by Jennifer Lumba   | April 12, 2015
1. Your posts get seen. Don't bet on it. Unless you're posting on a sparsely populated private network, chances are that your ramblings will miss most of your audience most of the time. Try to post when you know your top contacts will be online. Either that, or tag them in your post and ask for a response.

2. Posting the same content twice will annoy your network. How could it when most of your content is likely to go unnoticed? Posting multiple times gives your audience more opportunity to engage and share.

3. Good content is all that matters. Social media is short-form by nature, making it harder for great content to rise to the top. Take the further step of studying how your intended audience gets its content. Do they follow certain hashtags? Do they gravitate toward one network more than another? Use this intel to your advantage when distributing content.

4. Your network can't wait to hear from you. Social media moves too fast for audiences to sit idle, waiting for your posts to arrive. Presume the opposite. Write great headlines for every post and then name your readers in your posts to get their attention.

5. Avoiding controversy is important. While you should never aim to be rude, social media tends to revel in the extreme. Don't be afraid to take a stand if you've a strong, supportable point to make. Your audience may even be expecting you to weigh in.

6. You must follow everyone who follows you. Far from it. Rather, seek to develop mutually beneficial relationships. Connect with those who share your interests or who can teach you something you'd like to learn, using the knowledge gained for your audience's benefit.

7. Shortened links don't get clicks. Again, social media is short form by nature. Shortened links help keep the focus on posts, allowing readers to click to learn more if they so choose. There are also a growing number of tools for previewing the expanded versions of shortened links, helping users avoid spam.

8. Lightly followed networks don't matter. To the contrary: small networks can be especially powerful. Think of community sites or blogs built around shared interests. Posting in these forums can produce extraordinary levels of engagement that might be impossible to achieve elsewhere.

9. You'll always be tagged in conversations about you or your brand. Assume that most of the people you engage with in social media know neither who you are nor what you do. They'll post about your brand without consulting or referencing you. Set up searches to make it easier to track the narrative.

10. Your most important contacts and followers know what you think of them. Again, presuming nothing is the safest strategy. Your audience exists in a sea of billions accessing social media. Unless you make deliberate, regular attempts to recognise and reward them for engaging, they'll assume you aren't interested.

Jennifer Lumba is the chief marketing officer of Rideau Recognition Solutions. Built on state-of-the-art technology, Rideau's employee recognition and customer loyalty programs change the way companies recognize employee service and achievement, reward individual and team performance, strengthen customer relationships, and create brand loyalty. Lumba can be reached at [email protected]