You probably have an account on at least one social media platform by this point-- but are you optimizing your output? In a post for Forbes.com, Drew Hendricks breaks down some basic rules for exercising your social media muscles in the most effective way possible. The excerpt below features ten points we think may be most relevant to you; check them out and then read the rest in his article.
If you’re in charge of social media management for your company, it’s time to up your game in 2014. It requires more than the random postings about your great sale, latest product or a shameless plug in the local paper. Social media marketing is easily a full-time job, and for good reason.
1. Choose the right platform
There are hundreds of social media platforms, which means there are many options beyond Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Take some time to see which platforms are best for your business and limit them to five max. No full-time employee has time to manage anything more, and you may find you’re a better fit for an underdog platform than Pinterest.
2. Post timely
Know the best days and times to post for your industry and demographics. For many businesses, this is Monday through Friday at around 10am and 4pm. However, this will vary depending on who you’re targeting. Do your research.
People are becoming more attracted to images such as infographics or easily digestible videos like those on Vine. Make use of color, but don’t overdo it. If you make a video, make sure it’s professional and high quality.
4. Make social media special
Offer truly desirable things like discounts and giveaways solely to people who follow you on social media. They should be getting something out of being your fan or liking your page.
5. Don’t treat it like a personal site
Just because you have 1,000 Facebook friends on your personal site and they always like your inspirational posts doesn’t mean you’ll succeed as a business poster. These are two entirely different arenas, so respect the difference.
6. Hire a social media manager
In an ideal world, you’ll make room in the budget to hire an experienced social media manager full-time. They can work magic and in a fraction of the time anyone else can. It’s a real job (and deserves a real salary).
7. Build business alliances
Figure out other businesses that complement yours but aren’t direct competitors and show them some love on social media. You’re all in this together, and you never know when you could use an ally.
8. Don’t entertain the trolls
Once your social media following gets big enough, you’ll have a few trolls and baiters. Handle them professionally, and know when to publicly respond, when to let it go, and when to delete their comments. Each action has a time and place.
9. Don’t use it as a sales platform
It’s pretty obvious why a business is on social media: To improve sales, whether directly or through building customer relationships (which will hopefully lead to more sales). However, this isn’t a direct sales platform so don’t treat it that way. Instead, foster relationships and provide information or entertainment for free.
Check, double check, and have someone else check each and every thing you put on social media. An embarrassing typo can cause a world of hurt and is easily avoidable. Have you ever left the “L” out of “public service?” Some guffaws are just too easy.