It’s never a bad time to revisit your campaigns, strategies and social media best practices. When you get this right, building your brand through social media marketing can pay off in a huge way sets you up for many successful years.
Just one misstep, though, can equate to a loss of credibility. It can take just as long – or longer – to regain your audience’s trust once you’ve lost it.
These 14 social media best practices can enhance your marketing game.
Claim your usernames
So, maybe you’ll never get around to using an Ello, Flickr, or Reddit account – that’s okay. But not claiming your unique brand username could have dire consequences. According to Adobe Spark, the top four social media channels currently are:
If you decide to use different channels at some point, you’ll already have your brand username. Having the same username across multiple channels makes it easier for your audience to find you and creates a unified brand approach. Not sure if your brand’s username is already taken? Use Namecheckr to find out.
Add your business info to profiles
While you want to be sure that your brand name is available across channels – even if you’re not using them – it’s of utmost importance that your brand info is on all the channels you are using. Filling out as much information as is asked for is best. Otherwise, your call center runs the risk of answering many of the same questions multiple times. Having your information readily accessible, as well as an easy-to-find FAQ sheet, allows your customers and prospects to discover answers on their own and lets you work on more pressing matters.
Don’t just post, and don’t post just to post
Building your social media community is definitely necessary, but it’s only the beginning. Aside from posting brand-related status updates, you need to craft messages and thought-provoking content that stirs a conversation. It’s there where the real community is cultivated. Building thought leadership keeps people engaged, brings in leads, and adds a personal touch to your brand.
In addition to posting and content creation, make videos and snap photos, too, making sure that everything you post anywhere brings some type of value to your audience.
Do more than just optimize
Brands have caught on to the realization that most people are accessing their brand via a mobile device. Even with this information, however, the majority of brands haven’t moved past basic optimization. Adapting to your mobile audience is crucial, so review these items to ensure you’re more than just optimized for mobile:
- Does your website work well on mobile devices?
- Do you have an online presence for mobile interaction?
- How many social channels are you on?
Once you’ve addressed these key items, perform a mobile audit. What works, and what doesn’t work? Afterward, begin implementing social shopping features, such as Instagram’s commerce feature.
Use hashtags properly
Several social platforms allow you to use multiple hashtags in your posts. But for brand content, overusing hashtags can look a bit desperate. For instance, on Twitter, one to three hashtags are sufficient. On Instagram, don’t use any more than 10. The majority of people refrain from hashtags on sites like Facebook and Pinterest, so if you use them on these sites, you run the risk of looking out of touch with social media best practices. And if you want to use a specific hashtag but you don’t know much about it, do your research first. Unintentionally using an offensive hashtag can have dire consequences.
Automate, automate, automate
You only have so much time in a day. While posts and responses are certainly important, there’s a certain amount of your daily tasks that can be automated. You can schedule your posts in advance to reduce the number of live postings. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have native scheduling, but social media marketing tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to schedule and post your content to several accounts all at once.
Make changes to video content
Video has many significantly personal uses. Social media brand videos need to be social. In other words, your video content should build a community rather than just broadcast. Researching your audience helps you understand the best types of video they’re actively engaging with which allows you to tweak yours for a better fit.
Be accessible through voice and visual methods
Social has exponential reach power over the next 10 years. If you forego social engagement now, you’ll miss the massive reach opportunity that social media provides. You don’t necessarily have to know the logistics of voice control and visual search, you just need to be accessible within these new methods.
Find, research, invest in authentic influencers
It’s such a buzzworthy topic lately – influencers. But not every influencer is created equal. Think about allocating funds towards researching influencers. Make sure you’re tapping actual trusted possibilities. Then consider partnerships. Don’t just reach out to all influencers because they appear to have a broad reach.
Consider exploring and adopting new tech
Tools using artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual reality are prime real estate. You can use these tech tools to bolster your content strategies, create automated messaging experiences, or turn abstract data into physical reports.
Scout for new talent
Transforming your social media game means you can stay in better touch with your current employees as well as reach potential new hires. If you ignore social channels as a method of communication, you might find your brand at a disadvantage to companies who are leveraging their leadership on social media.
Watch legislation to know the customer data points you can use and which ones are off-limits
You obtain a host of customer data and consumer information in your day to day business activities, and that includes what you glean from social media. New legislation states what data you can use, and what you can or cannot do with the information. Your first task is to remove all ambiguous language from your sites and pages. Your audience needs to know what information you’re collecting and how you intend to use it – straight up. When writing your new framework, it’s a good idea to include your brand’s stance on the potential of a data breach.
Prepare for a world without “like” metrics
Gauging interaction and how much the world “likes” your brand took a stiff turn when social platforms like Instagram made changes to their vanity metrics. It’s still important to measure reach but how exactly to gauge these metrics will depend on the alignment of larger, more important goals with corresponding meaningful metrics.
Design meaningful metrics that can be mapped back to engagement
The thing to remember here is the uniqueness of every business. You’ll find that even when compared to your competitors, you likely have goals and benchmarks that differ. Experiment with various marketing efforts. Outcomes are highly dependent on your objectives.
Pay close attention to such aspects of social as:
- Paid media
As you begin aligning these practices or other metrics with your social, remember to continuously do your due diligence – actively research your audience. As you do so, it doesn’t matter which metric you’re striving towards, it keeps brand values from falling by the wayside. You’ll keep your efforts aligned with the audience’s core values and harness the power of all your social channels to identify the conversations you want to be a part of.
You’ll enjoy the rewards of meaningful relationships and a brand voice that’s elevated above the chatter. The key to this juggling act is to remember its fluid – it’s a constant responsibility of reevaluating your brand’s core strategies and marketing tactics. If you relentlessly hustle with good judgment, you can harness social media best practices and boost your brand’s recognition and customer loyalty.