Social Media 201

Social Media PresentersWe’ve been told by our faculty members that we do a quality job with social media. So, our first seminar choice was Social Media 201 to find out how to go beyond what we already do.

Hit refresh to see updates to my live notes.

11:04 a.m.: Session underway. Jason Parker, Community Outreach Manager at Public Broadcasting Atlanta and Caila Brown, Online Communications Manager at Telfair Museums, former General Manager SCAD Radio. Presentation available at cailabrown.net.

11:07 a.m.: Analyze current network insights to see who is interacting with your content. Using Facebook Insights, emarketer.com and bitly give good statistics.

11:08 a.m.: Social media for young and old. Average Facebook user is 40.5-years old. Gender distribution: 40% male, 60% female. The average Twitter user is 30.4-years old. Don’t just provide content for the 18-24 crowd. Provide content for everyone else.

11:10 a.m.: Offer targeted content for different demos and networks. Not all audiences want to see the same things. Link networks to drive user traffic. Website links to Facebook and Facebook links to Twitter. But Twitter does not link to Facebook. Don’t over-link.

11:12 a.m.: See when people are liking or commenting on content. Try to hit the highs of user activity. It is okay to change the time when you post things. Post in-studio pictures. Give viewers a behind-the-scenes experience.

11:14 a.m.: Don’t have a bad presence. If you can’t consistently update something, like Instagram or Tumblr, shut it down. Don’t feel obligated to use every social media outlet. Post at least three to six times a day on Twitter to keep your name in the user dashboard.

11:15 a.m.: Know when to say no and turn off the social networks that aren’t working. If anyone says “we need to be anywhere,” your first question is why the second questions is how.

11:17 a.m.: Everyone needs a social media manager – someone who is an expert in social media and has the time to maintain the presence. It needs to be someone’s priority. Don’t throw it on reporters. They already have a full-time job. It’s difficult to sell multimedia reporting to volunteers.

11:20 a.m.: It’s okay to introduce new things. But focus on what your plan and key objectives are. If you’re offering a “live chat” for example, stick to it. Don’t quit halfway through. Somehow reward top users for their support – whether it’s a top fan of the week or an interview with top users. Message them and ask them questions about why they like the station. It’s free research and a reward for top users.

11:21 a.m.: Produce consistent content. Never look old or not updated. Share articles and share posts from other stations. That gets you a follow back and them retweeting your information.

11:22 a.m.: “Follow Friday.” Choose a day to follow or suggest users follow other organizations that YOU like. Create a network and a “sphere of influence.”

11:25 a.m.: @ and # are your best friends. It specifically addresses someone or something else and it gets their attention. For example, #edu is an accepted hashtag for education stories. It gets you out of the normal following and puts you in a more global environment. Look at top ten lists. See who is tweeting most about a particular topic and address them specifically to pull them in, as well.

11:26 a.m.: TV is complicated. You don’t want to push users to other networks. But how do you capitalize on syndicated production? That’s a work in progess.

11:27 a.m.: Train your staff! They are the one’s providing content. Get them thinking in short snippets – whether it’s a paragraph you can easily breakdown into sentences or key words to expand upon. It’s easier to get them thinking social media when they’re already programmed to have it in the back of their mind. Develop a social media branding guide or plan – have a mission statement. Let people know what you need. Think of the tone of voice you want the station to have and individual reporters to have. If you do individual voices, have them put their initials at the end show the user knows who is saying what.

11:28 a.m.: Make sure you train people to do what you’re doing with social media. All managers need to be able to take a day off with the product still at top quality.

11:30 a.m.: In your content, create calls to action. “Like if you agree,” “Share if you’re a fan!,” “Tweet the last person you talked to you felt deserve a coke!” Post photos and video content often. People don’t mind short reading. But photos and videos are interactive. Ask people questions! Don’t be a robot. Don’t automate social media. Tag people in your comment replies. It notifies them and helps the know you’re listening and willing to interact.

11:33 a.m.: Don’t delete negative posts. How you reply to negative posts generates positive content. If people complain about you, apologize and think of a strategic way to reply. It will develop a positive relationship if you can turn the negative experience positive with complimentary items.

11:35 a.m.: Social media is about people. It’s about individual, personal experiences and feedback. People will inevitably say bad things. Ask why. If you can fix what’s wrong, it’s free research and the potential for a new viewer who knows you listen. You can’t make everyone happy. Weigh if it’s one person versus a group.

11:36 a.m.: Have plug-ins from your social networks to your website or blog. When you post something, you don’t want to turn around and manually share it 18 other places.

11:38 a.m.: Have a strong visual identity. Think about messing with brand elements so they show up well on the little square that is a profile image on Facebook or Twitter. Never stick to the default. Always use any customization or branding opportunity. Adjust your images to fit perfectly to each different social network’s dimensions.

11:40 a.m.: When to post: Facebook – between 1 and 4:00 p.m. (Peak time: Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.); Twitter – between 1 and 3:00 p.m. (Peak time Monday through Thursday). Think about what’s easily digestible and fun to post on weekends. More substantive posts during the week.

11:42 a.m.: Post more often on Twitter than Facebook. People expect constant updates on Twitter. But you don’t want to blow up a Facebook feed.

11:45 a.m.: See what other companies are doing. Look at what the top ten social media vehicles are and go from there. Research and marketing firms will tell you what the up-and-coming social networks are. Forrester.com is a great place to start.

11:47 a.m.: Klout.com is another place to get free information, rewards and speaker ideas. Mashable also provides good social media infographics.

11:48 a.m.: What’s too much on Twitter? What’s too little? At least 3 to 6 posts. Don’t post the same thing over and over. You don’t want to force posts. But the more you can post the better. Save some evergreen content you can post on slow days. The half-life of a Twitter post is two hours. Make sure to thank people for their interaction. Awesome tweet analytics at tweetreach.com.

Reflection:

A lot of good information here for people who are just getting started with social media. Many of these strategies TV2 already employs. However, there was some interesting information for free ways to analyze your audience and post effectiveness.

Relevance to TV2 – A

Insight and Demystification – B-

Innovative Ideas – B

Overall – B+

Leave a Reply