A-Z Guide To Managing Social Media For Brands: Part II

Jack DeYoungCommunity Management, Online Marketing, Social, Strategy

An A-Z Guide to Managing Social Media for Brands Part II
An A-Z Guide to Managing Social Media for Brands Part II

A few years ago we wrote the first A-Z Guide to Managing Social Media For Brands to account for several universal truths that will always be applicable to social media marketing. It was one of our most visited blogs ever and like our friends out in Hollywood, we saw a lot of potential in a sequel. Fear not though dear reader, this is no by-the-numbers retread as this blog expounds on the ideas put forth in the first blog to account for an ever-changing social media landscape. As far as blog sequels go, it’s more “The Godfather Part II” than “Speed 2: Cruise Control.”

There are so many aspects of social media marketing that are evergreen but the difference between good and great social media management for brands and businesses lies in the details. There will never be a truly exhaustive compendium of social media tips but this newly created alphabet will put you in a prime position to market your brand online efficiently and effectively.

Audience-Building Should Never Stop

Building community around your brand is important for the long-term success of your channels and your business. You should always allocate some budget each month to build your likes/followers because not only will those people grow more inclined to convert, they’ll also allow you to tap into their social circles and reach more likely customers with your posts.

Be Prepared for Platform Changes

Over the last two years, every social media platform has changed rapidly and dramatically for business accounts. Don’t get left holding the bag when these changes occur by subscribing to industry publications and maintaining an open line of communication with your reps at each platform. This will help ensure that you’re not left scrambling to account for an unforeseen change that limits the reach and impact of your content.

Calendars are Extremely Helpful

At Nuera, our policy is to have our clients’ posts scheduled at least two weeks out. By creating and managing a calendar, you’re able to organize your posts and see the larger picture when reviewing your analytics for the month. You don’t have to be entirely beholden to the calendar because there will obviously be unexpected announcements/events to announce but the calendar ensures you’re prepared with the right pacing and content mix.

Don’t Go too Far Down the Rabbit Hole with Content

Look, Stanley Kubrick made amazing films but they’re not for everyone. We understand the inclination to make social posts that are elaborate, layered productions but the fact of the matter is that concision and simplicity are often better. Listen to your audience--if they respond more to Fast and The Furious than they do Eyes Wide Shut, give them a healthy dose of Vin Diesel. We call “healthy dose of Vin Diesel” an oxymoron in the biz, kids.

Engender Brand Loyalty

The seemingly smallest actions on social media like a brand liking a share, responding quickly to a comment, or going a little further for a customer who has concerns can build a lifetime of brand loyalty and will be viewed favorably by potential new customers.

Find Your Voice

Consider not just your own opinion of what your brand’s voice should be, but what your customers will most respond to. At Nuera, we develop and evolve brand voice documents based on audience research and work to adhere to what makes our clients most relatable to their potential customers when crafting content.

Get Your Team Involved

One of the best sources of content is your team because they’re on the front lines of your business. By sharing content about and by them, you not only communicate an appreciation for your team and prospective customers, you’re also using that content to peel back the curtain on your operation which is always a positive.

Have Your Images Sized Correctly for Each Platform

This is another instance where staying abreast of platform changes is extraordinarily helpful. You always want to project professionalism with your posts so creating visuals that are sized correctly for both the platform you’re posting on and the devices people are using is paramount. This not only makes your content look better but your attention to detail will be subliminally appreciated by prospective customers.

Incentivize Engagement from Your Audience

A person liking a post is an example of a positive engagement but there are also ways to go beyond that and have a person actively engage with your brand by commenting or sharing your posts. Make it a point to occasionally ask open-ended questions of your audience to show you’re listening, run contests to reward your audience’s involvement and work to go beyond passive engagements by soliciting active engagements. You want your customers to feel like they’re a part of a community with your brand at the center and this is a great way to accomplish that.

Jargon is Not Your Friend

While you know your industry inside and out, your customers certainly do not. Using jargon to describe a product or service as a B2C will only confuse your audience so make your verbiage as palatable as possible. You’re not an editor at Variety so don’t post about how a movie did “Boffo B.O.” at the movie theater you own because your audience will think you’re talking about a clown’s body odor or something. “(This movie) did really well last weekend,” says the same thing without confusing people.

Know When You Won’t Win with Angry Commenters

Remember when the internet and social media in particular were the embodiment of the utopian society espoused by the flower power generation? Neither do we. The fact of the matter is you’re going to get both positive and negative comments on your social posts and how you handle them will make a huge difference. Try to remove emotion from the equation if the angry comments are about something specific to your business because you need to address them calmly and correctly. Now, if you get someone who has seen the pale of reason and decided to go far beyond, it’s okay to hide the comment or block them (but only as a last resort). There is a very thin line to walk here and you absolutely need to know the difference between angry but specific negativity and bloviating asshole negativity. That is, of course, a technical term.

Location-Based Targeting can be Especially Effective

Nearly every social media platform allows you to target down to your own brick and mortar’s neighborhood. The folks living within a few miles of your business almost certainly know it exists so blanketing the surrounding areas with ads could mean the difference between them continuing to drive by or deciding to stop in and shop.

Monitor Demographic Shifts In Audience

The demographics of both your existing and desired audiences are important things to consider when choosing how to target your ads. Certain posts may resonate with different groups of people so make it a point to monitor the demographic details of those engaging with your posts and cater your targeting strategy accordingly to maximize the efficiency of your ad spends.

Never be Dishonest or Disingenuous on Social Media

Not only is it duplicitous, but it’s also way too easily discoverable, and getting called out can be a death knell for a brand. Trust is an invaluable currency and when it comes to cultivating community as a brand on social media, you should look to the man on the $1 bill and either fess up to chopping down the cherry tree or you know, just don’t put yourself in the position where you’re having to be around cherry trees at all (it seems exhausting). We call that “stretching the cherry tree metaphor” in the biz, by the way. 🙂

Optimize Your Profiles

By now you’ve heard a lot about how algorithms influence the success of social media posts. These algorithms are constantly evolving but they will always reward activity on your respective pages so be sure to make regular updates even if it’s something as small as editing an about page, adding a tab, or changing hours on holidays (which you should always do anyway).

Put Politics on the Backburner

You’re a business, not a lobbyist. Save politics for your personal pages and let your company culture–and not your potentially divisive personal opinions–speak to your brand’s identity. You’re trying to sell them a vegan cheesecake, not a revolution.

Qualify Your Ad Spends

Make sure you’re not spending good money after bad and determine what a goal is worth for you in terms of ad spend before breaking the bank. Data from previous posts and campaigns are a great tool for defining success and setting the right metrics.

Reaching the Right People > Reaching the Most People

Advertising on social media makes it incredibly easy to reach large groups of people. However, casting a wide net inevitably brings in detritus and it’s far more cost-effective to identify the people most inclined to become customers rather than trying to bring in all of the huddled masses. Make your advertising spends as efficient as possible by making inferences based on your customer data then target from that.

Selling All the Time is a Turnoff

Salesy content every now and again is necessary, but be sure to follow the data and blend it with more approachable content that humanizes your brand. Your brand voice isn’t a David Mamet play so don’t Always Be Closing.

Twitter is the Easiest Way to Ingratiate Your Brand or Business to a Community

Immediate and yet almost transient, Twitter affords you the ability to outbound engage and the algorithm does not penalize you for weighing in on conversations pertinent to your community or industry. Engaging with content on the periphery of your brand on Twitter is a great way to reach more people and establish your business as a thought leader or active participant within a community.

User-Generated Content is Key to Community

We talked earlier about incentivizing engagement and this is a great way to expand on that, especially when we consider all the user-generated, shareable content being created on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. It’s not just a great source of content but your followers will appreciate the acknowledgment and appreciation of their own experiences.

Video Content is Great When Optimized

Posting short, concise videos is a great way to reach more people on nearly every social media platform. To ensure each video is properly optimized, be sure to include closed captions for the 87% of people viewing videos on their phones, don’t make that Kubrick opus about your new product, and be sure the content of the video is palatable in a way that is either specific to your industry or humanizing for your brand and engaging to potential customers.

Wait for the Right Holidays to Celebrate

It’s almost like we wrote about this one before! Holidays on social media can be tricky business so be sure you’re posting the right things on the holidays most applicable to your business. Also, please call Kellogg’s on our behalf about our totally winning “Treez-It” Arbor Day idea!

“Xeroxing” Content Creates Stale Brands

It’s ok to reuse content on rare occasions but it always needs to be recontextualized. You’re constantly fighting your competitors for the attention of your potential customers and just copying/pasting previous posts is one of the quickest and most surefire ways to lose an audience.

You Will Make Mistakes and That's Okay

​You're only human so not everything you post on social media is likely to be perfect. Whether it's a typo, mislabeled product, or grammatical error, you're invariably going to slip up at some point. That's okay, it happens to the best of us. One obvious but great way to prevent mistakes is to have someone proofread/edit your calendar before you finalize it. Sometimes all you need is a fresh, objective view to clear any errors and improve posts before they go out.

Zen and the Art of Social Media Maintenance

Real talk: managing social media for brands can be a frustrating endeavor. The platforms are always changing with little warning, there’s always some malcontent whining about not getting comped a free side salad, and there will occasionally be instances where you’ll feel like you’re in a creative slump. Take some time to remember that these things happen but adhering to these tips and staying out ahead of potential landmines is the best way to mitigate any potential issues. Also, as our intrepid president and co-founder, Joe Sampson constantly tells me, people aren’t actually angry with you when they post something negative about your business. Don’t take it personally and above all, be prepared.

For something that seems ostensibly simple, marketing success on social media is so much more than simply posting killer content. This new alphabet will help serve you well just as it has helped us grow the brands of countless clients across numerous industries. While it has changed since the last time we wrote it, it very likely will again soon, and staying up to date while adhering to these best practices will put you in the best position to succeed for your brands and business on social media.

About the Author
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Jack DeYoung

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As head of social and digital marketing, Jack is responsible for directing and executing engaging social and digital marketing campaigns. With experience at two successful startups and in the advertising industry, Jack’s background makes him uniquely qualified to tell our clients’ stories.