Managing Your Social Media — how to make best use of your social media platforms

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Pintrest, Tumblr, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, Vine, Whatsapp…

Overwhelmed

 

Are you overwhelmed yet? 

If the answer is yes, you are not alone. The birth of the internet and the sudden burst of social media in the last five years has created countless opportunities for individuals and organizations to stay connected to one another whilst sharing any information they deem necessary to put out into the world. Social media has made it possible for supressed citizens to be heard, such as during the the Egypt Revolution in 2011 when protesters we live-tweeting police abuse and government brutality. However, it has also lead to some massive miscommunication, like the constant spread of actor deaths through the use of hashtags.

Good or bad, there’s no denying that social media is one of the most powerful mediums we can use to stay relevant. However, with the hundreds of websites and apps now available, trying to start a social media campaign can seem quite daunting. Here are some tips and guidelines to help get ease you and your organization in the social media world:

1. Cater to your audience. Social Media Update gives a very thorough summary of the top social media platforms, including information on demographics, usage frequency, involvement, and more. Doing a quick background search on this information will help ensure that you’re using the best platform for your message. You wouldn’t run a commercial at 2am on the History channel for the new latest children’s toy — so make sure you’re using Facebook and not  Instagram to connect with your senior citizen audience.

2. Consolidate. If you are new to the social media scene, or trying to launch a new campaign, maintanence of all your different accounts can be a challenge. You won’t have time to log into each account separately to check on responses and manage your updates. However, don’t let this stop you from diversifying! Appications such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck allow you to access all your accounts on one interface, as a one-stop-shop for all your social media needs. There are also many mobile apps for both iOS and Andriod for on-the-go updates.

3. Interconnect your media. Overlapping your social media platforms can help your audience navigate through all the information you publish. A good example of this is Lane County Blood Center’s twitter account, where they link to youtube videos, facebook posts, and instagram photos on their other accounts. Using these different accounts to promote one another can help streamline your message by guiding the navigator to the right page. Along these lines, also make sure your stay consistent with your message over all your social media accounts. You don’t want to cause any confusion!

When used correctly and efficiently, social media can do wonders for your organization. Do a little research, stay organized, and keep updating, and hopefully you’ll be the next trending topic! #JustinBieberisnotdeadsowecanallsleepsoundlytonight

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14 thoughts on “Managing Your Social Media — how to make best use of your social media platforms

  1. Great topic to discuss! I’ve signed up for and deleted soooooo many social media accounts in the last five years. They sucked my time from me and I noticed a complete lack of any important content being written to me. While I don’t plan on reopening personal accounts anytime soon I imagine I’ll have to donate content to these types of platforms within my work environment sometime soon. I will definitely be using the tools you recommended!

  2. Agreed, great topic and great post. I had never actually taken a look at HooteSuite and TweetDeck, and they are so helpful. I’ve mostly stayed away from social media except for facebook, but now that I’m running my taco stand I’ve tried to jump into a bunch of platforms at once, and it is definitely overwhelming. Thanks for the concise post about how to keep your head above water navigating all these tools.

    • Oh man, you should let me know how it goes with the taco stand. I’m curious how different social media usage is in other countries! In Sri Lanka, Facebook is HUGE, I think even bigger than it is here.

  3. Agreed, great topic and great post. I had never actually taken a look at HootSuite and TweetDeck, and they are so helpful. I’ve mostly stayed away from social media except for facebook, but now that I’m running my taco stand I’ve tried to jump into a bunch of platforms at once, and it is definitely overwhelming. Thanks for the concise post about how to keep your head above water navigating all these tools.

  4. Amanda, nice roundup and synthesis of a moving target!

    I wanted your thoughts on #3 – interconnect your media. Although it’s important to have all your channels listed on a website, I also have read and heard that it’s not good to have the same message on multiple channels, that it’s important to change your message from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Pinterest. What are your thoughts?

    • Great question! I certainly don’t consider myself an expert, but my personal opinion would be that it’s a good way to drive traffic to sources that aren’t getting a lot of views. Keep things interesting, but don’t send out two contradicting pieces of information on two different platforms. For example, you can post a tweet about a youtube video you just uploaded. I think some places definitely overdo it though, and end up JUST using twitter to promote youtube videos. For me, the big thing is balance.

  5. Great analogy with social media platforms and advertising for a kid’s toy at 2am on the History Channel, it really reinforces the message. The one good (or some may say not so good) side effect of social media is all the data that can be collected about user preferences. Hootsuite actually has a series of good articles about measuring social media metrics (including engagement – http://blog.hootsuite.com/beginners-guide-engagement/, mentions, sentiment and reach and exposure).

    • Thanks! I got the idea for that example because my collegues were talking about the difference between online and tv ads. Online ads are more directed towards the younger generations, whereas nowadays, commericals on tv are definitely catering to the older folks (pills and lawyers and such)

  6. This picture is great! and so is the post. It really drew me. One of the reason’s I like the picture so much is that it is in a format I would normally stop and read in any social media or blog. So when I saw it on your post , I stopped and immediately was drawn into your post. When you see that type of font over a picture, you know it’s going to be some funny joke or catch phrase. Therefore, I already associated that format with humor and wanted to read more. I actually think that using humor is a great way to draw attention to serious health issues, or at least to make people aware of ideas that may present as “boring” to a younger generation. Great post, and very unique idea. I think I am going to try something like this similar out in my post. Another you see is how many comments you got! Clearly this post not only worked on me, but others as well!

  7. I agree with others, this is a great post! I really like that you started out with a question. It not only draws in the reader, but also make the content easy to relate to, because as soon as I saw your question, the answer popped in my head. I also like the point you made about choosing the appropriate social media site to use. I feel like in US, Facebook is becoming something that your parents are using now and the new generation isn’t as excited about FB, as it used to be. Overall, great post!

  8. Great post! The visuals are great! I like that your title reflects the type of search terms that someone looking for help on this topic can easily find. You also provided quite a few tags to help make this blog post easily discoverable. I wonder if you can provide some tips on interconnected media for public health organizations (e.g. maybe it’s good for community outreach, and not so much to reach out to funders?)

  9. A good sign of a good blog post is creating dialogue and a relationship with your audience which you are clearly doing through all the comments on your post. Your layout is clear and you are able to make a few key points that the reader can grasp and then search for more resources through the links you shared in your post.

    I was surprised you didn’t mention #blacklivesmatter since it has been such a significant, powerful, community oriented hashtag during recent and heartbreaking events in our country. Based on your blog post, do you have any thoughts about how or why #blacklivesmatter has played such a prolific role in social media in the past 8 months? Great post, thanks for sharing!

    • Darcy, when I was writing this post, I went through a lot of the powerful threads, e.g. #blacklivesmatter #icantbreathe #whyistayed etc, but I noticed that some other people mentioned a few of these in their own posts. I didn’t want to reiterate some of the information I saw on our class posts, and I also wanted to keep the advice a little more general, rather than diving into the power of different hashtags.

      As for the powerful role in social media, I think hashtags gain a lot of traction because they are very easily accessible by all types of people, just as long as you have internet connection. Specifically though, I think #blacklivesmatter has taken off because of the slew of media articles that have come out about police killing unarmed black men. The hashtag gives people something to unite under, a way to connect and collaborate on the issue

  10. I know I was overwhelmed when we were asked in this course to open a twitter account or something similar. Prior to this class I was not a twitter user. After learning what all the hashtags meant and what there purpose was, I appreciated them because they took me directly to the place that that particular hashtag had been mentioned. This made it easy for me to research on particular topics of interest. I’m slowing moving towards following people or organizations that are of interest to me and this has helped me stay on top of what is going on with these particular organizations 🙂 Thanks for a great post!

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