Timing is Everything Especially in Social Media

The title says it all.  A common worry I hear expressed by people looking to use social media professionally is that they don’t have enough time in the day to manage it.  I agree that it’s tough, but as I explained in my previous post about Hootsuite, you can easily schedule future posts and monitor your presence on multiple sites through one source.

One thing that I did not touch on in my last blog was WHEN to post.  Think about when your audience would be likely to see your Tweets, Facebook posts or LinkedIn updates.  Even though you may have time to tweet at 8am in the morning, ask yourself if your audience is going to be up at 8am diligently looking for your post.  They just might be…or they might not.

This is partially why I use bit.ly in conjunction with Hootsuite.  It’s easy for me to quickly scan down my shortened link list to see if my audience is clicking on my links.  I also monitor Facebook Insights to see how far my post was able to reach.

The only way to figure out if your timing is good or bad is to monitor your clicked links (can be done through bit.ly or Hootsuite) or to check your Facebook insights.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with the timing of your posts.  One of my most viewed links came from the day after Christmas!  Check your statistics often and you may begin to see some trends of when your audience engages with your social media sites.

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Hootsuite Analytics

As promised, I’m going to go through why Hootsuite analytics have been so useful in helping me to measure the effectiveness of the UGA Career Center Twitter Account.

Let’s go through the quick steps of how you can get the exact report that’s show above:

  1. Select the 3rd icon from the top in the left vertical tool bar that looks like 3 bars.
  2. Click on “Quick Analytics” then “Ow.ly Summary Stats.”
  3. This automatically creates the graphs that you see in the center of the above screen.

If you scroll down the page, you can see it starts to identify the top posts with most clicks.  You may be surprised to find (as I was), that the content students click on the most may not be the career articles you are posting.  A little variety and sharing of useful information outside of career may increase the engagement with your audience.

It isn’t immediately apparent on the surface all of the implications these statistics have. You can even become a paying member to get more in depth statistics, but a lot of information can be told from this alone—

  1. Students ARE paying attention to the tweets  that are streamed on the homepage of www.career.uga.edu as evidenced by the “Top Referrers” graph.
  2. I can also infer trends of popular topics from the “Most Popular Links” section.  These statistics are only for the month of December, and what is being clicked on seems to be anything other than specific to the job search.  Perhaps students are checked out at this point or focused on their exams.  Perhaps this could be a new addition that I could add to my tweet strategy—adding “nice to know” information rather than only career information.
  3. The line graph at the top gives you a hint as to which days your audience may be most engaged with your content.  Large amounts of clicks could imply that you are posting a popular topic, but part of the popularity may also be that you aren’t tweeting that at 8 in the morning.

All in all, it’s important to try a few different strategies to see what works. You may also want to revisit older ideas that were deemed “failures” to see if perhaps the timing was off or you may need to identify new ways to appeal to your audience.

That’s it for now, but Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Social Media Personas: Are you too much?

When is your personality too much? Many companies and organizations have posted about what is and is not appropriate to publish as a representative of an organization when using social media.  There are statements that can be added to an employee’s profile if they indicate an affiliation with their employer or other terms that can be added if speaking from an organization’s standpoint.

Overall it seems like a good idea, particularly the setting of social media policies that clearly outline what is expected of their workers if they engage in social media on the company’s behalf. My question, however, is when does an organization lose its voice? Is it ok to show a little personality versus a business-like tone in some cases?

If your audience is likes to use slang terminology or pop culture references, mirroring your audience and the way they communicate could be a great way to connect.  It’s a fine line to balance depending on your company image/culture, but it is something that deserves thought.

If you want to be perceived as…

  1. Professional –  steer away from exclamation points, slang, politically charged topics, connect to other professional accounts
  2. Young – consider using current slang, exclamation points, emoticons, reposting similar users’ content, comment on popular culture in addition to topics relevant to your industry/area
  3. Innovative -discover new sites for your connections to visit, comment on cutting edge technologies in your area, provide advice to followers

The list goes on.  Any other suggestions or thoughts?

Are you a barnacle?

In a previous post, I mentioned the importance of identifying the leaders in your field–social media field that is.  Twellow, WeFollow, and Listorious are all great sites to identify the leaders in Twitter when you are getting started.

While it is important to benchmark and constantly survey the landscape to make sure you’re on par with your competition, at some point it is important to branch out.  To try something new. To take a risk.  If you do the same thing as your competition, what sets you apart?  Instead of being a barnacle that clings on to someone else’s idea, be the foundation others wish to emulate.

Easier said that done right?  The way that I try to “branch out” from my peers is to bounce ideas off of other people I trust.  It’s okay if some of your ideas seem crazy or off the wall.  Some of the best ideas seemed crazy at first I’m sure.  Even if your ideas end up being deemed “too crazy” and not feasible, the exchange of ideas might lead to another insight that could just work.

Great leaders also surround themselves with great people.  My social media intern came up with an excellent idea: have a “theme week” or topic to focus on that week.   It keeps people engaged in your topic and so far we have had a lot of success through implementing this new idea.

Try it out and see if it works for you!

To Employers that Tweet Out Jobs

Recently I’ve noticed quite a few businesses tweet out job listings.  Sounds like a good idea right?  In theory yes, but I’ve found that many of these links are broken or those that have good links lead to job descriptions that don’t match what the tweet indicated the job would be. If your followers click on your link to find out more information and are taken to something completely unrelated, why would they continue to follow you or read your content?

When I looked a little deeper into the company accounts, I found that some had a large amount of followers that were spam accounts, competitors, or people that were not remotely qualified for the positions they were tweeting about.

So what should we take away from this?

  1. Make sure your tweet is clear and aimed to your target audience. Have a job title, location & what you’re looking for clearly indicated to make your followers more inclined to click on your links.
  2. Search for the leaders in your industry and follow them to find potential employees. Follow the leaders followers too. This will make your potential prospects at least aware of your account.
  3. Consider sending a DM (direct message) directly to leaders in the field to see if they will retweet your information or to those you think could be good prospects for the job.

Ultimately, you want to give people a reason to follow you.  If your message is consistent and is related to what your 140 character profile states, you will emerge as someone worthy to follow.

To follow or not to follow…you never want that to be the question.