If there is one thing any marketer knows, it’s that change is inevitable. The best practices change by the day, and what works one minute may be frowned upon the next. Keeping up with trends, and what you should concentrate on when developing your social media strategy is of utmost importance.
We’ve created this list of five social media best practices that we find to be the most important in maintaining a level of professionalism and connecting with your audience while also effectively building your brand.
Our Top 5
1. Build your buyer persona.
This is the first thing you should be doing, as the rest of your social media strategy depends on it. It’s the foundation of it all, and everything else you do moving forward will fallback on this.
There are many questions to ask yourself when creating your fictional buyer persona; Who is your customer? Are they male? Female? Parents? Professionals? Where do they live? How old are they? What life stage are they in? What are their hobbies?
You can learn about your buyer persona by conducting audience research. You can analyze your analytics from your website and social media, or do A/B testing on social ads targeting specific demographics to see what type of customer is most intrigued by what you’re offering. Here’s a more in-depth article on creating a buyer persona.
2. Set goals.
Just throwing something out there and hoping for the best may work if you’re trying to catch any ol’ fish for dinner. But if you want something specific, you need to know what you want and sculpt your strategy to obtain it. When running your business and developing your future business plans, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t. Measuring your social media KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is a great way to understand your metrics.
Graphic courtesy of Hootsuite
3. Establish your tone and voice.
Here’s the difference between the two. Consistency is important when it comes to your brand’s voice. Is your company’s social media presence going to be professional and serious? Completely technical? A sense of humor and lightheartedness? This is especially important to note for your fellow employees if you have multiple people working on your social media.
If you’re a medical supply company and your buyer persona is a respected high-level professional, you may decide you want a more serious voice. It’s ultimately up to you and your business plan.
4. Follow the “Rule of Thirds”.
It’s easy to get caught up in promoting yourself. After all, the main purpose of your social media strategy is to turn your readers into customers, right? Your end game is to up your business and create revenue from your online presence. BUT. The key is keeping things balanced. If you constantly just post business promotions, not only will you lose the attention of your followers, but you’ll present yourself as just being “all about the money” with no care for your customers as people.
One-third of your posts should be promotional. One third should be things you share from others, like influencers in your industry. And the last third should be personal. Whether it’s stories, photos, memes, funny cartoons, pictures of staff, games - something that gives you that personal connection to your followers and humanizes your brand.
Not with your ears, but with your eyes! Read what people are saying. Social listening is a process in which you track and analyze all of your social media platforms and watch for anyone making reference to your product or service.
Once you see something, you analyze the information and determine the best way to use it or the best course of action to take. This could be as simple as publicly responding to a customer that had a great experience (or one that didn’t have a good experience - that’s just as important, if not more important). It could be even more in-depth - like adjusting the recipe of your caramel macchiatos because people have consistently commented they’re way too sweet.
The great thing about social media is if you listen close enough, you’ll receive free, unprompted information that can help better your business. Use it wisely!
And of course - It’s always important to remind yourself that anything you post on social media is public. If you wouldn’t scream it on a rooftop in the middle of a crowded city, you shouldn’t post it! While these are our top 5 best practices, there are definitely many more to follow and there’s much more to know. If there is one thing we have learned in our many years of social media marketing, it’s that people tend to think social media strategy is a lot easier than it really is!