Social Media Best Practices To Get Better Results
Social media is an important marketing tool that many businesses and organizations use to spread brand awareness and engage with audiences. To do this, brands typically adhere to some social media best practices. In this article, we list 17 social media best practices to help your business use this marketing tool as effectively as possible.
What are social media best practices?
Social media best practices are a set of guidelines designed to help you get better results from your social media marketing strategies. They are suggestions for how to interact with your audience most effectively and how to choose what content to create. Using social media best practices can help social media managers and other marketers generate a greater return on their social media investment.
17 social media best practices
Below are 17 social media best practices your brand can use to grow your followers, increase engagement and bring more traffic to your website:
1. Learn about your audience
One of the main purposes of social media is to connect with audiences and to do this effectively, you need to know more about that audience. Collect data about your intended audience, such as their average age, location, income, and hobbies by reading online studies or conducting your own surveys. Then create buyer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customer, for the different types of people in your audience. For example, a hardware store may create buyer personas for new homeowners and people who enjoy home improvement projects.
2. Develop a social media plan
It’s a good idea to have your social media strategies written down and compiled in one document. You can use this document to effectively implement your strategies, develop new strategies or teach new employees how to manage your social media accounts. Within this document, record the information about your audience, the strategies you’re using to reach them and your results. Then refer to this document whenever you need to make changes to your social media strategy.
3. Define your brand voice
Your brand voice is the tone and style of your communications. For example, a brand may choose a professional voice to present itself as an expert in the industry, while other brands may choose a more sarcastic or casual voice. Developing a brand voice helps to give your business a personality and make it more easily recognizable online. Decide what type of brand voice you want to use on your social media platforms and be consistent with that voice whenever you post or share something on your social channels.
4. Pick the right social media platforms
Which social media platforms perform best for you depends on the demographics of your audience. For instance, Facebook users tend to be older compared to Instagram or Twitter users. A good social media practice is to focus your attention on the social media platforms that deliver the best results rather than dividing your attention across all platforms. You can determine which platforms are best for your business by researching the typical demographics of each platform or by running campaigns on each platform and comparing the results.
5. Optimize your profiles
Each social media platform allows you to complete a profile for your account. On this profile, you can include information such as your business name, a description of your business, and some pictures of your business. Fill out each section available to you with as much detail as possible. This helps users on that platform find you through search algorithms and learn more about your account.
6. Claim your preferred usernames
Even if you only use a few select social media sites, it’s a good idea to reserve your preferred username on every possible social media platform. You may wish to use a social media platform in the future, at which point it may be too late to reserve the name you’ve used for your other accounts. Having the same name across all your social channels helps to strengthen your brand image and keep it consistent, so reserve your preferred name wherever you can even if you don’t intend to use that platform yet.
7. Monitor social media conversations
It’s beneficial to know when someone mentions your brand on social media because it allows you to directly participate in that conversation. For example, if someone posts praise about one of your products, you can then share this positive review with your followers. Most social media platforms have a feature that allows you to receive a notification when you’re mentioned, and you can also search for your brand name and products in the platform’s search function. Doing this can help you respond to customer mentions in a timely manner.
8. Implement social listening
Social listening differs from social monitoring in that social monitoring requires more active engagement. With social listening, you pay attention to the trends and discussions in your industry and then use your findings to make more calculated decisions. For example, an author may notice that people in her audience are talking about a popular new television program. The author can then watch the same program to determine why her audience likes it and then incorporate those elements into her writing. Social listening involves following popular accounts within your industry and exploring trending topics on a regular basis.
9. Make use of hashtags
Hashtags are used to group social media posts based on a topic, and users can click on hashtags and see all the posts with that same tag. As a publisher, you can include hashtags in your posts to increase visibility. For example, a small business that focuses on helping entrepreneurs may tag their posts under “#entrepreneurship.” Any entrepreneurs who search this hashtag may then discover the post in addition to that small business. Hashtags are a great way to gain visibility for your brand and engage in relevant conversations.
10. Study the competition
Studying your competition can help you develop new ideas for your own social media channels. You can learn what keywords your competition uses, how they engage with their audience, the type of content they share and their tone of voice. You can then use this information to find ways to incorporate those strategies while still differentiating your brand from the competition. For example, if you learn that your biggest competitor regularly produces written how-to guides, you could expand upon this by creating video tutorials on similar subjects.
11. Vary your content
Users like to see a variety of content in the social media accounts they follow. To do this, share different types of content on your channels. For example, rather than only posting text posts, you can also share videos and images. In addition, instead of only promoting your latest products, you can also share helpful tips or how-to articles. By sharing different types of content, you can establish a wider audience as people with various interests explore your social account in search of a diverse range of content.
12. Try different posting frequencies
Try to find a balance between posting too often and not posting enough. You can do this by experimenting with different posting frequencies and analyzing which one yields the best results. The ideal posting frequency varies from brand to brand. For instance, some find success in posting once per day while others may post once per hour. If you can find your ideal posting frequency, you’ll engage customers while keeping your brand fresh in their minds.
13. Post at the right times
Post the majority of your content at times when your audience is most likely to see it. Take into account where your audience lives in addition to their lifestyle. For example, an apparel company that sells clothing for college students may discover that they get better results if they post at night when their target audience isn’t in class. Try posting at different times and see which hours deliver the best results.
14. Schedule posts in advance
Creating a schedule for your social media posts can help ensure your accounts publish content regularly. Some days are busier than others, and you may not have time to post on your social media accounts every single day. By scheduling posts in advance, you can share content on your social channels even when you’re not actively using social media. Some social networks allow you to select a time in the future you want to publish your post, but you can also use third-party software.
15. Make use of social media tools
There are many social media tools available that make it easier to produce better content or manage your channels. For example, there are tools that help you create simple videos that you can share on your accounts and tools that allow you to access all of your social channels in one location. Take the time to explore different social media tools and try ones that are available.
16. Know the rules for each platform
Each social media platform has rules for its posts. Knowing and following these rules can ensure that your posts look as good as possible on each platform. For example, an image that you crop for Instagram may not look the same when you upload it to Twitter. In addition, some videos that you can upload to Facebook may be too large to upload to Instagram. By knowing what each platform allows and how to best modify your posts for each channel, you can ensure that your content looks great on each platform.
17. Reshare content
To help more people see your content, reshare your posts. Although you don’t want to do this too often, reposting your most recent blog post or sale notification can help those who did not see it the first time you posted it. This is another area where you may consider testing out different posting frequencies to see what works best. In addition, it can help to modify your post and let users know you are sharing something old. For example, you can add “In Case You Missed It” to an old post and share it again.