Social media is more than just another tool for your business: It’s become a business in of itself. The content produced through social media and promoted the use of hashtags and relevant keywords have created an entirely new form of marketing that produced a vital resource for building a company’s web presence. If a business can put together an engaging social media plan that reflects well upon their company, they can be sure to see in an increase in sales and web traffic. Fast Company
However, there are certain tricks and guidelines that need to be following to make sure that you are getting the most out of your social media resources. By following these golden rules of social media content, you can be sure that you are optimizing your social media portfolio while eliminating some common gaffes.
Rule One: Show Off Your Better Side
A brand’s social media outlets should remain focused on the message at hand the professional image that you are trying to portray. Just because you are using a more casual form of communication does not mean that the level of professionalism demonstrated should lessen in anyway; the purpose of creating a social media presence for your brand is ultimately to produce new business leads and promote long-term growth.
Rule Two: Success Depends on Staying Relevant
The news and print media is an excellent resource for obtaining new relevant content to post about. By keeping yourself informed with global trends and world events, you can decrease the amount of work it takes to create new content as well as avoid the costly mistake of missing out on a major brand specific event only to post about it a few days later when it is no-longer a story that people care about. Pay particular attention to any news or media attention showcasing your specific brand or company and make sure that you are the first resource available for your consumers to find out more as apposed to those consumers having to access third parties resources for the stories.
Entrepreneur explains that it’s vital to share updates from thought leaders: “By sharing the content of a competitor or another expert and giving them credit, you will pick up followers from those that follow them.”
Rule Three: Command an Online Presence
Make purposeful posts by providing a call to action in each and every content piece that you produce. Ask for opinions or contributions, advertise time-sensitive discounts, special officers, or cause-specific statistics that will produce fervor within your customers to do something; this can even include straightforward requests such as requesting users to visit your site and increase web traffic. By producing calls to action and letting followers know exactly what you want them to do with the information you are providing, you are utilizing the resources at hand to draw attention to your brand and a specific service or product.
Rule Four: Make Readers Work for You
Content that is produced should make readers want to share it with their friends and do the advertising work for you. To increase your followers and that of your market outreach, make sure that you are following back those legitimate sources that choose to follow you, and engaging new followers or contributors by sending out personalized messages or ‘shout outs’ to a particular individual. Just like social connections in the physical world, you have to keep in contact with your friends and followers to keep a relationship going and reap the benefits of that association.
Rule Five: All Things in Moderation
Keywords and hashtags are important when tailoring a specific post to a target audience and finding new followers, but don’t go overboard. No user wants to read a post where every word is composed of clickable links and blue hash tags directing them to other pages. It is neither visually appealing nor is it affective to saturate a post with hash tags and keywords. Research keywords carefully by utilizing tools such as Google Keyword Planner that can help you find out what people are looking for and how you can manipulate those trending topics advantageously to promote your brand.
Rule Six: Create Signs and Promote Detours
Almost every social media post that is produced should include a link to something relevant or a call to action to the reader. If you’re posting company updates or quarterly reports, link them back to your companies website to increase web traffic and promote your sites online reputation.
In addition to posting links, make sure that you are utilizing link tracking that allows you to analyze how many times the link was clicked and which social media platform the user came from. This will allow you to determine whether or not the post was a success so that you can alter your future approach when necessary. There are several services available that allow you to use these types of tools such as ‘Bitly.com’ and ‘Google URL Shortener;’ in addition they will shorten the website address so that you can place links on twitter feeds and other social media platforms that limit you to the length of your post.
Rule Seven: Aim for Quality Over Quantity
Posting hundreds of social media updates a day means nothing if no one is reading the content or sharing the materials. Rather than focusing on how many updates you can produce in a day, focus on producing quality content that people are going to want to read and share with their friends. As a social media campaign becomes more comfortable producing content and the results of the venture have proven successful, gradually increase quantity and diversify the types of posts that are being shared based on an individual model that has proven successful.
Rule Eight: Recycle and Reuse
Just because you posted a tweet or social media update doesn’t mean that you can never use it again. Look over your social media portfolio and pick out some of the most popular items that you have posted that have received positive responses from consumers. Make note of the dates they were posted, and post them again at a later point to recapitalize on a known success.
Rule Nine: Don’t Be Negative
Avoid bashing your competition or creating political remarks on the brand’s social media profiles. Creating controversy or promoting negativity on a company social media platform is a sure way to damage the image of a company and turn away potential customers and influencers. Focus directly on your marketing message and avoid the temptation to trash talk the competition or implement politically commentary into your social media portfolio.
Rule Ten: Incite Curiosity
Headlines capture the attention of the reader and are vital to drawing in an audience to promote your content. Put into action headlines that incite a reader’s curiosity or pose a question that the reader wants answered; these are a great way to go about drawing an audience and help to ensure you’re your articles and post catch the readers eye and differentiate themselves from thousands of other posts on a user’s dashboard. When using impactful headlines, make sure that you aren’t leaving a reader hanging and neglecting quality content.
If you follow these golden rules of social media content, you will be able to promote your business more affectively and with more confidence when it comes to maintaining a social media profile for your brand. There are many tools available out that can help you reach your marketing goals if you implement some of the ideas listed above and grow upon what worked and what didn’t for your individual company. The most important thing to do is to dedicate oneself to making these changes in the marketing portfolio and sticking to it. If you continue to produce new and high quality content and engage your readers, while remaining active on your social media platforms, your users will find it easier to identity your brand and you will start to create stronger consumer relationships.
Social media should be a priority in your company’s management strategy and should not be neglected just because it is considered a more ‘casual’ form of advertising. No one company uses the same marketing material so it is clear that no one company is going to employ the same tactics, but the sooner you start implementing some of these social media strategies, the sooner you’ll be on your way to reaping the rewards of your newly refined marketing approach.
Image Credit: [Flickr/Mykl Roventine / clasesdeperiodismo / ksayer1 / entertailion]