The Social Media world is complex and constantly evolving. Staying up to date with the latest trends, best practices and algorithm information is a full-time job. But used properly, Social Media can be an amazing tool for businesses when it comes to marketing, branding and even sales.
Below we are going to outline 5 high level practices that you should be following while managing your Social Media accounts, as well as 5 practices that you should be avoiding. Applying these simple tips will have you well on your way to a successful Social Media platform for your business.
- Be Consistent, Develop an Identity and Maintain It
Being consistent on Social Media can and should refer to several practices. Always maintain a steady flow of content. Depending on your business and strategy, 4-6 posts per week is great. More importantly, that content should develop a brand, look, and feel that you are consistent with post after post and across all Social platforms. This helps followers identify what your brand and business is all about and ultimately creates a stronger customer connection. Once this identity is established, make sure you don’t deviate from it. This brand identity is more than just a look or color palette, it is your tone, pace or cadence, etc. Humorous? Serious? Sarcastic? All have their place, but not for all brands. Be sure the brand identity you choose is one you can maintain and live with for years to come.
- Interact with Your Audience
Believe it or not, Social Media is meant to be social. Whether we’re talking Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn these platforms were built for people to interact with each other and the same goes for business accounts. Be sure to respond to Comments, Messages, and any other connections that customers are making on your pages. Even if they aren’t posing a question, still attempt to interact by thanking them or asking a question of your own. If there’s an opening to make a personal connection with a follower (Even though it may be virtual) take it. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is failing to engage with the customer online – would you ignore them in your store or at your business? Don’t ignore them here. If you start a dialogue, they expect it to be 2-way communication. Don’t ignore them.
- Use High Quality Content
This can be easier said than done in many situations. Creating and constantly having high quality content at your fingertips for sharing on Social Media is difficult and can be expensive. Businesses may need to get creative to produce these materials but using high quality content on Social will greatly benefit a customer’s experience and long term connection with your platforms. ESPECIALLY on outlets like Instagram, You Tube and even Facebook. Visually attractive photos and attention-grabbing videos are important. Interesting articles or blogs and high-quality copy also fall into this idea
- Tailor Your Content to the Social Media Platform
Different Social Media platforms lend themselves to different types of content. Come up with a strategy that gives followers what they are looking for on the specific Social platform they are on. For example, Instagram is an extremely visual outlet. People want to see incredible photos and exciting short videos. People on LinkedIn typically are looking for informational, longer form businesses related content. Take this a step further and tap into the analytics of your Social Media accounts. See what types of content your followers are engaging with the most and replicate it. Give the people what they want!
- Broaden the Number of Social Platforms You are Active On
It seems that a fair amount of businesses focus their efforts on 2-3 Social Media’s at most. They are on Facebook, Instagram, maybe LinkedIn and maybe Twitter. Many times it simply comes down to a management capacity issue, which is understandable. But businesses should do everything they can to take a foothold in as many Social Media platforms (that are appropriate for their business) as possible. In most situations, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and even Tiktok can benefit a business.
- Over Post
We’ve all heard that content is king but sometimes enough is enough. This can certainly depend on the nature of your business and what your followers are responding to but be conscious of posting to many times per day. There seems to be a sweet spot for each individual page and studying your page analytics can typically help you find this rhythm. If you have loads of awesome content and your followers are engaging at a high rate on every post, then pick up your posting frequency. If your content library is thin and you’re working to nurture engagement, tone it back a bit.
- Don’t Automate Content Across All Platforms
Earlier we told you to get involved in as many Social Media platforms as possible, but if due to management capacity, you’re forced to automate posting across these various platforms through a Social Media manager service, you should rethink your strategy. If used correctly, automation or scheduling posts can be a great tool but there almost always needs to be some hands-on work done to make sure a piece of content works on Facebook and also on Instagram. Simply checking the boxes and firing something out to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all at the same time won’t work, or at least it won’t portray your brand well. We’ve all seen the automated posts where tags, hashtags or image sizing gets altered when it doesn’t match the platform it’s being automatically sent to. It’s simply not a good look for your business.
- Don’t Get Caught Up in the Numbers
Every business wants 500,000 followers and gaudy numbers showing Likes, Views etc. But many times, these numbers can be very misleading. We call them vanity metrics… For example, 500,000 followers does you very little good if the interaction and engagement you have on your content is next to nothing. We often see Social Media accounts that have spent money or possibly launched a very large sweepstakes campaign that grew their following to huge numbers. But many of these people have very little interest in the brand itself and ultimately won’t ever spend a dime on your product or service. Or posting a 5 minute video that garners 50,000 views but 45,000 of those views didn’t make it past the 10 second mark of the videos duration. The point is, be conscious of what Social Media analytics and numbers REALLY mean. Be conscious of the numbers that really matter. A Social Media account with 10,000 followers that has fantastic engagement and is driving website traffic and sales is much better than a page with 500,000 fans that never engage.
- Don’t Go Silent
No matter the situation, don’t allow your Social Media accounts to stop kicking out content. Sometimes, job roles and responsibilities change or larger company priorities take over, but find a way to continue to post and interact. Developing a solid brand and an engaging audience on Social is hard. The worst thing that can happen is that you put forth the effort to build this and then suddenly abandon them. Even if your content quality has to decrease a bit, still do what you can to get in front of your audience. Something is better than nothing.
- Don’t Make “The Big” Mistake
Social Media can be a hostile environment. There are literally billions of potential eyeballs out there that could fall on your brand. This is a great opportunity that Social Media creates for businesses, but it is also extremely dangerous. Whether you like it or not we live in a judgmental world that consists of a lot of differing opinions. There are controversial issues out there that can start a Social Media firestorm. It is SO IMPORTANT that you are very careful when selecting the content you use and the language you use if it relates to any type of event or topic that could potentially be controversial. In our opinion, it’s often best to avoid these topics entirely. Unless you have to due to the nature of your business. You also need to be careful when dealing with customer service issues on Social. We’ve all had an angry customer jump on Social Media doing whatever they can to bash our product or service. No matter how difficult it is, remain calm and courtesy, and take the conversation out of the public eye. It is not uncommon to see a huge negative impact on a company or a personality if a mistake is made. Controversial content or comments can send your account into a downward spiral in no time.
We hope this advice will help you navigate the world of social media, but if you are still feeling overwhelmed give us a call and let us show you how we can help. Providence Marketing Group has managed content, ad campaigns and customer service for dozens of Social Media accounts across multiple industries. Contact us today to dive into the wide world of Social.