This semester as part of my University masters degree in social media, we have started looking at 'social media as practice'.
Straight out of the gate, the key focus has been on having a strategy, and how this is essential for businesses, news outlets, and those wishing to raise their social media profile.
In week one we looked at the BBC's English regions social media strategy from 2012, which begins by presenting the following vision...
The 'vision' is for the BBC to produce content on social media, on a daily basis, by BBC journalists and other staff, focussed on the local community (e.g. a social media presence for a local BBC radio station).
I think even as an individual on social media, having a vision as to what you want your presence to look like, and be about, is vital.
I have done a lot of work on my personal Twitter profile in order to increase my prominence on social media among the LGBT+ community.
In terms of a vision for my social media strategy, mine would be...
"To be an advocate for LGBT+ issues, posting daily about topical issues, encouraging engagement, and as a result, increasing my profile as an advocate and political commentator"
The BBC, in its strategy talks a lot about individual social media sites and how they should interact with their social media audience, for example they say the following about Twitter...
To me this idea of interaction with those who mention you on social media is vital to not just building, but sustaining a base of loyal followers, who will interact on a weekly, or even daily basis.
If all you're doing is posting endless content each day, people are taking the time to mention you, which in turn gets an @YourProfileHere mention, and you don't bother replying at all, the likelihood is that individual may cease interaction, or even unfollow you.
Of course I'm not talking about the accounts that spam you - For example someone sends you about 10 mentions a day, that of course is over kill, and could be considered bad interaction, and does anybody really have the time to respond to every single mention? (especially from the same person!) - the BBC even mention in their strategy that replies should be to a "manageable proportion" of users.
But if someone does comment on a post to say they agree with a post, or to offer some other insight, taking a few seconds to send a "thank you", can have fantastic benefits for your social media presence.
It may even mean others are more likely to follow, if they can see that the profile has an added element of humanity. I think this is especially important if you're posting on a business account, rather than an account representing yourself as an individual.
You can read more about the BBC and social media strategy at the BBC Academy - Click Here.