My professors at Pitt used to say that we, the 20-somethings and those even younger than us, are the experts when it comes to using social media, especially Facebook. But personally, I’d argue that being raised with Facebook does not automatically make us experts when it comes to using it – professionally, anyway.
I say this because for my current social media marketing internship, I – and I am part of the generation that practically lives on social media (for better or worse), and someone who spends hours of my time online – have had to throw away half of what I knew about using Facebook.
Why? Half of what I do online is irrelevant to my internship! Even some bits and pieces of what I learned in a previous social media management role were no longer relevant to my new internship.
The truth is that while using Facebook taught me what I can do on it, my personal Facebook page and other outlets never really taught me how to properly reach out to a group of people. After all, the people following me on Facebook are my friends. They aren’t, say, a specific demographic looking for a certain type of information, handed to them in a certain away.
But doing social media work for a local Jewish Community Center made me quickly realize what I do on my personal Facebook page means almost nothing – and while my past experience certainly gave me a platform of knowledge to build on, I had to learn a whole new set of rules when it came to my new duties.
My point is that having a second social media internship of some sort has certainly helped me realize what some basic key points of professional Facebook usage are – and so today, I present five of the simplest and yet most important points I’ve learned from my social media internship:
2. Images run the web, and Facebook posts only emphasize this point. I admittedly love to write, and write, and write – but recently I’ve been trying to get into the habit of shortening my content and using more images. Be honest – when you’re on Facebook, the photos grab your attention much sooner than your friends’ status updates. It’s just the way our brains are wired. We love images – and the more colorful, attention grabbing they are, the better!
4. When posting, remember – short, sweet, link! This is my process when creating a post. As I mentioned earlier, shorter content is sweeter and catchier because people realize it won’t take them long to look things over. But my complete process also includes the most important step – make a link! Whether to another page, to an e-mail address, or an event, the link encourages Facebook user interaction. This means if people want more information they can get it elsewhere – and that means, your post can be even shorter (and sweeter) and is more likely to grab attention! It’s a win-win process.
And my final basic tip:
5. Be accessible and ask questions when posting – it makes a big difference. Even if your followers don’t take advantage of your availability, by being accessible, you send a positive message to your online community. Just by being available, you’re creating a personal interactive space for your followers to take advantage of at any chance they want. It makes users feel as if they’re very involved and they’re being spoken to directly – and isn’t the point of Facebook to make us more connected and interactive?
What about you, readers – what are your great tips for updating your group’s Facebook?