5 Basic Social Media Best Practices for Business
I’m all for endorsing people for skills on LinkedIn, especially since I either personally know the people I’m endorsing have such skills or they use them on a daily basis in their profession. However, there is one particular skill I have trouble endorsing people for—a skill that everyone seems to have.
It seems that everyone who has a Facebook page puts “Social Media” as a professional skill on LinkedIn. While a majority of these people do indeed know how to set up and operate social media pages—be it Facebook, Twitter, or, of course, LinkedIn—“social media” should not be listed as a skill if they don’t know how to leverage social media for business.
There is a big gap between knowing how to set up and operate a social media page and how to leverage that page to brand a company as well as inform and acquire new customers.
Therefore, if you really want to add “Social Media” as a skill on LinkedIn—or simply want to learn how to leverage social media for your business—here is a list of five basic things you should know.
1. Know What to Post
It’s surprising, but a lot of people don’t know what type of content to share on specific social media platforms. Make sure you know your audience on each platform and what that audience wants to see. Not only should your content be different on each platform, so should the format.
2. Know When to Post
It’s important to know the best times to post on each platform to get the maximum exposure possible. Here are the best posting times for each social media site (in EST):
- Facebook: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays between 1-4pm & 6-10pm.
- Twitter: Monday through Friday between 8-10am, 11am-1pm & 5-6pm.
- Instagram: Mondays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 11am-1pm & 7-9pm.
- LinkedIn: Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays from 7-10am & 5-6pm.
- Pinterest: Saturdays & Sundays from 12-2pm & 7-10pm.
3. Know How Often to Post
Frequency is essential to a successful social media experience. You don’t want your followers to wonder where you’ve gone or, on the other hand, be completely overwhelmed and justify an “unfollow.” Just like the type, length, and format of your content, the frequency with which you post it also platform-dependent. Here’s how often you should be posting:
- Facebook: Twice a day.
- Twitter: Three times a day.
- Instagram: Once or twice a day.
- LinkedIn: Once a day.
- Pinterest: Five times a day.
4. Know How to Use Social Media Management Systems
Since you can’t always be around to post at the ideal time everyday (or you tend to be forgetful), it’s important you know how to use social media management systems like Buffer, Hootsuite and/or Later. Not only do these sites offer free plans, they help you schedule out posts on multiple platforms in advance and suggest optimal posting times. For a few shillings more, you can collaborate with team members, view and share content from your favorite websites’ feeds, and view analytics.
5. Know How to Use Analytics
Speaking of analytics, it’s important you know how to access and understand this oh-so-crucial element. You can use the analytics features from the forenamed Buffer and Hootsuite, or set up Google Analytics for free. This is probably the most important aspect of truly knowing social media, as analytics can tell you what content is converting, and what’s just taking up space. Furthermore, you can find out when your audience is most engaged and what type of content they want to see more.
Ultimately, if you have the aforementioned know-how and are able to analyze and tweak your social media efforts based on performance, then you’re ready to start implementing a social media strategy for your business—and can even list it as a skill on your LinkedIn profile.
Have the know-how but don’t have the time to implement it? That’s where I come in. Reach out below to learn how I can help.
This post was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2021.