Some Do’s and Don’ts For Successful Social Media Marketing

It’s no secret that social media is an important part of the modern marketing mix. According to a 2016 Statista survey, 81 percent of survey respondents said they had integrated social media into their traditional marketing mix. But doing social media marketing and doing it well are two very different things. Here we offer some basic do’s and don’ts for beginners and even seasoned social media marketers.

DO:

  • Have a specific strategy that clearly identifies your target audience(s) and your desired outcomes. Think beyond process outcomes (like followers, tweets, etc.) to outcome measures (like inquiries, requests for information, leads and sales).
  • Select social media channels that are most appropriate for your target audience(s) based on your understanding of their online behaviors. Don’t make assumptions! Pew Research offers some good information about who uses the various social media channels, including demographic information that can be very useful.
  • Consider not only usage, but also the “state of mind” users are likely to be in when engaging with various channels. For instance, we have found that for business-to-business (B2B) communication, Facebook is not necessarily the best channel, despite its high number of users. Why? Because, we believe, those on Facebook are in a “social” not “business” frame of mind. Consequently, business-related posts are less likely to resonate than they would be, for example, on a more business-oriented site like LinkedIn.
  • Develop a schedule and a process for posting that allows you to maximize your time commitment. Tools like Hootsuite can help by allowing you to create and schedule posts in advance and to allow for collaboration and coordination among team members.
  • Create your content with a strong focus on providing value to your audience. It’s not, necessarily, about what you want to share with them, but about what’s valuable to them. In some cases, if you have different audience segments with different interests it may make sense to establish more than one channel so your messages can be targeted and compelling.
  • Monitor response to your messaging to determine what is resonating most and what’s not. It’s very easy to experiment and test messaging via social media, and to make process improvements on an ongoing basis.

DON’T:

  • Turn your social media management over to interns or entry-level staff members. They can be great resources and team members, but effective social media requires strategic thinking and alignment with overall organizational goals and objectives. It’s not about being “clever,” or even “going viral.” It’s about generating results.
  • Be overtly self-promotional. Of course, your intent for being on social media is to increase awareness and interest in your company and its products and services. But you must do so in a subtle way that engages visitors to your channels. If you’re constantly talking about yourself or making blatant calls to action, the value of your efforts will suffer.
  • Try to be all things to all people. Choosing one channel that seems most relevant to your audience, and managing it well, will provide more value than attempting to have a presence across all channels.
  • Copy your competitors. While it’s important to stay on top of what your competitors are doing online, trying to copy them won’t help you to stand out. Instead, identify how you can position yourself relative to their activities to stand out and provide greater value to your audience.
  • Expect immediate results. It can take several months to gain traction online. Too many businesses start and stop before they’ve really given their efforts a fair chance.

Social media is simply another platform for marketing, albeit an increasingly important one. Use of platform by itself isn’t a silver bullet for your marketing needs. It needs to be utilized correctly. So take a look at your current social media activity and see how it stacks up against the dos and don’ts in our list above.

Finally, don’t try to tackle social media management on your own if this isn’t your area of expertise—or if your time could be better spent elsewhere (which is likely the case). We manage a wide range of accounts for various clients and have gleaned multiple best practices through our work. You’re busy; we can help. Get in touch for a free consultation and estimate.

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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