With active users nearing 700 million on Facebook, exceeding 300 million on Google+, and hitting 200 million on Twitter at the start of 2013, there’s no denying that social media use is only trending in one direction.
• Marketers who spent 6 hours a week or more using social media and engaging/sharing content on it saw 52% more leads than those who did not.1
• Companies that use Twitter average double the amount of leads per month than those that do not.2
• Both B2C & B2B companies are acquiring customers through Facebook and more than 1/3 of of them say Facebook is critical or important to their business.3
With such a huge percentage of daily time consumption being accounted for on social networking sites, it would be ignorant for businesses not to use these platforms to catch up with their target audiences in these spaces. Social media marketing provides a direct link to followers of a brand and prospective customers, but is not inherently a business-transaction medium. Social networking sites still need to be used in the way their name implies: for interacting with others in order to build relationships and form communities.
Businesses often have unique settings for their pages on these platforms, but they are expected to use social media in a similar fashion to everyone else – not that everyone else necessarily fully understands social media use best practices. So, what can businesses learn from the operation norms that everyone using SNSs is expected to adhere to?
• Do create a presence by posting regular updates on what’s happening in your biz. Don’t disappear for huge stretches of time – your followers might just forget about you completely.
• Do be a little racy, sometimes. Work consciously to build your brand’s personality in line with your company values, and then let it loose on the Internet.
• Do share a variety of content. Use the various features of social media sites: post pictures and videos, share interesting links, and find out what others have to say about them.
• Do be knowledgeable and up-to-date about the political climate surrounding your industry. Be a thought-leader in changes taking place in your field.
• Do be friendly and open. Make friends with friends-of-friends. Encourage others to interact with you by interacting with them first.
• Don’t be a show-off. Like proud parents over-saturating the cute factor with an overwhelming number of tot-posts, businesses need to mind how much they self-promote their own babies.
• Don’t turn off potentials by making extreme statements about where you stand personally on a topic – unless that’s your business model.
• Don’t ignore people who take the time to interact with you. Work with whatever feedback you can get, respond to it, and build relationships based off mutual understanding.
• Don’t assume everyone is on your level. Be sensitive to the varying perspectives of visitors to your page. Explain your reasoning, cite your sources, and tailor your rhetoric to the individuals you interact with.
• Don’t be repetitive. Give continuity to your brand’s voice by keeping threads of content alive, but don’t annoy your audience with the same tune over and over and over again.
Just like everyone else, businesses need to make sure they stay abreast of their social media etiquette. Use social networking sites the way they were made to be used and your business will butterfly. Break the rules too often and you’ll be shunned to the corner of the Internet cafeteria to chew on your ideas alone.
1SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMINER, 2011 Social Media Marketing Report
2HUBSPOT, STATE OF INBOUND MARKETING REPORT, 2010
3HUBSPOT, STATE OF INBOUND MARKETING REPORT 2011
A ton of great tips here that we should all be paying attention to! I know the one area I’m lacking is the “post more video’s” category.
nice article :) i got a lot of tips and insights. thank you so much!
Thanks for sharing the great article. All statements given by you are appropriate and effective for business.
Thanks – let me know if there are any points that could use clearing up. Your feedback is helpful!
You’re right in saying that you should be very careful with self promotion and blend it in subtly.
Blatant promotion ends up being a turn-off to consumers!
Given the first item on your list, is it right to say that we should spend an hour a day on social networks? I guess, having a brand personality is what will make you stand out.. only that you shouldn’t try to copy the best out there if you want to be better. Thanks for the tips!
Yes! Spend AT LEAST an hour on social media everyday. Ideally, businesses should be monitoring their social media accounts at all hours of the day so that they can interact with audiences by posting content and responding to feedback whenever they get it. It’s not likely that your target audience will only be online for that same hour as you every day ;)
Social media is the most effective way to make our product more visible to the people without spending a huge amount. And having an effective strategies will result to a very fruitful output to your campaign. Thanks for sharing this tips Fiona!
You’ve got that right about the price – no reason not to be using social media when it’s cost efficient and the easiest way to speak directly to your consumers!
This is a great list, Fiona! Thank you for pointing out the importance of posting content regularly but not repetitively. A marketer should not post content just for the sake of posting content, but rather should engage their audience with novel and interesting posts. An audience base can sense when a post is meant to simply fill space, and they will be much more likely to steer clear of your site the next time they browse the internet.
Too true, Aylin. Unfortunately it’s a trap that’s difficult to avoid when the pressure of producing content exceeds the amount of fresh and engaging content one business can feasibly keep up with producing!
Thanks for the article….. nice one :)
Content is always king great post. I am learning more & more every day
This is a great list for all levels of social media users! The DON”TS are things that many need to really make a note of because they happen much too often.