5 Tips for Running Your Company’s Social Media Program

Less is more

Getty Images

A quick Google search reveals that there are thousands of people online who want to give you advice about how to run your social media program.

They have opinions about whether or not to follow back, which platforms are right for your business, how many times a day to post, when to post on which platforms, and whether or not paid posts are a worthwhile investment.

I will not be weighing in on any of these specific topics.

Instead, I spoke with two of my savviest social media friends in order to get their thoughts on the basics of establishing a social media program for your business.

1. Keep it short, sweet and saucy

The first rule of thumb for any social media program is that when it comes to social media, less is always more, and—to the extent that it makes sense for your brand— it’s best to keep content “saucy,” says Amy Vosters, a social media and growth marketing strategist.

“You’ve got 140 characters to work with on Twitter, but tweets of 100 characters or fewer are ideal, as that leaves room for people to add their two cents or hashtags to yours before reposting,” says Vosters.

2. Adhere to the dos and don’ts of engagement

Do ask questions, and use trending hashtags.

Vosters recommends Hashtagify to explore the ecosystem of hashtags relevant to your company and suggests including a maximum of three in any given post. If you include more, your posts will look cluttered and unreadable.

The list of don’ts is a bit more extensive, however:

  • Don’t be overly loud or competitive. Avoid being too aggressive.
  • Don’t use too many exclamation points. Nobody likes a shouter.
  • Don’t congratulate top engagers. As Vosters puts it, “Keep the cheese to a minimum.”
  • Don’t send new followers automatic messages. However, actual messages—when appropriate—are fine.
  • Don’t do “ask me anythings.” They go wrong far more often than they go right.

It is also best to avoid contests, generally speaking, and “fluff.” People have enough garbage in their feed. You want to offer them some value. If you don’t have anything smart or interesting to say, it’s probably best not to post at all.

3. A quote card is worth a thousand words

It goes without saying that images should be a crucial element of your social media strategy. If you don’t have the budget to pay for a subscription to Getty or Shutterstock, there are many less expensive options, including a handful of free sites that may or may not be useful, depending on what sort of imagery your content requires.

A handful that have proven helpful to me at various points in time include:

  • Pixabay — a great, searchable database of stock photos
  • Unsplash — when you need something moodier or artier
  • New Old Stock — vintage photos from public archives
  • Pic Jumbo — another great free resource with a very affordable paid premium tier
  • Free Images — largest repository on the web, with both free and paid photo options
  • Pexels — another searchable option for arty photos
  • Foter — 335 million free photos that you can search or browse by category

But quote cards are another effective visual element to keep in your social arsenal and are a great way to highlight company credos or CEO quotes. There are a few online tools available to easily create them. Ruben Ramirez, longtime social media guru and current Bospar account director, has a distinct preference:

“Use Canva. Its platform is very user-friendly, and you have all the tools you need to make a great quote card quickly and easily.”

4. Do a little addition and subtraction