7 Tips for Great Social Media

EWIP invited two special guests to speak at our Take Yourself to Lunch event on June 9, in San Francisco. The 40 attendees including members of WFMA were informed and delighted with Colleen Holland, associate publisher and co-founder of VegNews Media and Kate Byrne, former vice president at Future US. We will post highlights from Kate’s talk soon. Today, we share, Colleen’s Seven Tips for Great Social Media.



Seven Tips for Great Social Media
by Colleen Holland

VegNews CoverSocial media, defined as the use of web and mobile-based technology that turns communication into an interactive dialogue, has become an integral part of the publishing business. As magazine publishers, we have a long history of building audiences and community, but now it’s a two-way conversation. Social media is the new brand-builder, the new marketing campaign, and there’s zero cost of entry. In the past year alone, online traffic at VegNews has increased 250 percent, in large part due to the traffic being driven from Facebook and Twitter. Here are 7 tips we have learned along the way that have helped us maximize our social media presence.

1. Get the right editor on the job
Facebook and Twitter require two very different voices, so it’s important to have the right person on the right platform. Whereas Twitter demands writing that’s short, news-driven, and witty, the voice for Facebook should be all about connecting with and engaging the community. For both platforms, editors need to be able to write well, have a great online personality, build and engage their respective communities, and be able to identify stories that work.

2. Keep the content clean
When planning your social media content, it should be taken as seriously as your print and web content. That means there can be no spelling errors, no grammatical mistakes, no broken links, and it has to be well written and factually accurate. As publishers, we have worked hard to build our brands and don’t want to jeopardize our reputation because of factual inaccuracies or misspellings in our social media.

3. Know your magic number
To get the most out of your social media, figure out the ideal number of daily Facebook and Twitter posts for your brand. Analyze what your community is doing, what your competitors are doing, what other magazines are doing, who does what well, and where your niche is. Always keep your resources in mind, and emphasize quality over quantity.

4. Limit the self-promotion
Obviously, we’re in business to build our brands, but just as nobody wants to go to dinner with someone who talks about themselves the whole time, the same rules apply to social media. Promote the most interesting content from other members of your community along with your own material, and you’ll become a more trusted source of information.

5. Follow the metrics
With the availability of online metrics and instant feedback, there’s no need to play the guessing game with what’s working and what’s not. Numbers don’t lie, so know them, follow them, and repeat what works and stop doing what doesn’t. And don’t forget to share them with your staff!

6. Engage with the social media community
Nowadays, both Twitter and Facebook encompass whole sub-communities, and your social media editor needs to engage that community on a daily basis. That means they need to answer questions from the community promptly, forward queries they can’t answer to the right staff member, and send links out to anyone mentioned in a post.

7. Get creative
Your community deserves the best content possible, so keep your social media fresh with innovative ideas. Ideas include giveaways, photo galleries, polls, live chats, and live tweeting. Always look for opportunities to creatively deliver content so that your audience stays interested and engaged.

Colleen Holland is the associate publisher and co-founder of VegNews Media, a vegetarian lifestyle company reaching more than 1 million people every month. Become a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Oh yea, and pick up a copy of the fine print version on a newsstand near you. 😉

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