Guest blog post written by Samantha Peters, a graduate student of journalism and communication at University of Oregon. Samantha is passionate about social media, blogging and other areas of online communication.
Content and communication are essential parts of creating a social media presence for brands. One of the first steps in this process is to spread the word and be seen within the social media paradigm, primarily through engaging content. If your content is interesting enough, your brand’s page will gain readers and ultimately lead to a community of people following your page. The right content may go viral too. Another critical step is to handle feedback and comments, both positive and negative, effectively.
When working with social media the right User Experience holds an important place, in the grand scheme of things. A social media site acts just like any other webpage; people are going to view certain, more appealing parts first and then divert their attention to others. It is hard to commit the average Internet surfer to any site for too long, but there are some tips for creating page views, that last longer than 20 seconds:
Being one of the most important tools in your social networking arsenal, Facebook usually gets ignored in terms of UX. It is a common mistake to assume that people are going to automatically follow brands on Facebook, because it is the default social media network. While this may hold true in some ways, it doesn’t mean that people are going to stick around to see what you have to say.
According to a recent study conducted by Mashable along with EyeTrackShop, the majority of your Facebook users are going to view your profile in a specific order. Your Wall is the most important part, followed by the photo spread, followed by the profile picture.
Your Twitter UX is much easier to control than Facebook because there is much more importance in your message than the design. Twitter takes care of all of the heavy lifting for you and all you have to do is choose a suitable background image. What you choose to do with said background image could affect the way people view your brand. Make sure that you choose a compelling image and place enough information to inform viewers, but not so much as to put them off. Twitter should be a human experience, not an exercise in branding.
Google+ is the “Brave New World” of the social marketing landscape. When you take a closer look at the features and layout of the site, there is really no difference between it and Facebook (before the Timeline feature kicks in). While it may seem far too similar, the fewer users on the network mean that you can post lengthier posts and more in-depth topics. The seamless integration with YouTube doesn’t hurt the way Google+ navigates either…
The new design rolled out by YouTube has made it easier to promote yourself through its own social network. While you can still create channels and link to services like Vevo, it is more effective than ever to create a compelling UX while linking to your video content. With the new grey background, it is more aesthetically pleasing to view videos. The notorious comment board has also been minimized and shoved to the bottom in order to give you a better overall branding experience.
When it comes to participating in a completely visual medium, Tumblr beats all of the other networks hands down. What you choose to post, design, and layout on the popular photo-blogging website is all up to you. With new themes created daily and an open sourced coding paradigm, a marketing tool like EyeTrack is your most effective bet for keeping track of good UX when it comes to the uber-creative world of Tumblr.
When it comes to taking care of your social media campaigns, it is important to remember that the audience nowadays has become more demanding. Videos and pictures take precedence over heavy text and boring linkstorms. If you have any questions about your campaign, or you just want to make it more eye catching and interesting, don’t hesitate to run to your social designers!