Growing “The Sleepy Runner” personal interest profile has been very similar to nurturing greens from seedling to plant. Both are really a labor of love, patience and added wisdom. Though a green thumb can’t help me manage my social media, I can and have been striving to apply the best practice knowledge I’ve learned along the way.
(BEST) PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
The first must-do of social media is to choose the right platform. There was no doubt that Instagram was the ideal channel for my running page because it allows me to drive my message with visual-heavy content (Clarke, 2019). It’s also the least divisive social media platform of them all, perfect for the running community.
Understanding IG’s demographic, which tends to skew young, was equally important to consider when creating content. I’ve adopted colloquial wording, music in stories and stylized photos that appeal to the typical user, ages 18 to 24, but the content is designed to connect with athletic-minded people of all ages.
Other best practices that I favor using in my content are videos and emojis. These two elements humanize the tone of my page and complement my efforts in connecting with audiences. I’ve recently started using hashtags as well, which is something I wish I would have done from the initial roll out. Moving forward, this will be a staple in all future posts since this is the way content is sorted on Instagram. Essentially, it’s a critical way of how audiences will find my page.
I also give myself a thumbs up on the timing of my posts since some of my weekly content tends to go live on Thursday. According to Sprout Social, the most ideal times to post for recreational content are Wednesday and Thursday at 1p.m. (Arens, 2020). During this time frame, the highest engagement occurs on Instagram, whereas the lowest is before 6 a.m. or after 10 p.m. on any day of the week. Knowing the best time to post is key to maximizing engagement with visitors. After all, 71% of consumers who interact with brands on social media are more likely to recommend the company through word-of-mouth (Patel, n.d.).
Finally, the most important social media best practice I’m mindful of honoring is the tone of my page. Falcon IO encourages content creators to avoid being preachy with their messaging and instead opt for familiar storytelling. I agree. Going back to the humanizing aspect of my page, I favor writing in a more conversational tone and tap into humor whenever it’s appropriate.
Part of leveraging good practice is also to periodically assess what is working and what can be done to improve the content. “The Sleepy Runner” is no exception. After evaluating the current strategy and learning about Instagram-specific best practice, I’m aiming to include my running advice as a graphic on photos to better captivate users’ attention, as well as bolstering engagement via polls.
DARE TO INSPIRE
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the two brands that have inspired my approach and who are also great examples of social media best practice. Athletic retailer giant Nike is one brand that has opted to go visually big on Instagram. With over 93.3 million followers, the Swoosh company deploys inspirationally rich content that features photos of its sponsored athletes and videos of its community members engaging in a wide range of fitness activities (eclincher, n.d.). The company is consistent about including hashtags in all of its campaigns, like the infamous #justdoit slogan. Nike is also pretty savvy in recognizing the value of other media platforms, opting to use Facebook sparingly because of its algorithms that favor family engagement over brands, and using Twitter to answer customers’ questions or address concerns.
The other brand that’s a model of social media best practice is Bombas, the purpose-driven manufacturer of “the most comfortable socks in history” that donates a pair for every pair that is purchased. Its approach to Instagram is to be visually appealing with colorful photos of their comfy socks, brand influencers and curated content from customers. The company is very socially progressive and uses its platform to promote some of the issues it champions like support for the LGBTQ community and empathy for the homeless. Recently the company has opted to capitalize on Instagram Stories, which has yielded them over double the conversion rate and nearly 50% higher return on ad spend (Talbot, 2019). It also recognized early on the value of video and produced “Million Pair,” a quirky segment that creatively tells the founding story and brand mission of donating a million pairs of socks. The brand didn’t preach about the challenges of homelessness, instead it spotlighted its mission. And it’s worked. Bombas customers say their purchases aredriven by the company’s altruism.
My hope is to continue to nurture “The Sleepy Runner” with best social media practice and foster a relationship with my audience, so that I too will be able to inspire and help my community as Nike and Bomba have done so seamlessly.
Arens, E. (2019). The best times to post on social media in 2020
Clarke, T. (2019). 14 Social Media Best Practices You Should Follow in 2020
eclincher. (n.d.). The 9 Best Brands on Social Media
Patel, N. (n.d.). Is There a Generic Best Time to Post On Social Media Platforms?
Talbot, P. (2019). Inside Bombas Marketing Strategy