Social Media: When, how and why?

By: Nikki Mikolon

Nikki's Blog Pic 1


More and more companies are turning to social media to bridge the gap between business and consumer, allowing for open communication through a two-way medium.

Companies should be on social media with a purpose. For the most part, a company needs to choose the social media platforms that are most suitable for its needs. It’s bad enough when companies use the wrong channels, but creating content that lacks diversity for multiple channels is a big no-no.

Once the company has decided which platform or platforms to use, it’s time to create the content. As previously stated, it’s necessary to create diverse content for each channel, but it must be cohesive and suitable for the channel and target audience. For example, it’s OK to say that an older audience for a company is present on Facebook rather than a younger generation that is present on Twitter or Instagram. Needless to say, Facebook posts can be long and drawn out. Try posting on Twitter with over 140 characters—I dare you! With a link or visual, it’s much less.

My point is that creating content for multiple channels is difficult.

On top of the difference in social media channels, there is the battle of constantly creating content to keep the social channels up to date or at least active. There is nothing more unappealing than when a consumer visits an account of one of their favorite companies to see they haven’t posted in four months.

Yes, this can be annoying and inconvenient at times, but it is so important to be consistently posting on each channel, while keeping the messages consistent throughout.

Now, if you haven’t heard of Hootsuite, you’re a lost cause —no, not really, but in the social media world, Hootsuite is essential in managing multiple networks at once. It also helps you keep track of the content you have on each channel. It may seem like more work, but it’s so much easier to create a ton of posts and decide how and when to share them. It gives the writer more time to perfect these posts and leaves less room for error. Let’s face it, we’re only human. We make mistakes, but scheduling tweets and posts ahead of time makes everyone’s lives easier.

The hardest part is staying organized. Content calendars sound great, but they can be tricky to put together. Ideally, a calendar with content written for each day, organized by date, time and social channel is the way to go, but unless there’s an awesome program out there that does this for you, then you’re on your own. After you’ve brainstormed and written down all of your content ideas and when to post them, find a way to keep them organized, whether it’s on a calendar or on a Word document. Find what works best for you. Whatever it may be, writing them down before posting is helpful.

Now let’s recap:

  • Know where to be present—Decide which platforms will be the most suitable for you and your target audience.
  • Be present—It’s important to keep platforms up to date and active.
  • Use your resources—Take advantage of scheduling sites, such as Hootsuite or TweetDeck because it will only make life easier.
  • Stay organized—With all of the different social networks and content ideas floating around, find a way to stay organized. Write it, draw it, type it— whatever works, just as long as it’s organized.

With that being said, Tweet on!

Nikki Mikolon is a senior majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing. As a Detroit native, she hopes to spend her beginning years working for the city and being a part of its renaissance. Connect with Nikki on Twitter @nikkimikolon.



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