Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media

Most adults today have some kind of social media presence. Technology has enabled social media to take the place of many traditional news and entertainment outlets, and social media platforms help people stay connected to others in their lives despite physical distance or other barriers. It’s also an incredibly powerful business tool. Social media is one of the most powerful outlets available to today’s companies. You can build your brand, draw in new customers, provide support to existing patrons, and so much more.

However, it’s more complicated than just signing up. Social media also has the potential to destroy a company in some situations, and it’s vital to approach your company’s social media presence carefully. Many companies in recent years have made major mistakes and significantly hurt their business by alienating customers. There are some do’s and don’ts for the platforms you need to keep in mind.

Know Your Audience

It’s important to know who your audience is, why they engage with your brand, and have some sense of their priorities and positions. Social media is a way for you to interact with your audience and customers on a more personal level, so take advantage of this opportunity. One of the best ways to do so is by carefully defining your audience and ensuring the content you post is relevant to their lives and, ideally, their relationship to your brand. This also helps you decide which platforms to build. You don’t need (or necessarily want) to have profiles on every social media platform. Some will be more conducive for reaching your target customers.

Think About Shareable Content

Social media marketing is booming, and experts are constantly finding new ways to get posts trending and drive customer engagement. One of the best facets of marketing on social media platforms is shareable content. Every social media platform has some method for users to share posts and content with their social circles, so take advantage of this by encouraging your audience to share your content.

Many startups and niche businesses have found tremendous success through giveaways, raffles, and other similar contests. Incentivize your audience to share your content with free products, discounts, or other offers. Eventually, the connections you make to dedicated fans will pay off in fantastic ways when they know they can rely on your company to provide relevant, valuable content. They’ll be excited to share their love of your brand with their friends.

Stay Consistent and Original

Your customers probably have a very solid idea of what your organization represents, and it’s vital that you stay consistent with this image on social media. Don’t rely on much automation when it comes to your social media channels. Your team may not be able to respond to every comment or question, but the occasional human touch is appreciated far more than robotic responses. Additionally, remember your social media profile is going to be one of the most visible faces of your brand. You want to be more personal and engaging, but not at the cost of your professionalism.

When it comes to the content you provide, make sure you’re offering something valuable, relevant, and original. Many companies have fantastically successful social media marketing formulas, but don’t try to imitate their methods. Instead, think about what works for others and consider how to adapt their ideas to your brand without ripping off their ideas. You want your social media marketing to reflect your company, not someone else’s.

Avoid Hot Button Issues

Politics and social issues are prevalent across all social media platforms. While social media is a great platform for individuals to discuss current events, the comment sections of many major news posts are notorious for incendiary comments and conversations. The political climate of the world has been tumultuous at best over the past few years, and attempting to take a side on an issue can negatively impact your brand. Suddenly posting something very polarizing or irrelevant to your brand or your audience is going to drive some away, and may even get you into trouble.

While you should have a very clear idea of your typical audience members before even starting social media marketing, there are going to be some who don’t fit the mold. Some may have simply joined your network out of curiosity. Even if you feel as though taking a stand on political or social issues is the “right thing to do”, always remember that no matter how you approach these situations, some people are going to take your input negatively.

Review Security and Privacy Settings

Cybersecurity is an absolute priority for any modern business with a digital presence. It’s essential that you take the proper precautions when it comes to your social media profile. Whenever you update your profiles, take the time to review your security measures and make sure your accounts have at least two-step authentication.

Keep your privacy settings in mind, and always review every post before you publish it. Remember the iron law of the internet: the internet never forgets. Even if you delete a post, make a post private, or anything else to try and cover a mistake, screenshots will last forever, and it’s important that you carefully vet your privacy settings on your social media platforms.

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