Getting Back to the Basics - Social Media Marketing Best Practices
This year #mpforum MarketingProfs Digital Forum traveled to the Live Music Capitol of the World, our own backyard here in Austin, Texas, and the conference kicked off with a session on Social Media Best Practices lead by @jeffreycohen and @sharonmostyn. It was a great refresher on the fundamentals of social media marketing and aligned perfectly with a recent post on social media planning I posted not too long ago which shared our recently published Social Media Planning Guide.
No matter where you are in your social media program lifecycle - beginning, intermediate or highly advanced - it's always valuable to reflect on the basics to help ensure you are staying true to the core best practices in social media. The truth is, regardless of how advanced you are, many of the fundamentals in social media marketing remain constant at every level in your program(s).
So here are the basics you should be following as you get started - or reminded of as you optimize your current social media initiatives.
1. Don't forget it's all about making social connections.
2. Have a plan on what you want to do, and stick to it. We're past the days of social media being a brave new world. Make your activities programmatic to be consistent and to help your team on the same page.
3. Create real goals and objectives for your social media initiatives. Otherwise, how will you know what is successful if you don't what that success looks like?
4. Leverage expertise from across your company and network. The role of social media doesn't just live with the social strategist. Find content contributors, ideas and resources from anyone and everyone internally who can provide value through your channels.
5. Don't feel like content shared in social media has to be new or different than what you share on other channels. Use existing, valuable content and share it in your social channels.
6. Measure, Measure, Measure. Include qualitative and quantitative metrics. These measurements will help illustrate the value to stakeholders and also point
7. Regularly produced content, particularly on a blog, can be one the most effective ways to drive traffic to your site AND bring in organic leads. Create a content calendar to help organize your content topics and frequency. It's one of the best ways to commit to the cadence you want.
8. Ask and answer questions. People are roaming the social web looking for valuable help to them. Be a resource for this - and not just when people ask you for something directly.
9.Find likeminded people and communities online to engage with. This might be prospects on Twitter, clients on Facebook or industry enthusiast on LinkedIn. Connect, share and engage with these people.
10. 60/20/20. At the end of the day, you need to find a way to help your brand, while being yourself and providing value to your network. A simple rule of thumb (updated from the 80/20) is talk about the things and topics your community cares about 60% of the time; talk about yourself 20% of the time and talk about your products 20% of the time. Fair, balanced and valuable.
So take note social media marketers, the next shiny tool will come and the advanced strategies will continue being evolved. But just like anything else in interpersonal communications, the basics will continue to stay the same.
Looking for more ideas and guidance for social media planning and execution? Check out our Social Media Planning Guide for 28 pages of best practices and tips for running social media initiatives.