Social media can be a scary platform for any business. You are exposed to millions of people in real time; one wrong move and your brand is under scrutiny, leaving you scrambling to undertake damage control. But do it right and you could tap into a whole new customer base, while creating loyal customers who will stick with you for life. So here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you better your social presence.
1. Have a strategy
Just like you would approach any aspect of your business, you need to have a strategy when tackling social media. Before you create a presence on the different social platforms, ask yourself, which platforms are you going to be active on? What are you trying to achieve with each platform? What platforms are your competitors most active and successful on? What will be your measure for success or failure on each platform? Who will be responsible for maintaining the platforms? This will give you a good baseline to begin planning for your social strategy.
Social media is a constantly changing landscape, what was once popular is no longer relevant, and trending topics are only worth talking about in the first 12 hours. It is important to be constantly testing your content, posting times and messaging to stay relevant. Watching what your competitors are doingÂ will also help, as you will be able to see which of their posts are the most popular.
3. Have a goal
A goal will allow you to streamline your efforts to push the metrics that you have developed in your social strategy. It will also allow you to more easily determine what posts and types of content are justified on your page, and which are not. Every post on social media should have a purpose – whether that’s to drive engagement, increase conversion, or take advantage of a topical moment.
4. Know your audience
This ‘do’ is relevant for any form of marketing. Your content needs to resonate with your audience in order to see results. Conduct market research on what your audience like, who they actually are, which social platforms they are most active on and what messaging they respond to. An email database, and google analytics areÂ rich sources for this information. Again, watching your competitors will also provide you with useful insights.
5. Stay consistent
Social media reflects your brand personality. Constantly changing who you are, how you speak and what you look like, will confuse your followers and potential customers. Research shows that consumers who are emotionally connected with a brand, are more valuable than those customers who are highly satisfied.Â They need consistency to be able to connect with your brand and products on an emotional level.
1. Not tracking
How will you know what you are doing wrong if you can’t see what you’re doing? Likewise, if you do not have insight into what is working well amongst your customers, then how can you optimise this for further conversion. Tracking is marketing 101 for any channel, online or offline. UTM tracking is the best thing you could ever do for your company. Google analytics is something that every company should be looking at on a daily basis.
2. Treating all platforms in the same way
People navigate and interact with content differently on different social platforms. Each social platform serves it own purpose, and therefore favours particular content over another. For example, posting an image of an article on Instagram will not gain any interaction from followers on that platform, as they are on there to consume easily digestible content. On Facebook and LinkedIn however, this type of content will be better received. Treating each social platform in the same way is a sure fire way to lose followers and see a drop in engagement.
3. Ignore customer service
Whether you like it or not, social media has become the new customer service for consumers. This is where they will go to post about their positive experiences, as well as their negative. It is important to be constantly monitoring activity on your social platforms to nurtureÂ happy customers, and damage control any negative comments.
4. Hashtag irrelevantly
This is annoying even when it is your friends posting. Hashtags can be extremely useful in reaching the right audience, and increasing brand exposure. However, it is only effective if you are using relevant hashtags for your brand and particular post. No two posts should ever have the exact same hashtags.
5. Buy likes and followers
It is very easy to spot an account that has bought likes and followers. It is a major turn off for consumers to see a brand having to essentially pay for friends. Growing a genuine database of followers will also mean that you have real data to gain insights from, and a real opportunity to convert your social followers into consumers.
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