Social Media Best Practices

A recent Ascend2 survey discovered that nearly half of digital marketers believe that social media is the most difficult of any marketing to pull off correctly. Considering that social media provides the greatest opportunity for gaining market awareness online today, it is vital to understand how to be successful across multiple platforms and create an environment conducive for audiences to grow in trust of your brand. These are five of the best practices we have discovered to help you get started building the most effective social media platform campaign possible:

Take The Time To Clearly Spell Out Your Themes Or Networks

How you utilize social media directly impacts how the public views your company. Decide how you will present yourself on each specific network and make certain that every post you make fits within the general template. For instance, dedicate Twitter as a tool to enhance customer care, while leveraging platforms like Facebook or Instagram for audience building or general awareness.

Some Great Examples

Sometimes the best way to understand a topic is to see it in use by other companies. Here are a couple of well-known brands that have utilized social media platforms to their fullest potential with dedicated themes:

  • Microsoft – this company utilizes Facebook to promote its blogs, industry news, and anything else related to the company.
  • Sony – Sony utilizes multiple Twitter accounts for its numerous product lines, while leveraging a single account for direct customer support without any promotions.

Variety Of Content Themes

There are a variety of different approaches to creating a custom social media theme that is truly unique to your company. Here are some of the most common types that can boost visibility and increase engagement across multiple social media platforms:

  • Lighthearted and Humorous Content – When done cautiously, utilizing humor can engender yourself with your target demographic. Just make certain to avoid the pitfalls of poorly thought out jokes or content. Dollar Shave Club is one of the best known companies for incorporating humor into their marketing, and it has done wonders for them, with this video garnering over 24 million views!

  • Behind the Scenes – Certain platforms like Instagram excel at enabling you to quickly and easily show what makes your company and its products unique. Take this opportunity to truly explain what you do and how it impacts customers through things like testimonials. Quest Nutrition used Instagram Stories to give a behind the scenes look into a branded event they were holding:

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  • User-Generated Content – Encourage users to share their own content with you or leverage their queries to create content that will spur further engagement. Start with the question and see how far it goes! This works on everything from Twitter to Facebook and even LinkedIn. Lays is one of the most well-known companies in the field of user-generated content thanks to their "Do Us A Flavor" campaign, where people submitted ideas for chip flavors, then favored on their favorite:

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Consistency Is Key

Oracle recently found that two out of five social media users will interact with a brand only if they get a direct response to their query. The reason for this caution is due to the general belief that companies are willing to deceive users through sponsored content like video and social media posts. This makes defining your social media personality an uphill battle that requires consistency and a focus on relevancy to build trust.

How To Build Consistency

After defining your general social media theme, make certain that it is followed consistently at every level. Some areas you should focus on include:

  • Advertisements
  • Bios
  • Captions
  • CTAs
  • Direct Messages
  • Hashtags
  • Replies
  • Visuals and Accompanying Text

Don’t Use Slang Or Jargon – You Only Mess It Up

Nearly three out of four social media users report that they stop following a specific brand due to the embarrassment caused by improper use of slang or jargon. Considering how rapidly common vernacular changes, it is best to use standard English when trying to reach the widest demographic possible. Remember that popular slang goes in and out of fashion in a heartbeat, making it pretty easy to spot those that are out of touch with the teenage generation. The only exception of this is if your brand focuses solely around a specific age group and you invest heavily in maintaining market awareness.

What Customers Hear When You Use Slang

Utilizing slang hurts your audience engagement due to a variety of issues that include:

  • Being Out of Touch with Your Target Demographic
  • Potential for Engaging in Culturally Insensitive Acts
  • Sticking Out like a Sore Thumb by Pretending to Be Something You’re Not

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Know Your Competition

Knowing what your competition is doing enables you to see what is working and avoid being a copycat. Major things to monitor include:

  • Current Industry Leaders
  • Industry and Current News
  • Trending Content
  • Who’s Talking About You

Use social media automation tools to create an effective analysis that will enable you to quickly identify how to improve your social media campaign with ease.

Some Statistics to Track

Knowing what is going on is essential for success. Here are a few of the common metrics that can be utilized to determine the overall success for social media campaigns:

  • Engagement Per Post and Platform
  • Most Frequently Used Hashtags
  • New Users Followed and Overall Growth
  • Number of Likes and Comments
  • Total Amount of Content Sent

Engage With Your Followers

Nearly three out of ten millennials reach out to companies at least once a month.  It is essential to reach out to this demographic as it grows to dominate the market. Social media provides quick access to nearly every company around, making it easy for a dissatisfied user to simply go to one of your competitors.

Embrace a proactive social media policy and build a relationship with your customers. Done right, this will inspire brand loyalty and “humanize” your enterprise to the general public.

What You Can Do

Here are some things you can do to promote a healthy relationship with your customers through social media:

  • Go Beyond the Call of Duty with Every Message
  • Try to be Entertaining Whenever Possible
  • Welcome and Encourage Feedback
  • Listen to What People Say About Your Company and Products
  • Provide Valuable Information Related to Your Company, Products, and Industry

JetBlue is one of the best known companies on social media for customer engagement. They respond to everything, whether it's a question, complaint, or comment, and they do so very, very quickly. Check out this comment...they responded within 6 minutes, at 1:30 in the morning!

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Get Started Today

Every social media project is unique. Experiment, engage, and grow on every platform possible to ensure that your target demographic knows who you are and trusts your brand completely.