Instructors using the new STEP social media lessons present to students real-life workplace activities like this one to build social media skills:
Publish Content by Creating Five Posts on Social Media
To get your business social media sites started, create five posts on your social media platforms. This is how you will communicate with your audience about your business activities, so it is important that you think carefully about the content you will post beforehand. Post content that reflects the selected voice and addresses the target market (e.g., long form, short updates, how-to videos, podcasts, distills, curates, aggregates, case studies, invites community through questions, live chats, first person or third person voice).
If you will be working with a local company/organization, you will need to work out an arrangement regarding social media posting. In some cases, it may be necessary to have your content approved before it is posted online, and in other cases setting your social media accounts to private so that only a select group of people (your classmates and employees at the company/organization you will be working with) can access it will be necessary (in this case, you would be working in a closed online community). Details should be arranged with the company/organization that you are working with.
If you have your own business, you are welcome to do the same (i.e., set your social media accounts to private) until you have received feedback about your online activities. However, you are free to set your social media accounts and online postings to public right away if you wish to do so.
Consider the following tips:
- Posting style will differ across the various social media platforms. For example, Twitter’s 140-character limit will require you to shorten sentences – this is fine and you are encouraged to use abbreviations. On LinkedIn, on the other hand, posts should include full, properly formatted sentences and should be highly professional.
- When creating your five posts, consider some of the posting guidelines for each social media platform you use (see links below). Especially keep in mind that posting several times per day on Twitter (5+ tweets/day) is customary and expected, while this is not the case on LinkedIn. Facebook and Google+ fall somewhere in the middle – 2-3 posts per day should be enough. While on Twitter you are not always expected to post original content (retweeting other users’ posts that might be relevant to your audience is encouraged), you should be mostly posting original content on Facebook.
- See this infographic on posting guidelines for several social media platforms (http://www.themainstreetanalyst.com/2013/06/13/social-media-posting-guidelines-for-twitter-facebook-google-and-pinterest-infographic) and consider these pointers for social media engagement (http://mashable.com/2010/05/18/rules-social-media-engagment).