A year ago, Borrell Associates — a firm that tracks and trends how small and midsize businesses spend advertising and marketing dollars — conducted a study of more than 200 businesses. The majority indicated that they now consider social media a “necessary evil” (something that must be done because the outcome is better than taking no action at all). And nearly half consider social media to be the best way to reach customers in this environment.
Since March 2020 — when the pandemic began — 42% of small and midsize have seen more website traffic; 40% have committed to posting more consistent social media content and nearly 30% now create more video and graphic elements for their social media channels.
What does all this mean for integrators? Social media can be an important part of your sales process if it’s handled in the right way.
As NSCA consistently works to improve its own social media performance, we did some research on two platforms we use — and uncovered some interesting tips we thought you might want to know about, too.
This advice comes straight from the social media platforms themselves — guidance on how businesses can make the most of their time on social media.
7 Tips for Posting on LinkedIn
20 Posts Per Month is Recommended
Posting 20 times per month on LinkedIn allows you to reach 60% of your followers and tends to be the sweet spot. Posting less often means you reach fewer people; posting more often doesn’t cause harm, but it also doesn’t bring more reach or engagement for the extra time and effort you put in.
Post at Least Once a Week
If you post less than once a week, LinkedIn’s algorithm restricts the content; your posts won’t be seen by as many people. If you haven’t given LinkedIn much thought yet, creating a plan to post at least once per week is a good place to start.
Post During Work Hours
Not surprisingly, LinkedIn says that most platform engagement occurs on weekdays during work hours. When trying to reach a B2B audience, like integrators do, posting between 8am and 2pm is recommended.
Avoid the Spam Filter
The platform has a built-in “spam filter”: It looks at grammar, how often your page posts content, how many people you tag, how many (and what kinds) of links are used, etc. From there, it decides whether your post is spam, low quality, or clear/high quality. To make it around those spam filters, you need to use good grammar, use only one link (see tip No. 7), tag five or fewer people, and make sure the post is easy to read.
Encourage Early Engagement
Engagement within the first 60 minutes is key to the most people possible seeing your post. LinkedIn’s algorithm boosts content that receives the most activity within this timeframe, sending it out beyond your first-degree connections. How well your post performs within the first hour determines how far outside your network your post will be promoted.
Once a post goes live, let key people know (coworkers, industry colleagues, etc.) so they can like, share, or comment. Or tag people who may have something to say about the content, are quoted or referenced, etc. When you tag someone, their connections and followers can see that content, too; your audience naturally expands. If someone engages with the post that contains those tags, the engagement is also seen by that larger audience.
Share Your Employees’ Content
If you manage your company’s LinkedIn page, try mixing things up. People like seeing the faces behind the organizations they do business with. If there’s a post you’d like to share, ask a senior leader within your organization to post it to their personal profile first and tag your organization. The type of content in the post can help guide you to who might be the best person to share it. Once that’s done, find and share the post on your company page.
Limit Outbound Links
LinkedIn recommends not including outbound links in a post; the platform doesn’t give these posts as much weight. Instead, try posting your text/image and then including the outbound link (to a blog, article, video, webpage, etc.) as the first post comment. Why? The reason is self-serving: LinkedIn doesn’t want its users having easy access to links that take them away from the platform.
5 Tips for Posting on Twitter
We’ve all seen them: Posts that include 30+ hashtags. That strategy may fly on Instagram and Facebook, but not on Twitter. The platform advises that you use no more than two hashtags in a post. When you use more than two, engagement drops by an average of 17%.
Unlike other platforms, it’s recommended that your hashtags naturally fit within a post so it doesn’t feel forced, lose its intended purpose, or seem simply tacked on at the end. Also, keep hashtags short. Long hashtags are hard to read, and research shows that hashtags under 24 characters work best. (And don’t use spaces or punctuation!)
Use Emojis 😊
When you tweet, use emojis from time to time. Those posts perform 25% better than tweets without. They are more memorable, are more relatable, convey tone, add personality, and allow communication beyond what words can provide.
Emojis should be relevant to the content you post, of course. (Example: If you’re tweeting about a company-sponsored lunch that involves pizza, then a pizza emoji is great. If you’re tweeting about a new partnership, then probably not so much.)
Post Frequently and Daily
Twitter recommends that you tweet at least five times per day for best results. There are obviously some power users out there—even in our industry—who post more often than that. Unlike LinkedIn, there’s no harm in doing this on Twitter if you have the time, but that level of commitment isn’t required to keep your brand’s presence active on Twitter.
Use “Quote Tweet” Instead of “Retweet”
Instead of hitting that “retweet” button, try to make the “quote tweet” option your go-to instead. This allows you to add your own thoughts/remarks to a tweet before you retweet/share it. When people see your reaction to a piece of information, they’re more likely to chime in with their own thoughts as well, which can increase engagement.
Keep It Short
Even though Twitter increased its character limit from 140 to 280 in 2017, it stands by short tweets: The platform states that tweets containing between 70 and 100 characters attract the most attention. Character counts include links and hashtags, so plan accordingly.
We’re sure there are lots more social media tips like these out there, but we thought these were helpful, interesting, and easy for integrators to implement. Try some of them out and let us know what happens at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Leah Garris is Director of Marketing & Communications for NSCA. To learn more about your trade association, visit NSCA.org.