How Skilled Are You At Social Media?

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When starting a new company, it's easy to get submerged in the number of start-up tasks including the set up of the business paperwork, finding an office space, creating bank accounts--all this, while doing the paid work for clients. So it's no surprise that getting your new identity up and communicated to the world can take the back seat.

So we recently tasked our brilliant 22-year-old intern, Asheru Al-Haag, to come back to us with his vision of what could be our social media strategy. I loved his simple and pragmatic approach with a list of fundamental tips on how to use social media for all its bests.

We focused on Twitter and Facebook. These are the essential day-to-day communication tools used by nearly every type of business. The question of "Is social media essential?" becomes irrelevant. We all know that these channels serve multiple purposes, and when used correctly they can spread awareness and lead to new business opportunities.

As if dealing with people in "real-life" wasn't complicated and fascinating enough, we need to be privy to how Facebook and Twitter differ in their nuances and purposes. Twitter is a venue to post a burst of inspiration or thoughts, often followed in rapid succession. And if you look at Facebook, you'll see that the tendency is quite different. It offers a place of more conversational communication and banter.

So how can we navigate and direct our conversations in these two venues?

Asheru shares his simple tips in both arenas:

Three Simple Rules for Facebook:
1. A landing page is a must.
2. Never post too much or too little. Three updates should be enough
3. Keep active in conversations that you create.

10 Tricks for Getting it right on Twitter:
Twitter gets a little bit trickier because it's easily mishandled. Here are some helpful and (surprisingly) easy rules to follow for Twitter:
1. Add something to the conversation. Don't tweet or post just for the sake of talking.
2. Network with thought leaders and influencers in your particular industry. Never follow more than 400 people for the sake of credibility.
3. Be concise in what you post. Don't get wordy.
4. Follow a clear schedule. Monday is about Design. Tuesday is about Innovative Products. Wednesday is about Social Innovation. This will generate consistency and expectation among your followers.
5. Be valuable to your followers, Tweet interesting links and updates.
6. Communicate in a human way; people pick up on inauthenticity very quickly.
7. Always respond to Direct Messages but not always to mentions.
8. Always use an url shortener (like It's also a great way to check statistics
9. Have a clear tone of voice. If multiple people are tweeting for one profile, sign off each tweet with initials.
10. Stay enthusiastic, excited and interesting. This includes interacting with your followers as you do with friends, family and colleagues.

Finally, it's helpful to have an easy to use app to make life easier to manage your new communication responsibilities. Here's a list of tried and true apps, which are all available for free on the App store.

Jamie Kim, a former producer at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, recently opened We Are Pi, a full service creative agency based in Amsterdam.

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