Social Media Rules to Live by

I wrote this list out a few months ago and came across it today when I realized I was super late posting today. 🙂 Looking at it, its definitely my philosophy when it comes to social media for business.
  1. Don’t abandon an existing traditional marketing plan. Social media does not replace anything. It should be added to the overall marketing strategy to enhance activities and more importantly create a channel to interact with your audience.
  2. Know your target market. Not all companies need social media as a part of their existing plan. It all depends on your business goals and if your (potential) customer base is actually online.
  3. Know your target market even more. Before jumping on the bandwagon of social media, first understand the online habits and behavior of your (potential) customer base. Do they even go online? What do they do when they are online?
  4. Don’t blindly create social media profiles on various outlets without having a consistent strategy of posting. Do not create profiles if you (or your team) cannot consistently post engaging and relevant content. There is nothing worse than a stale account or page which a potential customer may look up on a Google search of your company name.
  5. Don’t view social media as a loudspeaker from which you inadvertently advertise your product/service to death. Social media is not a platform for this – save it for your landing page. No one will appreciate it and it may get you blocked or worse, marked as spam.
  6. View social media channels as conversations. This is about things that your customer is interested in and talking about like the weather, pets, food, reading, traveling etc..
  7. Respond and post as a friend would. This is done in a neutral yet positive voice that makes friends not enemies, doesn’t take sides and doesn’t meddle in politics, religion or any controversy as it will directly affect your company’s views.
  8. Use analytics. Like all marketing strategy, social media efforts should be tracked and analyzed to see what works and what doesn’t work. Moreover, timing of posts and relevancy of the post can be analyzed here as well.
  9. Monitor competitor’s social media movements. It’s not against any rules to follow or investigate who follows your competitor’s social media channels and then follow them on yours.
  10. Lastly, remember that no one is interested in you or your company. Sorry, but social media is not about selling, it’s about sharing relevant information and being helpful and friendly. People will respond to you or follow if its in their best interest only.

These 10 Rules should give you a good starting point on whether you need a social media strategy based on your target market. Your voice and style should be empathetic, happy and neutral, while downplaying your business and what you’re trying to sell. Initially, Yes, its the opposite of what you normally do, but it’s important to gain trust and credibility from your (potential) customer. This is not achieved by banging them on the head with your product/service, no one likes that. By watching your analytics and competitors, you should be able to find a good balance of what works and eventually your social media strategy will help you indirectly with sales and customer service. Most importantly, what most businesses do wrong is they don’t consistently post, I think this is due to not seeing results right away, not believing anyone is watching and of course, not having enough time! But, all of this takes a substantial amount of time, and effort, so don’t give up!

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