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One Long List of Social Media Tips
A few tips from me and lots of tips from Link in Bio readers.
For this week’s newsletter I asked for your best social media tips. I wanted to hear unique, helpful tips from the people who spend their time on these platforms every day. I’ll start with a few of my favorite tips, and then get into some of the answers I received!
Not every post needs to be selling something or speaking directly about your product. Think about what your community loves and the types of content they want to interact with. My fave Omsom does a great job of this.
You as a brand have a right to (and should) report or delete harmful comments. And you as a boss should understand the emotional toll it takes on a social team to read through these types of comments.
Sometimes when I share a brand’s Reel to their IG Stories I want the background color to be an official brand color and not one of IG’s options! So I’ll hit the “add to story” option on the Reel, add a photo of the logo on top of the Reel when building the story, use the color selector tool, tap the brand color, then press and hold the background to make it all that color. Drag the logo to trash and voila! Sounds like more work than it actually is.
BTW when you choose a color for a background in IG Stories you can just press and hold and it automatically fills the whole frame. I feel like most people know that but just in case…!
Get to know every department. I feel like half of my success working in social media is because I’ve always been friendly with departments outside of marketing—video, design, photo, operations, customer experience, and, yes, even legal.
When working with creators, check out their engagement rate—I’ll either use this somewhat finicky tool or just do a rough calculation on my own. That number is more important than their follower count IMO.
Follow accounts from other industries! Even if my client is a food brand, I get a lot of inspiration from brand accounts in areas like beauty and fashion.
When doing a voiceover on a Reel or TikTok for a brand, I’ll write myself a loose script to work off of. It usually takes me an embarrassing amount of takes to finally sound natural but it’s worth it to make sure you’re hitting all your points.
Before I get into your tips, a quick ad from our friends at Sprout Social!
In my nine years working in social media, I have never worked with creators more than I do now. Whether it’s working with them on evergreen UGC-style content or partnering with them on a specific campaign, it’s clear that brand and creator collaboration is here to stay. So it’s very good timing that Sprout Social just released their report The Creator Economy: Making Dollars and Sense Out of Social Partnerships.
Sprout Social surveyed over 500 marketers to understand their current and future plans to partner with creators. They found that Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are where brands plan to collaborate with creators most, despite how much time consumers increasingly spend on YouTube. And that educational posts are the number one content format marketers hire creators to produce, and almost half of marketers have creators post to their own profiles (in order to generate more engagement and reach).
If you manage a brand’s social, work in marketing, or are a creator yourself, this report is a must-read.
Now let’s get into some of your tips!
Review your content monthly so you can find trends in what worked/didn’t work. We have something called a “content audit” each month and it’s really helpful. The meeting is super cross functional and everyone loves it! - Jodi Lawrence, Social Media Manager at Lodge Cast Iron
Design for sound off, delight with sound on. In other words: never assume your audience has the volume on and create your content with this in mind (captions!!!); if they DO have their sound on, make sure the sound is additive vs distracting (i'm looking at you, "trending audio") - Robyn Fink, Senior Manager, Social Media at Audible
Learn to look away, log off, and touch grass as early as possible in your career. - Mitch Goldstein, Senior Manager, Social Strategy
In-depth data analysis is well worth your time. Especially if your role requires explaining performance to leaders, or anyone with less of a social background. Treat data analysis as the beginning of an investigation. If you stop as soon as you find one result that proves a point, you could miss additional context. My general rule is to have 3-5 data points to back up one hypothesis—if you’ve dug deep, you’re more likely to have answers to any follow-up questions you receive. - Sarah Gardner, Senior Manager, Audience Development at National Geographic
Never forget the SOCIAL aspect of social media. Encourage engagement. Engage back. Ask questions. Make jokes. Have fun. - Amanda Shepherd, Social Media Manager and Mentor
Advocate for yourself! Assume that the leadership team at your company don’t know the value of social media (although I hope they do) and show off what you’ve done for their business. Put yourself out there and ask for what you need to do your job well— including hiring more team members! - Gab Cerami, Director of Social Media at Twill
We put our “hours” in our bio and it makes all the difference in helping me set boundaries so I’m not working 24/7! - Genevieve Leach, Digital Content Specialist at ASU Enterprise Partners
Track your company's "Topic Ownership" on LinkedIn to help you determine where to focus your efforts. Your LinkedIn reps can pull a report that shows how your Ownership and Engagement Indexes rank against your competitors, broken down by region. It's an extremely helpful view to see which conversations you're owning, and where you need to step up your volume of posts or engagement around a topic. - Jen Graessle, Senior Social Manager
The less, the better! More real, down-to-earth content is what audiences like to see. - Andie, Social Media Intern at Twenties World
Take risks and stand up for your decisions. (Even if they flop!) Social media changes daily, so why not constantly try new ideas? - Jennifer Aldrich, Social Media Editor at Better Homes & Gardens
Tone of voice shows up in the replies more than anywhere else. Make sure it's not a disconnected experience for the community if they see your posts and then see your replies. - Anonymous
You can delete individual photos from a carousel post and then re-add them to the back of the post. Why is this helpful? We know the algorithm favors certain types of photos (people/faces, for example) but sometimes those aren’t the ones we want to make the cover of our carousel. So what do you do? Make your first image the one you KNOW the algorithm will love and have the second photo be the one you actually want on your grid. Then delete and re-add your first image to the back of your carousel post once you feel the algorithm has done its work. [ed note: edited this tip slightly and also will link to this article since it’s kind of a process!] - Natalie Held, Freelance Digital Strategist
Give. Like networking, social media is about giving, not just broadcasting. Answering questions (not unsolicited advice!) and helping amplify positive voices can go a long way to building an audience. - Dan Moyle, Impulse Creative's HubSpot Advisor
IG Stories with more slides seem to get pushed out to more people. Instead of posting 1-2 slides on an IG Story try to get at least 5-6 slides up within that 24 hour span. - Anonymous
I work with small business owners and their number one question when entering the world of social media is "what the h*ck do I post?". I tell them to make a list with four headers: Stories, Educational/How-to, Fun/Interesting/Behind-the-scenes, and User Generated Content. I have them write five ideas under each header, and boom. 20 ideas for posts, which can be recycled through different types of content and brought back to life after a few months. It helps them to get started and get over their fear of the "blank page" and not knowing where to start. - Victoria Dickerson, Marketing & Events Coordinator
Befriend your legal teams, ask them why something didn’t work (feedback) helps you become a better SMM. Make a playbook with them and know your green, yellow, and red lanes. - Ana Santos, Former Social Media Manager for Burger King North America
If you are a video creator, you must have a Frame.io subscription. It's invaluable for reviewing video with brands, clients and stakeholders. Users can leave timestamped notes, see previous versions and download straight from the platform. I use this in my day job as an in-house video producer and in my freelance life. - Clare Langan, Senior Content Manager at Williams Sonoma
Push back on deadlines whenever it’s appropriate and possible. Our industry is consumed by fake urgency that always seems to fall on the social media team in the last steps to the finish line. Set boundaries up front about approval timelines and ask your team if a publishing date is flexible before working late, losing sleep, and creating bitterness in your workflow. - Chelsea Naftelberg Williams, Digital Consultant + Head of Social & Content at UNYTD
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Inevitable Foundation is hiring a Freelance Social Media Assistant! If you don’t know, Inevitable Foundation is a nonprofit that’s funding and mentoring mid-career disabled screenwriters with the goal of closing the disability representation gap in film and television. This person would be responsible for tactical, social media-related planning and execution. Learn more and apply here!
happyfastdelicious is hiring an Associate Social Media Manager! The happyfastdelicious team is building the next generation of drive thru coffee shops. When asked about why social is important they said, “Social will be an important way for us to express our personality and stand out. Just like how we want to bring the fun back to drive-thru's, we want to bring our fun and loud personality to social as well.” Learn more and apply here!