You can’t know everything about everything, and that includes social media, no matter what your industry.
If you’re ready to stop the excuses and resolve to do better with social media marketing, here’s a list of 10 Easy Peasy Rules for Social Media. Take time to understand the basics of what’s important to know, then grow at your own pace. Practice makes perfect, whether you’re just starting out or trying something new.
- Respond Quickly
Pay attention to customer comments, especially if there’s a complaint. Best responses times are usually 30 minutes or less in the following industries; high-tech, telecom, media, entertainment, and financial services. Customers, in general, have high expectations and are fickle, if they feel like they’re not being heard. Have a bunch of millennial followers? It’s even more important. They’re more likely to buy and refer their friends and families to you.
- Ask Your Team for Help
Customers want to know the answers to their questions and problems ASAP, so don’t think you have to know it all. Ask your team for help because you can’t be an expert at everything, nor should you. Once you make a connection outside your department, circle back to make sure the issue is resolved. If it’s been addressed in a positive way, you’ll drive higher satisfaction ratings.
- Spread Good News (and Love)
Have happy customers? Don’t keep it a secret. Share those conversations, not just on social media, but internally too. Everyone likes to hear good news, and if you had a hand in the satisfaction process, that’s great feedback. This isn’t about “tooting your own horn,” it’s a collaborative effort to give a high-five to the team who was involved. Sharing the love feels good all the way around. Turn your team into brand advocates who stand up for your company, and stand out in a crowd.
- Best Time to Post
If you’re not familiar with best times to post on social media, there are tons of tools that can guide you. Auto-schedulers like Hootsuite or Buffer are good reference sites, and you can research even deeper depending on your particular audience. Make Google your new BFF and check out key words phrases for optimum times to post. Test out what’s been working too. Even if you’re an expert, there’s always room for improvement.
- Post Often Enough for Your Audience to See
If you want to build a brand, you need great content, plus consistency. Otherwise, you’ll lose a good percentage of your potential followers. Depending on the platform, post a minimum of 3 – 4 times a week. If you post on five platforms and feel stretched, you probably won’t keep up the pace. Choose two or three that you enjoy, and go for it. For some industries, LinkedIn and Facebook are best, but for others, Instagram is the rage. Do your homework and hit up Google for stats (and ideas).
- Take Time to Talk with Your Customers
Most younger audiences don’t like being targeted by brands on social media. They want to feel a connection, build trust slowly, and see the value of engaging. Social media is one way that brands can connect with prospects and customers, listen to what’s going on, and see what’s trending. If you talk ‘at’ your customer, you’ll lose them and won’t get them back. Younger audiences communicate in a different way, so learn their style.
- Be Creative
Posts can get boring if you don’t put a little zip in them. Zip for social media can mean creating graphics, adding video, and changing things up, often. Create graphics with tools like Canva. With 10 million users strong, you’ll love its user-friendly platform. Design images, covers for your social media pages, infographics, quotes and more. Depending on the platform you’re using, there are so many cool options like Piktochart, Befunky, Pixlr, Pablo, Biteable and Lumen5. Which will be your new favorite?
- Spice Up Your Content
Even the most engaged follower will get disillusioned if you don’t spice up your content. Article after article, yawn. Try some new approaches. Ask for an opinion. Have a following that you’ve nurtured? Watch who jumps in with an answer. People are naturally competitive too, so shake things up with a quiz or contest. Even if you offer a silly prize, you’ll be surprised at the number of responses.
- Measure Your Social Media Efforts
It’s difficult for even the most sophisticated social media manager to prove what’s working or not on social media, without measuring hard data. You can look directly on the platforms you’re using, or check out a number of free social media tools available. Set up a Google® Alert to monitor your brand or use Buzzsumo to track where you’ve been mentioned. Others measurement tools include SkedSocial for Instagram, Hootsuite and Buffer, as mentioned before, and Followerwonk for Twitter. Do your research to see what you like best.
- Make it Fun
Make social media part of your marketing mix, but make it fun too. Create content that your target audience will enjoy. Engage in a way that makes you smile, and others will probably smile too. But don’t forget to listen. Respond in kind. Be entertaining and helpful. Light, bright and polite, as they’d say in the dating world. If you’re not having fun, reboot your attitude and stop being so serious. You might just learn a new way of being social.