Here are top 25 best practices for social media, ranging from the super technical (like where to place a link in a tweet) to general guide lines.
- Put links 25% way through the tweet. You'll gain more retweets that way!
- Share links to gain more retweets. Share your blog, share your Facebook page, Instagram feed or YouTube videos! Share interesting articles of what's happening in the photography world or new things in your area. Remember, you can't talk about yourself all the time or folks will stop paying attention.
- Tweet around 4 PM. Really. It's the magical hour that gets the most retweets! Use HootSuite (free!) to schedule your posts around that time and gain the most traction.
- Ask for the retweet! Including the phrase "Please Retweet" or "Please RT" in your tweets will dramatically increase how many of your followers will spread the news (but don't go overboard and use it on every single tweet. Nobody likes that guy.)
- Retweet regularly from folks you follow. Paying it forward that way improves your Twitter karma. It may sound like a joke, but it works. Just ensure you keep it relevant!
- Participate in #FF. Find your top followers and throw them a solid by including them in the #FF every week or so. If you're included in a #FF, retweet it and say thank you (mind your manners!)
- If you get picked up in an aggregate paper, say thanks and retweet their link. They'll continue to showcase your stuff and you'll continue to expand your reach.
- Use hashtags that are applicable to your business! #photography, #your city, #behindthescenes, etc.
- Use the bio section to your advantage. Use keywords (in a logical manner) to turn up higher in the search function! Its Twitter's special way to use SEO!
- Use questions that start with "should", "would" or "which" for more comments and answers. Ask questions for more comments and to get input from your clients and respond to them so they know you're listening.
- Enable the "reply" feature to keep the stream of comments listed in an orderly fashion!
- Use Calls-to-Action on Facebook. Posts with the word "Like" in them are twice as likely to receive a like. We all love likes, but similar to asking for the retweet, do this sparingly.
- Take advantage of your skill set and often use a photo! Stats show that posts with a photo are nearly twice as likely to get more likes, and any page looks incomplete without a cover photo.
- Use Facebook as a medium for giveaways or promotions. Discounted sessions or free prints. Don't break your bank, but offer your fans something that makes them feel special.
- Use the milestones to tell the story of your brand! Mark studio opening, major events
- Share the love and +1 other people's work. Ask questions and be a part of the conversation. There are hundreds of photography communities, get involved, even for just a few minutes a day.
- Link your Goolge+ page with your website and other social networks. Use the +1 or share button so your content can be easily spread throughout the interwebs!
- Share your work often and give details that entice a conversation: talk about your equipment, your lighting, your creative process to bring other photographers in on the conversation.
- Be the author! Google+ will help you increase your SEO with AuthorRank! Not only will it help you get noticed on Google+, but that blog of yours will also get some major attention. (You can find out more here.)
- Utilize hashtags on Instagram in the same way you would on Twitter. They will get more engagement since people can actually find them.
- Make behind the scenes videos of all your office fun, current projects and assignments! You can pack a lot of punch into 15 seconds!
- Gain credibility with recommendations. Ask some of your best clients (not every client) to write a quick recommendation on LinkedIn and you'll be three times more likely to get inquiries through the LinkedIn searches!
- Look for your next gig through the LinkedIn jobs search! This probably won't be your top lead generating tool, but it will add to your bottom line.
- Stay positive. If you beg for business, complain about how it's a tough year or write anything that could be perceived as negative you will lose business. Your content helps define your value, and if you devalue your brand with less-than-positive posts, your clients will go elsewhere.
- Respond to negative comments and don't delete them. If you delete them, you will look a little shady, no matter how crazy the comment is. Kill them with kindness, offer to talk to them offline and ask them to private message you their number (or if you already have their number, call them immediately).
A bunch of new things to keep in mind as you navigate your social media plan, but soon they will seem like second nature (we promise!) courtesy of HubSpot, Photoshelter, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, SocialMedia Today, Webmarketing Group, Socially Stacked and Media Bistro. Next week we will talk about the things to avoid on social media - these are the things that will make your customers run for the hills (or at least to your competitor).
This is post 5 of 7 in the Be More...Social series. Read the other posts in the series using the links below: