Best Practices for Engaging on Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and Blogs

I had the opportunity to attend the second Annual Fashion Forward Conference in New York City on Wednesday, bringing together 100 of the nation’s top female social media mavens. A variety of sessions and panels were held on various topics, but the most noteworthy was “Powerhouse Players” featuring Liz Gumbiner discussing Twitter, Danielle Smith on YouTube, Melissa Fluhr on Pinterest and Yuli Ziv on blogging. Here are some of their top takeaways as you plan your next social media engagement.

Twitter

1) Be discriminate.

Given the many tweet blunders that have been called out before, you may think this is a no-brainer, but it’s a reminder that you should always think before you tweet. Everything is online forever. Oh, and by the way, did you know that tweets are now being archived in the Library of Congress? Think about what your feed looks like. Be genuine. Be judicious. A good gauge is: “Would I want my employer or children to see this?”

2) Be known for what YOU say, not for someone else’s words.

Sure, Ghandi is powerful, and everyone loves an inspirational quote from time to time, but if you’re always quoting someone else, you’re not putting your voice forward. Create your own content and be known for it.

3) Understand that everyone uses Twitter differently.

Some people are purely tweeting for conversation’s sake, while some are tweeting on behalf of a brand, and others are using it as more of an RSS aggregate. Be aware that everyone has a different goal and craft your strategy around it.

4) Don’t pay attention to your Klout score.

But isn’t it important? Liz Gumbiner told us not to spend our energy on people who aren’t following us or dwelling on the fact that our score is lower than we might want it to be. Focus on the audience you do have and continue to build. Spend your energy on what really matters.

YouTube

1) Tell your story to your community.

In telling your story, it’s also important to check out what other people are doing. Always reply to comments on your content, and engage.

2) Your community is based on the energy you put on your channels.

Simply, the more you put in, the more you get out.

3) Be consistent and let your audience know what to expect from you.

But be consistent based on what you’re comfortable with. Danielle Smith shares that she posts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so her audience knows what to expect and doesn’t deviate from this schedule.

4) Do “real” and “raw” first.

Sure, a souped-up video is great and may be what some people are looking for, but these types of videos are expensive. At the end of the day, someone likes you because they see the real you – real and raw.

Pinterest

1) It’s all about the image.

Think dreamy and beautiful as those are the pins that work best, especially if you’re looking for re-pins which are the real traffic drivers.

2) Optimize for mobile.

Believe it or not, 55 percent of Pinterest users are coming from mobile devices (including tablets) and many Pinterest users are not taking advantage of having their content optimized for mobile.

3) Text is important, too (and the correct URL).

If you really want to drive traffic, you should also add text to the bottom of your picture. But keep it simple, pack in keywords and a short description, along with the right URL. If it’s too long, you’ve already lost them.

4) Utilize group boards.

Group boards are a great way to drive traffic as you can get cross-account followers of each of the ones you’re involved in, especially if you determine when to best pin based on your audiences. Melissa Fluhr creates group board parties based on the times she sees the most engagement from her audiences.

Blogs

1) Balance your content.

There is nothing wrong with sponsored and non-sponsored content. Just find a balance, decide what your focus is and know your audience. It’s okay if it’s sponsored as long as it’s still relevant for your audience. BUT, don’t do it just to get paid.

2) Create long-term, strategic partnerships.

The best way to monetize your blog is engaging in long-term, meaningful partnerships; not one-offs.

3) Create multi-platform package offerings.

Many times, it’s better to offer up ideas for different types of content – video, tweet chats, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. – as part of your offering, especially if you’re looking to monetize. It’s often easier to sell a $5K valued integrated package versus $500 for a one-off.

4) Build up your integrity.

You really can’t do it all. Don’t be afraid to say no. Stay true to your voice, content and your audience.

So, there you have it. These simple tips can go a long way when it comes to online community engagement. And would you look at that? Your “social media-savvy” score has just spiked! Happy blogging (and tweeting and posting and pinning…)!