Social media marketing rule 1: organic social
Even though you are promoting your brand through social media, genuinely interacting and engaging with other people is a must. Provide value when you engage and try to partake in active discussions. Social media is a hub where connections can be strengthened. Building relationshipsand trust through social media takes time but it will be worth it in the long run. This is as true in real life as it is in social media.
Social media marketing rule 2: be human
Social media marketing has come a long way from Twitter and Facebook. We will have new social media platforms in 2016 to add to SnapChat, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. We will also have access to affordable social media management tools that help us to schedule and automate content. The temptation on social media channels is to reach far and wide without delving beneath the surface. An automated post may save us time but it is not the same as real time interactions and social listening. Being human on social media means really listening to your audience and being responsive to their concerns. People like to connect with real people on social, not a self serving brand.
Social media marketing rule 3: focus on a few channels
It is tempting to partake in every social media platform for your business. By spreading yourself too thin, you will be diluting the effort. Concentrate on a few social media platforms where you have established good relationships and build on your brand presence.
Social media marketing rule 4: choose channels for your niche
If you are an ecommerce business selling nail extensions, utilize social media platforms that are visual. Vine, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest are the best visually oriented social media channels. Conversely, if your business is B2B, concentrate your efforts on LinkedIn or Slideshare.
Social media marketing rule 5: create great content
Use social media to share your great content. Create interesting content individually for each social media platform (to leverage the different formats). Great content gets more views and shares on social media, helping to increase brand awareness. In order to decide what content works for your brand on social media, use social media analytics to find your most popular posts and what viewers say about it. You can also do some social listening to know what consumers are interested in (trending topics) and add your input. If your content is neither valuable nor relevant to your audience, social media marketing will be a lost cause for your business.
Social media marketing rule 6: encourage user generated content
User generated content UGC includes any content created by users on social media. UGC is anorganic way to increase brand awareness through genuine users. Brands should embrace UGC and even encourage their customers to create content about them. For instance, asking customers to share photos, enter competitions, create blogs, make videos or write a review are ways to elicit UGC. The use of brand related hashtags can help to curate some of the UGC.
Social media marketing rule 7: be strategic
By building connections strategically and keeping your eyes on your social media marketing metrics, you can move closer to your end goals. Whether it be more sales or engagement, you need to strategically share content on social media and engage with others. Social media platforms are noisy and users have short attention spans. Following a clear strategy will help you manage your time better without getting distracted.
Social media marketing rule 8: work with the momentum
Social media marketing is like a rolling ball that gains momentum. With a growing audience base, you can gain greater insights, reach out in a meaningful way and share content that gets more engagement. You can also strike when the iron is hot to make the most of your influence.
Social media marketing rule 9: be authentic but mindful of your message
Social media platforms are perfect for showcasing your brand persona. Over time, your audience can gain a better understanding of what your brand stands for and its unique personality. However, social media is not the place to spark conflicts. Keep your brand messages politically neutral and relevant to your brand. Don’t make the mistakes these brands have on social media. Stay away from controversial discussions that may affect your brand image.
Some brands are bound to be divisive. Whatever message you air on social media, it has to be consistent with the brand and you have to assume full responsibility for it.
Social media marketing rule 10: influencers collaboration
Engage with, and acknowledge social media influencers where possible. Look for influencers that are relevant to your brand or target audience and build a close, mutually beneficial relationship. The mutually beneficial part is important because you need to be strategic in building connections. Provide value and help to promote your chosen Influencer. Influencers have the authority and legions of followers to bring more awareness for your brand.
Social media marketing rule 11: be proactive
Social media marketing is not about passively sharing user generated content. You must seek out new people to engage with and pro-actively build valuable connections. You need to actively assess and move towards your social media marketing goals every quarter.
Social media marketing rule 12: be consistent
Post consistently and frequently on social media platforms to gain visibility. You can find out about the best times and frequency to post on social media here. You can’t set it and leave it with social media marketing; daily effort is required.