Essential List of Best Practices for Social Media Marketing
Is your business achieving its goals for social media marketing? If not, a common problem we see regularly when providing digital marketing analysis is that many companies are either unaware of or don’t follow best practices for social media. That is why we wanted to share our Essential List of Best Practices for Social Media Marketing.
Following the best practices is always a good idea whether that is for search engine optimization (SEO), digital marketing, or virtually any other discipline. The idea of ‘best practices’ isn’t based around meaningless buzz words; it is the logical application of the most successful, proven methods for any industry.
When a client expresses frustration about the effectiveness of their campaigns within digital marketing, such as SEO or social media marketing, the first thing we always compare is their current practices to best practices. Nine times out of ten, the ineffective campaigns produce much better results once best practices are followed.
Best Practices for Social Media Marketing
Just because people use social media on a personal level, it doesn’t mean that those methods and practices are the best options for a business. When you have specific goals and benchmarks, it is important to have an excellent grasp of practices and techniques.
- Create a Social Media Strategy – Just like there is a great deal of value in having a business plan, sales strategy, and marketing strategy, there is inherent value in creating a specific social media strategy. As the various aspects of digital marketing have become more intricate, it is important to use specific strategies within each subdivision. A good strategy helps in high-level planning that will align business goals, marketing goals, and social media activities. It is also essential for properly tracking ROI and results for social media marketing efforts. Along with goals, the strategy should include how goals will be achieved, which channels will be used, what social media tools will be implemented, and how results will be tracked.
- Identify Tools for Social Media Marketing – There is an enormous number of tools available for social media marketing; so many that it can be very confusing. However, tools are an essential aspect of running effective social media campaigns. Take the time to identify tools that will be needed for scheduling, engagement, statistical reporting and analysis, and content creation. Then train with the tools to maximize their usefulness rather than implementing the learn-as-you-go model which is typically inefficient.
- Research the Target Audience – A target audience is not always the same as your current audience. In some cases, a business is looking to expand their reach which means targeting the ideal audience for specific products or services. Before marketing can take place, a deep dive into this audience needs to take place. Along with the basics such as age, income, or location, make sure to understand the solutions or information they are looking for from your business.
- Analyze Social Media Channels – There are numerous social media channels which can be effectively used to reach consumers such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest. The most important aspect of selecting which channels to focus on has to do with potential customer activity. There is little value in spending time and energy on a platform that your potential customers either don’t use or use infrequently. Take the time to analyze and understand when and where your customers are socially active and then focus areas on those times and places to intersect with them.
- Create a Regular Schedule – Content needs to be regularly provided to your audience if you what to create higher levels of engagement and more interactions. Without regular useful or engaging posts, people will look elsewhere for what they want and need. A regular schedule makes it easier for people to know when to expect posts and provides consistency.
- Focus on Value-Adding Content – Whatever content you are going to provide should add value for your customers. Useful information, problem-solving content, or promotional offers are all useful content. Always consider what the value will be before posting as you want customers to look forward to your posts.
- Make Responding to Issues a Priority – Social media platforms have become fertile grounds for customer complaints. People have no problem posting or tweeting about bad service or problems. That is why businesses need to monitor not only their social media sites but also listen for mentions of their business on all platforms. That way you will be in a position to respond to issues quickly before your reputation suffers. Hootsuite, Brandwatch Analytics, and Mention all offer great tools to listen around the net.
- Interact with Users – Social media is meant to have a social aspect. Brands that ignore this and focus just on marketing are missing one of the most basic practices of the platform. Take the time to interact with customers, comment on posts, engage, and be social regularly.
- Analyze and Review Metrics Monthly – Important metrics such as likes, comments, clicks, shares, and follow count should be analyzed and reviewed monthly. This will allow an understanding of what works, what doesn’t and what type of ROI your efforts produce.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that following the best practices for any endeavor is always a great idea. This should always be a starting point for any business, especially in digital marketing. Once baselines have been established using our essential list of best practices for social media marketing, then adjustments and tweaks can be applied to optimize your business’s interactions with clients.
Be sure to check back every week for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.
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