As an experienceddigital marketer, you already know about the importance of social media marketing. However, even some of the most hardened online marketers are prone to making mistakes on social media every now and then. It seems like, at least once a month, we read about a famous company that sent a thoughtless tweet or posted something politically incorrect on Facebook and suffered a PR backlash as a result.
That's why it's a good idea to review basic principles of social media marketing every now and then. Here are 11 rules you should never forget.
1. Never fight with a customer.
It's always a great idea to transfer "old school" marketing principles to "new school" marketing. One of those principles is this: the customer is always right.
If one of your customers takes to social media to complain about the quality of your product or service, avoid getting into an argument. That's because you can't win.
Instead of arguing, take steps to make the customer happy. That's Customer Service 101. Or, simply direct the conversation off of social media so that there is less visibility.
2. Always publish 100 percent quality.
People are following you on social media for a reason. They expect to derive some benefit from it.
You might be tempted to post trivial information about yourself, your family, or something about current events. However, if that post doesn't offer anything of value to your followers, you'll find yourself going in the wrong direction on social media. You'll lose followers. Do your best to create 10x content.
3. Advertise for full exposure.
You might think that it's not a good idea to advertise on social media. In fact, it's a great idea. Whether you are doing ads to promote content, gain followers, or drive direct sales, social media advertising works.
I have seen some ads on Facebook starting to outperform Google ads, and that is saying a lot.
4. Befriend influencers.
It can't be said often enough: Never be afraid to stand on the shoulders of giants.
If you want to become an influencer on social media, start by paying homage to people who've already succeeded. Use social media to reach out to people who are influencers in your space. Tag them in posts, and reply to their tweets and updates. Become part of their team. It will help your social media and your business grow.
5. Highlight everything positive.
Use social media just like you socialize in real life: accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.
Nobody wants to hear from somebody who's complaining or highlighting challenges instead of successes. Give your followers a pleasant experience as they read your posts.
6. Give to others and you will receive more in return.
Another "old school" principle that works well on social media is this: What goes around, comes around.
If you're interested in benefiting from your social media marketing efforts, be sure to offer people who follow you something of value on a regular basis. When you do that, you'll find that you reap what you sow and your efforts will be rewarded.
7. Know your analytics.
How many people did you reach on Facebook this week? How many tweet impressions did you generate this month?
If you can't answer those questions, it's because you're not studying your analytics.
It's important to review your analytics regularly because you'll see what types of posts and tweets generate the most engagements. That way, you can focus on what's successful in future social media campaigns.
8. Social media is always changing, so be constantly evolving and learning.
Do you think you know all that there is to know about social media? Think again.
Even if you've "arrived" at the current state of social media right now, you can be sure that it will evolve with technology over the next year. Social media strategies that work today might not work in 2017.
That's why it's a good idea to always be learning about social media marketing best-practices.
9. Be consistent.
Social media marketing is successful only if it's consistent. If you tweet once a month, you can expect little return for your limited effort. If you post Facebook updates only occasionally instead of regularly, you're going to limit your reach.
Make sure that you're consistently posting valuable content to your social media channels. How often you post depends on your industry and target market, but at least once a day is a good rule of thumb.
10. Own a few platforms--don't try to own them all.
You've probably heard quite a bit about the importance of marketing on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube, and a variety of other lesser-known social media platforms.
If you're limited on resources and try to market on all of those platforms, you might become a jack of all trades and a master of none. Instead, focus on a few platforms that are favored by people in your target market. Become a marketing specialist on those platforms to maximize your return on investment.
11. Take the time to create a content calendar that will attract business.
You've always heard that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. That principle applies to social media marketing as well as anything else.
Create a content calendar that identifies the types of content you'll post at various times throughout the year. Map out your content schedule at least 3-6 months in advance.
Also, pay particular attention to important dates such as holidays and those of important events (e.g., the Super Bowl) so that you can create theme-relevant promotions. You should also take note of dates that might be important to people in your target market (e.g., New Year's if you're a venue).
Make sure to occasionally go back and review all your old posts. You don't want to be the person who forgets they have embarrassing photos in an account they now use for personal branding, networking, or social media marketing. It happens more than you think.