The Three Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media for Small Business

In the ever-changing world of social media, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of the rules, best practices and techniques as they evolve across multiple platforms and devices. Lucky for you, Thread has a simple solution. Regardless of industry segment, audience type or social platform, here are three items that are essential to social media success.

Do’ssocial media do's and don'ts

1. Know your audience

Be picky about which social channels you’re on. Your social media pages should be tailored to your consumer base, not based on your own personal preferences. Research where your audience lives and spends time in the social space and craft your strategy around the social channels where the biggest percentage of your audience spends its time.

2. Create a content calendar and strategy

Before you start your social media accounts, it is essential that you create a strategy document and a content calendar. When creating a social media strategy document for your business, start by thinking of measurable goals and what you want to accomplish. Creating a content calendar allows you to see how your social strategy will look on all channels on a monthly basis.

3. Complete your social media profiles

Make sure all sections of your social media profiles are filled out accurately and completely. That means About Me, Mission, Location, Type of Business, etc. Don’t forget your company’s contact information – URLs, phone numbers and an address (if applicable) so your customers know how to get in contact with you and possibly purchase your products or services. Incomplete information could mean missing out on a prospect.

Don’ts

1. Don’t be on a social network just to be there

There are lots of very popular social networks available for your brand. If the audience you are speaking to doesn’t live on some of those channels, your brand doesn’t need to be there. Putting your content on a network where your target audience is not active is a waste of your hard work and time. Use your resources wisely and be on the social channels that will be most fruitful for your brand.

2. Don’t ignore or delete negative comments

Have you heard the saying ‘turn a negative into a positive’? This also applies to social media. Every negative comment is an opportunity for you to turn it into a positive and demonstrate top-notch customer service. It also shows other fans of your brand that you care about your product/service and are willing to address issues in a professional and timely manner. In today’s world, customers turn to social media for help first, instead of calling a customer service hotline.

3. Don’t spam your feeds

Social media should be used for brand awareness, thought leadership and connecting with your followers. Your brand channels should never be 100 percent about the hard sell. Don’t overwhelm your timeline with promotion and sales messaging. Social media should be used to inform your audience and show your industry expertise. Constantly shoving offers at your followers will turn them away from your brand.

Recommendations

The best way to build your social networks is through unique content. You should create content that is educational, helpful and memorable. Look to become your audience’s best resource in your specific industry.

Below are five key tips to keep in mind as part of implementing your social media content strategy:

1. Subject

The subject of your post is important when it comes to the precise message and content you want to publish across your channels. You want all content to be relevant to your industry and audience. Make sure your posts don’t have too many different subjects.

2. Style

The style of your post – whether it’s a photo, a gallery of photos, a slideshow, or a video – should reflect the style and character of your brand. Vary the style of your post to keep your audience interested in your content. Also remember, all content on social media should be accompanied by a relevant photo or video.

3. Timing

Knowing when your audience is online is extremely helpful when determining the best time to post. If you post at 8 a.m. but your audience isn’t very active until 8 p.m., your content will not be as successful. You can use Facebook Insights to view graphs showing when your audience is most active on Facebook every day of the week. This will help you craft your strategy by showing you the best times to publish your content.

4. Frequency

Knowing your limits is also important. Oversaturating your audience with content could cause them to ignore your page, yet posting too infrequently will not engage them. Find the right number of posts per day and week based on how active your audience is. Balance is the key! Do test-and-learns with the frequency of your content to find the number that best suits your audience.

5. Post Length

The length of your post is also important. Some channels make it easy and limit the number of characters allowed in a post like Twitter, which limits you to 140 characters. For those channels that have no character limit, you need to set a limit yourself. Posts that are 250+ characters are often too long and risk losing the interest of your audience.

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Topics: White Papers

Jana Ballard

Written by Jana Ballard

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