand's 99.7k Twitter followers by tweeting something like:
This is why we love Queenstown. Ladies and gentlemen we present to you... The Remarkables <picture> cc @PureNewZealand
Since the photo would be promoting both parties' products, they could share it, subsequently bringing your business to a wider audience.
8. Use the free tools available to you
There are lots of great free tools out there, particularly when it comes to Twitter. My favourites are Hootsuite (a free social media dashboard), Twittercounter which lets you track your growth in followers, Followerwonk which does a deep dive into your followers, telling you where they are, what time they're online and what their interests are, and Topsy Analytics, which lets you see the number of times a phrase or hashtag has been tweeted over the space of a month.
With Facebook I never look further than Facebook Insights, while with Instagram Iconosquare is the best tool out there. It shows you when's the best time to share a photo, what type of filter is used the most and more.
9. Curate content
Just because you don't have something to say, it doesn't mean you don't have something to say on social media. Share somebody else's content! It could be a travel blog, it could be some industry news, it could be a beautiful photo... it could be lots of things. Find a host of resources and go back to them every time you want to share something with your followers.
There's another reason for doing this - your followers will appreciate that you're not all about 'Me, Me, Me'. They'll see you're sharing content that belongs to other people and appreciate you more for it.
10. Analyse, analyse, analyse
This is the most important tip of all. If you don't analyse your data, you won't know how your social media activity is performing. If you don't know how it's performing, you won't be able to make changes, you won't be able to see what's working and you won't be able to see what's not working. Analysing data and reacting to it is pivotal when it comes to social media marketing.
You can also read part one of this article with ten other social media tips to boost your business.
What's your number one social media tip? Share in the comments, or check out our ebook to boost your social media strategy.
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Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.