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https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/6956/picard_full_of_win-575x439-blog-third.jpgThere are loads of ways to stand out on social media platforms, but frankly nothing beats due diligence and knowing what the hell you’re doing does it?

I spend a lot of time monitoring all of Econsultancy’s social feeds, and there are a number of small mistakes that I see pop up regularly.

They’re all easy to remedy and fixing them will make your social posts look cleaner, tidier and all-round more professional.

With that in mind, here’s one tip for each of the major platforms that you can use every single day...

Twitter: punctuation FTW

Calling someone out or retweeting their stuff? Punctuate.

If you send a tweet to someone as an @reply, you can add punctuation to increase the tweet’s visibility. 

If someone writes:  “@Lexx2099 you smell”, it will only be seen by users who are following @Lexx2099 and the user who wrote the tweet. (For clarity - yes, technically anyone can see them, but only if they bother to hunt down my page and have a look specifically. You need to follow someone to see when people address them).

Look at how sad I am reading that, all on my own: 

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6897/unpunctuated_tweet.PNG

If they write: 

“.@Lexx2099 you smell”, or “@Lexx2099’s awfully smelly” then the tweet is public.

Result: Instant public Twitter scandal! Look at those inquiring minds demanding to know the latest gossip:

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6898/punctuated_tweet_scandal.PNG

We often write about businesses who are on Twitter, so by including their @Name we can also ensure that a few people following them see the story as well, it’s a great way to help grow your audience on Twitter.

Incidentally, yes, I own a Twitter account called @Cutesycats. Don't judge me. 

Facebook: Seperate pages from platforms in analytics 

Posting on your Facebook page? Cool. Go to Google’s URL builder tool. 

Append your post with code that looks something like this: 

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6912/FBDF.PNG 

Post, wait for social things to happen. 

Now go to ‘campaigns’ in Google analytics:

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6913/FBDF2.PNG 

That’s everything YOU posted on YOUR page, separate from what everyone else shared everywhere else on Facebook.

Now you know whether or not you’re having any effect, or whether you can leave other people to do your work for you. Here’s our analytics:

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6915/FBDF3.PNG

So I generate about a third of the responses we get from Facebook, while the wider ecosystem does the rest.

Obviously that’s not perfect but it gives you a good idea, and by adding in 'Campaign content' qualifiers you can check seperate actions on the page. I use this to track conversions from the infographics photo album on our page. 

Social media runs constantly, while many marketers are used to tracking limited campaigns.

Doing this lets you see both campaigns and your continuous engagement, and optimise individual elements on your page. 

Handy eh? 

LinkedIn: actually answer the question

Most people who read this blog are on LinkedIn.

Trouble is, if you’re a company, you can’t roam around LinkedIn helping people out. So get your staff to do it. We did, and it worked really well.

This bit: 

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/6908/answers_1-blog-full.png

Of course, lots of people answer questions in LinkedIn’s forums every day, so how do you stand out?

RSS+Full answers = rock n' roll. 

You can extract an rss from any LinkedIn forum. 

Find a relevant topic. Let's say 'Search marketing':

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/6909/answers_2-blog-full.png

Hit search and copy the query from the URL bar in your browser. (this bit: http://www.linkedin.com/searchAnswers?results=&sik=1355230689593).

You'll need to turn this into an rss feed. I used Feedity to do mine, but there are any number of free services that will do this for you online. 

You'll get something that looks like this: http://www.linkedin.com/rss/questions?cat=MAR_SRC.

Add it to your reader of choice. I'm using a netvibes account for mine as I like to keep it seperate from my personal feeds. Check it once a day and answer questions. 

Here's what I've got: 

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6916/answers_3.PNG

Now the tricky bit.

Here's a standard question on LinkedIn: 

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/6917/answers_4-blog-full.png

And here's a standard answer: 

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/6918/answers_5-blog-full.png

Almost every question has answers that are pure opinion, waffle, or sales links.

Don't do this.

Here's an answer I submitted about Facebook banner images a while ago: 

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/6919/answers_6-blog-full.png

Apart from the fact that I haven't bothered to spellcheck it, I took time to answer the question in full, on LinkedIn.

Then I added a link in case they wanted more information. The full answer makes this useful and increases the likelihood of the user clicking on that link.

Be legit. it isn't rocket science.

Google+: format your updates to make them stand out

Here’s a regular update:

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6910/unformatted_google_post.PNG

Boring!

Now here’s a formatted one:

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0002/6911/formatted_google_post.PNG

Looks better doesn’t it? 

Doing this is easy: 

*putting text in side asterisks will make it bold* 

Want italics? Use underscores _like this_ 

Or if you need to strike through a word for hilarious/made a mistake earlier effect –a dash either side of the text will do this- 

Use it to add emphasis to quotes or to make headlines stand out. 

Pinterest: see everything pinned from your site in one easy list

Need to show your boss how insanely popular you are on Pinterest (or work out who keeps putting those images of you on the toilet on there?)

Type: Pinterest.com/source/yourwebsitenamehere.com into your browser.

Everything pinned from your site is displayed in a handy list, complete with interactions:

https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0002/6905/pins_from_econ-blog-full.png

What are you waiting for? Get engaging lazy!

YouTube: Get traffic to come to you, not YouTube

 Add a site map to your site. We’ve covered this a few times before on the blog, and it’s a bit of a techie task so it might take you a while to implement (we’re still lagging, but do what we say, not what we do!).  

Submit a sitemap xml file to Google as soon as you possibly can.

This file gives Google info on embedded videos on your site, including title, length, your target audience... all sorts of useful stuff.

The good thing is that when your video shows up in search, users who click on it come straight to your site, rather than to your YouTube page.

You can find Google’s instructions on how to do this here

Much like denim and leather, blog posts about YouTube and videos go together, so I'll just leave this here:
 

And there you have it. Use them all whenever you post and you'll look like a social pro! 

Got any great hints and tricks of your own that the world needs to know about? Let us know in the comments ( and do feel free to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or YouTube as well!)

Matt Owen

Published 12 December, 2012 by Matt Owen

Matt Owen was formerly Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or hook up on LinkedIn.

203 more posts from this author

Comments (14)

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Gemma Holloway

Gemma Holloway, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

Some very good tips here Matt.

It's surprising how the simplest of things can make the world of difference to your social media strategy.

almost 4 years ago

Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

Great article Matt, thanks! I'll definitely be implementing some of the ideas you've covered.So many companies are doing social media badly, but a large number of those who are doing it 'well' are only really doing it 'ok'. It's refinements like these that can make all the difference. Thanks again!

almost 4 years ago

Debi Magonet

Debi Magonet, Director at Debi Magonet

Thanks from me too!

almost 4 years ago

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Simon Chubb

Sorry but the tip about @ replies is wrong - or I've misunderstood which is possible!

If you do a tweet that says: @veronica blah blah blah - then that Tweet is public to anyone following your Twitter account. Yes, Twitter will pick it up as a mention in their account but everyone, including all your own followers will see that tweet.

Cheers
Simon

almost 4 years ago

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Bryony Smith

Hi Matt,

Good article, however I'm slightly confused about the section in regards to Twitter. How can adding punctuation to a tweet make it public? If you wanted your tweets to be noticed by others instead of just your followers, wouldn't it be better to use hashtags?

almost 4 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Hi Simon, yes it might be a bit unclear sorry - technically, yes all @Replies are public, but only if you're really taking the time to look - if you go to my profile page on twitter, you can scroll down and see my @replies.

Here’s how it works: If you are @Simon on Twitter, and @Matt sends you this tweet:

@Simon Pint later?

None of @Matt’s follower’s will see it unless they also follow @Simon.

So if you send something like this:

@Econsultancy are great - you should follow them

None of your followers will see this tweet unless they already follow @Econsultancy

It stops the feeds getting too clogged up with all conversations being displayed - does that make sense? Here's what Twitter has to say about public/private tweets: http://support.twitter.com/articles/14016-about-public-and-protected-tweets

@Bryony - yep hashtags help too - but if we have an article featuring, say @McDonalds and we put that in title:

New mobile strategy from @McDonalds off to great start

Then it's also seen directly by @McDonalds (possibly, they get a billion mentions a second), so it's a nice way of alerting them that we've written abut them. We do also use #Hashtags.

almost 4 years ago

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Michael

Hi Matt,

Great article. I love these little tips.

I sharing with my team!

Cheers

almost 4 years ago

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Nick Halliday, Digital engagement at National Audit Office

Great article, do you also look for questions to answer on Quora? It would seem a natural place for you?

almost 4 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Thanks Nick - yes we're on Quora and lots of forums as well on a regular basis :)

almost 4 years ago

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Simon

Sorry Matt, but that's still confusing. See the Tweet below from WanderlustMag that I follow that appeared on my twitter:

Wanderlust magazine ‏@wanderlustmag
Want to brush up on your travel photography and writing skills? Join us and @William_D_Gray for some top tips: http://ow.ly/gdDEp

now I follow @wanderlustmag but I don't follow @william_d_gray - yet I can see the Tweet. Is that because the @william... isn't at the front of the tweet?

Cheers
Simon

almost 4 years ago

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B

Just when I thought I'd heard all the 'social media tips' going these are actually really useful, thanks!

On a side-rant, it's not just Google+ that uses asterisks to format text into bold - Facebook chat does it too and I HATE it. Does no-one else remember the time when asterisks meant an action, described in 'hilarious' 3rd person? *sighs* back to late 90's forums for me!

almost 4 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Simon - I'm sorry, I've just found your comment lurking in our spam net by mistake - if you'd still like to know, yes, it's because the @name isn't at the start of the tweet :)

over 3 years ago

Fi Dunphy

Fi Dunphy, Social Media Strategist at Branded3

Great article, thanks!

Bit of an update though, LinkedIn has actually retired its Answers feature, so we can no longer use your LinkedIn tips above. What a shame!

From LinkedIn:
In the meantime, you can still pose questions and facilitate professional discussions through other popular LinkedIn channels including:

- LinkedIn Polls
- Groups
- Status updates

over 3 years ago

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Chas Demain

Thanks for posting such an excellent article. I've been involved in Social Media marketing for a couple of years now and I picked up a few tips. So much for not teaching old dogs new tricks...Woof!

over 3 years ago

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