Inside insights: EURid on social media
What works for us and why
1- Create a social media plan. It might sound obvious, but producing a social media plan was the first step in defining a strategy for sharing both EURid news and promoting important .eu content. EURid is a ‘tech’ company, working in the field of the domain name industry. One of the registry’s main topics of interest is Internet Governance. That being said, EURid is also very focused in the development of digital businesses in Europe. On the one hand, we carefully select news about European digital regulations and items that can help small and medium enterprises go digital. On the other hand, we also post about successful enterprises that choose .eu to add a digital aspect to their activity.
When scheduling the plan we ensure that a distinction is made between the content to be uploaded to the various channels available. It is important that we use the right platform for the right message. We tend to post the same content on Twitter and Facebook (as well as Google Plus), but we usually adapt it to fit the appropriate criteria. More or less words can be used to convey the same message, for example. The timing of the posts and tweets, along with additional visual content are other aspects that are taken into account.
A defining feature of EURid is its multilingualism, given that the .eu registry works in many different languages with clients across the European Union and the EEA and partners across the globe. We try to use this to our advantage as it helps us to excel among our industry peers. Even though English remains the “lingua franca” in the tech world we promote our best practices and provide assistance to .eu customers in 24 European languages using social media.
2 – Schedule content, but provide live content when you need to. Although we create a weekly plan and proceed to schedule it regularly we do have to be ready to change it at any given moment. Not only do we change the lineup of posts and tweets, but we also complement them with inputs from verified sources. This method is used on a daily basis for Twitter: we often re-tweet from profiles that share useful news (e.g. @DigitalAgendaEU or @CENTRnews) or which in turn might circulate our content (e.g. profiles posting about the .eu Web Awards). Furthermore we re-tweet profiles of .eu websites that are coherent with the themes that we want to promote, or that are sharing inspiring news about their achievements. This all helps to increase awareness of .eu and therefore, our audience.
We use Twitter and Facebook for live tweeting/posting when we need to provide real-time information from the most important events that EURid takes part in. We do this by sharing both written and photographic/video content. Given the speed at which information is released in this day and age, immediacy is key. Live content ought to give a hint of what is going on in that instant and enable the reader to feel ‘in the loop’. Supplying photos of what is happening behind the scenes can be just as attention-grabbing as a prearranged photo. This type of content has the highest probability of being shared, given our established reputation.
3 – Become an established resource. EURid is a not-for-profit organisation, acting upon appointment by the European Commission. Its social media, while using a kind, friendly and sometimes amusing tone, must always remain the first and primary source vis-à-vis anything .eu-related (together with the official website). Social media as a platform can greatly impact the degree of reach and subsequently the level of influence a business has. In posting EURid press releases and news, we have to be reliable and therefore punctual with the information we share. Although one of our goals is to promote great .eu websites we make sure to avoid posts that look like a sales or advertising pitch.
4 – Think about global time zones: when are your correspondents most likely to be online? One should pay attention to the hours within which they want to post. Generally speaking, it is advantageous to maintain a regular presence on social networks. That being said, it is really useful to concentrate the most important content within the ‘most viewed’ hours. It is worth noting that different social networks promote different reading habits, and it's easier (and better) to follow them rather than to fight them. In most cases, we post a video on Facebook during an hour of the day where we know there will be a larger audience available to watch it.
5 – Note that social media is not an addition to your business: social media is an inherent part of your business. This is a psychological pre-condition to the successful management of social media channels. One ought to consider social media as a valuable business tool. It is crucial that one remains honest and transparent about what they wish to share. Being ready to handle criticism is also important! EURid has trained its External Relations team on the usefulness of social media, so that members can provide information for the purpose of having it published on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Our pages are a collective effort, conceived inside our offices, and we consider this important in order to guarantee quality content.