The world seems to revolve around social media these days. If you aren’t using social media for marketing yourself, your brand, and your business, you are missing out on a borderless market.
So, what are the best social media practices that will make all of your time and effort worthwhile?
Everywhere you look, people have their eyes on their phones: scrolling, swiping, liking, and commenting on what they see. Even though social media marketing is impossible to ignore in today’s world, 49% of digital marketers agree that social media is the most difficult form of marketing to execute effectively. It can be tricky to figure out how to get noticed often enough on social media so that the engagement translates into actual profit in your business. Even though one-third of the entire world population uses social media daily, businesses struggle to get all of that traffic to convert. More and more businesses are using social media for lead generation and new client acquisition, but it takes a firm grasp on the consistent use of some of the best social media practices to really see the needle move on sales and profits.
One of the most important goals for anyone using social media to generate business is to build trust with your audience. Contently found that about 66% of all internet users have felt deceived by sponsored content on social media. You will see good results if you are transparent and use good ethics when working to build trust with your followers.
Another good social media practice to follow is to use the right etiquette specific to each platform. Changes to each network happen so fast, that it’s hard to keep up at times. It’s important to stay up to date with the best social media practices for each platform so that you can optimize your connection with your followers.
If you do not you will have a tough time becoming successful on EVERY social media network. It takes time, commitment, and effort to build the trust and consistency you need on the networks you select. We want to help make it easier for you, so we have done the research and have found the 5 best social media practices that will bring your brand closer to success.
Define Yourself. Even if you have hired a social media manager, you only have a certain amount of time and energy to commit to making a splash on social media. So, a good practice to consider is narrowing down what social media platforms you want to hit hard.
According to HubSpot, out of all the adult internet users worldwide:
- 72% are on Facebook
- 32% are on Pinterest
- 25% are on Instagram
- 25% are on LinkedIn
- 23% are on Twitter
And, in a category all of its own: one billion users are on YouTube (That’s ⅓ of all internet users!)
So, think about your customers and who you sell to. Are they young adults, teens, college students, families etc.? Once you have narrowed this down then select the social media platforms where you will spend most of your time according to the demographics of your customer base.
Once you have narrowed down your demographics, set up clearly defined goals for your social media campaign strategy. Focus on one goal at a time:
- Drive Traffic to your website
- Increase the popularity of your brand
- Keep in touch with your current clients
- Find new customers
If you try to go for everything at once, you’ll miss the mark. Pick one goal per social media campaign and stick with it. Make sure to track what you are seeing… What posts are seeing the most engagement? What posts see little to no interaction? Etc. This way, when you go back and look at your goal and compare that to the insights you have tracked; you will be able to know exactly if what you are doing is working and if you should continue with the effort or if you should change it up and go in another direction.
AND remember to develop a style and a feel on social media that defines your brand. Check out a big name doing it right, like Target, and note how the flow of their presence on a certain network really defines their overall brand message.
Make it Interesting – Content is everything on social media. It must be eye-catching and it needs to be fascinating. Don’t forget you are competing with cute kittens and fainting goats for people’s attention! Here are a few of the best social media practices to follow when it comes to content:
- User-generated content – Encourage your followers to submit photos and content. It gets them involved and also helps build trust that there is actually a human being behind the social media platform.
- Humorous content – People love to laugh and if you are actually funny, they will come back for more. Just be careful with this one…ask for a second opinion to be sure it is funny to someone else and not just you!
- Engagement driven content – Ask a fun or thought-provoking question to get your audience to participate.
- Behind the Scenes content – People love to know what REALLY goes on behind the curtain at their favorite company. Give them a little taste. Show them the people who make the machine run smoothly. If you are a solopreneur, share with your followers some of the people who support you and the books or activities that motivate you.
- Highly Visual Images – People adore Instagram for the photos. Some accounts have 1000s of followers. How? Amazing, colorful, adorable, awe-inspiring pictures. The use of powerful images works on ANY social media platform. So, whip out your smartphone and get to snapping! If you want to take it to the next level, use video. It is estimated that by 2019, 80 percent of all online traffic will be video. Don’t be shy. Just start shooting. Facebook Live video is a guarantee to boost viewership.
- Testimonials – As long as the testimonials are genuine, FTC compliant testimonials from actual customers and clients, they can go a long way in building trust. Ask your happy customers for a few words about their experience with you. Better yet, ask them for a video!
Consistency is Key – It may seem pretty obvious, but we’ll go ahead and state the obvious about one of the best social media practices: If you want people to follow you on social media, you have to post…and post often. (But not too often…see point 4 below.) After spending time developing your strategy, put it to work. Do a little research and find out the best time to post on your particular networks. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it so that people know what to expect from you and when. And don’t forget to utilize the scheduling feature found on your business page.
Don’t be annoying – Consistency is one thing on social media, but try not to overdo it. If you are posting so much that you are the only thing people see on their network feed, that could be a good thing in that you are getting seen. But, it’s also a good way to rack up unsubscribes. A good social media practice to follow is s presenting your authentic self as much as possible. Don’t try to speak the lingo of the millennials if you aren’t one. Leave the “on fleek” to those that know what that actually means. If that’s not your true voice, you will just end up looking like a dork, in the same way you would if you walked up to a group of millennials and tried to use their slang.
Limit the selfies. Social media gives you a great platform for your customers to put a face to your business, but that doesn’t mean they want to see your face ALL the time. Make it about your customers. Make it about your followers. Make it about how you can solve that problem they are having. Everything you post on social media should serve a purpose. Think it through the next time you post a selfie. If you are selling a lifestyle, ok great. But, find a way to help your customer visualize themselves in that lifestyle…not just YOU living it.
Engage and communicate – The most crucial social media practice to follow is to be social. If you truly want to build trust and loyalty with your followers, you must be there for them. We aren’t saying 24/7 availability, but be sure to schedule a few regular times a day to check in on your social media networks to see what’s going on. Answer questions as quickly as possible. People appreciate that.
Although bots are becoming more and more popular as a way to respond, people prefer human interaction if possible. Many consumers consider social media the best way to get a response to a question. If they don’t get a response, they may quickly head over to your competition.
Another way to create engagement is to try conducting polls or holding contests with a small prize that is relevant to your own product or brand. Everyone loves to win!
Sure social media marketing can be a challenge…. But, it can also be a FUN challenge. The best social media practices involve playing by a few general rules of engagement as mentioned above. Of course, you will find by trial and error what works best for you, your brand, and your business. Go big and go bold!
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