Social media marketing has been embraced by companies in a big way. What started as a simple way to connect with friends and family has quickly become our dominant marketing platform. But, that doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it right. Or doing it well. I’ve seen my fair share of bad social media practice by companies and brands. Remember, these are public forums, and social interaction is key. With this in mind, I’ve come up with a few rules to live by in the social sphere.
Don’t forget the other channels – One of the biggest mistakes I see happening in digital marketing is a heavy reliance on one channel. In this case, social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are fantastic. They make it so easy to connect with new customers. However, they are not the only way to build your company. I see small businesses latch onto it, leaving all other channels by the wayside. Don’t forget about SEO, advertising, content strategies and web design. All these aspects must work together. Social media is powerful, but it’s not a silver bullet.
Choose the right platform – The second big mistake is trying to do too much. You need to choose the social media platform that works best for you. For example, the fashion industry has seen much better results by focusing on Instagram and Pinterest. For news media websites, on the other hand, Twitter is still the best way to reach your readers. Each platform has its unique audience, and a series of positives and negatives. Experiment with yours, and then focus on one or two that convert best.
Communication is a two-way street – Social media platforms were built with social interaction in mind. It’s the reason they exist and thrive. Well, you wouldn’t dominate a real-life conversation by shouting in someone’s face. So don’t do it online. Open up your dialogue to your customers and consumers. Ask them questions, and respond to their queries. Be approachable and friendly online. Be yourself. That way, it’s much less intrusive when you do have something to shout about.
Be timely – When it comes to social posting, there is definitely a sweet spot to be found. Posting too much will irritate your followers. Post too little, and your communications will get swallowed up among the masses. With Twitter and Instagram, you can post a little more often; up to 20 times a day isn’t unreasonable. If you’re using Facebook, however, try to limit your posts to five or six.
Monitor and adapt – Last of all, make sure you are constantly monitoring your engagement levels. Social media marketing requires regular measurement and testing. Analyse what’s working well and do more of it. Likewise, note down what performs badly, and do less of it. Every social media channel gives you feedback on views, engagement, and reach. Use them to craft a better experience, and improve your click-through rates.
When used correctly, social media marketing is incredibly effective. Just be sure to follow these golden rules! What laws do you live by on social media? I’d love to hear from you.