Successful technology entrepreneur and mobile app developer Hammad Akbar discusses the do’s and don’ts for modern social media marketing.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn have come to define the modern business landscape, where companies and businesses attempt to grasp the public’s attention. It’s a free-for-all, where the rules are constantly changing.
So in such a fluctuating market, how easy is it for small and medium-sized businesses to get ahead? What are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to social media? How do you get noticed?
Well, if you’re getting up and running with social media marketing, and want to know more, be sure to check out my list of tips – and make your marketing campaigns count.
Know your goals
Social media can be a pretty daunting thing, even to the most experienced marketer. So having some clear goals going into a social media marketing campaign is always a good idea – no matter how small your business.
Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook can be so open plan that outreach can often be ineffective. So, coming to terms with your marketing goals is the best step.
You may want to build a social following, drive users to your website or convert users into customers. Whatever your goal, be direct and make sure what you’re posting and sharing is in line with your overall plans.
Social media is a constant platform. It involves regular care and activity, so it’s always important to remember to be consistent and persistent.
Remember not to go overboard though – don’t confuse persistent with obsessive. Whilst you should be pushing out content regularly, there is such a thing as too much.
Limit your amount of daily posts and be sure not to bombard your audience with content – especially if your posts are very similar.
Get your timings righ
Whilst social media doesn’t necessarily have a ‘closing time’ – with users in every corner of the world, it’s very helpful to know when your target audience is most active online.
If you’re a local business, say, based in the UK, use analytics (available on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms) to find out more about your audience.
Finding out when peak times are and what outreach is most effective at certain times can really kick-start your social media marketing.
Know your platforms
Not all social media websites are created equal. So don’t treat them as such.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn – they’re all different. All have different uses, users, tools and pros and cons, so be sure to do your research.
Don’t just schedule the same post to go out over 20 different websites, get to know each of your social media platforms and use them accordingly.
If you can’t think of a reason why you need to use a particular social media website, then consider not using it.
If you’re an insurance company, then will uploading images to Pinterest really help you? Surely outreach on LinkedIn would be more effective?
Don’t rely on ads
There’s no escaping it. The rise of social media has led to some massive changes in the industry – advertising being one of them.
There used to be a time when your company Facebook post’s reach wouldn’t be limited and when Twitter didn’t have anywhere near as much paid advertisements. But, alas, we live in the world we live in, and we must adapt.
Whilst in 2015 and 2016, paid social media marketing is a must, it shouldn’t always be your first port of call. Always consider non-promoted posts before you think about throwing your credit card around.
Viral marketing is still a thing, and if your content is good, people will find it, paid post or not.
Don’t be controversial
Let’s face it. We all love a good scandal don’t we? But not when we’re in the middle of it.
Controversial and social media go hand in hand. A day doesn’t go by without someone posting something incredibly offensive on Twitter. But in my opinion, avoid scandal and offense at all times.
You can be personal, funny – you can even swear if that’s a part of your brand – but be professional and safe. Think about what you’re putting online and think about what other people might say when they see it.
You DON’T want to wake up the next day with your company all over the news. Trust me.
Don’t delete comments
Social media marketing (you’ll be upset to hear) isn’t all cat videos and infographics. In fact, a large amount of companies use marketing to interact with their customers. With varying forms of success.
If you build a strong social media following, odds are, you’re going to be hearing a lot from those who follow you.
Sure, you might get a lot of great feedback from customers and members of the general public, but, every now and then, you’re guaranteed to get some criticism.
No matter how good your outreach is, you’re bound to get users saying some very inappropriate and angry comments and even reviews. But it’s important to stay calm.
Whilst you don’t want any foul language hanging around on your posts and pages, you should always use the delete button (mainly on Facebook) as sparingly as possible.
You don’t want a person defaming you online, but covering up someone’s tracks can sometimes be much worse than if you actually left it alone.
Don’t give up
Social media is always changing, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up. But it’s important not to give up.
Having a good social media presence can be extremely helpful when running a business or company – but it takes time and patience.
Don’t give up after a month. Give it some time, experiment, see what works, and keep going.
There you go. Just a few of my social media do’s and don’ts. But what do you think? What would you do differently? If you have any other suggestions, be sure to get in touch and leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you.