For businesses of all shapes and sizes, social media represents the most widely-used marketing tool out there today. It’s easy to use, instantly enhances brand visibility and a hell of a lot cheaper than slapping your company’s name across a 15×40 feet billboard.
Whether you’re planning to launch a video campaign via YouTube, build up a following on Facebook or sell products on Instagram, it’s also an undeniably powerful marketing tool.
The question is, how can my business effectively harness all that lucrative potential while reaching the right people at the same time?
While there’s no catch-all answer to this question, businesses should adhere to a set of guidelines that can be used to boost chances of success and, just as importantly, avoid embarrassing content-related pitfalls.
Without further ado, here are our social media marketing do’s and don’ts for 2018!
Don’t: Go “full armor”
Even some of the largest tech-driven corporations in the world don’t apply a blanket policy of being active on every single social media platform. In fact, Tesla and SpaceX were recently (and controversially) deleted from Facebook, with CEO Elon Musk hinting at the platform’s dwindling effectiveness and relevance as justification for this.
For businesses with a more modest marketing budget than that of Tesla, the main reason to avoid going live on multiple platforms is due to a lack of resources – both human and financial. Building up a brand presence on Pinterest or Instagram, for example, can take hours of work every day, not to mention the cash flow going into paid ads; add another platform into the equation, and all that hard work becomes diluted.
For small and medium-sized businesses, it’s best to focus on just one or two major platforms.
DO: Consider which platform is right for your business
Following the above, you may have been left wondering which platform is right for you and your business. To figure this out, start by doing your homework on each platform, taking notes on each one’s demographics, functionality, channels of audience reach, costs involved and whether the platform’s USP matches in any way with your business’ scope.
For example, a new jewelry company may find it easier to make a greater impact on a more photo-focused platform like Instagram, whereas a tech company building personal drones might want to showcase their aerial expertise via video-sharing platforms like YouTube.
DON’T: Post cute cat videos (unless you sell Whiskas)
The point here is to keep content relevant to your business and area of expertise. The even wider point? Have a set of content-posting goals in mind, and stick to them. For example, you may be aiming to promote your business’ new products, educate people about your services or encourage audiences to click through to your website in order to gain more traffic.
Although that poor little kitten might seem cute to you and your colleagues, unrelated content waters down your message and distracts from your overall marketing goals.
DO: Use analytics
Google Analytics tells you everything you need to know about the traffic (aka, potential customers) coming to your website – including where users are located, how they reached your site, how long they spend on each page, whether they’re using mobile or desktop, and so on.
Getting to grips with the more basic analytics functions of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can just be as useful.
Once you dive in, you’ll start to notice trends which can be capitalized on. For example, if you see a spike in audience engagement on weekdays around 6pm, make sure you consistently post at that time. Short video clips getting more shares than photos? Then try tweaking your video-to-photo post ratio. Notice people unsubscribing from your Page after posting a click-baiting article? Then you know what to do.
DON’T: Only post when you feel like it
This big “Don’t” follows on from the above, in that you should be using analytics functions to formulate a wider social media strategy.
This includes setting up a schedule in terms of when and when not to post.
Of course, it’s easy to overdo it on the posting, but the most common problem for most businesses is actually the opposite: a lack of posts.
If a potential customer visits your Facebook Page and sees your last post was six months ago, they’ll not only question your business’ time management skills, but also wonder if you’re still even open.
That’s why even if social media marketing isn’t one of your biggest concerns, it’s still a good idea to post at least once a day – even if it’s just for show.
DO: Stay social
Remember, social media is about being social – and you have a part to play in upholding this notion, too.
This means actively engaging in dialogue in the comments box (if it’s appropriate), replying to direct messages (if you’re popular enough), and liking and sharing content from other pages (if it’s relevant). For Twitter users, re-tweeting and commenting on tweets originally posted by notable figures or other companies with large followings is also a good way to improve your social media sociability.
DON’T: Beg for likes/shares/tags
Unless you’re a YouTube star where the obligatory “Don’t forget to give me a thumbs up, subscribe and share with your friends” is customary at the end of a video, try to avoid explicitly commanding your followers promote content on your behalf.
The act of liking or sharing content is normally a spontaneous, subconscious decision made by your audience; it’s best kept that way.
If you’d like to discuss how we can help you with your social media please check our Social page and get in touch with us! We love a chat!