21 Social Media Best Practices to Follow
There isn’t a specific social media marketing method that is guaranteed to work for everyone. However, there is some pitfall that can spell trouble for anyone. These social media blunders can be anything from a total PR disaster to something more innocuous, like posting the same content across all platforms.
If you adhere to these 21 social media best practices, you improve your chances for success immensely.
1. Know your audience
To create an effective social media marketing plan, it is important to first understand your target audience. This includes understanding their demographics as well as what motivates and inspires them. Additionally, you must also be aware of any pain points they may have that your products or services can address. By getting to know your target audience, you will be able to create content that resonates with them and encourages them to engage with your brand.
2. Focus your efforts on the social media networks that work best for you
With so many social media networks to choose from, it can be tempting to try and be present on all of them. However, this is often not the most effective use of your time and resources. Instead, focus your efforts on the social media networks that work best for you and your business. This means understanding which networks your target audience is most active on and which ones will allow you to achieve your specific marketing goals.
3. It is better to have a strategy than to be clever.
To create successful social media content, you must have a clear strategy and set SMART social media goals. Make sure your tactics are adjustable so that you can continue to improve over time. And don’t forget to involve your team in creating and implementing your plan!
4. Check your progress
Once you have implemented your social media marketing plan, it is important to check in regularly on your progress. This will help you to understand what is working well and what needs to be revised. Additionally, by frequently evaluating your strategy, you can ensure that your social media efforts align with your overall marketing goals.
5. Maintain a steady brand identity
To ensure a consistent brand identity across all visual and written content, it is important to have both branding and social media guidelines in place. The former establishes rules for the tone of voice, punctuation, and hashtags, while the latter sets out specific topics that employees should or should not discuss when representing the company online. These documents can help avoid legal and PR troubles down the road.
6. Plan your content ahead of time
One of the best ways to stay on top of your social media marketing is to plan your content ahead of time. This includes creating a content calendar that outlines what you will post and when. Additionally, it can be helpful to create content in batches when possible. For example, if you know you have a busy week, take some time on the weekend to write a few blog posts or shoot some videos so that you have them ready to go when you need them.
7. Cross-post to different platforms
While creating original content for each social media platform is important, there is nothing wrong with cross-posting some of your content. For example, if you write a blog post that you think would be popular on both Twitter and LinkedIn, go ahead and share it on both! Just make sure to customize the text slightly so that it is appropriate for each platform.
8. Embrace social listening
Social listening allows you to collect data about your brand from various social media channels. This data can include mentions of your company, products, or specific keywords people use. It can provide valuable insights into what people think about your brand and what features they want in your products. However, simply having this knowledge isn’t enough – you need to put it into practice by engaging with people discussing your industry or asking for recommendations.
9. Seek feedback from your audience
Asking for feedback from your audience is a great way to get ideas for new content and ensure that the content you are creating resonates with your target audience. There are a few different ways to do this, including surveys, polls, and social media contests. Just use your feedback; otherwise, people will quickly catch on and stop responding.
10. Use social media as a way to provide excellent customer service.
Keeping customers satisfied should be at the heart of any social media strategy. 70% of customers prefer to resolve issues on social media than through other means, such as 1-800 customer service numbers or email. So, if you’re not already using social media to provide customer service, now is the time to start!
11. Be quick to answer DMs and comments.
Another important aspect of social media customer service is responding quickly to DMs and comments. One study found that 28% of customers expect a response to their inquiry within 60 minutes. While this may not always be possible, it’s important to at least set expectations with customers by letting them know when they can expect a response.
12. Use a chatbot to help with customer service.
One way to provide quick and easy customer service is to use a chatbot. Chatbots are computer programs that can simulate human conversation and can be incredibly helpful for answering simple questions or directing customers to the right person or department. Make sure your chatbot is well-trained so it doesn’t end up frustrating more customers than it helps!
13. Take criticism seriously
No company is perfect, and social media can be a breeding ground for criticism. However, it’s important to take this criticism seriously and use it as an opportunity to improve. After all, 79% of customers say they would be more likely to do business with a company that responds to negative reviews.
14. Have a crisis communications plan
No matter how well you plan, there will always be the potential for a crisis. That’s why it’s so important to have a crisis communications plan in place before something goes wrong. This plan should outline who will handle the crisis, what steps should be taken to mitigate the damage, and how to communicate with the public.
15. Develop a content approval process
If you work with a team of people to create social media content, it’s important to have a content approval process. This will help ensure that all of your content is on-brand and consistent with your overall marketing strategy.
16. Optimize content for all platforms
When you’re scheduling social media content, adjust the image and video sizes/character counts for each platform depending on their specifications. This will keep your profiles looking polished and professional.
18. A/B test creative assets
If you’re unsure which type of content performs best on a particular social media platform, try A/B testing! This involves creating two different versions of a piece of content and seeing which one gets more engagement. You can test different types of images, videos, copy, or even calls to action.
18. The right tools can help you accomplish more.
Several tools can help you with your social media marketing, from scheduling and analytics to content creation and audience insights. Investing in the right tools will help you save time and improve your results.
19. Assess trends before getting on board.
Just because something is trending on social media doesn’t mean you should jump on board. It’s important to assess whether or not a trend is relevant to your brand before using it. Otherwise, you risk coming across as inauthentic or out of touch.
20. Remember to check your accounts every day!
Ensure that somebody on your team is always checking social media for comments and DMs and responding as quickly as possible. 83% of customers globally expect a response within 24 hours, while 28% expect an answer within one hour.
21. Snag any available account names.
It’s a good idea to reserve your company’s username on all existing social media platforms, even if you don’t plan on using them. This protects your brand name and reputation from potential imposters.