How to be good at social media: Be social! ( :
By Adam Greenwald | May 24, 2022
Adam Greenwald is a senior digital content analyst at MSPC. Here, he explores social media best practices and how you can grow your personal and business social networks to increase the organic reach of your social posts.
It’s called social media for a reason, and while that may seem obvious to some, it might be new territory for others. Working with on-air talent at WCCO Radio and the digital team at WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota for four years before coming agency-side has taught me the power of authentic audience building—something MSPC does so well for our clients and owned brands.
Social media is ever-changing, and because of this, so are its best practices. Below is my collection of best practices that I’ve picked up over time. If I’ve left any good ones out, please feel free to share.
Maximize Organic Reach: Say Yes to Tags
- Tag people and businesses in copy. Social algorithms will alert users and their networks when that person or business is mentioned in a post, which increases the organic reach of your post to an extended network.
- Use relevant hashtags. Some hashtags are too broad, causing the post to get lost in the noise; some hashtags are so specific that no one will see your post. Here are some tips for using hashtags effectively:
- Using the search feature on whichever social platform you’re posting to, you can find the number of posts using that hashtag or the number of users following that hashtag.
- Google Trends data can also help inform which phrases to target as hashtags. SEO organic search keyword data from paid tools such as Moz and Semrush can also help hone in on highly searched phrases to use.
Hashtags are half art and half science, and the extra organic, unique users you can reach makes finding the sweet spot for hashtags with each social post worth it.
Be Responsive: Keep the Conversation Going
- Reply to comments. It’s social media, so socializing through comments is highly rewarded. Comments are one of the highest forms of engagement, and the more you actively respond to comments, the more likely your posts will be served to a larger audience (and if you really don’t have anything to say, at least “like” the comment to close the loop).
- “Like” everything. Whether it’s a Teams chat, a comment on LinkedIn, or a tweet that you enjoyed or found interesting, reacting to or “liking” a comment acknowledges you received the message and provides a sense of closure in a conversation.
- Follow back. This is especially true of people you know in real life. Stay on top of your notifications and follow back anyone in your industry or whom you might remotely know. Building your network helps increase the organic reach on your own social posts.
- Social media algorithms are designed to recognize which users are meaningfully connected. When two people or business accounts mutually follow each other, algorithms recognize that connection and will tend to serve more content between users that are connected.
- The more mutual connections you have, the more users your original content will reach, and the more organic impressions you’ll generate overall on your social posts (this is especially true on Twitter and Instagram).
- Be the last to reply. An extra thank you can go a long way for some people, even if it’s just to acknowledge that you saw their message.
- Use first names whenever possible. What’s the one thing everyone loves to hear? Their own name. Make sure you’re tagging their username correctly and use their first name to be more personable on social media.
Reach Out in Person: Build Your Network IRL
- Meet people at industry events and conferences. Right as you’re making a connection with someone, follow each other on Twitter and Instagram or connect on LinkedIn; it’s amazing how easy it is to grow your digital social network when you put in the time in person.
- Add a note to your LinkedIn connection request. If you aren’t able to connect in the moment, say something to jog their memory like, “Hi Jim, I enjoyed your presentation at Content Marketing World. I was the guy in green glasses that asked you about XYZ. Thanks for the insight! I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
- Add all your client contacts on LinkedIn. Whether it’s a one-off new business meeting, or a client you’ve worked with for a long time, people are on LinkedIn to connect, so don’t be shy about making the first move. The more connections you have, the more opportunities there are to grow your organic reach.
- Ask for a follow back. People get busy. They open social media only when they have something to say or need a distraction, and sometimes don’t look at the notifications. Be direct and ask the people you work with or have spent time with to follow you back—often, they’ll be happy to know you followed them and will most likely be glad to follow back.
Want more social media tips? Check out the guide I put together for LinkedIn sharing best practices + how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.