As my role as a web editor grew over the last several years, my duties expanded to include managing the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for my publication. I believe there are many great advantages to publications having a presence on LinkedIn, but this post will focus on a few pearls I’ve collected that will help web editors manage their Facebook and Twitter accounts. These tips can help the newbie start off on the right foot and help the veteran save time and reach the right people more effectively.
First, if you’re going to be managing multiple accounts, it behooves you to choose one of the many platforms or apps that can help you control several accounts from one place. The one I use daily that has become second nature to me is TweetDeck, but colleagues of mine are using HootSuite with just as much success. Using one of these will save you time. And what I like most about this tool is that you can preschedule your tweets or Facebook posts from one place. That gets to my next point: a schedule.
The most important part of a Facebook and Twitter feed, aside from choosing the right content to publish of course, is publishing it at the right time. If your readers work in offices where their Internet use is limited during the day, why try to send them your hot article or blog post of the week at 10 a.m.? Some common times that people check social media are before work, during lunch, during afternoon breaks, after work and before bed, but again, you need to know your audience to choose the right times.
You might be wondering how to figure out the best time of day to send tweets and Facebook updates to your readers. It seemed mysterious to me, too, until I discovered some sites that measure readership and engagement, like how often and when people retweet your tweets on Twitter. One popular example is TweetStats. And Facebook’s “Insights” seem to be improving all the time. It still takes some time to figure this out, and if you use TweetDeck you can create a column that shows you a feed of Twitter users that have mentioned you, so you’ll get a feel for who is reading and when as time goes on.
Another question many people ask when they start a Facebook or Twitter account is, how often should I update? It all depends on your audience, so my recommendation is to set a minimum number of tweets, and then try not to exceed four or five in a day. It’s important to keep up a steady stream of good, relevant updates so you become a trusted source of information. I post at least two tweets and Facebook updates every day.
My last tip for today is: Don’t just post updates. This is social media, not a one-sided conversation. Be social. You can maintain the voice of your publication and still put your personality into your posts. On Twitter, use the list function to highlight Twitter users you think your followers will also like. Read their tweets, retweet them, actually connect with the people behind those Twitter handles. It can help in ways you wouldn’t expect. I’ve found sources for articles I’ve written through the connections I’ve made on Twitter. On your Facebook page (or Page, to be precise), make sure you click “Use Facebook as [Your Publication Name],” search for and “Like” related pages, and then read what those pages are posting (and share it, if it’s appropriate). Thank people for sharing your content, and always respond to questions and comments from your audience.
Thanks for reading! My next post will be about the ins, outs, ups and downs of moderating a webinar.