Brands and Social Media: Basic Rules to Remember
With digital marketing mainstream and social media an everyday communication tool, it can be a bit overwhelming when engaging with audiences across various social media channels, which can lead to even the most exceptional brands forgetting basics.
Below are a few tips of what not to do when using social media for your business/brand.
Have no specific tone or voice
Knowing your tone and voice behind your social media is important as it needs to reflect your brand, allows consistency and ultimately presents how you want your audience to view your brand. Your brand's voice is the brand personality. Do you want your audience to view your business as professional? Or maybe casual? Perhaps you want to be informative or conversational? Having an established voice allows you to humanise your brand and encourage your audience to positively respond and influence their thoughts and perspective on others. When you are planning on launching your social media outlet, plan this in the initial stages.
Tone is more general and can change from various platforms. Tone is similar to the way you would actually speak and you would modify how you spoke depending on who you are talking to. The same goes with your organisation and who you are speaking to on each platform. For example Twitter might be for industry peers, so your tone would be more serious, scientific and factual, whereas your Facebook account may be more personal, lighthearted and relaxed. Find the correct tone for each platform and tailor it to your audience therein.
Not have enough content
Not having enough content can sometimes be more detrimental than having too much content. You don’t want to be annoying your audience with a post every five minutes about your business. Your content needs to be:
• Timely - Posted in a timely manner. One post a day is sufficient
• Targeted - Target your content to your audience on each platform
• Engaging – Is it a video? Is there a call to action? Do you have a link?
• Authentic – It is okay to use other articles, however you need original content
• Specific to your platform – it is okay to link some content to your Instagram and Twitter if it is relevant. Be careful on reposting as your different audiences have different needs and interests.
For larger organisations a Social Media Content Calendar can be a great way to keep posts scheduled and timely, as well as manage the content you’re posting on each platform to ensure it works together. There are plenty of examples to use on google however find one that is useful and makes your life easier not harder. There are many complicated calendars out there so find one that suits you and your business.
Don’t use enough #hashtags
Using hashtags in your posts can increase your communication and add a little bit of fun to your posts. A hashtag turns a word into a searchable link that can help you track discussion topics and search content trending under that word. Wikipedia has defined a hashtag as "... a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content."
Some tips on using hashtags
• Don’t use a space. Group all your words together.
• Don’t use punctuation marks.
• You can be as creative as you like – create your own hashtag! At the time this article is being written some of the trending hashtags are #projectxmas and #makepopgreatagain.
• Keep relevant to your business.
• Consolidate your tweets – have specific tweets for your company and use them in all of your posts so users can find all of your content in one place.
• Make sure the hashtags are in context.
• Don’t overuse hashtag – about three hashtags should be used on Facebook and Twitter. You can use hashtags a bit more freely on Instagram.
You can search trending hashtags, popular hashtag and you can track a particular hashtags if you desire. Hashtags are used on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Google+ and Tumblr.
Posting old events or information
Social Media is all about being current and timely. It seems like a fairly obvious one but can also be tricky with a busy workload and many corporate and global events to keep on top of. If you have an event you need to be posting for, then you need to plan ahead and make sure you are there, in the present and available to post away. Today, most of us marketers have many other roles we play in the business, not primarily focussed on our social media, so this can be easier said than done. Plan for upcoming events or delegate your other tasks on the day so you can focus on your updates to ensure they are posted as the event is taking place therefore making them relevant and engaging to your audience following at home!
These are just a few tips and insights I have learnt from using Social Media and experiencing first hand. I would like to conclude by encouraging you to have confidence and be authentic in your posting. It is a competitive industry, but if you hit the nail on the head and have relevant interesting posts, your audience will keep wanting more.