[Posted on July 6th, 2015 by Carly Bevins]
At the heart of any marketing plan, there has to be an aspect of social media outreach. If you are a marketer, you know how important it is to use various platforms in your work. If you want to harness the power of your audience, you have to engage with them online. It might sound straightforward, but if you get it wrong, you can do more harm than good.
It is crucial for both you and your enterprise that you educate yourself. You ought to know the best practices before you start. That way, you will use the platforms to their full potential. Here are the ten best practices for social media marketing.
#1 Practice makes perfect
The first thing that you have to realize is that you can’t get everything right the first time you try. There is a certain level of trial and error in any marketing plan, and so you ought to prepare yourself for that. What works for one audience won’t necessarily work for another, and that is something you need to understand. Keep at it, though, and you will soon learn what engages your particular demographic.
#2 Online ambassadors can be a huge help
You need to figure out who, out of your followers, has the power to reach out to people. Online ambassadors can be a massive help, especially if you hope to expand your reach quickly. You might want to work with people who already have a large following online or independent bloggers. If these people can influence others, they can start to spread your message. This type of organic promotion is the best way to reach out to new people.
#3 Add value to your posts
Each time you post something, you ought to ask yourself what the audience gains from it. Sometimes, people fail to think about their demographic. Each post should offer people something new. For example, when you post a blog, it might offer people advice on a certain subject. If you share a competition, it gives people a chance to win something. No matter what you share, make sure that it is valuable to your audience.
#4 Never ignore your followers
If you are lucky enough to have people comment on your posts, you need to make sure that you engage with them. It is not enough to post something and then log off. Instead, you need to make sure that you are active online. If people see that you never reply to them, they will think that you are cold or, worse, a robot. Everybody knows that you can automate posts, and so people will assume that is what you have done. For the best results, communicate with your demographic on a daily basis.
#5 Share other people’s content
If you want people to promote your business online, you have to help them out first. Everyone wants attention online, and so you can benefit by sharing other people’s posts. Once you start promoting other people or groups, they will reciprocate. That means that you can broaden your reach in no time at all. Find companies or people who share the same audience as you do. They will have content online that you can share.
#6 Join in with online discussions
When there is a debate happening online, you need to involve yourself. Sometimes, people fear controversy. They think that, when they represent a company, they need to stay neutral at all times. While you don’t want to annoy anyone online, you should take part in a variety of discussions. Social media marketing is not just about posting things; it is about being part of a wider community.
#7 Choose a tone (and stick with it)
The way in which you talk to your audience matters. You need to show people that you have a solid tone or they will find your posts confusing. Choose a manner and stick with it. That way, people will always know what to expect from you. For example, if you are promoting a kids’ show, you will want your tone to be fun and engaging. If you are promoting life insurance, your tone might be serious.
#8 Always check your grammar
There is nothing worse than getting a spelling wrong or making a grammatical error online. There are people out there who will jump on you faster than you can edit this mistake. Before you post anything, you need to check that it is grammatically sound. You can put your posts through a word processor before you publish them. That way, you will never make any silly little mistakes. If people notice errors in your work, they will think that you are not legitimate.
#9 Specialize in a niche market
There is no point attempting to cover all bases. When you communicate with people online, you have to have a core message at the heart of all your discussions. Decide what you want people to gain from you and don’t ever differ from that subject. It is always better to be an authority on a certain subject than a novice in a variety of things. If you are a fashion boutique, people come to you for style advice, not love advice. So long as you remember that, you should have no issues.
#10 Be consistent
Above all else, you have to remember to be consistent online. Once you launch a campaign, you have to stick with it and see it through. You should keep track of how many times you post each day. For example, if you post seven times on Monday but just once on Tuesday, this is bad practice. You need to show people that you are an entity they can trust. That means being consistent with everything from your tone to the amount of times you post per day.
Social media marketing can do wonders for your business. When you embark on a new campaign, you should keep these ten points in mind. So long as you stick to them, you will find that you enhance your online presence and expand your reach. Perfect.