On the surface, social media management can seem like a simple task for many marketing managers. However, in between posting content, running your ads and responding to tweets and messages, social media management for corporates can be a lot more daunting than managing a personal account. Followers and engagement suddenly become important leads and sales opportunities.
Of course, social media managers know that there is an intricate backend user experience that specifically caters for business accounts. However, there are still social blunders despite the existence of helpful (and even free) advice. On the extreme end, some organizations don’t even have a well-thought-out and documented social media strategy. This kind of error ranks right up there with some of the worst social media fails associated with posting wrong or inappropriate messages. Therefore, it is worth learning and employing a few best practices to give your social media strategy that extra boost.
There are a number of best practices for social media ranging from posting frequency, the kind of content to post, and automation, to your tone, voice, and how to set your goals. However, here are a few important best practices that cut across all platforms:
1. Take a community approach
Research consistently shows that customers, particularly younger ones (millennials, generation z), don’t like to be the direct targets of ads on social media. They prefer to get their information about products and services through blogs and online communities which carry more credibility than traditional advertising.
Non-stop promotional posts on your social media platforms tends to turn many followers off. They’re unlikely to engage with the brand if all your posts are about your products. In the social media world, too much self-promotion equals uninteresting content, which may lead people to unfollow your page.
Taking a community approach will enable you to build a credible network and a “tribe” of an active and engaged online community around your brand. Engaged followers tend to convert into actual sales and one simple way you can achieve this is by providing relevant and curated content that motivates them to contribute and to interact with the brand on a more consistent basis. After all, followers are more likely to trust and share user-generated content with brands that value them, which builds your online credibility.
2. Select the best channel for your social media strategy
Brands are now increasingly compelled to meet their customers in their venue of choice. Despite the pressure to be present in multiple channels, your organization doesn’t have to have a social media account on all the available platforms.
Your social media strategy will likely be more effective when it focuses on the platforms that provide the best opportunities and value for resources. Every social platform has its specific purpose and strengths, and so you should use these characteristics to inform your choice.
Instagram, for instance, would be an excellent choice for the strong and more visual brands. It has a highly visual network for both static images and short video clips. That said, Instagram is not suited for driving blog or website traffic. Facebook, on the other hand, is well known for directing more referral traffic than any other social media network.
Twitter, which has often branded itself as a news website, is well-suited to brands that are looking to share blog posts or just promoting their website content. LinkedIn is a professional network used heavily for sharing general professional content and industry articles. Therefore, all the content you share should mirror this general form.
You’ll have to pick the appropriate platform(s) and one that aligns with your marketing goals rather than trying to be visible on all the social media networks. Your social media management strategy should seek to align your social goals with the right platforms that can help you achieve those goals.
3. Crowdsource your ideas
Social media can be a gold mine of ideas that can transform your products and services. Many marketers think of customer feedback in terms of black and white; whether it’s good or bad. However, sifting through this feedback can be a great source of innovative ideas.
It’s not enough to just encourage or allow open feedback, you need to provide tools that can easily enable your social media followers to leave feedback. Your overall social media strategy should be one that allows your followers to submit ideas, vote on products and services, as well as add public comments on your social pages.
4. Don’t sound like a robot
By using the same language as your customers or your audience, you will establish a connection with them. No one wants to feel like they’re talking to a robot or are following a brand that sounds dull. Everyone wants to feel like they’re talking to a real human being, even if they’re thousands of miles away.
Despite the advances in technological communications, many people still prefer to have a human connection. Whilst your followers know that you’re not physically connected, you’d do well to avoid sounding like a corporate drone. This can often mean having to reconsider your auto-responses.
5. Measure, optimize, succeed
This seems obvious enough but many organizations have somewhat skewed metrics that they use to analyze their social media efforts. A great social media strategy must first establish the value of your social media efforts in relation to the success of the business. This is incredibly useful when you integrate social media activity into other organizational platforms or the existing support processes such as CRM systems.
Rather than just having a me-too approach to social media, you must, to use a common term, ‘determine the ROI’ of your social media activities.
- Are you focused on brand building?
- Are you targeting conversion?
- Do you want to build website traffic?
Only by answering such questions can you determine the right metrics for evaluating your social strategy.
Having the right metrics in place will help you optimize your social media activities and consequently, ensure the success of your corporate goals.
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