LinkedIn and Twitter tips for beginners

When starting to frame your social media strategy, it is often the case that you may not be able to dedicate equal time to each platform, and nor should you.

Utilising the correct platform for your business is essential. Two social media giants in particular must figure into any social media strategy regardless of the area of business. Here is a brief overview of how to get the best out of LinkedIn and Twitter.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be thought of as one big B2B networking event. To get the most out of it, here are a few tips to help you get started:

- Your online presence in general should make use of keywords for SEO purposes and your webmaster will usually have this covered. LinkedIn is no different. Your page requires key words to ensure your brand is visible.
- When you post on the company page, you are posting as the company. This an opportunity to convey the company’s personality and values.
- Appearance is everything. The company page should include the company logo and a proofread profile.
- Do not underestimate the importance of recommendations and endorsements. If you have some, share them on your page.
- Recommending connections is a great way to increase the visibility of the content you share and the company page itself. It is often the case that endorsing others will result in return endorsements.
- A crucial part of any LinkedIn strategy is engaging with groups. These could be firm-based or practitioner based. Either way, understanding how its members interact, and getting involved by sharing your expertise can present your brand as trustworthy and knowledgeable one.

Twitter

Think of Twitter like a very miniature blog. Post your updates, your news, interact with others, respond to comments, post pictures and videos. Followers expect several tweets per day, presenting a great opportunity to build a Twitter presence and increase brand recognition on a scale unimaginable just ten years ago: 

- As with LinkedIn, appearance is everything. The company logo and profile picture must fit the dimensions specified by Twitter. A stretched or pixelated logo gives a terrible first impression.
- Don't start your Twitter life by following big name brands or celebrities. Instead, set about retweeting and following tweets from smaller firms, and individuals that complement the online presence you are trying to establish.
- Short, sharp, and creative tweets utilising search terms, aimed at your core demographic will provide exposure to the audience you are targeting.
- Twitter is the medium by which you are creating a personality for your brand. It is the first contact many will have with your brand, and so the personality must consistently reflect the values you wish to convey.
- Download and install Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. They offer analytical tools and a way to schedule tweets when you’re not able to do so yourself.
- Be aware of  the reaction a Tweet could provoke. A Twitter campaign can backfire, as was the case in 2013, with British Gas’s “Ask British Gas” campaign. Always be aware of potential cons of a Twitter campaign, or individual Tweet.

A successful social media strategy needs be an intricately planned part of a PR and marketing campaign. If your firm does start to craft a neatly defined and consistent social media strategy, the benefits can far outweigh the costs.

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