Here's a basic checklist to quickly make sure your social media tactics are on the right track.
As a digital marketing advisor, my job is to help you avoid waste and self-sabotage. Look at this list below as audit points against which you can check your own efforts.
1. Secure your brand name for your account.
Don't let someone else squat on your brand name just because you're slow on the uptick. Get your branded social media account!
Furthermore, don't just let your account default to an unmemorable, cumbersome URL--on any social media--if a "vanity URL" is possible instead. For example, CBS in Baltimore signed up for this branded Facebook URL https://www.facebook.com/CBSBaltimore while ABC in Baltimore has this complicated, easily forgettable one http://www.facebook.com/pages/WMAR-TV-abc2newscom/51379687226.
2. Set up complete profiles.
All social media profiles enable you to give a lot of rich, useful information about your company. You can't rely on traffic coming to your in-depth website these days. Be sure to get the basics down on all your social media profiles, too!
3. Interact with your followers.
Too many businesses just use social media to push their own agenda--their news, special offers, event promotions, and the like. But that's not what social media is about. Not only will one-sided posting not do much for your marketing efforts (unless all your customers are bargain hunters), but it will turn most users off.
Here's an example of what you don't want to do:
4. Vary your posts on various channels.
Yes, there are social media management tools that now help you push out your message and content across multiple social media platforms, but if all you do is post the same exact content at the same exact time to all platforms with a push of the button, you will diminish its value on all of them. You could also potentially cause harm to your brand if such a push is triggered automatically, and no one is paying attention to the circumstances surrounding it.
5. Use discretion.
I often tout the 10-second self-censor rule. Before you--or anyone on your team--presses any button to upload your social media content, take another 10 seconds to review it and make sure it does not offend anyone or harm your brand.
6. Mind the ship.
With social media, you can't "set it and forget it." Social media requires constant care, feeding, and attention. An account that hasn't had any activity in weeks looks lame. And, if no one is paying attention to your social media footprint, a single negative post can turn into a firestorm before you know it.
Client advocate, digital strategist, and thought leader HOLLIS THOMASES, founder of Web Ad.vantage, helps companies navigate the complexity of the ever-changing digital marketing landscape and develop digital strategies. @hollisthomases