“If you build it, they will come” was the cry of Kevin Costner in “Field…
Fire Up Your Social Media With These 4 Dos and Don’ts
In a world that chatters non-stop, 24/7, on social media, it can be tough to be heard. So it’s no surprise that many businesses either completely give up on doing marketing that way – or they go to great length to do something so unsuitable or over the top they completely miss the mark.
But doing content marketing via your social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter (or any other of the gazillion options now available) doesn’t need to be something that makes you break out in a cold sweat – if you stick to the basics that will lay a solid foundation. Remember that at the end of your communications are people just like you who have feelings, interests, needs, wants, pain points and a wish for connection.
Stick to these four basic rules, and your credibility, visibility and level of engagement should steadily rise as you build a community around you. Ignore these basics and your credibility et al is likely to crumble faster than you can say ‘unfollow’.
1. Target Audience
Think about why you are doing any social media marketing in the first place (getting new clients, retaining existing ones, creating a buzz around your brand) and you soon come to ask whom you are writing for. Before you do anything else, be clear about the people you want to attract, convince and engage. What are they interested in? Is there more than one client group your business serves?
- DO: Write down critical characteristics about your ideal client in each target group and create content that is interesting and helpful to them.
- DON’T: Avoid trying to be everything to everybody – the result will be a confused audience.
2. Quality – Channels, Profiles + Content
You know who you’d like to attract as readers, now you need to make sure you’ll give them what they want and need – and make sure they’ll get to see it.
Firstly, ask yourself what social media channels will actually reach your target audience, and concentrate on getting those right. If you are selling a professional service, LinkedIn might be the best platform. Facebook and Instagram are fantastic for products aimed at the consumer, such as clothing or homewares. Once you have your channel identified, ensure the quality of your profile and content is professional, in line with your brand, and kept fresh.
- DO: 1. Identify our optimal social media platform. 2. Set up clear, complete professional-looking profiles. 3. Post content that is relevant and useful to your readers.
- DON’T: Trying to understand and become the expert on too many social media platforms will dilute your energy, message and return on investment. Your business profiles are no place for photos from your last fishing trip or wild party – stay professional and in line with your brand.
3. Keeping It Regular
This is one big issue you see all the time: at the beginning of setting up a social media profile there are many interesting and regular posts. Then something upsets the schedule once, and before you know it the last post we saw from that account is three months old. If you want social media to work, you need to keep it regular.
- DO: Use social media management apps like Buffer or Hootsuite to ensure you time-effectively create posts in bulk that then will go out to appropriate schedules. Post regularly to ensure high visibility and engagement; repost popular articles to make the most of your content.
- DON’T: Big, long gaps between your posts will see you fall off your readership’s radar and may create a negative impression.
4. Talk to Me!
The first time you get a positive comment on one of your posts is an exciting experience. But not everyone plays nice; stressed customers and trolls included.
- DO: Respond to all comments – good or bad. This is your chance to show your integrity and create a conversation. It’s a big opportunity to show what you’re made of, stand for and will do for your clients.
- DON’T: Never, ever, use offensive language or enter into mudslinging, no matter how upset or in the right you may be.
Social media can be confusing, and the breadth of platforms, tricks and tools overwhelming. But if you keep it simple, sensible and polite your credibility will grow and you’ll start seeing more and more engagement with your brand.
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