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SFU Co-op Student

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Take note of the characteristics of posts that succeeded so you can replicate them in future posts.

When running social media accounts for organizations, you are no longer representing yourself online; you are representing an entire organization to its variety of stakeholders. Here are 5 useful tips for using social media for business.

1. Always Keep your Audience in Mind

This is one of the most important aspects of running social media accounts for your organization. When writing your posts, always remind yourself of who you are writing them for. Put yourself in their shoes. What would they be interested in? Additionally, certain issues you post about maybe controversial and strike a nerve with your followers. This is why sensitivity is a must in your wording; have an idea of how you are going to respond to negativity before posting.

2. Consult The Canadian Press Stylebook

This is something that I learned of this summer from my supervisor. The Canadian Press Stylebook is a style book that lays out exactly how one should be writing in a Canadian communications role. This book addresses many writing habits that we all have and may not know are wrong. For example, when writing the date, you can never say Monday, September 4th. That little ‘th’ is not allowed! Knowing small stylistic rules like these will help you be taken seriously and sound professional.

3. Make Sure That you Have the Rights and Permissions for ALL Photos you Post

Often, text-only posts can get lost in the sea of your follower’s newsfeeds. When an interesting image accompanies your post, more people are likely to be engaged by liking, commenting or sharing it. Before sharing a picture, however, make sure that you have the proper permissions. Consult your supervisor on whether you need to include photo credit with the post, and whether you have model releases for any people in the picture. The last thing you want is to land your organization in hot water by sharing a picture you are not allowed to.

4. Hootsuite and Facebook Scheduler are your New Best Friends

When running social media pages for a business it’s not uncommon to write all of the posts for the next week at once. When you do this, you should take advantage of Hootsuite and Facebook’s scheduler options. My method is to write all of my posts for both Facebook and Twitter, have them approved, then schedule them all at once. Remember to double-check the posts once they are scheduled. When you are dealing with a high number of posts, it is easy to accidentally schedule them for 12:30 am, rather than pm.

5. Make use of Facebook Insights and Hootsuite Reports

A goal of mine while running social media accounts is to continually improve and reach larger audiences. Facebook Insights and the weekly reports from Hootsuite can help. They outline which of your posts succeeded, and which ones didn’t quite hit home, by outlining your total reach. Take note of the characteristics of posts that succeeded so you can replicate them in future posts.

One Final Bonus Tip

When in doubt, ask your supervisor for help. They can spot problems that you may have missed, and are more than willing to give you feedback to improve your skills. Take advantage of that!

Have fun, and good luck on becoming a social media master!

SFU Co-op Student
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