Social content, even the few words allowed in a tweet, can be made to pull its weight. The same care you take for your website content should be given to your social content. Your tone in social media might be a little less formal, but you still want to consider your marketing and service strategies.
The same set of keywords you identified for use on your site can also be used in your social media. Consider even more tightly targeted and long-tail keywords, too. Make it easy for someone searching social content to locate you and your products, or services. Or make sure your institution is associated with appropriate issue-related keywords.
The Mayo Clinic does a great job of this.
Remember to consider the keywords you use as links when commenting in a forum, posting an answer, or commenting on a blog. You want to support your other SEO efforts so when you refer to one of your own web pages or blog posts, be sure to use relevant keywords.
Should you publish from a single brand or from each of your brands?
In the Twitter post example above you’ll see that Mayo Clinic didn’t post from a separate education or audio production account. The tweet came from the larger entity of the institution. They don’t dilute their exceptionally strong brand by having multiple publishers. They do avoid littering their Twitter feed with job openings, however, by posting those from @mayoclinicjobs. And if you’re interested only in audio content, they make it easy to search for it with the hash tag: mayoradio.
If you are a company with a higher potential for bad press or with strong individual product brands, I’d recommend that you have separate accounts for each brand name. Let’s take Pfizer as an example. Their drug names are probably stronger keywords then the company name. The individual brands attract different types of readers. Someone interested issues around dementia might know and subscribe to an Aricept feed, without knowing it was a Pfizer brand. If an issue regarding Halcion or similar drug hit the media, Pfizer could respond via the specific account channel instead of reminding all their other readers about an issue they’d rather didn’t capture their attention. Another example would be Ford’s separate channels for Ford trucks and the Mustang.
Look at your brand strategy (0r create one) and let that guide your decision on how to publish. Or begin with a single account and if you’re finding that you’re alienating readers by publishing content they don’t care about, then create a new account.
Support your other media
You’ll notice that Mayo Clinic used a new media tweet to support a report going out in the old media of radio. New blog posts, quotes from an interview with your CEO, special offers at your brick-and-mortar location, slides from a training presentation, and news releases are all good examples of content that can be re-purposed for social media.
Let your audience lead
Maybe your audience doesn’t want to interact with you on Facebook. Perhaps they clamor for assistance you could best provide via video, so you focus your resources toward YouTube. Perhaps many are hanging out in another location like Gather, Google Buzz, or a forum established back in 1998. Services like socialmention.com or Google Alerts can be helpful in identifying locations where your keywords are currently appearing and generating some conversation. Don’t rely on those services. Do some deeper digging on a regular schedule. For example, check forums through Google’s discussion option to catch up on audience viewpoints and issues that interest them.
Use social monitoring tools to discover conversations expressing dissatisfaction with your competitors. You might not want to jump into the conversation to shout about how you do something better, but you could respond privately to the people with complaints and make them an offer. Provide them what they want and perhaps they’ll become a spokesman for you. Or simply use postings like this to gather competitive data you can use to improve your business.
Are you checking your log files to see how many mobile users you have? They might appreciate communications via Twitter.
If you’re having trouble choosing where you should focus your social attention, ask your sales and service staff for their opinions. They often have insights on how and where people are currently finding information about you and your products. They’ll also be able to give you goods ideas for content to share.
Remember that educational content is better than promotional content.
If you really want to control the conversation by keeping it on your own site you’re probably going to fail unless you provide enough incentives to keep people visiting, reading, and posting. If you have user generated content like product reviews, make sure the search engines can index that content.
Editorial guidelines still apply
Even if you’re posting something to Facebook you want the status update to look professional. Consider the tone you use for other media. You might choose to be more relaxed or use more humor in your social media posts, but that doesn’t remove the need to follow style and editorial guidelines.
It’s a good idea to have someone periodically review postings and inform everyone who publishes from your organization about what’s been working and what hasn’t. Having measurable goals is critical to success.