Navigating social media can lead to a steep learning curve from the time you open your first Facebook or Twitter account until the time you’re feeling capable of running a successful social media channel. Here are three easy social media principles to heed along the way.

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Focus on Visual Content

Studies published on Twitter’s blog show results from millions of reviewed tweets on a variety of topics. Your followers engage more with tweets that include a photo or video more than text or links.  So show—don’t tell.


Recycle Your Valued Content

It might seem like you’re being lazy, but just because you posted it once doesn’t mean the people you want to engage saw it. Recycling content that you feel is quality or valued can give it the opportunity for it to reach the intended audience and become viral. This can be done quite a few different ways:

Try scheduling a different time

Perhaps your post or tweet was perfectly composed and would have had great engagement, but maybe your audience missed it for one reason or another. Try resending what you feel is quality content at different times of day. If you sent it at 9 a.m. with little feedback, try it and the same day at 3 p.m. Then try it again a week later at a different time. The idea is that each time you send it out that you may be reaching a different audience, (i.e., morning-commuters, lunchtime audiences, the rush hour social media viewers.)

Small-chunk, bigger pieces

Perhaps you’ve written or have access to an extensive white paper on some subject or another that can’t be found elsewhere. Instead of posting the entire piece at once, consider breaking the entirety of it into a few pieces and turn it into a series, or rework it into a list or photo essay. Stretch the opportunity to educate or inform your audience incrementally.

Rework old content

Sometimes the old becomes new again. Keep a calendar of annual events and consider revisiting old topics on the annual calendar. These pieces take a little planning, but when done well can make for engaging pieces that speak on progress and the current day standards.

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

Without breaking into every amending detail of Twitter and Facebook etiquette, letting people know they’re being appreciated is a quick and easy way to build relationships both online or in business in general.  This could be a simple as favoriting a retweet or tweeting your personal thanks for their following you. Missing an opportunity to be gracious online could be perceived as being unappreciative. So always err on the side of caution and make it a policy to always favorite or thank others for their engagements and contributions.

Also, be sure to attribute where you get your news from and never pose as the source of something you found online. Doing so can generate a lot of resentment in your industry. Someone worked hard to create the content we find, so never forget to acknowledge that effort with a favorite, mention or attribution.

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Kwame Shorter is the Digital Communications & Website Specialist at IDN, Inc.