No matter your industry, if your business has an active social media presence, you can benefit from social media marketing. Despite what popular social media marketers claim, there is no “one way” to solve all your problems. Every social media platform is different. Every business may encounter different problems and results when trying to increase brand awareness or interact with its audience. That said, most businesses or brands participating in social media marketing adhere to some basic practices. This article addresses ten social media practices your marketing team could follow to attain growth online.
Best Social Media Practices to Follow
- Know your audience
The number one reason you are online is to engage with the target audience for your brand. To interact effectively, you must know your audience, tastes, and preferences, apart from basic demographic information like income, age, location, job, etc. To dive into details about your audience, use the following questions as guidelines:
- Who is your target customer?
- Where do they work?
- Which platform do they use the most?
- What are their interests?
- Do they know your brand exists?
- What do they think of your brand? Is there something you want them to think of your brand?
- What valuable content will make them see your brand in a positive light and worth their spending?
Audience research should be the starting point of every brand’s marketing venture. However, focus on other aspects than audience demographics and create a buyer persona that may or may not fit every potential customer.
- Optimize your profile
You should generate a username unique to your business for every social media profile, add a short description of what you do, and some graphical content. Every platform gives different fields to fill out. Take your time to optimize every field, ensuring it includes a business-relevant keyword and perfectly describes what your brand does. You can add URLs to your website, contact information, and logos to the profile. Making your profile clear and descriptive will help potential customers find it easily.
In addition, an optimized profile is easier to make its way through algorithmic changes on each platform. However, increased online presence comes with the risk of hacking and other cyber threats. To ensure your identity is protected, create a strong password for your profiles using 1Password. 1Password ensures you always have access to all your passwords across all devices and operating systems.
- Build a presence on the right social media platforms
Considering profile optimization, you want to ensure that you are on the right platform for your business. You don’t need to create an account on every popular social media site. For example, if your target audience doesn’t hang out on Snapchat, there is no point in creating an account there. To explore if a platform is right for you, consider asking the following two questions:
- Does the platform suit my business needs?
- Does my brand/business have the time and resources to generate content for a new platform?
- Is my audience spending time on the said platform?
Creating valuable content for your audience begins with questioning whether they use a particular social media platform or not.
- Create a content strategy
Imperative for marketing of every business is a content marketing strategy. You cannot simply create an Instagram account and expect it to work for you. You must make a strategy that aligns your audience’s interests while meeting your brand’s needs. To begin creating a strategy, consider creating S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Since every social media platform has a different algorithm, your strategy should focus on employing tactics with proven results. Teach your employees and team members about managing business profiles on social media while staying within strategy guidelines.
- Develop a brand persona
Creating a brand voice will distinguish your business from its competitors and help your audience remember it. You can choose a causal or professional tone to interact with your customers and keep it consistent across all platforms you use. Apart from the voice, differentiate your brand visuals and tone from competitors. For example, creating a color palette and font style for your content, and using it across all platforms, will help your customers recognize it promptly.
- Content scheduling
Creating a good content strategy and researching your audience implies knowing when to publish content. Every platform gives profile analytics that help determine when your audience is most active. Use these times as the guideline for posting content for maximum each. Also, planning content in advance gives more time for research, designing paid and organic campaigns, and producing quality content. There are plenty of content scheduling services and apps that you can check out for a consistent social media presence.
- Social Listening
Social listening is not another marketing buzzword but a free tactic for getting the scoop on your target audience and their interaction with your brand. For better social media listening, scan platforms for mentions of your products, brand name, competitors, and relevant keywords. Most platforms have advanced tools that help search for images so that you can look for brand-specific graphics. Social listening helps decide what your target audience wants and what problems they want solutions to so that you can build a better strategy around their queries.
- Ask the audience for feedback
Irrespective of getting the insider scoop on your audience, actively engage with them by answering their questions, conducting online polls, or asking for feedback. Many platforms make it easy for you to get customer insights like Instagram stories, polls, or a hashtag search on Twitter. By knowing what the customer wants, you can create valuable content and deliver what they are looking for.
- Use social media for customer service
Part of social listening is to answer your customers’ queries and deliver them the best. Customers would likely share their concerns through social media even if you have a toll-free helpline or an email address to answer queries. Most customers find it convenient to drop a comment or message on Instagram or post a tweet to let you know how they feel about your brand or service. Take that opportunity to leverage social media to provide stellar customer service.
- Audit your social media performance
Lastly, to sustain an online presence, you must audit your profile. Not just when your engagement is low, comments are flooding, but on days when your following is growing and people are interacting with your content. Knowing where you need improvement or what led your brand to be this amazing can help you redefine your brand goals and content strategy. To make it work:
- Conduct a social media audit every month
- Experiment with different content styles at different times and days
- Get feedback from your audience
- Derive insights from analytics
Social media should not be a place of dread for your business. Instead, leverage online platforms to interact with your audience, generate valuable content, and answer their queries to deliver your product or services better—research before you put out content and plan and schedule it for publishing. Make sure to audit your profiles monthly and use analytics to guide every move.