Social Media Day: 30 June 2015

Read our social media tips for businesses across LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Today marks the sixth year in which we've celebrated social media's impact on global communications. 'Social Media Day' was created by online powerhouse Mashable back in 2010 and is now recognised on a global scale. 

In celebration of the networks that have enabled us to... well, network, we've put together some handy hints and tips to help you enhance your business presence across four of the most popular social media networks. 

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with just over 350 million users. It's easy enough to add connections, post articles and engage with other members' posts, but there are ways to do each of these things, that will save you time.

1. When you land on the profile of someone that you want to connect with, LinkedIn asks you for an email address or indication of how you know the person. Sometimes we don't know the individual, so it can be incredibly frustrating to face a brick wall when trying to network. 

Search for the individual by name and click the 'Connect' button in the search results. This allows you to connect without providing information as to how you know the member. 

2. Whether it's your previous boss or a potential employee, it is useful to browse profiles undetected. Set up anonymous profile viewing in the Privacy Settings area of your account. 

WARNING: If you have a basic account, setting your browsing activity to anonymous means you won't be able to see who has viewed your profile either.

3. Make use of advanced search to find the best jobs and candidates. Basic accounts have access to fewer options when using the advanced search, but it is still useful in that you can add additional information to search. 

4. Take advantage of groups to find people with similar interests. There are groups for schools, organisations, industries and common interests. Each page has an open forum and a job board, and, what's more, groups you are a member of are displayed on your profile so that others can learn more about you than just your professional experience. 

5. Ask colleagues to write recommendations for you. Recommendations are as valid as references these days and with a few glowing statements on your profile, you're more likely to be appealing to others. 

6. Save job searches to receive daily, weekly or monthly emails communicating new listings.

Facebook is home to 1.44 billion monthly active users and is becoming increasingly more integral to selling. Due to an algorithm change in 2015, your business page will be affected in the following ways:

1. Organic post reach (i.e. the number of people that see your non-paid posts) will reduce dramatically. In 2014, the average post reach for a fan page was 16%, which means that if you had 1,000 fans, only 160 would see your post. Today, the average post reach is just 4% (that's just 40 of your 1,000 fans). This change is intended to address the consensus that Facebook feels too promotional to users. 

Overly promotional posts are as defined as follows:

1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or service or install an app.

2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context.

3. Posts that reuse the same content from ads.

So avoid doing that for starters, and ensure you post relevant, interesting and engaging content with the end user in mind, not pound signs.

Try to think of Facebook as a platform to offer fans added value. Tell them about your new product, but don't be pushy and focus only on how useful/stylish it is. Add some comical content and industry- relevant news and you'll be on to a winner in 2015. 

2. Make use of Facebook's Paid Advertising. Select demographics to target your customers. You can target ads based on user age, job, location, marital status, interests, purchase behaviour, income...the list is endless. 

Twitter has 302 million monthly active users and 100 million daily active users. Make the most of your Twitter profile with these tips. 

1. Your bio is probably the most important element of your profile, as it's what users see when they first land on your page. This is your opportunity to 'wow' and generate interest in your brand with links, keywords and compelling copy (within just 160 characters). 

2. Update your profile information on the regular. Nothing stays the same for long; you may have rebranded or taken a new direction, make it known online. 

3. Tweet smart. 140 characters isn't much to work with, so it's incredibly important to ensure every word counts. Don't say in 10 words, what can be said in 5 and don't overuse hashtags. 

Let's clear this up:

Incorrect: #it's #Friday
Correct: #itsFriday.

A hashtag is a complete string of words, not words separated by the #. 

4. Engage. It's important to understand that Twitter isn't just about putting information out there and waiting for orders to come in. Twitter encourages interaction between users and users and brands and is the perfect platform through which to chat to your customers - so make good use of it! Learn about your customers by asking questions and answer any questions your followers might have. 

5. Use imagery. You don't need me to tell you that a tweet with an image is more appealing than a tweet on its own. Many successful brands use a mix of GIFs, Vines, videos and images in their tweets that result in improved engagement rates. 

Pinterest has 72.8 million users, 85% of which are female and is very different to the networks above. Pins last a lifetime; they don't disappear from your timeline as is the case with Facebook so make every pin count! 

1. Follow boards or people. Thankfully, you don't have to follow a user to follow a board they've created. Emphasis is therefore placed on the content itself, not the networking. 

2. Make a group board when sourcing content or inspiration. Pinning to the same board leads to the sharing of ideas and sharing is caring after all. 

3. Make use of private boards. You may want to source product design ideas for your business but not want the world to see them. Private boards are a great way to collate content as an internal team or as an individual. 

4. If you want to remove a board, wait! First you should check that no one follows that board as it would be a shame for them to lose something they're using as a point of reference. If no one is following it, great, delete away. If you do have followers, consider leaving it be or giving it a new name to state it's inactivity. 

5. Add the Pin plugin to your browser to pin any image or video you find on the Internet, using these instructions

6. Add a Pinterest widget to your website if you want visitors to be able to see what you've recently Pinned. This is most relevant to creative industries, but maybe not so much in the world of technology. Do potential clients/customers that visit your site want to see industry-relevant pins? If the answer is yes, do it.

If you found this article useful, please feel free to share with your friends and colleagues. 

Img credit: Mashable

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