During Nov,16 mobile and tablet internet usage exceeded desktop for the first time worldwide and nearly 80% of all social media time is spent on mobile today. Undoubtedly, mobile is the future of digital marketing and social media. With the subsequent increase in smartphone usage and availability of free data plans, the user will have social media access at their fingertips like never before. This also means that the social media is destined to be noisier, more engaging and more influencing than ever before. I call it a monster – it can make or kill a brand. Whilst everyone is interested in making a brand, for self or for businesses today, it is important to know the best practices people and brands can employ to win from social media in 2017
Listing down 15 Best Practices for Social Media Usage:
- 1) Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
- 2) Win Audience’s Trust
- 3) Visual Posts Lead Today
- 4) Use relevant hashtags
- 5) Branded or Unbranded Hashtags
- 6) Keep it short (On Twitter in specific)
- 7) Curate and Connect
- 8) Avoid Fake news
- 9) Stay away
- 10) Avoid posting
- 11) People love data and it gives them credibility and confidence
- 12) Brand Recall
- 13) Best Time to Post
- Facebook Posts
- 14) Avoid engaging
- 15) Use more of mobile optimized (vertical) videos
1) Choose the Best Social Media Platform for Your Business
First and foremost, it is very important to be on the right social media platform. It is simple, Be on the platform which matters to you or your business. For instance, if you are in B2C business, Facebook first followed by Twitter and others make sense. On the other hand, LinkedIn and Twitter are best for B2B Companies, Facebook in B2B context is good for employee engagements, CSRs, jobs and brand promotions.
2) Win Audience’s Trust
People follow you because of the trust they have in your content, product or service. Since decisions to follow or unfollow are made at the instance of a second today, it is important to be trustworthy, relevant and engage with your audience. Talk thought leadership and Please avoid direct sales as much as possible. Having said that its ok to have about 20% of your content promoting your brand. Remember 80% of the time, you are being followed because of the content which is interesting and engaging to your audience.
3) Visual Posts Lead Today
Make Your Posts Visually Appealing with the Use of Images and Videos. Research shows that social media posts that have a captivating image increase an audience’s willingness to click by 80 percent. Moreover, it’s 40 times more likely to be shared.
Hashtags pertaining to the subject of tweet or post only should be used. Also, use not more than 2 to 3 hashtags in one tweet or Post (remember its only 140 characters you need to communicate within) – Focus on keywords that are relevant to your business. Irrelevant hashtags will lead to loss of trust among your followers. Lesser the hashtags, more simplistic it Is for your audience to know the context of the tweet or post. In my experience, quite often, people don’t even click on the links being shared, from the tweet itself, they make an opinion and decide to retweet or disengage accordingly. Best practices also recommend using no more than two hashtags per Tweet
Adopting a healthy mix of generic hashtags containing thought leadership driven content + branded hashtags (hashtags containing your brand name) is good. Branded ones should be used for brand campaigns, product or service specific promotions. Having more of latter is not advisable as mentioned in 80/20 rule above.
6) Keep it short (On Twitter in specific)
A Concise Tweet makes an impact. Try to maintain each Tweet focusing one specific message than trying multiple messages within one tweet. It also involves focused attention by your followers and thus helps in effective communication.
7) Curate and Connect
Retweeting relevant content and replying to Tweets are great ways to maintain a robust presence on Twitter, follow back when relevant people follow, say thanks when they follow, smile, be human. If possible, share a tangible value which they can appreciate such as a Whitepaper, report or business report.
8) Avoid Fake news
and negative stories as much as possible. This is getting serious, though there are groups trying to use it with intended fun and humor, Traction on social media and search is becoming questionable. This is one of the many reasons that 333,000 people have filed the petition seeking the ouster of Zuckerberg as the Facebook CEO.
9) Stay away
from dishonorable content such as racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, and physical disability (Until and unless you have a political agenda) related posts. Remember trolls are very common these days.
10) Avoid posting
any content pertaining to sensitive company information. Surrounding or promoting existing tweets/post from your employer’s Profiles should be fine otherwise.
11) People love data and it gives them credibility and confidence
While writing social content, try using more of numbers, facts, data and why, where & how of a story, chances of engagement are better and quicker in these cases.
12) Brand Recall
Basics of marketing communication, Have consistent brand messaging across all social media profiles. For instance, If LinkedIn says you are the best blogger in IoT your twitter profile should also say the same. Not to mention, it’s good to have similar look and feel of the brand across all social media properties too!
13) Best Time to Post
Does it matter? Yes, to some extent. Below are the best shots
14) Avoid engaging
You might not like them, but Please avoid engaging in inflammatory or inappropriate discussions about competitors.
15) Use more of mobile optimized (vertical) videos
The Next big thing in 2017, evident from the increase in smartphones and mobile data usage as stated above. The audience would prefer a video which doesn’t force a horizontal layout, It’s simple for me to keep continue using my phone vertically, You Know! Facebook live stream launch to Jeep’s video last year during Super Bowl all meant the same, Being Vertical is being intact!
Trust you find these Best Practices for social media usage in 2017, useful. Let me know your thought in the comments section below.
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Neeraj is a Tech Marketer with 9+ years of experience in B2B Sales and Marketing. At StepToInbound, Neeraj writes about Website, Search, Social Media and Marketing Automation practices.