Social Media SharingYou already have subject matter expertise.  It is time to share that knowledge with others through social media.  There are many social networks, many rules, many experts and a lot of information to digest.  Beyond the basics of each platform, here is some practical advice to get started:

Be careful with posts

Take heed to best practices for sharing for the various social platforms.  Whether you’re posting to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest, make sure to follow the norms for that network.  Some updates may work well for your audience on Twitter, but may fizzle quickly on Facebook.

Try not to cross-post the same update to different social networks.  Do post content in different ways.  For a newly published blog article, post an image with the link on Facebook; pose a question from the article on Twitter; use a different image for sharing on Instagram or Pinterest.  Each post then links back to the original post, but is shared in different ways.

Always schedule

When posting to brand channels, schedule posts for the future—even if the future is only 5 minutes from now.  This will allow you to check the post for grammatical errors and typos, as well as verify that any links work correctly before the update goes live.

Do use dedicated social media tools to manage your personal accounts.  If you’re using an enterprise tool such as Sprinklr for your branded account, make sure to use another tool, like HootSuite or Sprout Social to manage your personal accounts.   The visual difference between the tools should trigger a reminder so that you won’t post anything personal on your brand account.

Listen to your audience

Review your own site metrics to determine what works best for your audience.  Analyze the posts that receive the best engagement—likes, comments, shares.  Find out when your audience is listening, and post your content during that time.  Make sure what you’re saying is relevant for your followers.  When in doubt, ask them!  Use polls and questions to find out what they want from you.  Respond to questions and comments from your followers so that they know that there really is a person behind the brand.

Got social media training?

Social media marketing is ever evolving and changing.  It is important to keep learning.  Stay up to date on the latest best practices and advice in the world of social media.  Cisco can help with free basic training via on-demand courses. Take them whenever it works with your schedule.  Access them here.  Are you a Cisco Partner?  You can find relevant courses for your business through Partner Education Connection.

Make sure to join us on July 31, 2013 for the next installment of our ongoing “Let’s Chat” series.  Join the conversation live via our Cisco USTREAM channel or by following the hashtag #ciscosmt on Twitter.

This is only the tip of the iceberg:  What advice would you share with other social media newbies?  Leave your practical advice in the comments box below.