Social media best practices

Social media is supposed to be fun, right? I mean, when I first joined MySpace, or Hi5, or whatever other networks existed back then, it was all about connecting friends and making new ones. There was no emphasis for brands to be marketing on these platforms – it was a simpler time.

The reality now is that all of us work for brands that have a presence on social media. We are more aware of social media than we ever have been, and with mobile devices, it consumes every free moment we have. As brands, whether we are a big business or a personal brand, it is our duty to ensure we are using social media to correct way and reaching our customers.

That being said, unless you’ve taken a fancy social media course at an Ivy League school, it’s hard for most small business to get there. Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to share with you my social media best practices as a start for your business – my credentials are a fancy social media course at an the Ivy League school 🙂

1 – Know your audience. This is key. In order to be able to use social media the right way, you must first know your audience, inside and out.

2 – Choose your platforms. Once you’ve narrowed down your audience, you can use this handy guide to finding the platforms that make most sense for your business. Quality is more important than quantity. Instead of trying to attack all platforms, choose the ones that provide the most reach for your target and add other platforms along the way.

3 – Find your voice and keep it consistent. You’ve probably heard this a lot before – find your voice. What does that really mean? It means to find the way you want your brand to be received by others and make sure all communications are written that way. So if you want your voice to be personal, than make sure all communications come from you.

4 – Use the 5 fundamental steps. Be honest, be active, be interesting, be humble, be unprofessional. Go here to read more about this.

5 – Set goals and objectives to measure. Like anything else in this world, if you want to know you’re succeeding, you have to be able to measure it. Make sure to set both goals (high-level) and objectives (SMART). Not only that, monitor and re-asses them on a regular basis.

6 – Engage and be active. Not only with your followers, but with influencers as well. You should be constantly engaging and conversing with both your audience and the influencers in your space. Think of it like this: If you were a singer, wouldn’t you want to collaborate with Taylor Swift? Exactly.

7 – Create content that is valuable. Easier said than done, but this is very important. If you want people to listen to you, know what they want to hear and give that to them. If your users are asking for a “winter essentials” style guide, produce it.

8 – Use tools to help you monitor. Tools are your friend. Hootsuite, Simply Measured, SocialBro, Sprout Social. There are MANY tools that exist. And lots that are free. Use those to start and see what works best for you. Analyze your engagement and learn from it.

9 – Revisit and evolve. Technology changes. Social changes. Everything changes. So should your social media strategy. Revisit and evolve it at least every 6 months. Look for new tools too.

How does this differ from what you’re currently doing?