Like. Retweet. Repost. Comment. Hashtag. Boasting more than 49 percent of the world’s population as users, social media and its unique lingo are not going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, social media may lay claim to the communications crown, so whether a frequent user or not, now is the time for brands to embrace it.
If your company has struggled with maximizing social media, our digital team put together a few “do’s and don’ts” to help you rise to social stardom.
Social Media Do’s and Dont’s
DO: Be Authentic.
Research shows that consumers crave authentic connections with the brands they engage with on social media. While it can be tempting to just hit ‘copy and paste’ on the corporate language you use in day-to-day communications, social is the place to loosen the tie and speak meaningfully about topics your audience cares about.
Companies should tailor their feed to deliver informative, interactive experiences that align with the preferences of their audiences. From exclusive, behind-the-scenes looks to user-generated content, companies that harness the power of social media to create intimate connections will both retain and attract customers.
Recently, Jackson Spalding developed a social media campaign for The Thanks-Giving Foundation’s Serving Up Gratitude initiative to express thanks to our frontline heroes. To ensure our mission resonated with followers, we humanized content by spotlighting participating businesses and healthcare professionals. This approach brought the social content to life in an impactful way.
DON’T: Ignore Your Followers.
While not employed by your brand, your followers can be some of the best advocates for your company; therefore, community engagement is a top priority. It’s no secret your social channels are an extension of your brand, so your followers expect you to regularly interact with their comments and other forms of engagement.
It might seem like a daunting task to manage the influx of interactions you receive from your followers, but the payoff can be huge. If you have a highly engaged fan-base, consider establishing a process for monitoring and responding. Instead of giving someone’s comment a simple ‘like,’ take it a step further by offering them a free sample of your product or service.
DO: Create a Strategy.
Just like any other outward-facing communications channel, social media is an extension of your brand voice and deserves the same attention. That said, having a strategic game plan for social media ensures you produce thoughtful, engaging content.
A good strategy is developed based on a number of focus areas, including brand persona and voice. Essentially, this is what you will say and how you will say it. Your followers will form their opinion of your brand based on how you appear in-person and online. To develop a successful brand ‘personality,’ reflect on the adjectives you would use to describe your tone and voice and the topics you plan to discuss with your audience.
Next, you should determine a posting cadence. Consistency is key here. Not only do most social platforms reward users who post regularly, but consumers look for this as well. Rather than post on the fly, we recommend putting together a schedule that aligns with your brand’s initiatives and larger marketing plan. From there, you can develop a content calendar that maps out specific copy and imagery for posts. This ensures you keep track of all of the great content your team is creating. For some, a tool like Sprout Social or Hootsuite make collaborating and scheduling a breeze. For others, a live Google Doc can help streamline ideation and content creation.
DON’T: Bite Off More Than You Can Chew.
With new platforms created every day, it can be tempting to create an account on every social channel out there. Granted, there’s definitely merit in trying something new, but not all platforms may be a good fit for your company.
To determine where your social success best lies, consider the time you can commit to these platforms as well as where your audience is. Proper social media management requires time and resources, and your team may not have the bandwidth to effectively manage them all. Instead of going halfway in on multiple social channels, prioritize going all in on the most valuable ones. Sometimes less really is more.
DO: Post about topics relevant to your audience.
When creating a content calendar, identify the takeaways you want your audience to gather about your brand. Perhaps it’s that your company values culture more than anything, or maybe it’s that you have incredible insight into the issues of your industry and can share ample thought leadership.
Whatever topics you land on, make sure they’re a best fit for your brand. Nowadays countless “National Day Of’s” exist, so while it might be helpful to find relevant holidays and topics to create content around, don’t go overboard. If you’re a car insurance company, National Pet Day may not be the best fit for your brand to post about; however, if your pets are part of your office family like ours are at JS, then it may present the perfect opportunity to highlight your company culture.
DON’T: Forget about the visuals.
Another social task to tackle is creative. While writing copy might be your strong suit, the old saying does go, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and this certainly rings true for social media. Users are actually more willing to engage with visual content. And with the ample content to consume on each social channels, a video or image could help stop people in their mid-scroll tracks.
The world of social media shouldn’t be daunting, and when used appropriately, it can be the most powerful tool in your brand’s marketing arsenal, especially during the current pandemic.