The digital world is changing every day. But when it comes to social media, there are some truths and guidelines that always ring true for creating the best experiences, building the best relationships, and putting your best foot forward.
- Be transparent and engage with your audience. At its heart, social media is all about two-way communication. As a rule, try to respond to comments and feedback within 24 hours to build customer loyalty.
- Develop a response strategy for both negative and positive comments. Yes – the good, the bad and the ugly. In addition to ensuring your team is prompt and prepared, a smart response strategy will help streamline communication, customer service and engagement.
- Listen to what your audience is saying about your brand, industry and competitors. Then you can optimize your content and better understand the conversations that users are really interested in. Consider:
- + Who is talking about your brand?
- + What is your industry talking about?
- + What are people saying about your peers?
- + What are the conversation trends and sentiment?
- + Where are people talking?
- + Who are the influencers?
Incorporate listening throughout your entire social media strategy, and think of it as an ongoing task.
- Know your audience.
Since each segment on each channel has different needs, take the time to understand how each group uses social media differently to best serve them. Plus, get to know the social channel you’re communicating on – including its best practices and most common uses.
- Measure what you’re doing, and make it better.
Continually analyze your content and imagery to improve your social strategy and your results.
- Be strategic about channels to ensure you’re reaching the right target audience.
For instance, just because Instagram is popular doesn’t necessarily mean your brand should be present there. If your target audience isn’t active on Instagram, don’t waste dollars toward content and creative for it.
- Determine your voice and tone.
Use a consistent voice across all of your media channels – from your website to online ads to Facebook to Twitter. Using a social media persona can help humanize even the biggest brand – as well as create consistency.
- Integrate social with email, website, traditional media, as well as existing and future campaigns. Social is not a silo. Make it part of your overall marketing strategy to make it more powerful – and more effective.