Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Effective Social Media: Kat Tancock's Alberta Magazines Conference Session

Kat Tancock at the Alberta Magazines Conference (photo courtesy Don Molyneaux and Sandra Markieta)

As social media platforms proliferate on the web, it can be difficult to manage them all for your publication. Kat Tancock, Toronto-based digital consultant, says you don't have to. 

Tancock, who spoke about effective social media at the 2012 Alberta Magazines Conference, says you should start with the basics - Facebook and Twitter - and then do what you gravitate towards naturally. After all, social should be fun. 

Platform by platform, here are a few of Tancock's top social media tips (generated by her in consultation with top people at publications like Fashion, Today's Parent, Afar and National Geographic Traveler): 

  • Treat your readers as experts and solicit content for your editorial from them. 
  • Choose quality over quantity; refine your frequency and don't post more than a few times a day.
  • Try posting photos instead of links because they receive more attention. 

  • Be personal and sincere.
  • Don't just broadcast: converse, respond and share.
  • Always reply to people when they tweet to you or about you directly.

  • It’s been called "pictures for the kids", so use it to reach younger, web savvy readers (if that's your market).
  • Spotlight original photography.
  • Use it more for branding than to generate web traffic to your site.

  • Showcase your original photos here.
  • Keep it positive; Instagram is not a place to break hard news.

  • Pick topics that fit your brand, position yourself and your publication as the curator and create unique and targeted boards.
  • Participate with others by liking and reposting other people's posts.
  • Put a Pinterest share button on your website (this is key).
Tancock also offers a few do's and don'ts, including don't just broadcast; do respect people's time/space; and don't get too personal. Her number one rule is: don't be annoying. 

And if you're so busy that social media seems to fall to the bottom of the pile, Tancock offers these suggestions:
  • plan through a schedule;
  • create a lineup;
  • share the workload among staff members;
  • set limits,
  • use tools such as HootSuite to manage platforms;
  • and repurpose content wherever you can. 

[Kat has posted both of her conference presentations on her website at http://www.kattancock.com]

--- Heather Setka