Day 2: What are the Social Media marketing best practices? [Top 10 Social Media Questions Marketers Want Answered]

Day 1 of our search to answer Michael Stelzner’s Top 10 Social Media Questions to ask marketers has brought us a reasonable answer to measuring your return on investment with regards to Social Media. Today we’ll be focusing on what the best practices for Social Media are:

2. What are the Social Media marketing best practices [My to-do list]?

Most people, when developing their skill sets and knowledge in a field start out with what they already know. Not bearing this is mind, large volumes of companies approach and engage in Social Media without understanding the “formal and unwritten community rules” and treating Social Media as simply another dumping ground for current “advertising assets”, as eloquently put by Lee Odden back in February 2009.

He, Odden, lists some of the best and worst practices of Social Media as:

  • Best Practices
    • Start with a thoroughly researched plan, including audiences, objectives and strategy, not just tactics
    • “Give to get”: meaning listening and participation with your audience. In effect creating value through your engagements, not just sales
    • Be transparent with intentions
    • Understand, advise, monitor and interact with the message, but realise that you can’t control it. [Read my previous post regarding this matter]
    • Metrics should roll up to objectives
  • Worst Practices
    • Being fake in any way. Just ask Trevor Noah and Cell C, by Walter Pike, about this if you need convincing.
    • Not listening
    • Being oblivious for formal and unwritten social rules and codes of conduct.
    • Being pushy or overtly sales driven
    • Approaching social media channels as silos
    • Not staffing appropriately
    • Not having a mechanism to monitor ROI correctly

So, how do I make Social Media work for me?

  • Start with listening, understand what people want
  • Share your backstory, who you are and where you come from
  • Try and crowd source content
  • Target your advertising on Facebook
  • Develop a community of Facebook, and customise their experience
  • Share your offline promotions
  • Respond quickly
  • Link back to your webpage
  • Remember your content and conversational tone, have a strong visual identity
  • Build relationships with bloggers
  • Have a clear call-to-action on Twitter, and try and build anticipation
  • Provide relevant offers and try and enhance customer service
  • Finally, show you are social and encourage sharing of your content