With 4.5 billion social media users and counting worldwide, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful resources that can help you grow your business. Just think of all the time you spend scrolling, liking, DM-ing, and double-tapping. How many brands do you come into contact with? Social media provides the perfect opportunity to increase brand awareness and tap into a new audience. But, as always, there are do’s and don’ts. Here are some social media best practices to consider when fine-tuning your strategy.
While simply having a social presence is good, you should consider what it is that you want to get out of it. Whether you’re looking to drive conversions, create brand awareness, or amplify your brand voice, choose a specific objective and work towards that. You’ll know exactly what to look for when monitoring how your strategy performs.
When it comes to social media best practices, there are certain factors to help you optimize for the smoothest, most successful experience.
Not all social channels are created equally. Certain platforms require different sizes of images and videos, so be sure to take this into account during the planning stage. You’ll be able to more easily avoid your media becoming warped, stretched, or pixelated.
Each social media user will have a different best time to post. You’ll want to shoot for a timeframe when the highest possible amount of your followers are online. Be sure to tap into your social media insights to find yours.
The ideal posting frequency can be tough to determine. If you post too much, your audience might get annoyed and hit that unfollow button. However, if you’re not posting enough, people may forget they even follow you. The goal here is quality over quantity. Quality content will get the right people to stick around. When you’re posting just to post, that’s when you want to reassess.
Depending on your demographic, it’s likely that your audience is more present on certain platforms over others. If your audience is primarily Baby Boomers, you probably won’t find them on TikTok in the same numbers you’d find on Facebook. Find the platform your audience thrives on and master it. It’s better to excel on one network than maintain a lackluster presence on them all.
Chances are you’ve spent a lot of time (and copywriting efforts) developing your brand voice. Because your brand voice sets you apart from the rest, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping it consistent across all channels. Your posts will speak to the right customers and potential leads, since they’ll be in a tone that resonates with them.
Social media sleuthing isn’t just for accounts with two followers and no profile picture. It’s a great idea to familiarize yourself with the social presence of a few of your competitors, as well as a handful of industry giants. Take notes on what works for them and sneak the best parts into your own strategy. Build on it – make it your own.
You can also take it a step further by finding the gaps in their strategy. What is it they’re not doing? Or, what could they be doing better? By filling the holes they’re leaving behind, your brand might just be exactly what consumers are searching for.
Like all aspects of marketing, you’ll need a roadmap for your social strategy. Going in blind and creating each post on the day of can create a lot of chaos and confusion. And, let’s be real, there’s enough chaos and confusion on social media as it were. Enter a content calendar. Filled with everything you need for each post (date, time, imagery, and copy), the right content calendar will help provide direction and ensure your team is proactive.
Of course, there may be instances where your team will need to push out a post quickly due to unforeseen circumstances and events. But, your content calendar will still be there to ensure most of your posts go up as needed.
Sure, throwing in a raunchy statement here or there might be tempting, especially since social media tends to be the place where all the fun happens. Yet, bad language and off-color jokes can turn people off. Not to mention that everything lives forever on the internet. What might seem like a post that pushes the envelope might end up being a regret down the line. When in doubt, keep it PG.
One of the best ways to turn people off on social media is unresponsiveness. The comments section of each post is an invitation for consumers to praise your brand, share their excitement, ask their questions, or air their grievances. No matter the sentiment, replying to comments helps your audience to see you as approachable, while seeing themselves as a member of a community. If consumers are trying to get in touch with you, don’t leave them hanging. They may begin to see your brand in a negative light.
Hashtags are powerful. They allow your content to be searchable, bringing your work to new audiences and helping you grow your following. While some channels allow up to 30 hashtags per post, that doesn’t mean you should use all of them. Social media platforms can flag this as spam, and you could end up in front the wrong audience. Choose between five and ten relevant hashtags and go from there.
With 500 million active Instagram Stories users each day, your brand can easily get in front of a lot of eyes. These small snippets are a great way to show behind-the-scenes moments, highlight specific products, and host Q&As with your audience. Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube also have Stories, so if any of those are your primary channels, you can still tap into the short-form, short-lived content market.
Social media is incredibly dynamic, with its own microcosms and trends that rise and fall. The last thing your brand should do is fall into a pattern. If you’re constantly posting about the same products, only highlighting offers, or sharing the same content repeatedly, your audience is going to get bored. Mix up your messaging and follow relevant trends to keep things as interesting as possible.
When building your brand’s presence on social media, you’re really looking to stop the scroll. Creating quality content, engaging with your community, and being as responsive as possible is your best bet for fleshing out your digital footprint.