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Best Practices for Social Media

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If you just charge into social media blindly, you might experience a little growth, meet some interesting people and discover the potential of the various platforms. You will also likely end up investing hours of your day, chasing the wrong leads and failing to create any substantial following or results.

Unless you’ve been operating your business under a rock, it is likely that you’ve heard about social media. What you have heard may or may not be true.

Yes, social media is ‘free’ and an effective platform for developing your business.

Yes, it is becoming a standard way for businesses and customers to communicate.

Yes, it is here to stay and any businesses that do not jump on board are likely to suffer.

However, it takes a bit of knowledge to harness the power of social media successfully.

These best practices will get you up to speed on how to ensure that your social media presence is a positive force for your business, brand or endeavor.

Create Goals and Milestones to Guide and Gauge Success

While social media is a some-what casual affair, using social media for marketing and brand building purposes requires a game plan.

These goals are just a starting point. I could list possible considerations until you run out of time to read.

Part of maintaining your bearings is prioritizing your goals, deciding where to focus your efforts and constantly analyzing your results.

Just remember, if you fail to move from planning to execution, it was all in vain. At some point it’s important to quit analyzing and make the jump!

Goals to consider include:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you hope to gain?
  • What do you have to offer followers?
  • How you will convert their interest into action?
  • What platforms will you use?
  • How much time or money do you wish to invest?
  • What is your brand voice?

Be Consistent Across Your Social Media Platforms

New social media platforms are emerging constantly.

Currently, big names in social media include Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Pinterest.

Each social media platform offers a unique interface, approach and style.

Twitter is fast, concise and informal. LinkedIn works best with well-drafted content and a professional approach. Pinterest focuses on images.

While it is important to match your content to the platform that you are using, it is equally important to consider your brand’s appearance.

Post regularly, have values and beliefs and add a personality to your posts.

Followers can visit the “About Us” section of your website if they want business-speak, read product descriptions to learn about your offerings and subscribe to your email newsletters if they want updates.

What many potential customers and clients are searching for on social media is a human element to your brand or business.

Develop it, hone it and be proud of it. It will drive your social media success.

Become an Authority not a Billboard

Social media is great for promoting web content or other aspects of your business. However, constantly filling your streams with self-promoting materials is one of the best ways to kill any chances of social media success.

Listen to your audience, find out about their problems and share information relevant to their needs.

When it fits their needs to promote you product or services, go for it! If they already view your social media account as reliable, honest and authoritative, your self-promotion will work out great.

Take the time to build relationships, interact with others and show that you are interested in more than their wallet. The time invested will pay for itself in social sharing, loyalty and repeat business.

Ways to Build Authority

  • Answer questions
  • Lead discussions
  • Promote others
  • Share tips
  • Be genuine
  • Be consistent
  • Be everywhere

Track, Analyze and Evaluate EVERYTHING

From growth of your account followers to the clicks gained by various links, nearly every aspect of social media can be tracked in some way.

Use this information to tweak your methods, hone your voice and drive your social media efforts. If something is not working, the answers are likely to be found in your analytics.

Social media trends change constantly. One minute you could be going viral and the next minute you’re off the map.

Keeping an eye on analytics will help to even out these cycles and improve your chances of success.

With a little effort, research and analysis, it is easy to harness the power of social media to promote your brand, business or event.

Using these best practices will ensure that your social media endeavors are efficient, effective and optimized for success. For more information on social media best practices, check out The Importance of Social Media for Freelancers.

If you found this useful, let me know in comments below! I’m always looking for new angles and ways to tap into the power of social media. Have a question? You can post those up too and I’ll do my best to respond quickly!  

 

Images courtesy of deanmeyersnet, birgerking & ChrisL_AK

Looking for more information? Check out these posts!

Jon Stone

Jon Stone

Content Marketer/Web Content Creator

When Jon isn't busy coming up with content ideas or building new projects, he's usually busy drinking way too much coffee and enjoying time with his kids. He's also a fan of writing about himself in the third-person. Jon Stone thinks that's fun. Other things Jon Stone thinks are fun include MMOs, cooking and reading fantasy novels.

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