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
Be Prepared for Platform Changes
Calendars are Extremely Helpful
Don’t Go too Far Down the Rabbit Hole with Content
Engender Brand Loyalty
Find Your Voice
Get Your Team Involved
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
Jargon is Not Your Friend
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
Monitor Demographic Shifts In Audience
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
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
Reaching the Right People > Reaching the Most People
Selling All the Time is a Turnoff
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
Wait for the Right Holidays to Celebrate
“Xeroxing” Content Creates Stale Brands
You Will Make Mistakes and That's Okay
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.