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: 

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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!)