It’s 2019 and social media is considered an omnipresent entity at this point. Today, people will ask for someone’s Instagram handle before they ask for their phone number; individuals are more protective of who they provide access to their Facebook page than their email address; and social media users must be more cognoscente of the type of information they decide to push out. The constant changing world doesn’t affect just consumers of social media, but also businesses who aim to build their digital identity as well. From advertising to lead generation to conversions, to even hiring and building teams; businesses have found plenty of use for social media. But now, more than ever, we’re seeing that brands are struggling to find the sweet spot in social media that will make their accounts stand above the rest.
If your social media plan has gone stagnant let us say it first – it’s okay! You can get it back on the right track and we’re here to help make that happen. So let us help get you closer to your goals and close out 2019 strong with these 20 Do’s and Don’ts.
10 Social Media Do’s
Use compelling imagery
In today’s social media-heavy world, content is constantly flowing through our day-to-day lives. With this, our attention spans have shortened to less than that of a gold fish! The human brain processes images at an incredible speed, making images the perfect way to communicate in a fast moving world. This makes compelling imagery more important ever and the perfect companion for any post. In fact, social media posts with a photo are ten times more likely to get engagement.
Mix up caption length
Just as no two audiences are the same, no two social media platforms are the same. Each social channel has its own style and rhythm; it’s important that you use data to analyze what your audiences want to see more of. Is it quick-hitting captions that are punny or on trendy? Or is it a few paragraphs that really brings the follower into the story, tugging at emotion and ways in which they can relate? Understanding the ideal post length and matching it with with the goals of your post will help grow your channel and keep your audience coming back for more.
Keep the social in social media
Have you ever held a conversation with someone that does all the talking? If you have, then you know those one-sided conversations can get boring, leave you feeling left out and even push you to just walk away from it and find something else that peaks your interest. That’s exactly what your followers are doing when you don’t take them into account when posting. Between asking questions, responding to comments and engaging with other posts, you’re not only growing your digital footprint, but also making your audience feel as if they are heard and appreciated.
Jump in relevant conversations
There is a lot of benefit that can come from social listening. Social media listening allows you and your brand to join in on topics that are a part of and/or affect your industry.. Aside from expanding your reach and bringing your brand to the forefront of hot topics, this is a great way for your executives and your brand to be recognized as a thought leader in that space.
Post regularly, but don’t over post
We could sit here all day and tell you exactly how often you should and shouldn’t post to your brand’s social channels. The short answer to that would be, “As often as you can post quality content, consistently.” The long answer would include you should be posting quality, consistent content on a level that identifies well with your audience – per channel. Post infrequently – your audience will forget you. Post too much – you’ll overcrowd your audience’s feed. But right now, you’re looking for the basics, a place to start. And we’ve got it for you:
- Facebook: At a minimum, 3 times per week. A max of once per day to start
- Twitter: A minimum of three per day and a max of 30 times a day to start. Consider having a tweet or retweet at least once per hour.
- Instagram: At least once per day and a maximum of 3 per day.
- LinkedIn: At least twice a week and no more than once each business day.
- YouTube: You should create a specific YouTube posting schedule and stick with it! Whether it be one video every Tuesday, or two videos per week, design a schedule that matches the amount of quality content you’re able to consistently create and upload.
Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to social media. Starting off slow can help you build repertoire while also providing the necessary time to review data and create a more robust content calendar.
Social media is a marathon, not a sprint
Please, get this into your head and let it stay there – there is no such thing as creating content that will go viral. There’s no method. No formula. No strategy. Content either goes viral, or it doesn’t. It can’t be controlled. What can be controlled is making a decision to be in it for the long haul. Things like posting consistently, creating relevant and engaging content, and engaging with your audience all takes time – but it’s a part of the marathon.
Set realistic expectations
Has anyone ever told you to set attainable goals? If not, you heard it here first. Setting achievable goals is important to how you manage your brand’s social channels as well. Why? Well, it feels good to know you’re winning, for one. More importantly, you get to see the growth. Going from an average of 50 new followers per month to 100 per month is a small growth, but it’s growth, and you can collect data that will help you understand the improvements you’re making. Celebrating your success helps you to learn and adapt (with all things in life, if you think about it).
Write for your readers/audience
All social media networks are different; therefore, you must write your content for each social network. Content that may succeed on Twitter might flop on Instagram. As you build out a content calendar, think about the people you want to speak to.
Think before you post
That amazing article that supports the trending topic that’s true to your heart (count me in for the previous #AvengersEndGame mania) may be great for your personal Facebook but may not be relevant for your organizations Facebook. If you are writing for a target audience in mind, the content should reflect their attitudes and beliefs. Keeping your business and personal accounts separate can help you identify content that matches your brands image while also being able to share content that you find interesting on your personal channels.
Share stories on your business’s social channels
Remember when Snapchat popped up and it was the hot new thing? Then Facebook tried to buy Snapchat, failed and said “okay-we’ll launch our own story mode”. And thus, the story format of social sharing has taken over the world. In fact, studies show that Stories get 15x more engagement than Newsfeed posts. Have you produced any Story content for your organization? If not, now is the time. It’s easy to get started on Instagram, so get going!
10 Social Media Dont’s
Don’t go hashtag crazy
So someone told you to add as many hashtags as you possibly can so they’re seen by more people, right? WRONG. Don’t do it! This may have worked years ago when social media platforms were just jumping into popularity, but this strategy is no longer effective. Overuse of hashtags can make the post feel less genuine and juvenile. If anything, you’ll attract more bots and less people who are actually interested in what you have to say.
Don’t veer off brand
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the montage of Wendy’s clap backs appearing in your Twitter feed, or the humor Chubbies uses to engage its mostly male audience. While both companies have created a social feed that keeps its followers laughing and, ultimately, engaged, not every company should strive to use the formula. Your brand voice should match its overall goals: the image its presenting and the needs of its target audience. There’s nothing wrong with showing some humor or humanizing a brand, but the goal is to do it when its appropriate and to keep your brand voice consistent.
Don’t post copy with grammar/spelling mistakes
We get it… you’re human and humans make mistakes. But just don’t do it! There are few things that will make your followers’ eyes roll more than reading an awesome post that is embedded with grammatical or spelling errors. Even though these mistakes can seem minor, they can actually ruin your credibility with your target audience. When writing on behalf of your company or representing a business, check the copy before hitting send. Then check it once more. And if your eyes are tired and your brain is mush, maybe pass it to a friend before pushing it live. Trust us, you won’t regret taking the extra steps to ensure you’re using the right their/there or they’re.
Don’t drink and post
We know work can be stressful and sometimes you just need a little fuel à la a glass of wine to get you to the finish line. But hold off on pouring them back when you’re posting to your social media accounts. Although you may think that a few cocktails may turn up your creativity, the truth is: alcohol and social media don’t make a good mix. Still not sold on why you should put the bottle down when managing a brand’s social accounts? This PR Daily article runs through some drink-by-drink dangers when posting on social media. Cheers!
Don’t do all the talking (listen)
Maybe you’ve heard this saying before:
Well, the same applies to Social Media. Did you know there’s even a term called “Social Listening” to describe this important process? We won’t go too deep into that, especially since Hoosuite has done an excellent job describing it. The main reason Social Listening is important is because of engagement. It helps you engage in conversations about your own brand, conversations you hope are happening on the Internet! The benefits don’t end there, comparing your brand to a competitor and identifying advocates are a couple of others. The point here is, if you’re constantly posting and never listening to the conversations going on around you, you’re missing out on what makes the Social part of Social Media.
Don’t feel the need to jump into every trending conversation or hashtag
Using trending topics to share expertise, engage with followers and lend an opinion serves as an easy way to increase your audience reach and position your brand as a leader in that space. And with platforms, like Twitter, where trending topics can change by the hour, it can be hard to gauge which make sense and which don’t. But unless the topic or hashtag is right up your brand’s ally and you’ve done your research on it, don’t do it! Adding hashtags or joining conversations just to keep up with the trend can backfire and even cause you to lose followers. Like DiGiornio who, years ago, tweeted what they thought was a funny, clever tweet following a trending hashtag. What they didn’t realize was that the hashtag was being used by survivors of domestic violence who were spilling emotional anecdotes about personal relationships with abusers. Thus prompting loads of backlash and a quick apology for not ‘reading what the hashtag was before posting.’
Don’t try to be everywhere and do everything
Maybe you’ve heard someone say this before – “We should be everywhere, on everything. I want our content to be seen!” Truth is, most of us in Social Media have heard those words at some point and while its appreciated, it shouldn’t be taken literally. Focusing on multiple channels all at once can actually do more harm than good. What if your target audience are women, aged 13-19; their likelihood of being on LinkedIn is pretty low. The time and energy you focus on managing multiple accounts can be better used looking at your community/target audience and focusing on those channels.
Don’t replace human interaction with marketing automation
Marketing automation is the gift that keeps on giving to all of us folks in marketing. It lightens the load and allows time to work on other projects. Don’t get stuck in the pitfall of relying on it. No marketing automation tool (until A.I. takes over the world) can replace human interaction. Responding to comments, answering messages, directing your audience to resources – this takes a special human touch. Nobody likes talking to a robot on the phone, why would your audience want to talk to a robot on social media?
Don’t ask too much of your followers
Subscribe to our YouTube channel! Like this post if you agree with using trending topics. Comment with your favorite Do/Don’t of social media in 2019. Are you annoyed yet? Great, so are we. And now you and your brand look spammy, which pushes those potential followers away. Don’t do this. Instead, focus on creating engaging content that your audience WANTS to engage with and not making them feel like the MUST engage with it.
Don’t ignore questions, comments, and messages from followers.
Finally, you’ve made it! Your Instagram is booming, your followers are climbing by the 100s daily, people are commenting and tagging their friends; your job is done – WRONG. All those comments, questions, messages, and more that are coming from your followers should receive a response. Don’t be the brand that ignores their audience because you know what will happen? That audience will go find your competitor, the one that takes the time to respond. Social media is meant to be a two-way conversation, not a one-way megaphone.
We know that was a lot to take in but we hope that you now have a better understanding of some of the important do’s and don’ts of social media marketing. Using these practices in your social media marketing plan and management can help ensure you boost your online presences in a productive and efficient way.
However, sometimes we need a bit more help than looking through tips. Providing that help is where DRIVEN360 excels. We’re not only experts in the world of social media, but also in public relations, communications, marketing and media. Our integrated marketing services are designed to provide seamless, end-to-end, solutions to help you and your organization reach its marketing goals and objectives. We welcome you to learn more about DRIVEN360 and encourage you to contact us to see how we can further assist your needs: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What other Do’s and Don’ts of social media would you suggest?