According to a recent study, about 45% of the world’s population is using any form of social media. Impressive, isn’t it? There are about 3.6 billion people who use social media.
By now, with that impressive number of users, you are probably aware of how important social media presence is for your brand. But, there are social media best practices to follow. A Grant Survey has shown that brands are at risk of losing 38% of customers because of poor personalization in social media marketing. These practices will effectively help you deliver greater business value and improve the presence of your brand.
Table of Contents
- Make a Research About Your Audience
- Choose Which Social Media Platform to Use (and Ignore)
- Create a Strategic Plan
- Types of Content to Publish and Share
- How to Safely Share and Publish Contents
- Earn Trust, Likes, and Familiarity from the Audience
- Use the Right Tools to Measure Results and Modify Strategy
Make a Research About Your Audience
It is clear and obvious that the first social media best practice is to know who your audience is. Would it be possible to give your audience what they need and want if you don’t know them? No, right? Then, they can’t give you what you want, too.
So, you have to make a research about your audience to begin.
Who is your target audience?
Are they mothers? Single moms? Millennials? Teenagers? Identifying your audience is a start. But, you have to be specific so you can effectively engage with your audience. You can categorize your audience based on their demographics. What demographics do I mean?
- How much they spend
- What they usually buy
Remember this, if you truly know the wants, needs, and expectations of our customers, you can anticipate their behavior in real-time. If you can do this, you can shape the nature of your content and customer service that your target audience will best appreciate.
Choose Which Social Media Platform to Use (and Ignore)
Several marketers are swarming on the Internet and only a few would go across several networks. How will you determine which network to use? Research about the network demographics. It will help you determine which of the networks you will use and not to.
Facebook has more active daily users of about 1.4 billion. Most of the users are the younger generations, most of them are at the age of 24 to 35. If you use Facebook as your platform, do not create a personal profile for your business. It is a violation of the Terms of Service of Facebook. If you violate this you are at risk of permanently losing your data and content.
Your page and content should be visually appealing. The posts should not be lengthy and the photos or media should catch the audience’s attention. I encourage you not to post similar content on Facebook and Twitter.
In Twitter, I encourage you to post frequent updates, engagement, and content retweets. But, you do not only have to post tweets. It is best to respond or retweet to posts related to yours.
Again, I discourage you to post the same status update you have on Facebook. Make your post on Twitter unique and engaging.
Instagram is a free photo and video sharing application. You are allowed to upload photos and videos with digital features and special effects. You can use hashtags to help people easily find your posts. Also, make sure that your photo or video content is interesting that others will engage with your story.
When you talk about blogs, you have to post content at least once a day, consistently. Blogs often feature opinions. Thus, you will encourage readers to make a discussion on your blog. They might even share your post!
Flickr has a similar platform for Instagram. It is an image and video hosting website where when you upload a photo it can be shared on other social media websites. But, you only have to share original photos. Also, you have to provide a description of your photos to grab the attention of your audience and make it easier for them to find your images through tags.
YouTube is a video hosting platform where you can upload your video contents and share them on other social media platforms. You make your content accessible on YouTube. But, when you create videos you have to make sure that you will not use copyrighted materials and you use proper credits.
Most professionals swarm on LinkedIn. You can provide content that is appealing to them. It is common in LinkedIn to have group discussions with useful information. You can promote your business through your personal LinkedIn network.
Create a Strategic Plan
Do you have a social media strategy already? It should reflect what you want to do and achieve on social media. You do? That’s great! Not yet? You better make now. It is a great help to monitor whether you are succeeding or failing on every post you make on social media.
I will give you a brief guide on how to create a winning plan. Here are the crucial points in creating a social media strategy:
Setting goals will help you determine what is working and what’s not in your social media strategy. You would know what to modify and what not. The social marketing goals will also help you track useful metrics. Here’s an example of what setting goals would look like:
Conduct an Audit
Collect data and inspect what’s working or not on your social media platforms. The results will help you plan out what to improve and what to eliminate within your strategies. You can easily observe:
- Who you are connecting with
- Who is connecting with you
- Which of the social media platforms most of your target audience uses
- How your brand is performing compared to your competitors
Also, you have to be honest with yourself about your social accounts. Ask yourself whether your audience is present in your social media. If they are, how are they using your platform, and are they helping you achieve your business goals? Your honest answers will decide which of the accounts are worth keeping or eliminating.
Types of Content to Publish and Share
Several content marketers and brand owners are making common mistakes when they are yearning for social engagements. Most of them will limit their social engagement to content on promotional updates. You have to remember this, promotional updates reflect the traditional marketing world.
Everything is different today, we are gaining trust, building community, and engaging to our consumers through our marketing efforts. You may post promotional messages, but do not limit yourself. Widen your scope by making your content creative and appealing.
If you are wondering what types of content you can publish, here are a few you may include:
- Adjacent Content: We all assume that when someone follows your social media profile, they are interested in the product or service you offer. But, their interests do not stop there. It is best to share content on your social media that are relatively relevant to your business. For example, you are a sneaker retailer. You could post content about the upcoming street wear styles from known designers. As you can see these topics are related to the interests of your audience.
- Company Information (Non-Promotional): You can share exciting events and community services your company has done. Do not be shy about sharing it! Let your target audience have a sneak peek of your community. It is a way to build relationships by making the brand personal.
- Witty Content: This is a tricky content strategy. You have to be sure about your brand and the personality you built within it. But, if it does not embody humor, I suggest avoiding this type of content. It may become awkward for your brand. Safety first! Also, you have to be careful with sensitive topics, you might lose followers because of this. Make sure your content is funny. Don’t put yourself in embarrassment.
- Responses: Not every post has to be an original idea of yours. You can respond to the ideas of other people. Social media is a place for conversations. So, be part of them. You can even look for groups that are relevant to your brand.
- Tips and Tricks: Sharing content with tips, tricks, or advice will make the lives of your target audience easier. It is a bonus if the tips and tricks content you will provide is related to your product or services.
How to Safely Share and Publish Contents
In social media marketing, you do not have to publish content here and there. You have to ask yourself, “how often do I need to update my account?”
There is no best answer, nor right or wrong with the publishing frequency of contents. The schedule will solely depend on the audience, their appetite, and whether your content is valuable for them.
More so, you have to remember that you do not have to make the social media status update lengthy. Some users easily move on to the next post on their newsfeed. Thus, you have to keep an eye on how long your target audience shares and engage in the posts.
Aside from the frequency in publishing content, you have to foster engagements with your target audience. There are two ways you can engage with your audience. First, you can respond to their questions, comments, or mentions. You have to be present and active to build your social media presence. Second is building a solid data-driven content. You can determine how your audience will react and engage with your content.
Last but not the least, you need to be consistent in your voice and branding. Content also talks about the visuals. You have to remember that your logo represents your brand. That’s why you should use attention-grabbing fonts and colors. More so, you have to pay attention to the tone, voice, and structure of your content.
Earn Trust, Likes, and Familiarity from the Audience
When you are building a brand reputation, you are doing it with the help of these three qualities– trust, likes, and familiarity. But how can you build it?
First, you have to show up. You need to give people the reason why they should invest in your relationship. Give them a reason to continuously connect with you. In order to successfully do this, you have to be real. Make them feel you are human, empathize with them.
Next, do not exclude people. You have to be open to anyone, make them feel they are part of the crowd. Also, do not spam hashtags and similar posts. Practice etiquette and make your content unique and engaging.
Lastly, do not be afraid to go off-topic and add value to your content. Doing so will help build a closer relationship with your audience. They do not want to be marketed constantly. So, offer assistance, answer questions, discuss things that are related to your product or service.
Use the Right Tools to Measure Results and Modify Strategy
When you manage a social media platform, you cannot prove its value nor optimize your effort if you do not have hard evidence data. It is best to use the right tools that can help you measure and optimize your social media activities. There are three major categories for analyzing your social media metrics.
- Measurement: The growth and competitive progress of your social media account will be reflected in this category. You can see the metrics in measurement tools like Moz Analytics.
- Listening and insights: As we discussed recently, social media is a place where you can have a conversation with people of the same interest as you. The listening tool will give you a massive flow of information and filter those that are helpful for you. Meanwhile, the insights will provide you the brand sentiment, competitive opportunities, and the pain points of the customer.
- Monitoring and response: As you become more strategic, you need to monitor all your social media actives to determine which of the actions are effective. Tools in this category will provide workflow functionality. It functions as a primary content distribution tool. You do not have to do it directly within the platform.
These tools may widely vary from its price and functionality. That’s why you have to take a critical decision about what type and data you need.
You need to have a well-planned strategy to make your social media marketing success. But, you have to remind yourself that it takes patience to achieve your goals and desired results. Along with your planned out strategy, you have to act the social media best practices to make it simple and effective. Our advice might be compatible with your brand which is enough to drive success.
Furthermore, you have to be adaptable to easily alter your strategy and confidently respond to any situation at hand. Use social media faster and smarter with Blue Water Digital. They can provide tools, rules, and clues to make the best practices suitable for your brand.