The Latest Social Media Marketing Best Practices You Need To Know is not some corporate-fluff infographic that you should toss aside. Nah, this one is REALLY good!
It’s not often that I find “best practices” infographics that can apply to just about business, no matter the size. So I was excited when I read through this one!
Let’s be clear, this is a long infographic. So long that I figured it best to divide it into sections so that it’s easier to understand. Buckle up baby, we’re going for a social media marketing ride! Got your helmet on??
Social Media Marketing Best Practices You Need To Know
In order for your company to succeed on social media, you have to START off with a plan. This means that you DO NOT hop on a social media platform and start clicking and posting with nary a strategy in sight. Granted, this is fine if you’re using social media for personal reasons.
However, if you are using social media as a marketing vehicle for your business, you owe it to your business to put a strategy in place FIRST. Let’s begin with an overview of the 7-point strategy covered in this infographic.
A 7-point social media marketing strategy will include the following steps:
- Listen to your audience.
- Let analytics continually redefine who your customer is.
- Engage your community with employee advocacy.
- Optimize your publishing strategy.
- Advertise wisely – with predefined objectives.
- Pay attention to the RIGHT metrics.
- Measure your social media efforts against your goals.
Step 1: Listen to your audience.
Step 1: Start by listening to your audience. The average digital consumer is using social media for almost 2 hours each day. This means your audience is hanging our on social media just waiting for you to sell her something. It’s’ time to figure out where your audience is talking about your industry, and go there.
While you’re at it, figure out who the influencers are in your niche, and do some social listening. In addition to listening to brand mentions for your company, follow the keywords, platforms, industry and competition. All of this data will lead you to your next opportunity.
Step 2: Stop guessing. Use those analytics!
Step 2: Use analytics to figure out who your customer is. Keep drilling down until you feel like you know what they are thinking right now. Did you catch the important point: 82% of high-performing marketers integrate their social media marketing activity into other tools, including their customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This means taking your social media relationships to another level by using a CRM platform to manage and monitor your touch points, contact info, etc. – so that you can build real relationships.
Step 3: Engage your community with individuals. Do not hide behind the company logo.
Step 3. Engage your community with employee advocacy. This one can get tricky for small businesses, however it can still be done. For example, if you are solopreneur doing it all, you do not have employees to be advocates for your brand. But you may have brand ambassadors, business partners and clients that can rave about you. Use them as your community bullhorn, and encourage them to share and promote your brand.
There is a hidden set of folks who can be your brand advocates – the community of people who always share what you have. It could be as simple as identifying a set of people who always retweet your info. Think of them as your brand advocates, and reach out to form relationships!
The same holds true for your clients. If they like what you do, ask them to share the love! This will help to amplify your social media marketing efforts and position you as a credible resource.
Step 4: Optimize your publishing strategy.
Step 4: Create a publishing strategy, and optimize for the best times your audience is online. The key here is to actually create a publishing strategy. Don’t be all willy nilly with your content.
Because you are already listening to your audience (see step 1), you know when your audience is online. There will be many schools of thought when it comes to the best time to publish online – use your own analytics first.
Test your content, make sure each piece of content ties into your overall marketing program, and track your clicks. Weave different types of content into your promotional mix to keep your audience engaged, and remember, everything you post must be mobile friendly.
Step 5: Advertise with a purpose.
Step 5: Advertise, but do so with intention. Do NOT spend a dime until you figure out your WHY – why are you advertising? Define a budget, and choose the best platform to maximize your dollars to accomplish your goals. Because you understand your target audience, you can drill down the exact demographics beyond gender and location. Target campaigns based on these demographics, test what works, track and measure, rinse and repeat.
Step 6: Pay attention to the metrics that matter.
Step 6: Pay attention to the metrics that matter – the metrics that are based on your goals. Unless you are using social media to bring awareness to our brand, please do not get hyped up on likes and followers. Granted, many businesses stick to this “awareness” goal because it’s the easiest to do. You may think, “I’m getting more likes and followers, I’m doing a great job!” Not so fast my friend. Raising awareness may be fine as an initial goals. However, after a while this kind of goal becomes a cop out.
The goal in business is to sell something. If you’re not focusing on building a customer base, lead generation, and later more sales, what’s the point??
Step 7: Measure, rinse and repeat.
The infographic originally appeared here. If you want to view (or download) the infographic in its entirety, click here.
Step 7: Ultimately, you want to measure how your social media efforts are working. What is the result of your investment in social media? Are you gaining more email (or messaging) subscribers? Are you getting more product and/or service inquiries? Are you generating more revenue?
So how do you think you are doing with your social media efforts? Is this infographic helpful? Let me know in the comments!