Love Letter To Social Media Users: Harness Your Tribe’s Power

Dec 16 2015

by Nancy McNulty

Dear Everybody in the United States of Social Media,

We are so glad you are here, but, as a PR & social media rep, your lack of general information, hashtags, and photo tagging is missing an important opportunity!! 

Have you ever stumbled upon a beautiful feed on Instagram or seen a favorite local actor’s post that is so vague you have no idea the whys of the post and are just so frustrated #grrrr. I have so many multi-talented friends in numerous fields who take the time to post but miss the opportunity for good messaging.

Here’s one example:

“Thanks y’all for coming out and supporting live theatre. You are simply the best.”

Ummm, what live theatre? Where live theater? I love you on stage but where, when and how long?! I think a lot of times, in our minds, we think everyone is just right there in the room with us or in our heads and understands all. There is too much vying for our attention for this to be the case.

Here are some of my top suggestions when posting and let’s go even further and take it to the next level – engagement and conversion.

The 5 Ws

  1. The rules of good news reporting apply to great social media posting as well. Who, what, when, where and to what extent or why are the foundations for a good lead or first paragraph in news writing.  Here’s an example on being thorough with your posts. And, don’t be afraid of being repetitive as you post multiple times about an event.

“December 4-21, at the Hobbs Theater, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and I’m Mary Bailey. Join us & grab a ticket here.” (Highlight link, copy & paste the ticket info. Make it easy.)”

The @ symbol is your friend

2. When making a good post, it gains more power when you leverage other people, places and organizations. We often on our Forest Home Media Facebook page, post helpful content from the Southern C . The post is then shared and tagged as many times that makes sense and is relevant. Compare the analytics on your own group or business page. You’ll see a big difference.

Hashtags really work

3. There is still some confusion over a hashtag and its role.  Seen by some as an aside or sarcasm (#guilty), the hashtag also plays an important role in creating further engagement and discovery of your post and content.  While you can post up to 30 on Instagram,  on Facebook, chose a couple of key elements.  Perhaps your post is related to Christmas, Adele or New Year’s Eve.  You can be part of the larger conversation by adding a hashtag like #CoatOfManyColors which was used for Dolly Parton’s recent movie on NBC.  After an event, our team takes a look at attendees posts and can easily search this on Instagram and Facebook and engage via brand comments. We did this most recently for the Nashville Symphony Show House (#NashSymphonyHouse) and also used it to run a contest.

Castle Homes, Nashville Symphony Show House, Hashtag Poster
For the Castle Homes’ Nashville Symphony Show House, clear directions were shared for social media handles to increase event engagement.

Caption Your Photos & Posts

4. Photos are essential but don’t forget to caption it. Social media is driven by images. Don’t forget to caption those pics. From your Facebook cover photo to the simplest Instagram pictures, if you don’t caption the photo, why did you bother to post it?  If you don’t take this opportunity to own your social real estate, you immediately eliminate the possibility of it being shared or reposted.

The Edit Button Is Also Your Friend

5. Finally, the edit button too is also your friend for Facebook and Instagram. If you tweet a mistake, your only option is to delete and start over. However, on Facebook and Instagram, you have this capability and I’m surprised more people don’t use it.

Facebook Edit Button, Forest Home Media
Posted as an example, quickly correct the spelling of Monday by pushing this drop down arrow.
Instagram Edit Button, Southern C
When you click on the … on the bottom right of the Instagram post photo, it activates these choices including edit.

I went to a BEAU-tiful party on Saturday in Nashville where the host was unveiling his new CD. The party was spot on perfect from floral design to the actual music performed; however,  we were only invited to pre-order the CD at the party. For me, I want all of my friends to use the power at their fingertips. With all of those cell phones lifted in the air at events, you should gently guide your audience to follow and tag your social media handles. Announce the event hashtag so you can track coverage later and engage. Ask folks to share, share share! We all have our tribe who are more than willing to help. Empower them!

When you don’t do these easy tips, you greatly reduce – even eliminate – the option for anyone including a national media outlet to repost or share your dreamy content.

You is smart. You is kind. And, you can do this!  It’s just good PR 101.  Let’s go engage our tribe in 2016 and make a difference for our brand and all of our causes.




Nancy McNulty View More Blog Posts from this Author

Cool, new and different is the mantra driving the public relations efforts of our company, Forest Home Media. Based outside Nashville in the historic Forest Home area, as a PR rep, I love working with a variety of home lifestyle companies including the 2014 Nashville HGTV Smart Home builder and served on the PR team for Southern Living Idea House at Fontanel. A long-time Tennessee girl with a communications degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, my career began as a newspaper reporter and a state agency spokesman. Connect with me at

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