Social Media Do's and Don'ts
In case you hadn’t heard, social media is kind of a big deal. Everyone who’s anyone is on social media, and that includes businesses! Failing to take advantage of at least one of the many social media platforms out there means you’re passing up a golden opportunity to connect with your clients (especially younger ones) in an easy and cost-effective way.
But just because social media seems easy, doesn’t mean it is. Just like dealing with customers in person or over the phone, there’s a certain way businesses should conduct themselves on social media - a sort of etiquette, if you will. Learning how your company should behave on social media isn’t that difficult, but it does take practice. Plus, even though you may think you know everything there is to know about communicating with customers on social media, there’s always the chance that a situation will pop up that you’ve never encountered before.
In order to help you make the most out of your social media marketing campaign, and prevent you from being caught off guard in a social media emergency, we’ve got some basic social media do’s and don’ts to share with you that are perfect for Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media platform your business may find useful!
Social Media Best Practices for Businesses
Let’s start with some tips designed to help you learn how to use social media effectively for your business. When considering embarking on a social media marketing adventure, consider the following “do’s”:
Do Create a Social Media Plan
You wouldn’t just start a business without a plan, right? As with any business venture, social media marketing must be carefully planned and strategized in order to keep your performance consistent and effective. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a social media marketing calendar that will help you keep track of exactly what you want to do and when.
Do Set Goals
A plan doesn’t do you much good if you don’t have any goals. During the planning phase, you should also make a list of what you hope to accomplish with your campaign. This will keep you motivated and act as a roadmap that will help you keep track of where you started vs. where you end up.
Do Keep Things Simple
When posting on social media, you want to try to produce content that most people can connect and engage with, and the best way to do this is by keeping things simple. A social media strategy doesn’t have to be complex to be effective. Sometimes just sharing your products and providing valuable information is the best course of action.
Do Post on Several Platforms
Not everyone is on every social media platform. For your business to maximize the amount of customers you reach, you need to sign up for multiple social media channels. Be careful though, because with several platforms it can be easy to give too much attention to one and not enough to another, which could ultimately result in some customers feeling neglected.
Do Create Diverse, Sharable Content
The best social media strategy is one that involves a variety of content for you to share. This means you can’t just make posts. You need to also be creating images, infographics, blogs, and videos to share! You need to tell a story about your brand - one that makes your customers feel an emotional connection. Plus, different types of content gives your customers a variety of ways to interact with your brand and ensures you’re creating something that everyone will find interesting.
Do Use Paid Options
Organic social media is great, but building following that way does take time. By using paid options, like social media ads or influencer marketing, you can reach more customers than you can with organic posts. A big push of paid content at the beginning of a campaign can be the difference between a following that takes months to build versus one that takes years. Plus, advertising is a great way to boost engagements and sales during important times of the year, like holidays!
Do Interact with Your Followers
The worst thing you can do with your social media presence is to talk at your customers. Instead, you want to focus on talking to your customers. This means not just posting content, but replying to your customers’ comments on your posts. Social media is also an excellent and cost effective way to field customer service issues, so make sure you’re replying to messages in your inbox or public posts that customers may make regarding complaints or problems.
Do Follow Your Competitors
This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually the best way to keep tabs on what your competition is doing and how their audience is reacting to it. It’s honestly one of the most helpful things you can do and it can be a great source of inspiration for your own social media content. For example, if a competitor posts a white paper that gets 1,000 shares, maybe you should see how a white paper resonates with your audience!
Do Share Posts
Yes, of course you want to be producing your own content, but you also want to be sharing external content, not from your competition, but from others in your industry whose products or services may relate to yours. For example, if you run a tire and auto shop, you might want to share some of the posts that major tire manufacturers like Goodyear or Michelin make on their social platforms.
Do Work with a Social Media Team
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into social media marketing. When you work with a social media marketing expert, like the team at BlueTone Media, you can rest easy knowing that we’ll do all the hard work for you. Not only can we help with posting, creating content, and doing ads, we have access to a variety of social media softwares that can help optimize your campaigns, analyze performance, and develop new strategies based on what’s working and what isn’t.
Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Knowing what not to do on social media is arguably more important than knowing what you should do. One big social media mistake can tarnish your reputation and offend customers, so make sure you watch out for the following social media “don’ts”:
Don’t Ignore Customer Feedback
The whole point of social media is to increase communication with your audience, which means replying to your customers, even if it’s just with a simple “thank you.” Additionally, if you get any negative tweets, comments, posts, or messages, you need to be sure to address them ASAP. Whether positive or negative, replying to customers makes them feel important and shows the rest of your audience that you truly care.
Don’t Exclude Anyone
Everyone just wants to feel included. To do this on social media, make sure you’re sharing content that can appeal to the vast majority of people instead of a select few. This can be accomplished by sharing simple information that many people will find valuable and making sure to create campaigns, ads, and graphics that celebrate diversity.
Don’t Spam Your Audience
Social media marketing is like walking a tightrope between not posting enough and posting too much. It’s tricky, and that’s one of the reasons an experienced social media team can be of great help to your business. Regardless of whether you do your own social media marketing or not, make sure you don’t market too aggressively. Your followers are already interested in your brand, so avoid pushing too many posts, ads, and graphics about your products or services. This can make your followers feel like you’re only concerned about getting their money and ultimately cause you to lose followers.
Don’t Target the Wrong Customers
While you’re planning and through your campaign, you need to be conducting market research about your target audience. Who are they? Where do they live? How much money do they make? What are their hobbies? What do they do for work? Answering these questions (and many others) can help ensure you’re finding social media followers who are truly interested in your products and services.
Don’t Use Stock Photos
Social media users are savvy, and they can spot stock photos from a mile away. As soon as they see one, they instantly tune out and ignore it. Instead, take original pictures! Your followers want to learn about you, so share photos of your office, your team, your products, your processes… anything “behind the scenes” is something social media followers are bound to love
Don’t Be Offensive
This should go without saying but you’d probably be surprised to learn that there are a number of brands that have run tactless campaigns that glorify sexism, racism, violence, and more. This is an obvious no-no, as is using foul language on social media. Avoiding this is easy, just remember to be nice to everyone!
Another terrible mistake you can make is to lie to your audience. If you don’t have all the facts about something, it’s better to not post or respond to comments until you can ensure that you are providing accurate info. Likewise, don’t share information or data that you can’t verify. Generating fake news and spreading inaccurate content makes your brand look very untrustworthy.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. Social media marketing is NOT EASY. It sounds fun, and it is, but it also takes a lot of time, effort, and strategy. And remember, just because things feel like they are moving slowly, doesn’t mean they are. This takes patience, a lot of it, but social media marketing will pay off.
Whether you’ve tried social media marketing before or are looking to give it a chance, our team can help. From graphic design to content creation, we’ve got everything you need to build a strong, diverse, engaging social media campaign that will help you gain followers and boost sales. Call us to learn more at 888-BLU-TONE (888-258-8663) or contact us online by clicking here.