Rules to Better Social Media

​​​​Social media should be an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. It is important because it allows you to reach out to people locally, or even internationally if you want. Using social media platforms to promote your business will help you connect with current and potential customers, increase your brand awareness, and hopefully, boost leads and sales for your company. Of course, it all depends on your business strategy too. Marketing goals come from Business goals.

Using social media effectively is a must in Digital Marketing nowadays.​

So, here's a series of social media rules to help you improve your online presence.

If you still need help, our team can help.

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  1. Do you keep your social media updated?

    If you are wondering how many times you should post on your social media, the answer is: as often as you can post great and relevant content. You don't have to post every hour to be relevant, and in fact, you can be seen as a spammer on socials.

    As Neil Patel​ says: "If you post too infrequently, your audience will forget that you exist and you will quickly fade into the deep dark recesses of their minds. However, if you are posting too often, you will become a complete nuisance and they will dread seeing your posts overcrowding their feed.​"

    Most marketers recommend at least 1 post a day, depending on the social media platform - you might find that this can hard on YouTube, for example. In general, consistency is key. Make sure you have a routine set to follow up your insights for a deep dive into your metrics and you will find out what works best for your audience.

    You can use a social media management tool like Buffer (see Rule “Do you use Buffer to post to social media?​”) to post to your social media platforms at least 3 times a week (ideally daily) with upcoming events, information about products or services, relevant news, or anything else that you think your followers would be interested in. 

    Tip: If you struggle with content creation, see rule Do you know what type of content marketing you should post on your socials?

    These posts maintain your online presence and are great branding for your business.

  2. Do you know to seek approval for your social media content?

    ​​​​Creating content can be exhausting. Often you're planning it weeks in advance, with many different posts and platforms involved. This can lead to mistakes such as typos, or wrong URLs. It's always a good idea to get someone else to do a "test please" on your content before you post it. This will help make sure your content doesn't have any issues that will compromise the user experience while consuming it, or even affect your business goal with the post.

    ​He​re are some tips that you can use to improve your content approval process:

    1. Use a template that you can easily fill in and that is also easy for people to understand what you want to post and when
    2. Block a day to work on the content ​to create a routine
    3. Define a process that you can follow: Create content > Get images approved by designers > Get content approved by Management OR improve content based on feedback. If your process is not efficient and adds a lot of blockers to your work routine, then it is not effective
    4. Commit to a deadline - Try to work out what the timeline will be, from creation to review
    5. Use a branding guide to be consistent with the brand's look and feel
    6. Encourage specific feedback (Eg. feedback like "I don't like this design" won't help you improve it)
    7. Reduce the rounds of approval - In this process, you should only include only people that have the skills and capacity to analyze your content goal, and consequently the content itself
    8. Always​ think of your personas when creating content - who are you trying to target?
    contentapproval2.png
    Figure: Example of a template you can use to get approval for your social media content, note it shows what platforms it will be posted on, when, the test and how it will look. It will also help give you an idea of what your feed will look like to ensure it has a nice balance of images.​

  3. Do you analyse your results once a month?

    ​​​Analyzing your results (click-throughs, engagement, and new followers, for example) lets you see what was successful and what people have engaged with the most. This helps you further streamline your content and provides an insight into trends and areas of growth.

    1. First, you have to identify all your marketing efforts - E.g. Website, social media, blog, newsletter, chat.
    2. When you think of each marketing effort, try to think of what you are trying to achieve with that activity. For example, if you share a newsletter every month, what are you trying to get from it? Inquiries? Sales? Set a goal for them and follow up. This will help you identify which channel is working the most, even further, what efforts are worth keeping. You will be able to identify if, for example, your audience is not on a specific social media you thought you would perform well.
    3. The next step is to make sure your pixels, conversions codes, etc. are working properly.
    4. After this, create a spreadsheet that you can update every month to keep track of your marketing activities.
    5. Present this to your manager and your marketing team to encourage discussions and improvements. A quarterly marketing meeting would be ideal to look back and see what went well, and what didn’t go as expected. See our tips for good presentations: Rules to Better PowerPoint Presentations.
        During this meeting, you can discuss:
      • Marketing activities you worked on
      • Results – Highlight key results
      • Plan for next month, including budget
    6. After the meeting, send an email with what was discussed, what you worked on, and what results you have achieved. Of course, don’t forget to include the approved budget.
    7. Keep this information in a report-style document stored in your Intranet that hopefully, you can look back to compare results.
    marketing overview old.png
    Bad Example - Figure: tracking just a few information won't help you see the big picture
    Screen Shot 2020-05-01 at 4.17.26 pm.png
    Good Example - Figure: tracking all your marketing efforts will help you see where you can improve and what you are already on the right track​​
  4. Do you know how to take great photos for your socials?

    ​Taking photos can be difficult when you don’t have a 24h available photographer. 

    So, don’t discourage your team members that don't have the right skills to keep sharing photos with your Marketing team. Instead, we asked some hot photography tips from the SSW TV team to help you out.

    Here they are:

    • ​​​​​Framing: Being eye level with the subject and using the rule of thirds, which involves mentally dividing up your framing using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, as a professional camera would do – if you are not using one. Also make sure there isn’t too much empty space and that you are not missing anyone important, if you have a big group, for example. 
    RuleOfThirds.pngFigure: Rule of thirds visualisation

     

    • ​​Composition Checklist:
        • What is in your photograph? Is it well-positioned?
        • Is the desk clean?
        • Are there things that shouldn’t be in the photograph? E.g. confidential information
        • Lighting: Get the most out of lighting, especially if you are taking indoor photos. Try to avoid taking photos behind bright windows.
        • Make sure your lenses are clean before taking photos.
    • ​​Perspective choice: If possible, use portrait mode on your camera for taking photos of developers, as there’s a better chance of making use of the whole frame and photo composition. Also depending on what you are trying to capture, choose from landscape or portrait (camera position) when taking the photo.

    • Photo Style: Regarding the photo style, it’s better to smile in photos, so try and get your models (aka employees) to naturally smile in their photos. This makes the business seem more inviting to clients, besides giving the photo a warmer tone. It’s always good to take natural photos as well, like a shot of our team working together. When possible, it’s great to show a bit of diversity, as the techie community is pretty much consisted by the male sex.
    sebprofile.png
    Figure: Bad Example – Bad framing and background
     mattgprofile.png
    Figure: Good Example – Good framing for a profile​ photo
  5. Do you follow image standard sizes on social media?

    For a better visual across all your social media accounts, ideally, you should follow the standards that each platform requests. They have variations of sizes according to the placement, for example, banner, profile icon or a post​. If you are creating an image for an advertising campaign on Facebook, they will offer you a hand full of placement options, like news feed, Facebook marketplace, video feeds, right column and many others.

    As all of them will have different specifications, so it’s best to check their support if you have any question regarding this. Hootsuite is a reliable source, for example: blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-image-sizes-guide/#​

    Twitter

    On Twitter, we have the following variations for images:

    • Image post
    • Cover photo
    • Profile image

    Instagram

    On Instagram, we can have a lot of variations if we use all their placements. See next:

    • Image post can now be a variation of a square, vertical or horizontal photo
    • Stories
    • IGTV
    • Profile image

    Facebook

    On Facebook, they have the following variations for images:

    • Image post
    • Images with Shared Links
    • Cover photo
    • Profile image
    • Facebook Stories post

    Facebook Ads

    Besides following the size of the images on Facebook Ads, you should also have limited text on images as there’s a better chance of your design or video getting approved more easily. If you need more information about Ads placement, check Facebook support​ for clarification.

    • News Feed Ads, Marketplace Ads and Messenger Ads
    • Collection Ads
    • Carousel Ads
    • In-Stream Video Ads
    • Search results
    • Stories (Instagram, Facebook and Messenger)

    jason2.png
     Figure: Good Example – Our designer David Berkes created a set of images for ads on Facebook and Instagram that were consistent with SSW’s branding guidelines and also with the SSW's Clean Architecture Superpowers​ training solution sub-branding
     
    LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is like Twitter and Facebook:
    • Business Profile image
    • Cover photo
    • Post image

    YouTube

    On YouTube​, you will find:

    • Profile image
    • Cover Photo
    • Video Thumbnail

  6. Do you know what type of content marketing you should post on your socials?

    ​Sometimes it can be hard to keep generating content daily for your social media, and even more when there’s not much going on.​​

    ​So, here are a few examples taken from our social media of what you could post on yours:

    ​Internal projects, services or products that your business developed or offers​

    teamwork.jpg
    Figure: SSW’s devs doing a scrum retro with General Manager Uly after working on SSW TimePro​

    ​​Projects that your company worked on​

    breast.jpg
    Figure: SSW's developer Kosta being recorded by SSW TV about the web app that SSW developed for Sydney University​

    Video content​

    sswtv.jpg
    ​Figure: SSW TV Tech tips recorded during NDC 2019 on YouTube​ - Watch the playlist here​

    Events that your company organised

    promoclean.jpg
    Figure: Clean Architecture Superpowers paid training promotion on SSW's socials
    sswevents.jpg
    Figure: Angular Hack Day post-event post

    External events that you and your team attended to

    ndc.jpg
    Figure: SSW’s team in our booth at NDC Sydney 2019 with Alumnus Tiago Passos

    Your team members profile

    kikisprofile.png
    Figure: In profile photos, you can show your employees in action

    Your employee's blogs posts

    blogpost.jpg
    Figure: Use the same image from the blog post for consistency

    Your business blog posts

    blogpostssw.jpg
    Figure: When you promote your own business' blog post on your social media, try to use the same design & branding

    General content wrote by your team on your website

    rules.jpg
    Figure: Even though some of your content doesn’t have a photo, you can add a relevant one from free stock photo services, like the above

    Employment opportunities

    hiringpost.jpg
    Figure: Hiring post following branding guidelines

    Teamwork, parties, etc

    teamwork2.jpg
    Figure: A team shot just before NDC with part of the SSW China office

    Relevant news for your industry

    technews.jpg
    Figure: If you don’t have a catchy photo to represent your news, try free stock photo websites like Pexels or Unsplash​

    Memes, if they suit your industry

    ​To see best practices for sharing memes on your socials, check out our Rule: ​Do you know why you should use memes as part of your business social media content?

    meme.png
    Figure: A meme once a week on weekends can help you boost your social media engagement

  7. Do you keep your content consistent across your different social media platforms?

    ​Being consistent on your content across the different platforms you use is key to have a consistent online brand presence. It will help you grow audience engagement across the social media platforms you use for your business by following your branding guidelines, the personality you defined for your company, basically.

    ​​​The content of your social media posts should be consistent across your different accounts, which means having the same caption (text), URLs, videos, images, and hashtags on each one. If your post exceeds the character limit of a site such as Twitter, you can write a separate, shorter version of the post to use instead.

    Be aware that if you decide to update or edit the content later, you might not be allowed to do so. No social media platform allows you to change the original image or video after it's published, and some sites have additional editing limitations. For example, on Twitter you cannot update anything, you would have to delete the tweet and start again. On LinkedIn, you cannot edit a video thumbnail (whereas you can on Facebook).

    Across all platforms, you will find that they have some limitations and recommendations regarding character limits. See them on this blog post from HootSuite.

    ​Also, Sprout Social has an interesting social media character counter that you can test your content before putting your post out.

    Some tips:

    • Hashtags are really popular on Instagram and Twitter, but not as much on LinkedIn or Facebook.
    • Note: that this does not apply to Social Media Ads. If you run campaigns with repetitive ad copy, you will fail in every single campaign. To be able to prove that you have a good ad copywriting on a certain campaign, you will need a variety of text to see which ad is performing better and driving more conversions.
    • LinkedIn is a professional platform, so it is good sense to avoid using emojis or sharing memes where possible. For more information on this topic, check out our Rule Do you know why you should use memes as part of your business social media content?​


  8. Do you re-purpose your pillar content for social media?

    ​You spend a lot of time and money creating great video content, so you need to make sure that you get the most out of your time and money.

    Content creation wizard Gary V (Vaynerchuk) has shared a great model for this on his blog called the 'reverse pyramid' where you start with a video, that you are able to repurpose into dozens of smaller pieces of content, contextual to the platforms that you distribute them to. 

    This could take many different forms — for example, if you’re not comfortable on video, you could record a podcast. You might even film yourself recording the podcast so you could have a video out of it as well. And from that video or audio clip, you can create content for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. 

    You can find an explanation of the Gary V Content Model at:

    ​STEP 1: CREATE PILLAR CONTENT

    This is the content that will be used to create all other types of content. They include:

    • Interview
    • Q&A
    • Presentation
    • Educational Video
    • Daily Vlog
    • Demo
     
    Video: ​A pillar video shot at NDC Sydney and published on SSW TV, you can cut this video into smaller sections and promote it through social media

    STEP 2: CREATE REPURPOSED CONTENT

    The pillar content will be used to create repurposed content to be distributed across the internet. They include:

    • Blog Post - transcribe using Trint.com and then rewrite as a blog post
    • Podcast Episode - Export audio for podcast
    • Follow the process to convert the video into a blog post

    STEP 3: CREATE MICRO-CONTENT

    Micro-​content is smaller pieces of content created from the pillar content. Each piece of content will be created with the purpose of sending the consumer back to the pillar piece of content.

    Each type of micro-content should be created specifically for the platform you are sharing it on.

    These are the types of content:

       1. ​Create 2-3 shorter videos that contain the best sections of the pillar content:   

           - create a version of the video for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, and Instagram Story

           - use Trint.com to transcribe the video and create subtitle files 

    ​​       - write the copy for the update

     

    Video: An example of a smaller video you can be used to drive traffic to your YouTube Channel

      2. Create a Quotable Card with a great background image:

           - create a version of the video for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

           - write the copy for the updateASPNETCORE30_ENDPOINT_AUTHORIZATION_WITCHCRAFT.png
    Figure: Go​od example, create​​ a version of the video for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram

       3. Create a Giphy with one of the main points and a moving background video from the pillar content
           - write the copy for the update​
    ​​​​ 4. Create a blog post from the audio

          - use Trint.com.to transcribe the video file and re-write the transcript as a blog post

          - Post the blog post to Medium.com, LinkedIn Articles, and your blog​​​​

    STEP 4: DISTRIBUTE CONTENT

    At 12:00pm you should post your pillar content on all platforms. At 12:01 pm you should post all your micro-content.

    Remember the micro-content should promote your pillar content.

    You should also publish the blog post. You will republish the blog post on other websites in 2 weeks in Step 6

    STEP 5: MONITOR COMMENTS AND REPLY TO ALL

    You must reply to all comments and use these comments to find out what content should be created next.

    STEP 6: EMAIL THE BEST VIDEO TO LIST

    At the end of the week, you will email the best video out to your list with a listing of the other videos.

    STEP 7: PUBLISH BLOG POST

    You need to wait 2 weeks before republishing the blog post to other platforms so Google knows that your website is the source of the blog post.


    The sites you will republish to are:

    • Medium - Using the WordPress​ publishing tool
    • LinkedIn Articles
    • Quora​

  9. Do you know that posts with images are more engaging?

    Posting regularly on social media is important to continue to build your brand and engage with your customer base.​

    ​The best social media posts always include an image or a video, as this is more engaging for your users and helps your followers to associate with your brand more easily. ​You should try and vary these images depending on the text of the post, for example, a post about an event would be complemented by a promotional image for the event or shots from previously held events.

    Social Media Strategist Jeff Bullas reports that Facebook posts with photos receive an average 37% increase in engagement, and Buzzsumo found that posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without.

    Be aware that just sharing random or any images will not set your social media apart from your competitors. You have to think of several aspects of the photo/video, such as:

    Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 3.42.25 pm.png
    ​​Bad Example: Social media post without an image​​​​ - Less engagement
    Screen Shot 2020-04-23 at 3.45.49 pm.png
    ​​Good Example: Social ​media post with a video - Better engagement


  10. Do you use and encourage others to use hashtags?

    Hashtags identify the keyword or topic of interest that the post is about. They allow searching for similar posts on the topic. They were popularized on twitter and now work on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+. On twitter, it is possible to "track" (aka Subscribe to) a tag. 

    The best tweets will use a combination of @mentions and #hashtags where appropriate to properly leverage the platform – that way readers can check out the people involved OR join the conversation about a topic. See our rule Do you know when to use a hashtag vs. a @mention?​ to see how to best leverage them in combination. ​

    Tips for companies

    Tip #1: Encourage people to use the correct hashtag by adding the hashtag to your sidebar or footer.

    hashtag-stream.jpg
    Figure: On www.ssw.com.au/ssw/netug you can see the sidebar shows a feed with the hashtag used

    Tip #2: When creating your own hashtag to promote a service, product or event, check if it isn't already in use for anything else.

    Tips for everyone

    Tip #3: Don't use too many hashtags – 2 or 3 maximum per post, or you may appear to be "spammy" and turn people off.

    Tip #4: Keep your hashtags on topic – again, you might seem "spammy" if you use hashtags that are unrelated to your post.​

    Tip #5: For more readability, capitalise the first letter of each word, for example, #SocialMedia.

    Examples of hashtags we use

    • ​​#SSW - For our company-related posts
    • #SSWRules - For our public standards
    • #SSWTV - For our video channel
    • #SSWTraining - For our training programs
    • #AngularHackDay - For one of our "Hack Day" training events
  11. Do you know the text limit for images?

    When advertising on Facebook means you will have to adhere to the guidelines Facebook has created: https://www.facebook.com/policies/ads/. One of the most important guidelines to follow is the 20% text rule on all ad images. You can also follow this for your organic content, as this will make your feed look cleaner - save the text for the post.

    In Facebook Ads, this requires that there is no more than 20% text on any image used in your campaign. This limit includes logos and slogans. Failure to meet this guideline will result in your ads not being approved by Facebook and will require you to adjust the text amount on your image before they can be run.

    Facebook has created a grid that can be used to test if your image meets this limit: https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay

  12. Do you know to make short URL’s readable where you can?

    Readability of URLs is important, so you should consider making a short URL. However, it is not just making the length as short as possible - it should be friendly.​ 

    If you use a shortened link people can't see what they are clicking through to. In fact, this is what most spammers rely on:

    http://twb.ly/1uJtUG

    Figure: Bad example - You don't know where this is going

    When you can, take the more readable option:

    http://twibbon.com/join/Scotland

    Figure: Better example - this link is sent in the clear as it is short enough

    So you should only 'Auto Shorten URLs' when it is too long and you need the space.

    However, it is becoming more prevalent for the software to support showing the full URL on rollover.

    image
    Figure: Good example – the application does the heavy lifting for you
  13. Do you share every blog post?

    You should always publish your blog posts to all social media platforms you use​. It helps boost traffic and visibility for your site. ​​

    Don't simply share the URL and maybe the title, as it won't make people get interested in taking an action. On social media, nowadays, you have an average of 5 seconds to get someone's attention on the feed – sometimes even less than that. So, you should put the effort in carefully choosing a catchy image to make your blog post interesting visually on someone's feed and adapting the content to different social networks. For example, if you use Twitter, you will have fewer characters. A good starting point is to choose a statement or a statistic from your blog post to share on the social media post and give the user a snippet about the content they are about to read. 

    The combination of a good image and an explanatory caption providing enough (and interesting) information from your content will make the user want to visit your blog to find out more about what you have to share.

  14. Do you use a conversion code in your lead generation campaigns?

    A conversion pixel will help you understand if your ads are generating leads.

    A conversion is an action you want the user to make while visiting your website. 

    This could be filling in a form, watching a video, or indeed making a purchase. To track if users are doing the action you want them to do, you should use a conversion code. This is a code (unique for every campaign you will do) that will check if every single user has performed the action directly on your website or via another one.

    You may have heard about a tracking pixel too. ClickMeter explains the difference well:

    • The Tracking Pixel (not to be confused with Conversion Pixel) is an image of one pixel that you place on a webpage or in an email and let you track how many times the webpage has been viewed or the email opened. Check this SocialMediaExaminer blog post to find out how to install it with Google Tag Manager. If you need more help setting this up, check hotmart's blog for furthers instructions, including Facebook pixel.
    • The Conversion code is a piece (snippet) of code you place in the thank you page to track conversions. The Conversion Code can ALSO be a Conversion Pixel.
  15. Do you use Buffer to post on social media?

    ​Buffer is a great tool for managing multiple social media accounts across a range of sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
    It allows you to choose which accounts to post to, can post to multiple social media accounts at once, and even lets you write and schedule your posts to be released over the course of a day or even over the next few weeks, so you don't need to be at your computer while maintaining an online presence. It also offers URL shortening and provides analytics so you can track the success of your posts across multiple sites.

    You can either visit the Buffer web app in your browser  or install a tool that sits next to the address bar of your browser.

    Figure: to use the Buffer app from your browser, simply click the symbol
    Figure: You can select as many Social Media accounts as required and post to each platform at once using Buffer. You can also use the "Customize for each network" button to modify the content for each platform before you post it

    The content of your posts should be consistent across accounts. When making a post that exceeds the character limit of a site such as Twitter, you should write a separate, shorter version of the post to send to that site only. You can also use the "Customize for each network" button on Buffer to modify the content to better suit the platform for each post. This means that you could write the content for a Tweet and then modify it to remove things like #Hashtags to post it to LinkedIn where they don't make sense.

    Tweet example.jpg
    ​​​Figure: Bad example - only Tweeting using Twitter alone and not using a scheduler to post across the different media platforms at once. This is time consuming!​
    Buffer2.jpg
    ​Figure: Good example - posting using Buffer to modify your content between platforms - much faster than posting individually to each platform every time 


    #Hashtags: #Hashtags are used across social sites such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for similar posts on the topic.

    Establish a short #Hashtag that can be easily associated with your brand, company, or campaign and ensure this #Hashtag is used consistently across social networks, along with any other keywords relevant to the content of your post.

    Note: LinkedIn does not support #Hashtags. If you use them in a post, they will show up on LinkedIn pages as plain text.

    For more on SSW #Hashtags, check out Do you know how to use Hashtags?


    Custom URL shortening: Buffer uses bi​t.ly to shorten URLs. You can create custom URLs at no cost by joining bit.ly and going into Settings | Advanced. This will allow even your shortened URL to carry your unique brand without the look of a long, untidy URL.

    For more on bit.ly and URL shortening, check out Rules to Better bit.ly

    TIP: Buffer does not tag people on Facebook. You will need to manually go onto the Facebook page you posted through and edit the post to tag the people you wanted. 
  16. Do your presentations promote online discussion?

    Getting attendees at a course or presentation involved has many benefits:

    • They can share ideas with the presenter and each other
    • They can provide feedback for improvement of the material
    • They can share key points that they learn

    The easiest way to get attendees involved is to promote a social media​ hashtag at the beginning of every presentation or course.

    Figure: Bad Example – Presentation title slide does not promote attendee involvement
    Figure: Good Example – Promoting a Twitter backchannel promotes online discussion and feedback
  17. Do you share when you upgrade an application?

    ​When you do a major (or minor) upgrade to an application, you should let people know and identify the reason for the upgrade.

    Whether your upgrade is to take advantage of a new feature, to fix a bug, or even just to keep yourself on the latest and greatest version, your followers might want to know why you upgraded. You should put a short announcement on Twitter, Facebook, and/or LinkedIn. Your followers may not know about the changes and the ones who are grateful are likely to retweet or like your post. ​

    octopus_upgrade.png
    Figure: Good Example - announcing the upgrade with a short note of the new feature​
  18. Do you know how to weed out spammers?

    ​​​Maintaining a public profile on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn is a free and easy way to connect with users and keep them updated your products, services or events. The downside to this is that not all who want to connect with you and your groups are real people – some are spammers or bots who will clog up your group, forum or event listing with unwanted advertisements or even links to sites that contain malicious code.

    ​Before approving a membership request, consider:
    • How old is the account?
    • Is the account profile properly filled out? 
    • Do the name and picture match the listed gender? 
    • Does the profile picture look “real” (as opposed to a picture of a model that the spammer has stolen from elsewhere)?
    • Does the account show real status updates or are they gibberish?
    • Are they a member of many incongruous groups that don’t fit with their location? 
    Note: These are only guidelines, not a hard and fast rule. Use your initiative when approving membership requests. 

    For groups on Facebook, there is now a tool that allows admin to ask up to 3 preset questions of all users wishing to join. This can be helpful in establishing in separating spammers from legitimate users.
    ​​
    Figure: Asking a screening question is a good way to separate real people with a genuine interest from those who just want to spam the group
    Example of a suspicious profile
    Figure: an example of a suspicious profile

    Some sites will allow you moderate comments so that only approved posts are displayed. If you're experiencing ongoing problems with spammers, this might be a good option to use as it keeps your site friendly and professional and gives you the final word on what content is shared with your members or followers. 

  19. Branding - Do you know when to use an overlay on images?

    ​​​​​​​​Sometimes the photo you want to share is not ideal to include texts and/or your logo. Adding overlays on these images creates a professional look to any photo, helps to hide messy desks or floors if needed, and it gives it a consistent contrast and feel to the post. 

    It’s a good way of adding text to a photo as well following your branding guidelines at the same time.

    ​See some bad and good examples from SSW's social media below:

    badexampleandreas.png
    Figure: Bad Example – An overlay could have made this post look nicer
     goode5videos.png
     Figure: Good Example – Overlay on a social media post used to have some text on it
     goodeteamphoto.png
     Figure: Good Example – Overlay on a social media post to fill in the 4 square gaps that a wide photo can have


  20. Facebook - Do you create a call to action on your Facebook page?

    Facebook has a call-to-action feature that helps Pages drive business objectives. These call-to-action buttons link to any destination on or off Facebook that aligns with a business’s goals.

    Page admins can select from a group of call-to-action buttons:

    • Book Now
    • Contact Us
    • Use App
    • Play Game
    • Shop Now
    • Sign Up
    • Watch Video

    ​​For services or apps, you should use the "Watch Video" one. Video is flooding the online marketplace and is quickly becoming a marketing standard to convey your message.​ ​If you don't have a video yet, visit SSW's Video Services pages to make a creative and engaging ​video for your company.

    watch-video-facebook.png
    Figure: Good Example - Take the Facebook visitor to watch your video​
  21. Promotion - Do you help people to know about your events?

    How are you going to have a successful event if no one shows up? ​​

    You will have to promote your event in a way that makes sense to your topic and approach. The most cost-effective way is to use a large variety of online services that are available.

    Meetup​​

    This is the best way to increase the discoverability of your event. Meetup provides the following:

    • Allows people to search and discover​ events
    • Allows people to join your group to get updates
    • You can easily list your upcoming events and have people join them
    • Comes with an automatic mailing list so you can send out announcements

    Word of Mouth​​

    Don't underestimate the power of one friend or colleague telling another. DDD Melbourne sold out in 10 hours with almost no promotion except for Twitter and Word of Mouth. If you are creating a recurring event, Word of Mouth becomes extremely important as past experiences flow through the grapevine.

    Social Media​

    In some circumstances, it is worth setting up one or more accounts on social media for promoting and corresponding as the event identity. In technical circles, it is especially popular to use Twitter as a way to create awareness about events. SSW uses a combination of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to promote our events, that way we have a much larger and diverse audience to draw from.​​

    Tip: Get your staff to Tweet at events and to Re-Tweet your events to help reach a larger audience! ​​


  22. Facebook Ads - Do you know how to advertise?

    ​There are a number of resources available which explain how to use and utilise Facebook advertising and make it work for your business. ​

    ​The best resource is ‘The Facebook Advertising System’ available from LeadPages: https://lptraining.leadpages.net/facebookadvertising

    This free course comprises of videos, mp3s and handouts which build a comprehensive view of how to get Facebook Ads up-and-running and performing for you ​​

  23. Facebook Ads - Do you know what metrics you should have?

    ​​Facebook ads have a limited run. Often, ads will work for a certain period and then become ineffective. It is important to monitor ads regularly to see if they are still performing. 

    Underperforming ads should be paused and tweaked before resuming use. The smaller the potential audience the quicker the ad will become less effective. Testing can be carried out on the copy, image, demographics and interest groups – altering these variables will give you a range of different results.

    Reporting is vital to determining the success of any campaign, as it allows us to clearly see and compare each campaign and decide which should be altered as they are ineffective and which are performing well.

    Facebook allows you to customize your reports, allowing you to measure the success of your campaign based on your goal. If your goal was post engagement you may want to customize your report to show Post Shares, Post Comments Post Engagement, Post Likes, Frequency, Cost Per Post Share, cost per Comment, Cost per Engagement and Cost Per Like. All of these factors are important to be looked at to provide a full overview of the campaign.

    Engagement Report.png
    Figure: Post Engagement Report

    Other goals for Facebook Ads may be Page Likes, Conversions, and Website Clicks. An overview provides you with a basic report of your campaign, featuring; Results, Amount Spent, Frequency, Page Likes, Website Clicks, Post Shares, Post Comments, Post Engagement, and Post Likes.

    Overview report.png
    Figure: Overview Report
  24. LinkedIn - Do you have links to your main services on your profile?

    ​​LinkedIn is the main business and employment-oriented social networking service available. It's important to keep it up-to-date and link it to your company's services.

    linkedin-links.jpg
    Figure: Use the "Link" button in your profile "edit mode" to include the URLs for the main services your provide
    linkedin-url-bad.jpg
    Figure: Bad example - Profile with no links
    linkedin-url-good.jpg
    Figure: Good example - Profile with links to main services provided
  25. Twitter - Do you know how to verify your account?

    Twitter lets anyone request a verified account (the blue tick goes public). Twitter says that an account will be verified if it is deemed of being of public interest.

    As outlined on the Twitter website:

    Request to verify an account

    The blue verified badge on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. 

    We approve account types maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas. If you believe your account is of public interest and should be verified, this article outlines information about submitting a request.

    Submitting a request

    To be able to complete the form, your account must have the following:
    • A verified phone number
    • A confirmed email address
    • A bio
    • A profile photo
    • A header photo
    • A birthday (for accounts that are not company, brand, or organization accounts)
    • A website
    • Tweets set as public in Tweet privacy settings
    • Profile and account recommendations
    Some common characteristics of verified accounts include:

    • If the account belongs to a person, the name reflects the real or stage name of the person.
    • If the account is a corporation or company account, the name reflects the real name of the corporation or company.
    • The profile and/or header photo reflects the person, the corporation’s branding, or the company’s branding.
    • If the account is a corporate or company account, the email address associated with the account is a corporate or company email address.
    In order to verify your account, fill out this form .


  26. Twitter - Do you know to tweet relevant stuff only?

    Your tweets should be interesting to your target audience. People aren't going to follow you for long if you make off topic and low value tweets.
    Bad Example - "Having lunch" is not an interesting tweet

    Some good examples of things to tweet about:

    • 1 day before an event, tweet about the event and what you are talking about
    • On the day of the event, check-in on foursquare when you arrive (gives people a nice map)
    • When something good happens to you, eg. you beat your boss in an arm wrestle 
    • Tweet before and after installing new software or after an upgrade eg:
      • Installing #SharePoint for the first time
      • #SharePoint install done - found a great guide to follow here: www.example.com​
    Good Example - An informative tweet with hashtags which appeals to a targeted audience of IT followers
  27. Twitter - Do you know that every comment gets a tweet?

    ​​​If someone's blog post is interesting or inflammatory enough that you want to comment on it, then it is probably worth a tweet.

    @​​MrHinsh I missed this...John Liu, making sense, something to see https://bit.ly/9wzSVT​ 
    less than 20 seconds ago​ via bit.ly

    Figure: When you comment, tweet the other person's blog. It's only polite​
  28. Twitter - Do you change your display name when travelling?

    When at a conference change it to the conference's hashtag:
    Eg. Todd Gardner at #NdcOslo

    When traveling change it to the area you are in:
    Eg. Todd Gardner in Norway 🇳🇴 

    ​This tip also works well on all social media platforms. Eg. Facebook, Instagram etc.​

    twitter-name.png
    Figure: Changing name when traveling​
  29. Twitter - Do you know when to use a hashtag vs. a @mention?

    ​#Hashtags are used when talking about something – a topic or keyword. Using a hashtag creates a link that leads to a page displaying an aggregated list of posts about that thing. 

    On the other hand, @Mentions are used when talking to or about someone (the user account of a person, brand, group, etc.). The link created by a mention goes to that user account. The user is notified when they have received a mention in a post so that they can respond.​

    The best tweets will use a combination of @mentions and #hashtags where appropriate to properly leverage the platform – that way readers can check out the people involved OR join the conversation about a topic.

    hashtag-stream.jpg
    Figure: Figure: This tweet utilises @mentions, #hashtags, and an external link, which will create higher engagement and let the reader further explore the topic

    Small companies:
    If the brand is not big you don't need it diluted. So find the profile and use the @ not the #
    E.g. @firebootcamp is preferred over #firebootcamp 

    Large companies:
    If the brand is big, you will see a difference between the @ and the #. So if you want to tweet about a subject that is also a username – such as #VisualStudio / @VisualStudio - then the content of your tweet will decide whether to use a hashtag or a @mention: 
    • If you are talking to someone directly, or mention a specific user in your tweet, you should use the @mention.
      E.g. Thanks to @visualstudio for the map to Bill Gates’s house – I’m looting his safe right now!
    • If it is about the topic, then the hashtag is the way to go.
      E.g. Microsoft releases #VisualStudio 2013 Update 2
  30. Twitter - Do you know the best practices for your Twitter ads?

  31. Twitter - Do you know to thank others for each reference to you?

    ​When others mention you on their blog or podcast and if they re-tweet you then you should always thank them:

    @briankel said something nice about me in his 100th This Week On Channel 9 episode https://bit.ly/cPD0vg :) Thanks Brian...
    7:30 AM Mar 8th
    via bit.ly

    Figure: Good example, always thanking someone is not just good practice and polite, you both get Google juice as well

    Remember to say something constructive and not just "thanks".​​​

  32. Twitter - Do you tweet rules that you follow?

    ​​​​​If you follow a rule, then tweet it.​ Use #ssw and #sswrules

    ​Figure: Good Example - Tweeting about a rule you use using the right hashtags​
    You have just tweeted your first rule…
  33. Do you avoid dates text in graphics for events' promo videos?

    To maximize reusability and minimize costs, it’s best to avoid including dates as text in graphics for promotional videos.​​

    events-dates-bad.png
    Figure: Bad example - dates shown as text in graphics (creates extra work to change every time)
    events-dates-good.png
    Figure: Good example - no dates shown as text in graphics (can be re-used without editing)

    If there is some particular value/purpose in including dates there may be exceptions to this rule.

  34. Do you manage your photos?

    Using Google Photos - The awesome way to find any image.​

    Please watch the video to know more:​

     



    Read more about Do you manage your photos?
  35. Do you purchase online as your 1st option, think of your experience, and have a voice?

    ​​We want a world of great user interfaces so when purchasing online cast a critical eye (or complimentary eye) over your experience. If you see something painful (or cool), then take a screenshot and tweet and share your experience.​

    More info on Customer Experience on Adam's blog: From UX to CX – Improving the Customer Experience.  

    ​Figure: Positive shopping tweet


    ​Figure: Negative shopping tweet

  36. Do you know how to use Social Media effectively in China?

    ​The biggest mistake most western companies make when embarking on a business journey in China, is assuming that their current​ Social Media strategies will work over there.

    China is different. There are different rules, platforms and of course, they have a government controlled firewall that blocks many western platforms your are familiar with, like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. *Uh oh*. That's right - none of the platforms you currently use everyday now work in China, you need a new plan.​​​​

    ​China has a huge amount of social media users, there are over 911 million active users - which is huge! In comparison, the U.S.A only have 207 million users, a small fraction compared to China. It is a huge opportunity for market growth, particularly for app owners who would like to expand their product to millions of users.

    DigitalInChina-1024x576.png

    Figure: According to Social Media experts Hootsuite, there are 911 million active social media users (yellow), 65% of the overall population (red).

    There is one big problem - the digital market in China also has hundreds of social media platform options. With no big platforms like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to focus on, so who do you target? The biggest platforms in China are WeChat (instant messaging and social media), Baidu (similar to Google search engine), Weibo (like Facebook and Twitter combined), Youku (similar to YouTube)… ​but there are others that are now trending.
     
    However while we often try to draw comparisons with these platforms with their western counterparts​​, be aware that even though these Chinese platforms may take the basic concepts and functions from the West, they are equipped with much more diverse features.​
     
    Do you know the best platforms to use in China? Here is a list of our top 5.

    1. WeChat (The Chinese Super ​App)


    WeChat started as an instant messaging app similar to WhatsApp but has morphed into a ‘super app’ that now allows you to do just about anything! Users can perform a wide variety of activities such as making transactions, ordering food, booking movie tickets, calling a taxi, even playing games. It now has more than 1 billion active users. ​

    We chat.pngFigure: Taken from Statistica.com - the Graph shows how much WeChat is growing every year. WeChat is now one of the most popular, well rounded apps available in China, growing in popularity every year.


    Why you should consider using it:

    • 68M videos are uploaded every day 
    • WeChat users send averagely 38 billion messages daily
    • On average, users spend more than 66 minutes on WeChat daily.
    •  60% of WeChat users open the app more than 10 times a day. 
    • By the end of 2019, the number of WeChat’s Official Accounts surpassed 20M.
    • Flexible media – you can upload pictures, text, short videos, articles etc.​​​

    ​There are 4 types of Official  WeChat Accounts; “Subscription Accounts”, “Service Accounts", “Enterprise Accounts" and the “Mini Program”. Each of them has unique functions and uses, which are outlined in more detail in our Rule: https://rules.ssw.com.au/how-to-create-wechat-official-account​

    WeChat-MiniProgram.pngFigure: SSW's SugarLearning WeChat Mini Program Log-in page & Mini Program

    ​​2. Weibo (The Facebook of China)​​

    Weibo is an social media platform where people go not only post, share and interact with each other, but also follow trends and see the news. This is the place for content to go viral and for Chinese Influences, known as KOLs, to build their online communities. Like Facebook Live, It has its own live stream platform which is often used for product promotion. Conveniently it also has E-commerce integration which mean that people can link their accounts to Alipay and purchase products with one click.


    Why you should consider using it:

    • Number of Weibo active users: 465M (2019)
    • Number of daily users: 203M (2019)
    • 50% increase in livestream sessions
    • Q&A postings increased by 400% in 2018 compared to 2017
    • 82 per cent of Weibo users shop online ​

    3. Youku (The YouTube of China)

    Often referred to as the YouTube of China, Youku is a video hosting service that is great for long-form videos. While there are popular short-form video platforms, like Tik Tok, Youku has remained the popular source of videos for people who want to gain greater knowledge in a subject, or to watch the news.


    Why you should consider using it:

    • 580M active users, who on average visit it daily 39 times. 
    • Over 1 billion video views per day
    • On average people stay for around 4 minutes per video 
    • It will help you reach a wider audience and build a reputation as a source of knowledge
    • It’s great for brand awareness via video content
    • It can be used to drive traffic to your website and increase sales

    Youku.pngFigure: Youku would have a very familiar feel for our Western audience as seen from this video feed.


    4. Baidu (The Google Search of China)​​

    93% of online experiences in the Western world begin with a Google Search. In China it is search engine Baidu that dominates with 90% of online search starting there. That’s *​billions* of searches per month!

    Why you should use it:

    • It’s cheaper than Google! Strangely it is on average 25-50% cheaper for the same keywords on Google*.
    • It has 665 million active monthly users
    • Reaches 1 billion mobile devises
    • The Baidu app has 200 million daily users
    • Rapidly growing with new users every day

    *T​​​​he Cost per click is lower but be warned - Baidu does have some strict payment terms, requiring an initial deposit of at least RMB 20,000 (USD $2,952) if you are a foreign company. But the overall cost of your campaign should be comparatively lower.)

    Baidu.png

    Figure: A search for 'SSW' using Baidu, we are organically No 1 on this page.​

    5. Bilibili (Up & coming alternate to Youku)​

    We all know that the best marketers are using video to sell their products and directly engage their audience online. Brands should not overlook the usefulness of branded online video for their audience. Similar to how YouTube experiences huge popularity in the West, China’s video platforms such as Youku and iQiyi are successful with the local Chinese audience. But one live streaming platform that is often overlooked is the video-sharing platform Bilibili.


    What started as a China's largest Anime streaming platform, it has grown to be one of the most popular video sharing platforms for China’s Millennials and Generation Z with over 100 million monthly active users, where users can view, submit, and add commentary to videos.

    ​Bilibili also recently launched a premium membership enabling access to special shows, e-commerce deals, and HQ video streaming. If you want to increase your long-term success in China, it is important to penetrate Gen-Z consumers who have an expanding purchasing power. Bilibili, uses mini programs (multi-page application containing a complete application feature​), livestreaming, and e-commerce to benefit brands looking to market to younger consumers. 

    bilibili_user-growth.pngFigure: Bilibili is continuously growing it's audience becoming a great place to host videos and advertise.

    According to Bilibili's annual report to investors, their top 5 most watched video categories are:​
    1. Entertainment
    2. Lifestyle
    3. Gaming
    4. Anime
    5. Technology
     
    Technology videos are now in the top 5 most watched category on Bilbili, and SSW China have discovered that Bilibili is a great platform to live stream and record our Fire User Group, with over 300 viewers joining us online to share our technology talks.

      Why you should use it:​​
    • Young, active audience with a keen interest in technology
    • Over 130 million active users
    • 101 million monthly users
    • Continuous viewer growth
    • Video streaming & mini programs for e-commerce 
    FireUg-Bilbili.pngFigure: A recent recording from FireUG, “Intermediaries design patterns and MediatR” by Victor Yu, SSW China: https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1tK411P7He?p=2 ​


  37. Do you post multilingual posts on Social Media?

    ​​​​If you have an office in more than one country, a great way to show your diversity and connect with your different audiences is through posting multilingual social media​.​​ 

    Building and maintaining a multilingual social media presence is not an easy undertaking, but ​when done properly it is well worth the time and effort. It allows you to truly connect with your audience regardless of which language they speak. International customers will appreciate the fact that your brand has taken time to communicate with them in their native tongue, it will also help establish their trust in your ability to understand them, and shows that you don't have to rely on dodgy automatic translations that often go wrong. ​
     

    ​For example, at SSW, we have an awesome office in Hangzhou, China, that offers a Chinafy Consulting Service to help Western companies adapt to the Chinese business environment. It is important for us to show that we understand our customers, and their target audience​ - our social media reflects our ability to do this.

    ​​​​​Goo​​d example: SSW China post their social media in both English and Chinese ​中文, because it helps establish trust with our audience that we understand them, helps us target a wider audience, and proves that we can help bridge the language barrier. ​


  38. How to create a WeChat Official Account

    ​​Want to register a WeChat Office Account for your company? ​​Check the following 7 steps:

    ​WeChat is an all-in-one messaging app developed by Tencent, which also provides games, online shopping, and financial services. Users can get almost everything they need from there within the app, leading to its classification as a “Super-App.” Due to these reasons, it’s risen to become the most popular social media in China.
    There are different types of accounts on WeChat. Personal accounts are used by individuals, while businesses can create WeChat official accounts to stay in contact with their customers and post promotional information.
     

    ​Before registering a WeChat Official Account for business in China, make sure you have​​:
      (1) A local company with a Chinese business license or a WFOE (Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise)
      ​(2) A Chinese ID card with WeChat payment account​​​​​​

     
    Here're the simple steps to create a WeChat Official Account.


    1. Go to WeChat Official Accounts Page, click 'Register Now' on the top right corner.


    ​​​​​Figure: WeChat Official Accounts register page
     
     2. Select an account type to continue.


     Figure: Choose which type of account you want to register

    ​​​​
    There're 3 different types of WeChat Official Accounts -- Subscription Accounts, Service Accounts and, Enterprise Accounts. WeChat Mini-Programs are essentially apps that live within the WeChat ecosystem, are different from the other accounts. 

    Subscription Accounts (订阅号)

    WeChat subscription accounts focus on information and brand communication. They are used much like a daily news feed. They can publish once a day to subscribers and publish1-6 articles each time. All updates are sent to the users’ subscription folder with no push notifications.
    Subscription accounts are the only type of WeChat Official Account that is open to individuals, such as bloggers and celebrities, as the others require a company business license. This type of WeChat Official Account is most suited to individuals and brands that are content-based or information-oriented, such as media publications.

    Service Accounts (服务号)

    Service Accounts can publish up to 4 times per month, with 1-6 articles each time. When the posts are published, the updates appear as push notifications in followers’ chat lists. Compared to subscription accounts, the posting frequency of service accounts is lower, but the visibility is higher due to push notifications.
    Verified service accounts can also register for WeChat Pay and set up a WeChat Store.

    Enterprise Accounts (企业号)

    While subscription accounts and service accounts target external markets, WeChat enterprise accounts are primarily for internal communication and management. This makes this type of WeChat official account similar to Slack and Workplace by Facebook.
     ​
    3. Choose Subscription Account as an example (the register steps for other options are similar)


    Figure: Fill in with required information – each email address can be registered for only one WeChat product which means if you use an email to register WeChat Subscription Account, you can’t use it for WeChat Service Account or WeChat Mini Program registration
     
    4. Choose where your business is registered


    Figure: So far WeChat only accept China mainland, so click “Confirm” to continue.
     
    5. Select your account type


    Figure: Choose “Subscription Account” as we planned
     
    6. Fill in the registration info


    Figure: As a company, we choose “Corporation” to continue



    Figure: The admin person of this account should be a Chinese because the verification will need his/her personal ID and WeChat payment account


    Figure:System will remind you that all the information you submitted cannot be changed afterwards
     
    7. Pay the verification fee of CNY¥300 (Approx. to AUD $60) to the specified account, waiting for 5-7 working days, and your WeChat Account is available.
    Login by your email and password on WeChat Official Accounts Page​, you will go to your Office Account operation interface and start to use it.

    Figure: a WeChat Office Account operation interface