We use social media to promote the Cantilever vision, values, brand, culture and projects. It's a good way to keep Cantilever in the minds of our current clients and forge new relationships. We think that apart from engaging current or future clients, we can also bring a lot of great knowledge from our field to those outside it — helping them better understand what web developers and designers do all day long.
Often we use Unsplash to grab photos for articles and social posts. It's fairly easy, just search for what you'd like and grab what's best. We do have lots of social tiles already created (thanks JT & Rina!) which you can find in our Google team drive here. These tiles let you create a composite graphic from a stock image which carries Cantilever branding and style.
Guiding Questions For Social Content
When creating social media content for Cantilever, make sure to keep asking yourself...
- Does this post provide inherent value? In other words, does the viewer gain personally from having seen the content? Would someone, having seen the content, decide to click ”Follow”?
- Which of our Brand Values does it discuss? Does it reinforce our overall brand?
- Is this post something that only Cantilever could have created? If not, make sure we have a justification.
The most important output of our social media efforts is new clients. Therefore, even though most of our current audience are in the industry, we should tailor our content to appeal to potential clients anyway.
As a second level goal, we want to make sure that our clients and network think of us often, so we are top of mind when they are referring studios to their friends.
Inherent value can come from plain text, or it can come from lavish imagery and animation. It can be done in 5 seconds, or 50 hours. Value is a mindset. The social media manager must immerse themselves in the design and tech world, and our own culture, to be able to generate value through the content we produce.
Even our perfunctory posts, like "new project" announcements, should create inherent value.
- Projects: We make beautiful and clever design solutions in our projects all the time. When we post about our projects, we should deliver inherent value by showcasing what we came up with and inspiring our audience – whether they are designers doing similar work or marketers who might start to dream about what their site could look like. Don’t "announce" it with a tiny screenshot. Use the design of it to generate beautiful tiles. Find out what unique coding challenges we faced and write "pro tips" that explain our solutions. Etc...
- New team member: We have a standard tile to welcome new team members. We should try to go further. Don’t just announce them, use their unique qualities to spin off content related to them that allows us to put them in the spotlight. How about a funny GIF of them? Or a joke that plays off of our pillar topics? If it’s actually funny, it’s inherently valuable and therefore good content. Do they work in an unusual location? Talk about remote work through the context of that person’s experience. Are they a designer? Show off the beautiful things they have done.
- Blog posts or videos: Don’t just link to the video, excerpt it and showcase the best parts of it. Don‘t just link to the post, quote the most important bit and make a catchy tile.
- Internal culture posts: Don‘t just tell people we’re playing GeoGuessr, show a screenshot of one of the challenges and add a poll to see who can guess the location. Don’t just talk about how great Remote Work is, find some stats about how it makes people happier and turn those into a tile. Give people something with a takeaway and some insight they wouldn‘t have had before.
- Behind-the-scenes: Don’t just show people what we are up to, give them a tip that they can use in their own work. For example if we are whiteboarding with a client, don’t just announce that we are whiteboarding and post the photo. Talk about why whiteboarding can be a helpful tool and use the current session as an example.
This is inherent value:
So is this:
We should generate new posts – with as much inherent value as possible – when the following things happen:
- New Project
- New Team Member
- 1-year, 5-year, 10-year, and 20-year Cantileversaries
- New blog post/video
If the posts you come up with are visual, put them on all channels. If they are mostly text-based, keep them restricted to Linkedin/Twitter/Facebook.
We don’t need to wait for a trigger in order to post about projects or our people. They are just a good time to do it. When our calendar is light, it’s a good time to use non-triggered content, like showcasing old but beautiful projects, or fun code challenges we’ve solved in the past.
Social media is... SOCIAL! It is all about engaging with people before, during, and after we make our own posts. The social media manager is a 24/7 networker interacting with everyone in our orbit.
Firstly, the manager must monitor engagement with our existing posts and respond to any significant interactions. Usually this means shares, retweets, and comments, but a like can also be worth saying "thanks" for follows, especially if the person is notable.
If someone DMs us, obviously we should reply quickly (at least once a day). If they have a specific inquiry that is best handled by someone else, get their email address and share it with that person.
Finally, if someone follows us, at-mentions us, or otherwise promotes us, make sure to say thanks. Watch out for people who post about our articles without tagging us, or only tagging one of our team members. It’s worth doing an occasional search to find instances like this:
Every infographic should have a small Cantilever logo somewhere on the post as seen below: