One of the topics we write frequently about is Social Media Marketing, which is with no doubt one of the most indispensable tools of your digital marketing arsenal. When done “right”, the rewards are immense; spanning from brand visibility and exposure to actively engaging your customers and target audiences, we can’t really think of any other tool that’s potentially as effective. (Even those brand’s that won’t really benefit from “socializing online” can no longer afford not being out there.)
Foremost all, it’s important to determine whether Social Media Marketing is an effective tool for your brand. We’ve also written about how to go about expanding your online marketing arsenal beyond social media channels, we’ve written about when to respond (or not) to someone who just attacked your brand, and we would now like to add some useful tips about how to use social media marketing tools so they become all that more effective.
Perhaps even more important than contributing content is monitoring what’s being said and commented about your brand. Consumers are becoming increasingly outspoken and tend to vent their frustrations on social media channels. Even if your brand has no plans to share content and engage the community otherwise, someone must be on the constant lookout and take action when needed and warranted. So the best way to get your social media marketing started is to create the “typical” accounts and spend a lot of time monitoring similar brands. Before you know it, you’ll have a pretty good grasp about what it’ll take once you get seriously started.
Be of Value
Pushing products and services via social media channels is in general not a good idea. People are saturated with ads and similar messages and spend time online for learning, entertainment, and engagement purposes. Your brand will still benefit though. Say you are a medical institution and frequently share articles that are health related. If someone needs medical advice, guess whom he/she will call first? You have been demonstrating your knowledge for a while now after all, so brand recall is a natural benefit your brand will reap.
Keep it Business
Never ever use your corporate accounts to state personal opinions or sentiments. It’s particularly tempting when you have huge numbers of followers on your corporate Twitter account of Facebook page, and you have an urge to express your opinion about a specific political incident. However, anything you say online reflects directly and immediately on your brand. Hence, politics and religion are best left out from your corporate communication. If you’ve got an opinion you’d like to share, setup personal accounts and go wild. If you get into a controversial discussion, your brand won’t be affected. On the other hand though, if your brand is is strongly linked to and affiliated with your persona, you may want to refrain from getting into controversial discussions all together. Protecting your brand always comes first.
Never make it Personal
If you do a good job and your brand is out there, there will come a day when someone posts a negative comment or criticism. Whether that is justified or a plain aggression, what’s important now is how you will respond. If the comment is provocative, has no foundation and was only made to aggravate you, count until ten (or a hundred if need be), and never post a reply in anger. You don’t want to end up in the situation where what you replied with becomes the focus of the discussion. Take your time, cool down, and finally reply in professional and business-like manner with no emotions expressed whatsoever. Or don’t reply at all if the comment lacks any reasoning or rationale.
Don’t take Shortcuts
We’ve seen some Facebook page managers who presume it as a convenient shortcut to post their promotions on pages of other brands who have extensive outreach. This is a no-no. You will for sure get banned from that page, the owner may report you to Facebook as a spammer, and readers won’t appreciate finding an irrelevant post on a page they follow for a particular purpose. If you feel the other page is relevant to your own and will benefit from your promotional message, ask for permission first. It’s common business courtesy, and the owner may even help by promoting your message and give it a “nudge” to increase your reach.
Don’t overdo it
Social media marketing is exciting and fun, especially when you enjoy a good level of engagement from your followers. However, too much could be as harmful as too little. If you overdo your posts, people might feel overwhelmed and either unfollow you or stop paying attention to what you’re sharing. Neither are good. The best way to post your content is by deciding frequency and pulsing, and then sticking to your schedule in a consistent manner. In general terms, 1-3 posts per day (with reasonable time intervals) can be considered good practice.
Social media browsers have in general little patience to read long articles. The trick is to use an attractive image with a captive headlines and synopsis. If those are done well, readers will be more likely willing to click through to the entire article on your website or blog. As is the case with ads though, the image’s purpose is to catch attention, not to dominate it. (Read this article to learn more about the correlation between great images, headlines, and copy text.)
Create your Content
It’s perfectly fine to retweet and share what others have written and posted. However, if this is the entire extent of your content, you won’t have that many followers as you are basically recycling what other’s have done. Make sure the content you post is mostly created by your brand and reflects the deep insight you have in the subject matter. On the long run, this is what will count and give your brand the recognition you seek.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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