So, you want to “go social”? While starting a blog and posting your thoughts, opening a Twitter account and tweeting or opening a Facebook account and “facebooking” is a great first step, depending on what your end goal is, you may want to follow a few basic steps, i.e. best practice. After all, at the end of the day, going social is all about being social, generating a buzz and networking with others (i.e. follow or be followed, become friends with /of , etc.).
In my prior posts I discussed topics such as the application of social media in the hospitality industry, pros and cons of “going social” and the impact of mobile social apps on the hospitality industry. In this post, I will provide you, my readers, with what I feel are some best practice steps for both blogging and tweeting. Note that these recommendations are applicable to both the hospitality industry as well as others, and are somewhat applicable (in theory) to other social media tools.
While there are underlying similarities between blogging and tweeting (main idea is to share your thoughts with your public), there are some differences. So, first off, let’s start with best practice recommendations for blogging. So, let’s start off with an infographic, which provides a great summary of the key blogging best practice recommendations:
(Note that the source of the above infographic also provides additional infographics worth reading through.)
Here are some of the key best practice recommendations:
- Post about something you love and know about – Find something you are passionate about. If you write about something you love, it will usually come through. People read blogs or follow others in areas of interest. When the blogger talks to the heart of his/her readers it makes the posts all the more enticing, and believable, something social media is all about.
- Be consistent – Pick a regular time and day of the week or month that work best and post on a regular schedule. This is something that readers appreciate. Similar to products and services, consistency is always appreciated by your customers, i.e. your readers.
- Be visual – Readers appreciate visual additions to posts. While the text in your post may be the meat of your post, consider the visual additions the gravy. It is what takes your “dish” over the top.
- Include links – including links helps your readers find additional useful data they may be interested in finding after reading your post. It is also important to provide a link to either 1) your own website (if you have one) and/or 2) to any other social media tools you tend to use.
- Be sure to promote your post – It is always important to promote your blog / posts, be it organic growth or paid growth. As discussed under including links, promote your blog / posts on other social media tools. Email your contact / follower list. And, if needed, use paid options to promote your blog.
- Use Key Words – Using key word in your blog will help make your blog more visible to the world via search engines. After all, the goal of your blog is to spread your thoughts on a certain topic with readers that are interested in the same topic(s) as you.
- Engage with your readers – This is the basis of being social, engaging with your readers and followers. By doing so, your readers may end up promoting you on their own blog or other social media channels. They may see that you are worth talking with directly or working with which in turn can lead to new business ventures.
- Make it beneficial to your readers – Readers usually read social media in order to obtain something, be it material, emotional, spiritual or educational. The goal is to provide your readers with something that will benefit them. After all, this is why they are reading your blog in the first place.
I would also recommend watching the following video which provides some good tips associated with blogging:
And now on to Twitter. When it comes to Twitter, the recommendations I made above still hold true. That said, the so called meat of your post is now limited to 140 characters.
- Think before you tweet – the limitation on the size of what you can say in a single tweet, while limiting, makes what you tweet even more important. It may make sense to tweet something less than 140 characters, say 120, to leave room for people to retweet you.
- The use of hastags, use it wisely – Use the hastags used most widely in your industry if you want it to be found easily. And, only use hastags if and when key words are unavailable or ineffective. Make sure the Hastag being used is simple and unique.
- The number of tweets per day sweet spot – according to some research done (Hunt, 12/2013), the ideal number of tweets per day is between 0 and 5 with 10 tweets per day being the max.
- Don’t overdo it – be sure you don’t try and oversell anything via Twitter, this might end up being considered noise.
- Timing is everything – When it is breaking news or something of the utmost importance, tweet it right away. Otherwise, try and learn the best time to tweet certain things. This will depend on your followers’ preferences.
In addition to these recommendations, here is a video associated with best practice recommendations for Twitter use:
As you will see under my additional suggested reading section, there are a lot of other tips and best practices worth reading about. When it comes to the hospitality industry, mainly hotels and restaurants, I would also suggest reading the articles found in the following links, as they may have some additional tips that are more industry specific:
If you feel that I left anything out, please feel free to share your thoughts. After all, aren’t we all her to network and socialize with one another?
Additional suggested reading:
Morris, J. (2014, July 30). Best practices for blogging and posting on social media. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from http://waywardjourney.com/2014/07/30/best-practices-for-blogging-and-posting-on-social-media/
Edelstein, M. (2014, January 10). RingCentral Blog for Businesses | US. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from http://blog.ringcentral.com/2014/01/5-business-blogging-best-practices-friday-five/
Cohen, J. (2009, June 4). 10 Business Blogging Best Practices. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from http://socialmediab2b.com/2009/06/business-blogging-best-practices/
Young, R. (214, January 16). 14 B2B Blogging Best Practices from Creation to Promotion. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from http://www.komarketingassociates.com/blog/b2b-blogging-best-practices-creation-to-promotion/
Hunt, C. (2013, November 8). Twitter Hashtags: 7 Tips and a Decision-Making Flowchart. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from http://denovati.com/2013/11/twitter-hashtags
Hunt, C. (2013, December 13). Twitter Best Practices: 11 Tips for Tweeting Well. Retrieved August 9, 2014, from http://denovati.com/2013/12/twitter-best-practices
Best practices | Twitter for Business. (n.d.). Retrieved August 9, 2014, from https://business.twitter.com/best-practices