Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, WhatsApp...and the list goes on. There are well over fifty social media applications, and counting, making their names known in the world, and that number can leave many marketers completely overwhelmed. As of 2019, 2.77 billion people are using social media with that number expected to grow to 3 billion by 2021.
So, while the numbers are definitely staggering, there’s not much time to waste. Instead of throwing options at the wall and seeing what sticks, let’s break down some of the top do’s and don’ts of social media marketing.
Don’t get too personal
I once knew a chiropractor who also owned a cattle ranch, but never kept his two business ventures separate. One day he would post a photo of a spine subluxation and the next minute he’d post a video of him driving his F150 around his property. It just didn’t make sense!
The moral of the story is: don’t mix your personal and business accounts. So many companies think they’re doing themselves a favor by marrying the two. They believe this will only increase brand value by increasing transparency. However, this usually backfires because it muddies the vision of your business’s brand.
Also, while it might be tempting, do your best to stray from approaching three main topics:
- Personal opinions
- National tragedies (unless you or your company was immediately affected)
This is not to say these issues are guaranteed to stir up controversy, but it’s generally a best practice to avoid providing a platform for trolls, and commentators, chomping at the bit to throw the first stone.
Do clarify your voice
Being transparent with the “real you” is an excellent social media tool, and it’s incredibly cost-effective! But first, make sure your messaging across all social media channels is clear and concise. After you’re able to narrow down your focus and your brand message, you can begin adding a little peek into all of your company’s behind the scenes fun, which goes a long way in making your company feel more approachable and real.
Don’t ignore complaints (they will happen)
It might feel like a kick in the gut when you get a negative review or an adverse criticism, but when you realize it happens to practically EVERYONE, then you can more easily respond with a level-head on your shoulder.
When these issues arise, it’s essential to be prepared. If you have to take a long hiatus from your social media account to reel yourself back in, you’re wasting valuable time. When you “ignore” the issue, you ultimately spend more time telling your audience it doesn’t matter – and that’s not true. So, acknowledge the individual(s) who commented negatively about your product or service, and act quickly, yet appropriately, when putting out the flame.
Do be a good listener
Taking every critique or poor review personally is a recipe for disaster. There’s generally always deeper causes behind issues that arise. If you’re an active participant in the listening process, you’ll be able to approach any complaints with a positive perspective that enacts real, sustainable change that will increase your company’s value.
Another benefit to being a good listener is that you are presented with real-time feedback about your company’s offerings. When you are gifted with this information, you can act on it by creating content that directly aligns with your consumer’s wants and needs. It’s a win-win!
Don’t expect immediate results
One of the common downfalls we see with new businesses is the need for instant gratification. After all, we live in a world where as soon as we post a selfie on Instagram, we expect everyone in our tribe to double-tap instantly.
Take, for example, the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment – a test conducted in the 1960s that showcased the psychology of delayed gratification. When a child was presented with a tasty treat, they were given the choice of either consuming it now or, if they were able to wait 15-20 minutes then the number of treats they could consume would double.
Fast forward to 2019, and we’re going head-to-head with these same sentiments; however, the marshmallow has now been replaced with social media. Although we are consistently presented with technology that is faster than its predecessors, it’s essential for marketers not to fail the test.
Because it’s not keeping the momentum going that’s the most difficult, but building momentum that takes the most time. If we can learn to delay gratification associated with likes, follows, and shares, then we can plant seeds of sustainability for the long haul, which will directly impact your company’s potential for growth.
Do keep it fun and creative
Now, even though we’ve harped on the importance of patience within your social media strategy, we’re not here to silence your company’s creative voice either. Boomerangs, live videos, stories, filters, and more make the creative possibilities seem endless. By keeping a watchful eye on social media updates via Instagram’s info center, you can capitalize on new trends, innovations, and beta testings that can easily be incorporated into your posts.
Filters and Facetune not your thing? No problem! Another fun way to stay creative is to collaborate with like-minded brands on things like guest posts which allow for a greater reach. Think outside the box and try to find companies that align with your company’s persona and values. This will enable you to access their network of trusted consumers and is guaranteed to get you on the radar of an entirely new, yet trusted, audience.
Social media is continually evolving but so should your marketing strategy. With so many options to choose from, you have more opportunities for your brand’s personality to shine. Enjoy all the benefits of creativity that accompany the myriad of different platforms emerging, but don’t neglect a calculated eye and an excellent social media marketing strategy.