In today’s digital world, it seems like there are new social media platforms debuting every week, with the list of social media “tips and tricks” to manage them growing ever longer. But when it comes down to it, there are a few best practices that have weathered the test of time. Here are five social media “must dos:”
- Plan, plan, plan – Contrary to popular belief, the majority of popular social media posts don’t “go viral” without careful planning. Start with an objective (increase brand awareness, for example) and plan out a thoughtful social media strategy. Decide which platforms will reach your key audiences (hint: you don’t need to be on all of them) and create weekly content calendars. Mapping out posts in advance allows brands to share a thoughtful mix of content and quickly react to breaking news updates or engage in timely conversations.
- Identify and engage influencers – Influencers can help you spread your message and improve brand awareness, but first you have to identify them. Look at the user’s number and quality of followers, who he or she engages with and what type of content the user is sharing before following him or her. Influencers will likely include partners, suppliers, customers and competitors, as well as news outlets and key thought leaders in your industry.
- Listen – Too often, brands view social media as merely an advertising platform. But social media is most effective when it’s used to create dialogue. Make it a point to ask questions, share relevant articles and respond to customers so your brand will be seen as a source of applicable, interesting information.
- Amplify popular content – Pay attention to which content is most popular and incorporate more of it into your social media plans. Capitalize on engaging content by strategically boosting Facebook posts that are performing well, but use this function sparingly so users don’t view your brand as too promotional.
- Double-dip – Cross-promote your social media channels and direct users to other brand assets – such as your company website, an infographic or a whitepaper – via multiple channels to increase engagement.
-Frances Fyten is an associate at Reputation Partners in Milwaukee.