5 Best Practices For Better Social Media Marketing
There are a few truths to marketing well on social media, and many misconceptions which can derail your best efforts. Today we're going to clear the air.
There's a lot of confusion, jargon, and unnecessary complexity marketers tend to use when talking about social media marketing (unintentionally, I hope). As one who has built a successful business managing & executing social media strategy and content marketing for others, I'm here to tell you that social media can be incredibly simple.
Frankly, social media marketing can be incredibly simple, and even downright fun. One business owner I talked to called it her "creative outlet." What a reframe from "the-dreaded-task-that-must-be-done" to something that one looks forward to.
This post will help you clear up the confusion around social media marketing and provide a framework of focus for you to use when creating your content.
I've listed out the five best practices that I teach to all of my clients, and these five truths are certainly ones I follow and execute for my clients:
Best Practice #1: Consistency Matters
Pick a platform and stick to it. You don't need to be on all of the platforms. If you don't like Twitter, don't post to Twitter.
Pick a platform that 1) resonates with you, and 2) resonates with your Ideal Client, then 3) commit.
Make a promise to yourself and your Ideal Client that you will consistently post to that platform. Decide on the number of days per week that you'll post. Decide the time of day you'll post. Caution: this becomes an area of confusion for people: Avoid getting stuck trying to "beat the algorithm" and posting at a specific time for more views of your post. This can easily become an excuse. It doesn't matter if you post at 9am or 2pm... just build a habit of showing up on a regularly scheduled cadence.
Best Practice #2: Create A Content Calendar
Do the thinking ahead of time and plan out your posts. Create a calendar or a system that works for you. Don't get trapped in an excuse cycle that you need something fancy. This can be as simple as a writing a list in your notebook. If this sounds like a dreadful exercise, here: I made this for you to get started.
Bonus: I recommend leveraging your longer form content to "feed" your social media content, so plan out your long-form content first and social media content planning will be much easier.
Best Practice #3: Post With Purpose
I'm sure you have another form of content marketing, other than social media, where you're sharing your ideas, solving real problems, and imparting wisdom. If not, we should talk. Use content from your longer-form content to "feed" your social media content. Make an effort to avoid being generic and using your longer-form content is a great way to stay specific. To #postwithpurpose means to have an intention behind each and every post. What do you want your readers/followers to do with the information you provide in your post? Avoid answering, "to be inspired." Of course you want them to be inspired. What else? Go deep.
Best Practice #4: Use Hashtags
If your address is your social media handle (ie @willowandoaksolutions ), then hashtags are the directions to get there.
Hashtags categorize topics and will help you connect to your desired audience.
For example if you're a small business owner who wants marketing tips you might search the hashtag #smallbusinessmarketing or #marketingtips. Caution: don't get bogged down here and don't let this be an excuse trap. Like the algorithm rabbit hole we talked about earlier, overthinking your hashtag strategy can confuse and derail.
Best Practice #5: Measure The Metrics That Matter
Growing an audience is exciting. It gives a quick dopamine hit and it feels nice to see that people are interested in your content enough to "follow" along. The number of your followers is not nearly as important as your numbers of engagement. Here's the truth: you may have a small number of followers, but they may wait with bated breath for your next post, and I'm here to tell you, if that's the case then you're doing it right.
If your Ideal Clients are commenting, liking, and sharing, then that tells us that the content you're producing is resonating (ie: You're doing it right).
For our clients we measure a whole suite of metrics, but if you're a one-person-show or just starting out measure your engagement. This is the temperature check for how you're content is resonating with others. If this metric were on a graph, as it is for our clients each month, you want to see an upward trendline.
Bonus Best Practice: Reciprocate Engagement
How often do you spend time engaging with others' social media posts? If something lands well with you, like it, share it or comment on it. It's a great way to support your friends' business as well, especially if you're not supporting their business monetarily. Engagement goes a long way and it's a reminder that social media is a two-way street.
If you found this useful, you may enjoy the emails I send out every few weeks. Get further marketing education to grow your business with purpose, simplicity, and focus. Grab a copy of 30 Days of Social Media Posts For Business as a free gift to you and I'll send you more helpful and extra special info to your inbox!
Thanks for being here,
Owner, Willow & Oak Business Solutions