If you’re business isn’t on Facebook and Twitter, then this post isn’t for you except to tell you to consider setting up a Facebook page and Twitter profile ASAP.
For all those readers who do have a social media presence for their businesses I know how hard it can be to maintain this presence, so I wanted to share some advice to help you out.
Ashley Zeckman from the TopRank blog recently compiled a list 20 do’s and don’ts for social media marketing to help businesses with their social media strategy. So here goes:
10 Social Media Marketing Do’s
- Save Time, Re-purpose Content
While this is a great tactic it is important to be thoughtful about the way that you are re-using content. Simply spitting out the same information over and over again will not work.
- Interaction is Where It’s At!
True interaction via social media can be a tough tactic for many marketers to master. Finding the correct balance of self promotion and intriguing content that inspires action can be very instrumental in using social media appropriately. Take some time to comment or interact with your current clients and prospective clients to show that you’re there, and you care about what they are saying. A simple tactic is to ask questions that inspire a response.
- Try Multiple Media Types
Social media users are interested in fresh new ways of presenting content and ways that they can share it with their networks. In fact certain forms of media such as infographics or videos have a tendency to be much more sharable and appealing.
- Make it Searchable
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you have some sort of optimization in place for your website. Keep the same strategy in mind for your social media content. If it can be searched it can be optimized.
- Keep Calm in a Crisis
The last thing you need is your social media intern having a meltdown at the first sign of something unfavorable being said about your brand on social media. By keeping a level head and having an emergency preparedness plan ready should disaster strike you will be able to calmly and rationally tackle the issue. P.S. Ignoring it doesn’t count as a plan.
- Customize the Flow
If you’re like us you have multiple audience members to provide information to online. This could be different verticals or even different departments within a single organization. Do your homework, what sites do your different audience members participate in and what topics are of importance to them?
- Don’t Let Just Anyone Represent Your Brand
While you don’t want to discourage interaction or squash the dreams of your team it is important that the voice of your social media strategy represents who you are and what you believe in as a company.
- What Was the Purpose of This Again?
Remember why you’re using social media in the first place. By setting a set of realistic and attainable goals you will be able to test what works and what doesn’t and adapt your online marketing strategy from there.
- Pull Out the Tool Box and Find Your Measuring Tape If you create a beautiful piece of furniture but can’t fit it through the front door what was the point? The same applies to your online strategy. I don’t want to discourage planning big but make sure that you have an effective means of measuring your success in order to identify the true ROI of your online marketing strategy.
- Be Innovative, or at Least Open to Innovation
You don’t have to be cutting edge to run a successful social media program. However, it doesn’t hurt to have your eyes and ears open to the latest trends. Experiment with your strategy to find new and interesting ways to present the same information to your networks.
10 Social Media Marketing Don’ts
- Hello? Is Anyone Listening?
One of the worst things that you can do is ignore your audience. Deleting information or simply refusing to answer is a big marketing fail.
- Have You Ever Tried to Have a Conversation With a Robot?
If you are like me, at one time or another you’ve found yourself screaming at the automated help desk for your credit card company beyond frustrated that you couldn’t speak with a live representative. Try to spare your online audience of the same exasperation and create thoughtful and conversational content. Leave the robots for the other guys.
- I Know You Are But What Am I?
As we’ve said before it is difficult if not impossible to take things back once you’ve said them online. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with audience members, colleagues, or competitors but there is no need to be impolite. If you take a do unto others approach you will save yourself and your company a lot of damage control.
- Accounts Covered in an Inch of Dust
You did some research and found 10 new social networking platforms that your company is not signed up for. You assign a task to your marketing team to sign up for these accounts, and unfortunately that is as far as it goes. If you cannot commit to utilizing a platform on a regular basis and setting it up in a way that clearly represents your brand then what is the point.
- One Size Does Not Fit All
All social media sites are not created equal. As marketers we must consider not only the type of interaction that typically happens on a given platform but also the audience we are trying to reach with that platform.
- The Nameless & Faceless Group from Company XYZ
In order to make friends online you need to be friendly. Part of being friendly means adding a personal note to your social media profiles. Snap some impromptu photos around the office and share a little bit about some of the key team members. This is an instance where a little bit of extra effort can go a long way.
- Taking Your Relationship To the Next Step
Romancing your prospects does not end at gaining them as followers. Sure they’ve signed up to receive updates on your company but is that really enough? If your ultimate goal is to gain them as new clients then it is important to have a personalized and meaningful flow of communication that sets next steps in the relationship.
- We Really Care About You. Just Kidding
Spending countless time and effort to engage with prospects only to abandon them is a completely useless tactic. Handle these relationships with the same care that you would your other business relationships.
- We Have No Idea What is Important To You
Our company is great, we have so much to offer you, hire us now! I consider each of these to be obnoxious and pitiful tactics for engaging followers. Instead of utilizing your platform as a means for marketing your products and services try instead to offer information that can help solve the business problem of your prospects.
- What Are All of These Followers For Anyways?
Now that you’ve built up this community of online followers what can you use it for? Your online community is a great resource for crowdsourcing content and brainstorming ideas. If you want to gather a set of your own statistics why not go to your online community and ask them to participate in a study or survey and share the results with everyone.
So there you have it, 10 tactics and 10 mistakes for your social media efforts. I hope you found Ashley’s tips helpful.
If you need more Facebook fans and Twitter followers to engage with, then check out our Facebook and Twitter marketing services.
Are there any social media tactics not in this list that you use? If so, feel free to share them below.