Eight Social Media Marketing Tips for Businesses: Best Practices for Promoting Your Business Online
It’s 2016, and you get it — you need social media. You’ve heard it all before: how social media allows you to reach your market in an organic, authentic way; how it allows you to build trust with your audience and show them a more “human” side of your brand; how consumers are more likely to be loyal to brands who engage them on social media; how users start their searches on the Internet; and how social media affords you the ability to market to your target audience in a way that is both inexpensive and effective.
But just because you know you need to use social media, doesn’t mean you know how to use social media. Social media presents unique opportunities for companies looking to engage with the customers — and comes with unique challenges. The always-on nature of the internet and the conversational nature of social media specifically can be difficult for companies to master. How do you engage with your audience in a conversational, authentic way, while also staying professional? How do you get your message across while restricting your character count? How do you showcase your brand without being too promotional?
Posting on social media isn’t cut and dry for companies — the tone and content of brand posts depends largely on what industry the company is in, what’s being sold (or if something is being sold), the target audience, and what the business’s social media marketing goals are. With that said, there are a few best practices that companies should always adhere to when posting on social media.
Social media users don’t read — they skim. Social media copy should be brief: keep it short and to the point. Don’t bury the lede. Don’t use two words when one will suffice. Social media content needs to be easily digestible. Remember, users have short attention spans — if your post is too lengthy or difficult to understand at a glance, users will simply scroll past.
Social media allows companies to showcase the human side of their brand. To achieve this, posts should be conversational — ditch the corporate speak and adopt a casual voice; use pronouns and speak directly to your audience.
In order for your posts to be shareworthy, they must provide some kind of value to your audience. Remember: the majority of users aren’t on a social network looking to engage with your brand. You have to give them a reason to engage. To do this, narrow down what the purpose of your post is — and why your audience should care. What’s in it for them? Is it something funny? Informative? Does it offer an interesting opinion? Is it visually appealing? Pinpoint what your audience wants, why they would share something, and craft your post around that.
Be considerate of what users want.
Users want to feel like they’re connecting with a brand, not getting spammed by promotional auto-posts. Spamming your followers with a constant stream of product and promotional posts is an easy way to get your page unliked and unfollowed. Your content should be a mix of audience-focused, off-brand content, engagement with followers, non-promotional company information, thought leadership articles, and promotional posts. Regardless of the topic, your posts should always be of relevance and value to your users.