TOP 20 DO'S AND DON'T IN SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Here at GSATi, we embrace the beauty and power that is social media. It connects, informs and engages us with clients we didn’t know had a voice, or ones we didn’t know quite yet existed. We take pride on the relationships we’ve carefully crafted with our audience, and want to share our personal Do’s and Don’ts in social media marketing. Read on and discover how you too can achieve these goals!
Post Content and Post Often
When building a social media audience, you are creating an almost personalized audience. Sharing in-house blog content via the company Twitter or Facebook can actually increase traffic for the blog. Clients, aka your audience, appreciate content that appears relevant and valuable to their personal or professional needs, whether said content comes from your blog or not.
Read Before You Share
When operating a company blog, your validity and relevancy within the social media world is under constant scrutiny. Therefore, reading over articles, even if just to glance over, before sharing on company accounts, will be one of the most beneficial actions to take when preparing new blog posts. There are many online users who will simply retweet or repost an article they found based on the title, failing to read the content and realize that the article is a simple puff piece, void of useful information. Always check before sharing.
Find Reliable Sources
When sharing posts from related websites, it's important to check for reliable resources. This includes sources that contain accurate information, but may also be associated blogs who fit within your niche, who happen to have a wealth of relevant content you may want to share. We recommend Social Media Today, Business2Community, and Hubspot as reliable resources.
Write Your Own Content More Often
Having a staff member or team of staff members creating and developing in-house blog content is the best way to expand your online presence. With an extensive library of previously-written blog posts, your social media team may easily share multiple posts throughout the day on active accounts such as Twitter with ease. The more post-able content, the more relevant the company, the higher online traffic will climb, thus further promoting your company.
Be Too Broad
In social media, a reader will spend an average of eight (8) seconds focusing on an article or related work before moving on to the next piece. As a result, keeping content as specialized as possible should be your social media team's #1 priority. This will also further enhance your clients' understanding of the company brand, and what to expect with regards to products and services. Be advised: straying off topic on social media more than 10% of the time will reduce the traffic on your account. Keep it short, keep it simple, keep it specific.
Share Too Often
Each social media network has their own respective posting parameters that promote the best times and days to share content. You can review these parameters (here). Essentially, the social media team's primary concern is to avoid turning your content into a nuisance, by effectively using the company's accounts in a strategic and logical manner.
Not Sharing ENOUGH
We realize that these Don'ts may seem a little contradictory; welcome to the social media age! However, within this growing market, timing is truly of the essence. Post too often, become a bother. Post too little, and the validity of the company deteriorates. On average, a company should provide 5 posts per day spanned across all social media networks.
This is a #1 kill switch for any online business presence. We strongly recommend the use of scheduling services such as HootSuite or RiteTag to maintain consistency with online posts. Inconsistency in your postings will only generate less and less traffic, ergo less and less online visibility.
Interact with Your Audience
Always be sure to interact with your audience, at least once a day. Whether it be a simple "favorite" mark on a tweet, or a quick comment expressing your shared interest in the individuals' topic, a sign that your audience is being paid attention to or recognized for their opinion speaks volumes to your users.
This applies to not only your clients, but to fellow businesses in your specific market as well. Follow users you know will remain "faithful" to your account, as well as other businesses who may provide some benefit such as cross promotion of products, expanded audience engagement, etc.
Setting goals that will grow your audience base can be of great benefit when it comes to actualizing such goals. Set aside time with your social media team to discuss overall growth needs and create a plan of attack. Whether it be to gain 10 or 100 followers a day, small accomplishments that contribute to an overall success will reflect well on your social media platforms.
Focus on the Number
Actions speak louder than words - and in this case - numbers. Whether you have 15 or 150,000 followers, an unengaging account will produce poor results. The more effort dedicated to interacting with followers on social media, the better the engagement ergo the better results. Stay engaged with the followers that matter to your company and this will in turn produce more and more followers over time.
Keep Them On Social Media
Your social media accounts are mere tools to guide the audience from the platform to the parent page, aka your business home page. Create more compelling social media content with links and images of your posts so that users will be inclined to access your internal links more often.
BUYING FAKE FOLLOWERS
This is a Grade A 100% Sure-fire FAILURE made by countless businesses. Buying fake followers creates discomfort amongst actual followers and irreparably damages the reputation of any brand associated with this lazy solution to fluff follower numbers. Do not fall into this high superficial, highly unprofessional trap.
Ask AND Answer Questions
A quick and easy Q & A is one of the most fundamental ways to start a conversation with your audience, because it demands an answer. Whether you have or don't have an answer, there is a window of opportunity to further a new conversation and lock in that new client. Despite which social network you use and what searching tools are available, there is always an individual asking questions related to your field. We recommend Twitter Advanced Search to make your first steps finding that first question much easier. Find the question, respond with a detailed answer, obtain a new client.
Ask for Opinions
A user's opinion holds great power; all users possess at least one, and are always proud to share their own. Asking your user's opinion on a new product or campaign provides a new window of social engagement, where current users can retweet, re-post or re-pin for fellow users to see based on their preferences. Use this tool to accumulate new users who have opinions of their own on your product, waiting to be shared.
Thank People for Sharing Content
No matter how humble, people enjoy receiving public gratification, especially from their preferred businesses. A virtual pat on the back or quick thanks for sharing your provided content strengthens the customer-business connection by making that individual feel special. Your public recognition of their efforts will carry over into the main feed, making it hard to ignore and easily re-shareable by other online users.
Ask for Shout Outs
This is kill switch #2 in the online game. Asking for "shout outs" from other online accounts creates an image of immaturity and desperation, two qualities that do not exhume "professionalism" in marketing. Shout outs are temporary, praise is forever. Focus on praising your audience and fellow businesses within your field rather than begging for online recognition. Your brand will grow farther and stronger with this ideal in mind.
Exclusively Interact by Thanking for the Follow
It is nearly counter-productive to exclusively thank an individual for the new follow. If your goal is simply to thank someone for the follow, try starting the conversation with more than "Thanks for the follow!" i.e. "Thanks for the follow, what brought you to [insert business name here] today?" This open-ended response provides an opportunity for the business to further connect and establish a bond with the potential new customer.
Ignore Direct Messages
Elaborating on exclusive interactions, direct messages are highly associated with spam. Though there will be a select few people who will attempt to reach out via direct message, the majority of these inboxes will be packed with spam. Do not completely ignore direct messages, but regulate them accordingly as to avoid angering a potential customer when their voice goes unheard.
Though many of these points may seem redundant or self-explanatory, they may serve as golden reminders key to expanding your future with your online users. Let us help you build your social media marketing at GSATi today. Contact our Business Services Department for more information and consultation.