Best Practices for Social Media in 2017
Social media continues to advance, and it is our duty to keep up with its evolution. At SOCi, we love discovering new methods and trends in social media. Now that 2017 is finally here, we’ve narrowed down the nine social media best practices we encourage you to use throughout this new year.
1. Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
What is your purpose for utilizing social media? Does you use social media for business-to-business marketing, building a relationship with consumers or both? There are many platforms to choose from, and all are useful in their unique way.
For example: If you’re a clothing company, your business would better benefit from using Instagram or Facebook than LinkedIn or Twitter. The former social platforms are perfect for sharing photos as well as for managing and marketing to consumer-heavy traffic. Plus, they have no character limits, so you can #hashtag away.
In contrast, a company looking to expand or hire new talent would benefit from using LinkedIn, which is mainly used for B2B purposes, such as showcasing company culture, disseminating information to current employees and posting job openings.
Check our latest guide, The Importance of Twitter for Business, and give your tweets a little extra meaning.
2. Earn Your Audience’s Trust
We’ve all been there: You’re scrolling through Facebook or LinkedIn and you see an interesting article with an intriguing title. You click it and you’re directed to a spammy and glitchy website. Sketchy, right?
The best practice in social media is to make sure what you’re posting or linking to is credible and isn’t just clickbait. Without doing so, you will lose your audience’s trust.
3. Make Your Posts Visually Appealing With the Use of Images and Videos
Research has shown that social media posts that have a captivating image increase an audience member’s willingness to click by 80 percent. Along with that, it’s 40 times more likely to be shared.
Furthermore, more than 51 percent of marketing professionals agree that video is the type of content with the best ROI. In short, using high-quality imagery is a social media best practice that also serves as a great way to share your brand’s story, which will resonate with the audience.
Never be afraid to experiment with social media; there are plenty of ways to do so. Here, the social media best practice is to experiment with different types of content to gauge which of them generate more engagement.
Play with frequency. Does posting a couple of times a week or daily work best to keep the audience’s interest? Test posting at different times throughout the day to determine the peak posting time for receiving the highest engagement. Experiment until you find what’s most effective for your business.
5. Take Advantage of User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is any sort of content—such as blog posts, images and tweets—that your social media users have posted on their social sites. Great news: Your company can find ways to re-post this UGC, which makes your audience feel like they’re part of your brand’s story.
Take the time to review user-generated posts. If they are within brand guidelines, reward your users by sharing their content on your social platforms or sending free samples of your product to your users. Not only will they be excited to see themselves on your page, but the practice will also encourage others to do the same. Before you know it, you’ll have an endless amount of content to use at your discretion.
6. Remember: Social Influencers Are Here to Stay
Move over Hollywood actors and musicians, there is a new celebrity in town—and it’s the social influencer! Using an influencer to endorse a product or service is just as effective for winning a consumer as hearing a friend’s recommendation is.
We encourage building a relationship with an influencer that embraces your brand’s ideas. Influencers usually have a massive following and are becoming the next thought leaders of this generation. This social media marketing effort is targetable, trackable and improves SEO.
7. Don’t Forget Paid Advertising
It’s likely this is a no-brainer, but using paid advertising on social media is the easiest and most efficient way of reaching your target audience, because you are able to set the parameters of the audience demographic you’d like to target with a specific ad.
Paid advertising must be a consistent effort, however, and is most beneficial for those with a proper SEO strategy.
8. Manage Your Online Reputation
In a previous blog post, we talked about responding to negative reviews on social media. At some point, you will likely run into an upset consumer during your social media journey. It’s how you react to the situation that will determine whether there is a negative or positive outcome.
Best practice in social media for business is to listen to your audience’s concerns—and take action. Even if the consumer is overreacting, it is important that you make it right in their eyes.
Respond to each review individually, whether the review is positive or negative. Also, don’t sound repetitive or disingenuous when responding to reviews; people can tell. Everything you do on social media is made public, so make sure that you’re promoting your company in a positive light.
9. Use a Social Media-Management Tool to Help Lighten the Load
If you manage more than one account for a company or have a lot of content to share, a social media-management system will help lighten the load. Thanks to platforms like SOCi, businesses have the ability to discover proven content, create posting plans, monitor engagement, and keep a record of published content.
Social media has become a huge part of all business’ marketing strategy and it will continue to play such an integral role. Because of the increasing and sustainable use of social media for marketing, it is crucial for businesses to continue to adapt to the ever-evolving industry and follow all social media best practices.
Did we miss something on this list? We’d love to hear from you! And if you have any questions, feel free to contact us to learn more.