When it comes to social media best practices, you might get several different versions, depending on whom you ask. That’s because there are a few practices that have been shown to produce the most desirable results, and those are the ones you should make sure to adopt in your own social media practices. Below you’ll find a listing of the social media best practices according to Aqaba, one of Michigan’s acknowledged leaders in social media advertising.
Have Clearly Defined Goals
If you don’t start out with some definite goals, you’ll never know if you’ve achieved anything. It’s the same as traveling without a destination in mind – if you don’t have a destination, you’ll never know when you’ve arrived. List your social media goals right at the outset, and then you’ll have something to refer back to, so you can gauge your progress.
Know your Audience
It can take a while, but it’s well worth the time investment to gain a thorough understanding of your target audience. When you know their wants and needs, their pain points, and their perspective about themselves, you’ll know exactly what to address in your message to them. It makes a world of difference when you know what matters most to your audience because that’s what you can emphasize the most when you reach out to them.
Check Out the Competition
You should always keep tabs on what your competition is up to. They may have come up with some really innovative ideas that you can ‘borrow’ and incorporate into your own social media approach. Pay particular attention to anything they might be doing which has become really popular because that’s an indication that it has resonated strongly with the same target audience you’re trying to reach. For instance, if they’re pricing their products much lower than you are, that may be something you need to address in your marketing and advertising efforts.
Offer Discounts and Giveaways
Nothing entices a user to participate or to buy more than the notion that they’re getting a great deal because it’s flattering. And of course, the discount or giveaway will probably be something they really need, want, or are willing to try out, so it also satisfies a desire they have. Once you get your product in the hands of many consumers, they’ll be able to appreciate the real value of your product, and they’ll be more willing to pay for it next time.
Post all sorts of User Generated Content
There are several good reasons to post user content, especially if you’ve got some really good feedback from customers. For one thing, it’s a solid testimonial offered by a fellow consumer, and that is always trusted more by other consumers, as opposed to any sales pitch you might offer. When you do post user content, you’ll be flattering the user who wrote it, and they might well come to establish a closer relationship with your brand, and demonstrate future loyalty. They could even become a good ambassador for your company, and start some good word-of-mouth advertising for you – free of charge.
Make Use of Polls and Surveys
For the most part, people enjoy taking part in polls and surveys, because they like being asked their opinion on issues. For you, there’s no better way to get direct information from your target audience, unless you were to interview them face-to-face. The information you gain from polls and surveys can be priceless, and it can help guide some of your marketing decisions in the future.
Respond Quickly and Regularly
Whenever you are sent a question or any post which calls for a response, you should make a point of responding to it, because it will show that you are a real person, rather than a cold, inhuman corporate presence. People much prefer dealing with other people, as opposed to large companies lacking human warmth. It will also show that you care about their feelings and the things that matter to them. In addition, you should post your responses as soon as possible, so that a user can see you’re paying attention, and that you’re interested in what they have to say. This is one of the best ways to foster increased engagement with your followers, so it’s an area you should cultivate to the biggest possible extent.
Use Video whenever Possible
You’ve probably seen or heard a number of statistics that point up just how effective video content can be in marketing. Those are not contrived statistics – they are real, and they are a strong indication that video should be used whenever and wherever possible in your social media marketing. In terms of promoting engagement with users alone, video is by far the most effective type of content on all social media platforms. It costs very little to produce your own video content, and if you lack the expertise, it’s worth your while to have something produced by professionals. The return you get will make it all worthwhile, and you’ll be wondering why you didn’t get involved with video content a long time ago.
Try different Types of Content
Even if you have found a particular type of content that works well for you, it would be in your best interests to experiment to some degree with other types of content as well. While your followers may really appreciate your weekly blog or some regular post that you make, there’s no guarantee that this kind of popularity will continue indefinitely. It won’t hurt to try some different types of content so that you can have several possible ways of communicating with your followers. You can change up any aspect of your posts to see what resonates better with your audience – your color palette, your fonts, gif usage, video, infographics, etc. You may strike gold with one of these, and have something that makes a really strong connection with your audience.