Social Media Marketing; some do’s and don’ts

The world seems to have gone totally social. It’s all about social media marketing, and virtually every brand has presence on at least one of the popular channels, particularly Facebook and Twitter. But with all these millions of Facebook pages and what have you, how is your target audience supposed to find and follow you, and engage with your brand?

Sadly, many channel owners go exclusively by the numbers. That is, number of followers or likes. We’ve written about this before, so we won’t dwell on the fact that it’s about quality and not quantity.

The question is, what can a brand do to accomplish just that? Here are a few tips you can implement to make sure your social media marketing efforts produce results. Be warned though; this becomes very time and energy-consuming. Having said that, it’s also tons of fun.

Don’t be a machine

There’s a variety of tools out there that let you find and schedule content so you have lots of daily postings. That’s great and all, but you’ll be just another brand that’s posting stuff according to a schedule and like a machine.

We’re not saying that you shouldn’t do that, as consistency is critical. But what’s equally important is to put a human touch behind it and tweet or post ad-hoc whenever you come across something that’s relevant and of interest to your target audiences.

Share to be shared

You should of course follow others that are relevant to your brand and content, and share what they post or favorite it whenever you believe your own followers may find that interesting.

It’s not only a sign that there’s a human behind the screen, but those whose content you share will appreciate that and in turn share what you post from time to time which is great for acquiring more followers. A comment every now and then is of course also hight advisable. We’ve seen some of these comments produce great discussions that involved lots of other people in the process.

Create your own content

Re-sharing content is a tactic followed by many. Some overdo it and limit their online postings to retweeting or sharing what others have posted. That won’t do them much good and only lead people to follow those other brands.

It’s great to share something you find interesting, but your focus needs to remain on your own content. Content that’s relevant to your brand, its values, and products and services. And this is exactly where the hard part lies; it takes an enormous amount of time and effort to keep producing content that’s relevant, interesting, and doing so consistently.

Don’t pollute

We’ve seen some who post great content, but literally pollute one’s timeline. In fact, we’ve seen some users who’ve posted 200k and more tweets, which means they’re posting something by the minute. (How they find the time to accomplish this is beyond us.)

Regardless of how great your content may be, if all your followers see is your posts on their timeline, they may be compelled to un-follow you so they can see what other’s have posted as well without having to scroll down page after page.

And if you have more to say that you believe you should within a given time period, great! Write it down and schedule it for a post later on. In our particular case, we limit our postings to three per day. One in the morning, one around lunch time, and the last one just before the day ends.

Don’t use your business accounts for personal statements

At times, you could get dragged into a discussion that triggers personal sentiments and emotions. Those may not go along with your brand’s particular values and believes, and you could easily end up posting replies and comments that reflect personal believes, but are perceived as public statements made by your account.

This is not good business practice. If you get into a discussion that affects you personally, switch accounts, use your own, and say whatever you like, but without your company name in the user ID.

Invest in those paid ads

Let’s face it, numbers are important. It doesn’t make much sense to spend all that time and energy on developing great content for a handful of followers. You need numbers that are relevant.

To accomplish that, we advice you initially invest into promoting your pages until you get your numbers in par with what you believe is reasonable, and then switch to promoting particular posts that you believe are of high value and will be shared by your followers.

Allocating about JD300 – 500 per month is not that high of an investment. Some clients tell us that this is way too much. We respond with that this is fraction of what they would need to pay otherwise if they were to use print ads or billboards.

Always respond to comments and messages

The most effective way to demonstrate that a brand cares and wants to engage is by responding to comments and direct messages within 24 hours at the most.

No matter what the message is about, you always need to thank them for making the effort, address their concern adequately, and find a solution in case it’s a complaint. Remember, thousands of others are seeing how your brand deals with its problems.

This is also a great opportunity to demonstrate your excellent customer care. And if things get really nasty or personal – or God forbid it’s a Troll – take it offline by asking them politely to provide you with direct contact details so you can assist them in person. (To read more about how to deal with public comments, read this article.)

 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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