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The Do’s and Don’ts of a Social Media Strategy

December 11th, 2012 ::

yes and noTo make sure you’re avoiding common mistakes when using social media for marketing, follow these simple rules:

Do: Have goals

Before you get started, decide how social media marketing fits into your overall marketing strategy. Do you want to find better quality leads, engage with and retain current customers, generate word of mouth?  How do your goals complement the other pieces of your marketing strategy, like your blog, SEO, content creation and online advertising?

Don’t: Dive in without a plan

An editorial calendar will keep you organized. Decide what you are going to post when and on what network.  Take timing into consideration, as well: What times are your fans and followers more likely to see your activity?

Do: Use social media consistently

Randomly using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and any other social network is a waste of time. Inconsistent use of social media sends a signal that you don’t care about and are probably not that interested in your customers.

Don’t: Ignore SEO

Search engine optimization is important for any online activity, whether it’s your blog or a how-to guide on your website. Sharing content on social media is great, but to snag a wider audience, make sure all that content on your website is optimized with keywords so search engines redirect people to you.

Do: Use visual content wisely

People engage with images, so when you use them, think about how to make your brand fun and accessible. You can showcase products and services, fans and customers, user-generated photos, your logo, employees, events – get creative!

Don’t: Make it all about you

Social media is not a one-way bullhorn. People love to talk about themselves, so be sure to focus your social media activity on your fans and followers. What do they like? What do they care about? How can you help them?

Do: Engage

This is a corollary to the above: social media is a conversation. Respond to direct messages and mentions on Twitter, comments on Facebook, messages on LinkedIn, etc. Ignoring people is no way to build a community.

Don’t: Assume anything

Don’t assume you know what social networks your customers and potential customers use or what sort of information they find most valuable. You have to do your research first, or you will be wasting your time (hint: ask them).

Do: Measure the right metrics

Likes and retweets are not marketing metrics – they’re popularity metrics – and the two are not the same thing. Instead, measure how much traffic Twitter and Facebook are sending to your website, how many downloads your content and shares your blog posts are getting, and how many leads from social media are converting into customers.

Did I miss any do’s or don’ts?

Image courtesy of wellhappypeaceful.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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