How to make your content sing on social media

When it comes to content on social, it’s essential to get it right. And getting it right means paying attention to what content goes where. It’s not a one size fits all scenario anymore; content must be crafted to suit each platform and an understating of the nuances and algorithms of each one will ensure your content performs to its full potential.

We’ve put together the Bravo Best Practice, some tips and tricks to help you become content masters across the most popular social networks. In this post, we focus on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

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TWITTER: How do you create tweets that spark conversations and keep your audience engaged?

  1. Keep it short. A concise tweet makes an impact
  2. Show up everyday. The Twitter algorithm rewards accounts that consistently post and engage with their audience. Twitter is a content funnel that is constantly refreshed, so it’s important to make an appearance at least once a day
  3. A hive of activity. Get involved in the conversation and make sure your Twitter usage is not just limited to your own tweets. Reply, mention, quote, like and retweet to ensure your brand stays visible and a relevant part of the conversation, throughout the day
  4. Audience-centric algorithm. In addition to rewarding engagement, the algorithm also favors accounts that are credible. Keep your info up to date and purge spam followers on a regular basis. Likewise, be sure to follow credible, relevant accounts that relate to your subjects of conversation
  5. #DontOverDoIt. Don’t clutter tweets with lots of hashtags, stick to one or two key relevant hashtags and if you want to mention more, split the content over two tweets

INSTAGRAM: How do you create posts that make your brand sing and inspire your audience?

  1. Quality over quantity. Instagram is valued for its beautifully styled content. Never post just for the sake of posting and if you have something you really want to talk about – but no content ready that’s up to the arguably overstyled standard – use ‘Stories’!
  2. Stories on the fly. Following on from the point above, Stories is the perfect place for quick or “natural” content as there is no need to maintain a curated aesthetic, as is the case of your main feed
  3. Be consistent. Work out a posting schedule and stick to it. Don’t post everyday for a week and then disappear. One post a day is considered standard, however posting 3 times a week is also fine as the algorithm will display content that is several days old (unlike on Twitter)
  4. Understanding the algorithm. The Instagram algorithm regards responsive accounts that consistently engage with their audience. Ask questions, use polls, respond to users and your content will be considered higher quality by the algorithm   
  5. Speed matters. If your post gets a lot of likes and comments shortly after it’s posted, this signals to the Instagram algorithm that your post is quality content, so the post will get shown to even more of your followers
  6. #ToExpandYourReach. Accompany your visuals with relevant hashtags to make your brand discoverable to a wider audience

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LinkedIn: How to stand out on the world’s largest professional network?

  1. Publish consistently. Like any community of professionals, your LinkedIn network thrives on interaction. Keep your network engaged by being active on the platform daily, even when you’re not posting new content
  2. More than meets the eye. Content with high engagement will be analyzed by LinkedIn staff and potentially opened up to a wider audience. On LinkedIn your content may be shared with your 2nd and 3rd-degree network, depending on your level of engagement
  3. Play to the platforms strengths. Create useful, informative content. Native content takes precedence over links to other sites
  4. Many ways to engage. Find and follow influencers, connect with companies, and join LinkedIn Groups. Tag strategically – but sincerely – when you quote or talk about an influential person in your content (but be careful on this point and don’t over do it).
  5. Peer power. Get endorsements and recommendations from clients/partners who can speak credibly about your abilities and contributions. This will help catch the eye of prospective customers and/or employers
  6. We are family. Ensure your company appears vibrant and engaged on LinkedIn by encouraging employees to add themselves as employees of your company page
  7. Analytics to your advantage. Monitor your progress with LinkedIn analytics. This powerful tool helps you see how your content is doing and where you can improve

So there you have it folks, our how-to guide for three of our favourite social platforms. Stay tuned next week as we dive into Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube.

Featured image credit: Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Data and Consent: 6 ways that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impacts MENA businesses.

If you haven’t heard about the GDPR you will soon; it’s a set of regulations being brought in by the European Union in May 2018 to tackle data and, specifically, consent.

In this post, we paint a picture of its implications for businesses; from a legal, content, reputation management as well as business development perspective in the MENA region and globally, with valuable input from Fiona Robertson – Al Tamimi and Company’s Senior Legal Associate for Technology, Media & Telecommunications.

Read on guys, this is an important heads-up that’s not being discussed in the industry here as much as it needs to be. And when we say important – we mean important to the tune of 20 million euros. At least. So, let’s start at the beginning…

What is Consent?

In a nutshell, consent means offering users choice and control. With regards to data, the GDPR defines consent as “any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.”

In the Middle East, as users we face real issues with consent – being relentlessly abused by marketers, who flog their wares flagrantly in the face of the law, using personal data they genuinely have no right to use. As marketers, we owe it to ourselves and the brands we represent to regulate how we use data and how we manage consent. Why? Because brand reputation matters.

Consent and Reputation Management

Placing legal ramifications aside – just for a moment because they’re the juicy bits – the benefits of getting consent right are significant both from a customer service and brand trust perspective.

By being compliant with global best practice, you are demonstrating to your customers that they are genuinely valued and respected. You’re elevating your brand above the competition. Getting it wrong means (at best) eroding brand trust, reputation damage and inhibiting the likelihood of customer engagement now and further down the line. So… what do you need to know?

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Image Credit: pixabay.com

In order to put together the following recommendations, we pored over the UK Information Commissioner’s Office Advice and joined forces with Fiona Robertson – the region’s leading light in Technology, Media and Telecommunications law. Please bear in mind, the legislation isn’t yet finalized – it’s released in May 2018 – however we hope it serves as a guide to help you prepare.

  1. The first thing that you need to know is that there’s a lot to know and attention to detail is critical. Read the ICO’s advice (linked above). There are specific new provisions on a range of areas, including requirements around children’s consent for online services and, as you can imagine, consent for scientific research. The regulation applies to the manner of collection of data, the way data is secured and processed and the way in which it is used.
  2. While the regulation applies to the European continent, when your audience is on the continent, you will be subject to the law. In addition, and really importantly, the regulation is drafted to apply to all EU citizens, no matter where they are resident. In reality, this means the law is to be treated as a global mandate, as finding out who and who isn’t an EU citizen is not at all a practical reality and would represent a feat of data management in and of itself.
  3. Furthermore, the laws will apply to any entity that is part of an EU corporate structure. From a practical perspective, MENA subsidiaries will be expected to comply, as their European offices could be held liable for their errors.
  4. When it comes to UX design and data capture, assume nothing and do your homework. The draft regulation indicates that it will require specific and granular action. A blanket check box will not cover you off, so be thorough. Put a team together to ensure organizational-level understanding if you’re an agency and (at least) departmental-level understanding within Marcomms & IT if you’re client-side and – in all cases – set internal protocols and working processes.
  5. Another important point Fiona urges us to remember is that EU “Data Controllers” (who are the office-holders responsible for data in a corporate entity) must carry out due diligence regarding their suppliers’ data management processes, where they will be collecting or managing data on their behalf. Failure to undertake this due diligence may also result in a fine to the EU entity, so expect them to be very diligent in their due diligence! UAE companies that do not pass this due diligence process can expect to be overlooked for EU contracts. So, there’s a new business aspect to this as well, agencies. The agreements that you will see coming in from the EU will now include this higher standard for data collection, management and use. These clauses will not be negotiable, being required by the new law. This means that a company could be held in breach of contract if it fails to comply with the data provisions and could well be expected to include an indemnity for failing to comply as directed.  Given the size of the fines involved, it will be important to take this contractual obligation seriously.
  6. If a complaint is made, then the EU will notify all people that it believes might have been subject to that breach. This could open your company up to wider findings of infringement and could well create a public relations crisis. This will also most certainly negatively affect your ability to secure future EU contracts.

As you can see, getting it wrong is costly – beyond reputation damage, businesses may face substantial fines. Infringements of the basic principles for processing personal data, including conditions for consent, are subject to the highest tier of administrative fines. It could mean a fine of up to 20 million euros or 4% of your total worldwide annual turnover, whichever is higher.

This is not just about obeying the law, it’s about best practice. In the near future, Fiona and I will be hosting a seminar on the GDPR and its implications. Drop us a message at hello@bravoromeobyaj.com and we’ll make sure you’re on our guestlist. Best of luck everyone!

 

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay.com