Social media tips
Social media training Belgrade, 15 September 2011
Why engage in social media for publicity?
Develop a social media strategy to work out how best to use your resources effectively - using social media can be time consuming and frenetic!
Some free tools that you can use to listen in to the conversations online…
- Dashboard – Netvibes, iGoogle
- Keyword tool – SocialMention, IceRocket, Trackur
- Feed reader – Google Reader
Finding the right keywords to track is very important…what are our target communities using when they look for us online, or have a conversation about this topic online?
Google adplanner shows profiles of the people accessing particular sites, and can help answer the question is this an important blog, should we target this community?
Premium (paid for) services are also available– Politicshome, Radian6, BrandWatch and Sysomos
Several tools are available to help you assess your online 'clout' and impact:
30 second blog review method
To assess a blog rapidly, ask yourself the following questions:
How many posts, how recent?
What kind of engagement?
Responding to comments
It is an option to NOT respond to comments about you.
Only reply if you have more value to add, or can gently correct inaccuracies.
Otherwise, monitor the conversation without commenting.
If you do respond, keep it informal and friendly.
Writing for websites
- This is an active medium – people use the web to answer questions, get things done.
- Offer a summary up front
- Use the keywords and phrases you know your audience use to find information about you in the first part of the text and in titles eg clocks go back
- One idea per paragraph
- Short headlines – 5 to 8 words only
- Add descriptive inline links and multimedia to illustrate (NOT click here!)
Link shortening services eg bit.ly can give you click through rates, but Twitter blocks these in favour of its own service.
Social Media Content
- First point – be remarkable! Funny, helpful, insightful, quirky etc.
- Be prolific, use insight based on experience.
- Get feedback – what worked?
- Simplify ideas and messages – use shareable formats ie not PDF
There are a number of different goals you might have for your social media channels, including:
- Listening to your audience, understanding views
- Generate buzz
- Discussion and response
- Co producing materials with a community (more durable content)
Some case studies of social media sites, and tips for using them to the best effect:
Case study: Facebook
- They now use Edgerank to filter your content into Top news.
- To get a high profile on edgerank your updates need to be timely and interactive ie lots of comments and 'likes'.
- Photos, videos and events are popular
- Join relevant groups
- It’s possible to create a landing page not just the standard status page – have to embed html within the page in a frame.
Case study: Youtube
- Customise your channel with logos, colours etc eg European Union channel.
- Organise content using playlists.
- Optimise file names and tags with keywords to optimise searches.
- Use the Insight tool to assess impact
Case study: Twitter
- Customised pages are good – first impressions count
- Give people a reason to follow you
- Be human – it’s ok to tweet often, but don’t release lots of automated tweets in one go.
- Use and create lists to manage followers.
- Separate accounts for different languages is probably a good idea.
- Build it into your everyday workflow, make it real time – desktop app eg Echofon, smartphone
Case study: Flickr
- Tagging your images is important.
- Can use Creative Commons to control usage and you can search on these.
- Different resolutions usually available.
- Good for stock images for the media.
Events and launches
When you're planning an event, you can use social media before, during and after the event in different ways:
- Site visits for location stills.
- Identify and invite bloggers.
- Set up threads for an online forum with sys admins.
- Tweets, photos, hashtags - don't announce a hashtag too far in advance as they are very ephemeral.
- Live blog tools can bring several social media channels together into one live feed eg Cover it Live
- Use Twitter to make sessions interactive eg source questions, run competitions
- Search for mentions to identify interested influencers, and follow them
- Polish and publish stills and films
- Follow up on forum threads and blog post comments