5 Simple Hints To Get Started With Social Media

What To Consider Before The First Post, Tweet, Pin or Video!

Blog post by Daniel Zelling, Founder of opensmjle.

Probably one of the most difficult, but at the same time most important questions when it comes to using social media for your brand communication and marketing – in short: What, Whom, When, How often, and Where?

Pardon me? And a bit more in detail?
Sure. Here we go! The questions you should already have answered for yourself before the first post, tweet, pin or video should always be:

  1. What should we be posting about?
  2. Whom is the right person to post in the name of our brand?
  3. When is the best time for us to post?
  4. How often should we be posting? What is the right frequency?
  5. Where – in which networks – should we be posting?

1. What should we be posting about?

The key question is certainly, how to create engagement! How can you as a brand be more interesting, so people really want to engage with you?

Well, the natural approach should always be to stand out from your competitive set, trying to be different. A nice example is presented by this young lady in the video below. By the way, in the moment I am composing this blog post the video has more than 5.3 Mio. clicks! Crazy…

Insert Youtube video:

Got the message? Alright, so let´s be brave and try to be unique! That´s the most important message when it comes to content. Let´s look into what could be the right approach!

We learned so far…
…that we should try to create individual content representing our business. Sounds logical, but at the same time not everyone has the necessary talent or dance moves like the young lady, right? So what can we do instead:

Tell your story, if possible in a very visual way, as that engages best.

Try to define what is special about your brand, and, if possible, the people behind it. What kind of content, useful, highly visual or even funny, could be triggering engagement by potential followers and fans? This is in many cases not that easy to evaluate, but if you found the answer to this key question, everything else is more or less a no-brainer.

A great example on how to switch a brand´s communication strategy from talking about the business to a change in the mindset is Design Hotels. They decided to stop showcasing brick and mortar elements mainly – their hotel properties as such – and highlight the very special owners of the individual hotels forming part of this nice brand. The new strategy is called ‘Made By Originals’ and comes along with amazing high-quality visual storytelling based on video and photography. Here a screenshot of the Design Hotels website where you can learn about Emmanuelle de Clermont Tonnerre, the owner of Insolito Boutique Hotel in Brazil:

Design-Hotels-Screnshot copy

And here the supporting ‘Made By Originals’ video showcasing Emmanuelle de Clermont Tonnerre, the owner of Insolito Boutique Hotel in Brazil. Certainly as a viewer of the video you get a feeling for the hotel as well which in the end should be the goal. Tell the story, but still showcase what you want to sell in a nice manner:

Insert Youtube video:

Alright, so let´s assume we found this key element, we should base our storytelling upon. What´s next?
Well, the next step would be to build your individual content strategy based on it and only then it´s about time to combine your new content strategy with information surrounding your services.
This could be events, specialties of your brand, incredible views, an amazing chef creating the best food in town or just a key member of your team being an expert on a certain topic which can be related to your services, even if it is barbecue, cooking, wine, dancing, singing, music, design, or whatsoever. Tell your story!

Another great example for a brand using visual storytelling: Morgan´s Hotel Group!

Right, they got nice locations in amazing cities, a team of professional photographers, and a certain type of guests helping them to tell stories. But still, as a brand you need to realize this potential and take full advantage of it.

Below you can find some example screenshots from their Facebook Fan Page showing their approach on straight forward visual storytelling. And as you can see from the likes, comments and shares these postings generate pretty nice engagement within their fan base:


2. Whom is the right person to post in the name of our brand?

Difficult question. This certainly depends on your setting as a company. Germanwings for example has a dedicated team of 5 specialists only taking care of social media postings and community management. Nice, you might say. Starwood Hotels has a pretty nice team as well generating content throughout the platforms and delivering amazing engagement rates with their fans.

Sounds great, but reality shows that most of us don´t have the budget for such a team. So in many cases this is a sales person, one specific marketing person or the owner of the company themselves. Back in the good old days when social media just began some companies still left this topic to the young guns within the companies or even people passing an internship with the brand. Those times should be over today, hopefully!

Now, the right approach certainly depends on the size of your company. But no matter how big your company is, still it remains key to define responsibilities within your team and make sure their is a plan B in place as well.

An example with a slightly different approach would be the ’1st Twitter Hotel’ in the world by Sol Melia Hotels: @SolWaveHouse

For this property the entire staff forms part of the social media team AND specifically Twitter is integrated as a tool to service the guests using specific #hashtags like #FillMyFridge, #PartySuite or #SocialWave. For example, as a special social media based service, two dedicated Twitter concierges deliver fresh drinks to your party suite whenever you use the right Twitter #hashtag and whilst on site: #FillMyFridge! Nice one…

Here the short video highlighting some key Twitter usage spots of the hotel:

Insert the Youtube video:

3. When is the best time for us to post?

That´s easy! Hmm, or not?
The first indication would be whenever something happens, right? Well, yes and no, it really depends on the content. But most importantly you should share your content whenever YOUR followers are online. Meaning, if you own a music club and people decide to go there within short time frames, it could be the best approach to post in the evening or even during the night. If you operate a leisure hotel it could be better to post during times when people research for their next holiday and that is more likely during evenings or the weekend. But then as well based on timezones. So check where your guests mainly come from – know your demographics!

As a note: within Facebook this is pretty easy, as you can check via Facebook Page Insights when your specific followers are online. Have a look on below example screenshot from Facebook Page Insights:

Facebook-Page-Insights copy 2

4. How often should we be posting? What is the right frequency?

Now this is a bit tricky, as it really depends on your setup, the information you want to transmit and the ability to create content frequently. In general you should stick to this basic rule:

Decide on a certain frequency and try to stick to it as long as possible.

Meaning, if you decided to post once a week then continue doing that. If you have the capability – and that is certainly better on the long run – to post once or even twice a day, then continue doing that.

The reason for that is pretty obvious:
By using your specific timeframe you generate a certain expectation within your follower-ship. Some people are totally happy to retrieve information from your brand once a week and would be happy to follow that information. But if you change your frequency all the time and start sending them content 3-4 times a day in the next week, they most likely will unfollow your brand as this is just too much for this audience.

One key consideration though for Facebook:
Since December 2013 Facebook change the algorithm of their timeline resulting in one key issue in case you don´t post too frequently – if your fans don´t continue engaging with your content in a continuous manner, it is less likely that they will even see your content on their timelines.

That results in following action point: The more often you post nice content (without over-performing), the more likely it will be to be seen in the timelines of your fans and the more likely people will engage with your content.

5. Where – in which networks – should we be posting?

When it comes to selecting the right networks this is always in discussion, but one key consideration is following:

Less is sometimes more!

Yes, you heard right! Less might be more sometimes.
As mentioned before not everyone has a huge team of social media dedicated specialists. So it might be the right approach to be selective on the networks you pick to play. In many cases this will result in using Facebook and Google+, some might add as well Twitter. If you have a very international and young audience Instagram could be the right pick, or for F&B and e-commerce businesses even Pinterest! It really depends on your business case and potential customers, but you don´t need to be pro-actively creating content on all platforms at all times.

One important note though:
Even if you use 1 or 2 platforms mainly you still should secure your accounts on all platforms, as there is always someone being funny and doing crazy things with ‘your’ brands accounts. Need an example? Here you go – DONG DONG DONG:

Twitter-Screenshot-of-Kölner-Dom copy

Alright, so far! Whatever you do, please remember that social media should be fun for everyone involved and that´s the way you should approach whatever you post or comment on as well: with a smjle!

Did we create some social media and visual storytelling inspiration? Are you still unsure on how to approach this for your brand? Contact us and share your thoughts under hej@opensmjle.com! Would be great to hear from you…

Laura Badiu

Laura is a passionate bookworm and a gifted writer. Since joining TrustYou’s marketing team, she has embraced topics in the travel and hospitality sector with enthusiasm. Using her degree in Journalism, Laura creatively weaves words into insightful stories with a focus on reputation management.

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