Social media loves creativity, and anyone who plans and implements a marketing campaign for these platforms must understand this. Great content and media must be engaging, compelling, and, yes, creative. If you want to get solid results from your social media marketing, here are some key Do’s and Don’ts.
- Focus on Quality not Quantity
Posting on social media should be regular and relatively often. However, given a choice between quality and quantity, always go for quality. You will lose followers if your stuff is dull and boring and has nothing new to excite and engage them. Part of quality is promoting the personality of the business, the owner, and the team. About 80% of the content on social media should build relationships and brand awareness. The other 20% should be directly promotional, offering discounts, free trials, promo codes, even announcing a new product or service.
- Build a Community on Each Platform
Your ultimate goal is to build a loyal group of people who are eager to promote your brand by sharing your post. The larger your community, the wider your exposure. And you can continue to cultivate the most loyal and influential members of your community by offering them exclusive discounts that they can share with a few friends. When you keep building your online community, you increase traffic. Increased traffic means increased conversions/sales. Win-win.
- Make Use of the Newer Tools for Interactive User Experiences
O.K., your creative designers. Get online and view some of the new interactive tools for engaging your audience in videos and infographics; use surveys, polls, and quizzes. Give your audience an experience not just information. Check out Qzzr, PiktoChart, Canva, PlaceIt – they are free and super easy to use.
- Add images to Twitter Posts
Now that Twitter is allowing images, take advantage of their use by adding some visuals to your teasers for your blogposts, discounts, etc. Recent research shows that this can increase re-tweets by as much as 150%.
- Determine Your Level of Understanding
How much do you really know about social media marketing? If you know how to tweet or share something on Facebook but don’t have specific experience with the marketing aspect of social media, you will need to do a lot of reading or alternatively take take quick and effective online training course. There are self-paced online training programs, and if you are a quick learner you should be up and running in no time. Remember, that all the creativity in the world is worth nothing if you don’t know how to use it correctly.
- Test Headlines and Images
A/B testing is nothing new. One way to implement this in your marketing campaign is to experiment with two different headlines and/or images on the same blog post. Determine which draws more traffic and place that one on Facebook and Twitter. Doing this will also help you determine the types of headlines and images that will draw better traffic in the future.
- Post When Your Content is Likely To Be Seen
Knowing when to post should boost your engagement rates as your content gets in front the most eyeballs out there. Posting on Facebook is best on Thursdays and Fridays, especially between noon and 1 p.m. The broader time frame for any day is between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tweets are best posted between 12-1 p.m. and 5-6p.m. of the followers’ time zone. Obviously, if followers are in multiple time zones, re-tweets should occur for those zones as well. B2B tweets do best on weekdays and B2C tweets do better on weekends. For LinkedIn, Tuesday between 10-11 a.m. is best, and avoiding Mondays and Fridays is smart.
And now to the bads. Here’s a short list of huge no-nos when it comes to executing a winning social media marketing strategy.
- Don’t Post Just to Post
If you don’t have a great topic idea, or cannot come up with a creative angle, try these online tools and apps to stimulate your thinking. But if nothing comes to you, just don’t post anything because you have to.
- Don’t Engage in Like-Baiting
If you are unfamiliar with this term, it refers to those who craft killer headlines followed by very poor content and low-quality images. You may get a few “likes” but overall, your follower will begin to see this as spam and will un-follow pretty quickly.
- Don’t Buy Like and Followers.
This is risky business indeed. You can buy them but you cannot control what they say, and they really don’t care either. This can be damaging to your reputation and performance metrics.
- Don’t Ignore Comments of Followers
Try to respond to them quickly. Offering short consultation and customer support (not only to your customers) makes you and your brand look more human, helpful and increase the trust levels with your potential clients.
- Don’t Deceive or Exaggerate
Witchery, a clothing company wanted to promote its new line of men’s clothing. It produced a YouTube video of a girl holding up a men’s jacket, imploring the audience to help her find the man whose jacket it was, because she obviously had an interest in him. The video went viral. When viewers discovered that it was just a promotion, they were angry. Witchery reputation was seriously injured. Lesson learned, right?
- Don’t Ignore Your Online Reputation
You need to stay abreast of what others are saying about you on social media, so that you can quickly respond to complaints and issues. They will not always show up on your page or feed. “Cotton-On’s,” a company that makes infants’ clothing, was unaware that there was a bit of an uproar on social media about some of the sayings it had imprinted its clothing. By the time it became a TV news item, the damage was done. All the company could do was pull the offensive items and apologize. It was almost too late.
You have already won 80% of the battle – you are one of the creatives with great ideas and catchy ways to say and design things. The other 20% is being strategic about your marketing, and these do’s and don’ts should help!