When it comes to social media marketing everyone wants in on the fun. According to Hubspot, 70% of the entire world's internet population is actively using social platforms — that's 2 billion people! We've already discussed the role social media plays in search engine optimization (SEO) and upcoming social trends for 2016, but have you really laid the ground rules for a solid social strategy?
Grab these 10 best social media practices to help you develop consistency throughout your social strategy:
1. Identify Objectives
The first step to success in social media marketing is to identify your company's objectives. Before you start just posting things willy-nilly, you need to make sure you understand what exactly you are wanting to get out of using social profiles. Are you looking to gain 320 "likes" on Facebook within the next 90 days? Are you hoping to bring in a 15% increase of visitors from LinkedIn to your website? If you have objectives in place you will be able to create a strategy around obtaining these goals.
2. Set A Tone With Your Audience
Make sure to craft a consistent tone for your social posts that follows the language of your targeted persona, but don't forget to stay human. When you are publishing social posts, it takes more to grab attention than just an image and a link; be sure to let your visitors see what you are offering and give them a chance to engage in conversation with you.
3. Create Your Social Media Strategy
Set yourself up a marketing calendar, so you can stay updated with all of your upcoming events, blog posts, new landing pages, and everything else you schedule through your social channels. Keeping up with your content calendar shows you how often you are interacting through each specific channel while staying organized.
4. Produce Content And Engage
Give your visitors a reason to interact on your social media platforms. Why should they interact and engage with you on social? Are you sharing the most relevant content to your industry? Are you asking questions that facilitate responses? Having interesting, relevant, thought provoking content helps bring in more customers and more money! Always remember: Better content is greater than more content!
If you are sharing great content, but people still aren't engaging, reassess your headlines. You only have around 6 words to grab your reader's attention! Your opening sentence is critical when writing for the web, especially since we all have the attention span of a fruit fly. Make sure to always have an eye-catching image as well. I'm sure half of you only clicked on this post because of how cute the goat picture is and you wanted to get in on the fun (opening sentence).
5. Optimize Your Accounts
There are 3 main components to optimizing your accounts: your company logo, a clear, concise description, and a link to your company's website. It is important that this information is consistent not only on all social platforms, but throughout the entire internet world.
6. Using #Hashtags
We've covered what a #hashtag means in social media and how to use #hashtags on different social platforms, but I'll give you a quick review. The # (hashtag) symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in your social post and makes them trackable and searchable. REMEMBER: #NOTEVERYTHINGWORKS. Make sure you are putting hashtags where they make sense. Research — go online, find what’s trending, and create content around those #hashtags. This helps you find out what your customers are talking about. Trust me, Twitter is your friend!
7. Including Social In Email
If you think that email marketing is dead, you're sadly mistaken. Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for engaging with your customers while providing them with helpful information. One of our best practices is to always include social sharing buttons in our emails. This offers your customers a chance to share your content to people they think might find it useful. Another great practice is to ask your existing customers to join you on social media to keep up with your daily updates. It never hurts to ask!
8. Handle Customer Reviews Effectively
Your customers want to feel appreciated and special. If they take the time to leave you feedback, you should always respond. I know it's tempting to only repsond to the posivite feedback while deleting the negative, but don't do that! Take the negative as a form of construtive criticism; use these opportunities as a chance to improve your company. Make sure to apologize to the customer and try to understand what went wrong while offering to find a solution. If the review is positive, that's great! Kindly thank your customer for supporting you! Note: Buyers are going to check your reputation when they're trying to decide between you and your competitor who has a 5-star review!
9. Treat Each Social Platform As An Individual
You need to make sure that each social platform that you are involved with serves a certain purpose. Once you understand the differences, remember that each platform has its own little list of best practices when it comes to posting —
- Facebook: Be sure to use less than 250 words while still showing off your brand’s personality. Facebook is more personal than most of the other social platforms.
- Twitter: You only have room for 140 characters, so it’s important to have a really eye-catching image and a link so your followers can read more.
- LinkedIn: This is where you are going to target more business owners, CEOs, and other company directors. Make sure to share thought-provoking content.
- Google+: Google+ is sort of a mix between LinkedIn and Facebook. Stay professional, but you don't need to be as formal as LinkedIn.
10. Create A Social Style Guide
Having a social style guide will help you keep a consistent style and voice and across all of your social platforms. This is great especially if more than one person is interacting with your customers. Your social style guide should include:
- Troublesome words – Sometimes there is terminology in your industry that doesn't have a universal agreement of spelling. Example: e-Book, ebook, or E-book?
- Style and tone – How should your content read to your readers? Educational? Funny? Conversational? A mix of tones?
- Buyer personas – The style and tone should be adapted to the personas you're targeting.
- Graphics and Formatting – You will need a separate brand style guide. This helps you understand the design aspect of your company. What type of bullets should be used? Can your writer use bold, underline, or strikethrough? What fonts should be used on images to keep consistency with your website?
Let Us Point You In The Right Direction (After all, we live up to our name!)
Most businesses know that they probably need some sort of social media profile – maybe a Twitter page for their business. Few people, realize the difference between merely existing on Twitter and truly leveraging the power that social media offers.
Give Waypost a call at (864) 288-6162 or schedule a consultation online! Still not ready to talk? Download our free guide to learn more about how your social strategy impacts your inbound marketing efforts.