Social media networks support all multiple formats and there has been the use of various interactive formats i.e. carousel ads on Facebook. Marketers leverage this format flexibility (text, image, multi-image, video, carousel etc.) to experiment with content to gauge the attraction and engagement of social users.
If people are the heartbeat of social media, then some social media practices are the blood. It’s the best social media practices that help people to see and respond to, and that communicates your values and messages. Let’s discuss some of the social media best practices.
Table of Contents
Social Media Best Practices
1. Choose the Right Social Platform
You have to understand that just because there is a social platform, doesn’t mean you should be on it. You need to understand what the platform is all about,who uses it, how people use it, and gauge the sense for your business to have a presence. Is your target consumer is using every bit of the social media platform available? With that being said, your brand should be primarily on the platform your consumers are on. Having right content on the social media platform and a highly-engaging presence means nothing if your buyer persona isn’t there as well. As producing and sharing content is no guarantee of success. Smart content marketers do understand the need to align social with other channels to ensure that there is a consistent style of communication with customers and the stories that they are telling, and that is driven by a clear plan rather than scrabbling each week to find something to share.
You should take the time to digest what people want to read/watch and make it digestible via the formats and channels they find most useful.
Start with a clear content ideation plan which is aligned with your business goals. This isn’t specific but it should govern you to communicate with your customers across all channels. Your social strategy can then inherit this plan and adapt it to suit the social networks.
2. Post Original Content
If you have decided to create some inspiring content through other people. You can run a series of inspirational events featuring speakers who had their own success story to tell, to demonstrate that success is unique to each of us and what makes each person successful varies but people who achieve have some things in common e.g. drive and ambition. This will help you to generate unique content that will drive social engagement.
This can be done if you will achieve the biggest reach possible (amongst all the relevant audiences) so that you can optimize your investment. This also means finding ways to encourage other social users to share your content with their wider network.
You’ve grabbed something but there isn’t much left and people are becoming impatient to get it,Scarcity is often a marketing strategy but if used well can drive huge social activity. A good example is the popular events selling where the tickets can sell out quickly completely publicizing the ticket launch date well in advance drums up interest.
3. Analyze Your Competitors
By this, we don’t mean to copy what your competitors are doing, but if you are fighting for the similar mindset amongst a similar audience,it pays to know what content your audience currently consumes and responds to. You can then bring in popular topics and content formats into your social content plan.This is what you should be consistently doing in marketing is analyzing your competitors — and that stands true for social media as well. What platforms are they active on? What kind of content are they sharing? How often are they sharing?Understanding your competitor’s social media strategies and their engagement will help you establish a roadmap of what you should be doing as well.
By analyzing your competitors,you will discover the opportunities to actually differentiate yourself as a brand in the eyes of the target consumers you are competing for.When I say consistent, I mean the overall tone of your social media presence should match your established personality, values, and voice.
Your written bio, your profile image,your cover photo and your content should all match with each other.Even more so, if you are using all multiple social media platforms, be sure that each account portrays the same story and projects the same tone for your company. Consumers want to stick around for a long time and make a meaningful connection with your brand.
4. Creating a Social Media Marketing Calendar
You should work on a quarterly basis and build out the social media marketing content plan each month which is aligned with your overall content calendar.
In this ,you should portray some set of stories that need to be told, then break down for each month which story components will be the focus,the content formats and social channels that will be used to distribute the messages.
There are many ways of doing this. The channel-level content activities should be connected to the high-level content stories, so there should be a clear link with the overall content plan. It means that each time if we are thinking about what content should be posted, we should make sure that it supports a key story.
That doesn’t meant that there is always the space for ad-hoc there always is. But you don’t plan ad-hoc! Embrace to post the content that isn’t part of the core stories, provided there should be a clear reason to do so that’s in tune with your content marketing strategy i.e. don’t just start sharing content that’s not consistent with your brand style/voice.
5. Optimising Content for Social Audience
Businesses produce a lot of content;so don’t restrict your social channels to post the same content that the social team produces. Think laterally.
For example, customer service teams can create a lot of helpful content for the users, answering all their FAQs and enquiries. They often add to the business knowledge base, and this information can be really helpful to social customers e.g. all the care instructions for a product. However, the content may not always be in some particular format and style that’s suitable for a social audience, but you can also take the raw content and repurpose for all your social channels.
Let’s use the example of all the care instructions. You could transform this into ‘Tip of the day’ for Twitter, using short-form, take-away advice that can link to more detailed content on your website.
6. Creating Regular Hooks
You can also find a content format which can be used to create regular posts that encourage people to come back for more.
The example from Twitter is Craft posting weekly roundups from its Flickr pool, so using the content from one social channel to create new posts on another.After hearing the 70:20:10 rule, you are probably wondering “Where can I come up with the 20% of the content on my page if the content isn’t actually mine?”
As we briefly mentioned earlier, connecting with all the industry influencers is going to be a great tactic in strategizing your social media and building a significant social media following. These companies or individuals being the great thought leaders of your industry your customers and target audience are following. Or, tag your favorite influencer in that post and ask your followers to tag their go-to thought leaders as well. It will help you to open the door for engagement and conversations with your audience.
Bani J, being a top influencer in the fitness niche is a brand ambassador of Myprotein India and was so excited to share her experience with her following. She is a prime example of an influencer who wants to interact and engage with her followers.
7. The Rise of Micro-influencers
Micro-influencers are those individuals that have between 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers/audience members and are considered the experts in their respective niche.For businesses, the appeal of these micro-influencers brings in the engagement, relatability, and affordability that all the micro-influencers provide. When you have a big name celebrity endorsing your brand on social media, they can bring a big following, but not the following you may be looking for. In contrast, a micro-influencer brings a more niche following you can target for a much lower price point.
Plus, users who are looking for content in a niche market are going to be more likely to trust those influencers in the same niche which are compared to a big name influencer they’ve never truly connected with. Again, it all comes back to building trust.
8. Use all the Hashtags
You have this awesome content and are also engaging with your audience, but how do you better optimize all your posts to get found by new people? Use the relevant hashtags!
As a quick refresher, the hashtag (#) or pound sign for these old-schoolers is a tool used on social media platforms to aggregate audiences towards specific content.
Similar to a keyword on a website or blog article, hashtags are also used to help your social posts perform better in their search results. Users are able to follow these hashtags directly or can search them to find related posts.
Hashtags made their debut on Twitter, but have since trickled out to all major platforms.
Which hashtags should I use?
The key to effectively using these hashtags is to identify those that are most relevant and popular with your desired audience.
For example, if you work for a home construction company, you may consider using a hashtag such as “#homeremodeling” because it will be related to what your audience is searching for and is likely to be compatible with the type of content you are posting and will be.
It is important to note that your hashtags can change depending on the content you are posting. While there will be recurring hashtags that you use in your content, adding the variety can help you reach larger audiences still involved in your space.
It can be easy to get caught up in the followers and likes on social media platforms. However, once you build your audience, you absolutely need to engage with them to maintain it.
React to posts you are mentioned in, answer questions when asked, and reply to comments made about your content.
If you come across a question you maybe aren’t certain of the answer of, tag all those thought leaders and industry experts to get their opinion. Social media is just meant to be social!
People love to interact with brands on social media. The more you do it, the more inclined they’ll be to follow or stick around for me.
Some brands have even become famously successful in engaging with their followers and customers. Take Netflix for example.
9. Create an Integrated Social Media Strategy
You want to make sure that each social media network you are involved in serves a purpose. You can ensure this by starting a marketing calendar.Also,make sure to add all of your upcoming events, blog posts, and everything else that you decide to do with your business into this calendar. This will help you to stay organized and understand how each of your social media accounts will bring in more untapped sectors for your business.
You also want to ensure you are producing the most valuable content – not only into your blog but also on your social networking accounts. Having the best content helps showcase your business and website, which brings in more customers and more money.You want to engage with those who post on your social media pages. This means when someone posts something, talk back to them. Let them know you are reading what they are posting and you are listening to what they want. Then, give them more of what they want to keep them posting on your pages.
You can manage all your social media accounts in one place. You can schedule posts weeks in advance and post at preferred times so the greatest number of users will see them. You can also analyze how well your posts are doing. Using the best tools to help with your social media accounts will help ensure you’re posting with adequate frequency to expand your presence and increase your follower count.
10. Focus on Customer Service
Many customers who are having issues with a brand are turning to social media to get help rather than waiting for a response to an email or making a phone call. So focus on helping people. These are people who will become repeat customers and be willing to buy from again if they know they can trust that you’ll help them with any issues. By using a social platform for customer service more users will go to your social account, and by having customer service available there you are making it easier for them to solve their problems.
11. Promote Your Social Media Accounts
Make it easy to follow or like your profiles. Regularly perk up your startup’s Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter account. Ask your customers to interact with you. Add social media icons to your site; add social feeds to your sidebar. Ask people to follow you on your social platforms at the end of your blog posts. Promote these accounts in your email marketing.
12. Actively Engage
Use your social media accounts to foster a community. Start by actively engaging your audience, reply to all comments. Post and answer questions in posts. Not only will you increase your presence but you’ll also develop real relationships with your audience.
13. Know what’s being said on Social Media
Listen for mentions of your brand and then track, analyze, and respond to those conversations. More broadly you should monitor conversations that are relevant to your industry and the thought leaders who impact it.
14. Establish your Social Media Presence
Remember that every time you talk, write, design, post, respond, launch, thank, and connect with others you’re exercising your brand voice. People are building an impression of your brand. Make the reader the hero in your story. Write from their perspective. Be clear so readers know what they can get that benefits them. Be clear over clever, avoid sensationalism and drop the drama.
- Facebook sends more website referral traffic than anybody and is geared towards both news and entertainment.
- Twitter views itself as a news platform and as a social network and is well-suited to brands sharing blog posts or promoting website content.
- Instagram is highly visual and is not optimal for driving blog or website traffic. It’s best suited for strong visual brands.
- LinkedIn is a professional network used heavily for sharing industry articles and professional content.
See what networks your competitors are on and where they are doing well and use that as an indicator you have a potential audience on that network.
15. Be Sincere and Graceful
Especially when you encounter negative comments or feedback. The very best way to deal with negative commentary is to be empathetic. It can be tough to stay on the high road, but be genuine in your responses. For the long-term health of your social media presence, don’t be negative in your responses.
16. Quality over Quantity
Yes, some social networks require a high volume of content to be worthwhile, Twitter comes to mind. But don’t forget quality always beats quantity. Don’t post for the sake of having posts up, that will not grow your audience. Be sure every post is connected to a broader goal or objective.
17. Facebook Best Practices
Use hashtags sparingly and try to work them directly into your copy. Upload video directly because they want you to stay on Facebook rather than leaving to consume content elsewhere. Natively uploaded video generally outperforms YouTube links. Keep your copy concise and avoid an overly promotional tone. Facebook’s algorithm limits the reach on any posts that sound too much like ads. Be sure your About section is completed.
18. Twitter Best Practices
Respond to all comments. That’s always important but especially so on Twitter. Avoid hashtag spam. Use images to drive engagement. Automate your Twitter schedule since this is a high-volume network and requires lots of posts consistently each day to be successful.
19. Instagram Best Practices
This is the most powerful platform for visual brands. Use location tagging on posts. Use relatively more hashtags, but don’t overdo it, making sure your hashtags are actually relevant to your post. Strive for authenticity rather than being sales-y. People come to Instagram to be inspired and entertained. So inspire and entertain, don’t simply promote your brand in an attempt to gain followers.
20. LinkedIn Best Practices
Keep it professional, this is not the place for memes and GIFs, that’s for Twitter. Share informative industry news. Be sure to update job listings on your company’s LinkedIn page and keep your company’s About section is current.