Have you caught yourself screaming ‘how do I interact on this *@!$&ing new-fangled technology’ more than once or twice?
Without making you out to be a total dinosaur, many brands struggle to connect on social media. While each platform has its own unique quirks, there are some general rules to follow when it comes to marketing businesses on social media.
1. Ditch the sleazy salesperson vibe
Don’t make it all ‘me, me, me’, or you will sound like a spoilt brat in a toy store. We get it, you’re running a great promotion, but have you ever noticed how cheap and nasty those department stores look when they have a spruiker with a megaphone out the front? Your social media is a communications platform, not a sales platform (though sales may arise from it). You’re targeting consumers in the approach and consideration stages, so invite them in for a cup of tea and a chat.
Juicy tip: Purely promotional posts should make up no more than 20% of your content.
2. Feature user-generated content
Try shifting the focus to your audience by featuring some user-generated pieces. Not only will they mix it up, but they can also be an incredibly economical option for brands without the time or resources to create bucketloads of their own content. Host a competition where followers can upload an image and tag your business, making sure you nut out the finer details of the terms and conditions to give you access to use the content. Happy customers are your best brand advocates, because people are more likely to buy from someone they trust.
Juicy tip: If in doubt, always ask for permission to regram or repost others’ content, even when assigning credit.
3. Keep it personal
It pays to make your content personal, especially if you work within a potentially sterile corporate office with spreadsheets and ergonomic chairs. This is social media, not a business proposal. This is where your unique brand voice reins supreme.
Juicy tip: Read our three part guide to nailing your brand voice.
4. The shorter the better
This isn’t your high school essay on Romeo and Juliet. To quote an anonymous and, ironically, poorly worded motto, ‘say it straight, then say it great’. You get the idea. Write out exactly what you want to get across, including all calls to action, discounts and statistics. Now that you've got your blueprint, you can begin to tweak and twinge, while ensuring you don’t veer off topic.
Juicy tip: The ideal length of a Facebook post is 40 characters.
5. Don’t be tempted with foreign lingo
Don’t try to get cool with the kids. If you don’t understand the jargon, don’t use it. Acronyms and wannabe street slang spouted from the mouths of oblivious marketers makes us wince. If you like, and if it suits your brand, stick to using some well-placed emojis.
Juicy tip: Conduct a little market research. If your audience doesn’t use a term, neither should you.
6. Consider your SEO
Just because you’ve ventured outside the four walls of your website, does not mean it’s time to abandon your SEO strategy. Instagram hashtags are a transparent way to tag your content with trending words or phrases. If you’re beginning a campaign or running a competition, branded hashtags can be fantastic to boost and track engagement.
Juicy tip: Opt for hashtags in the 500,000 - 800,000 range, equivalent to long tail keywords.
7. Look before you leap
Grammar and punctuation are your best friends for communications of all forms. Do you abuse your friends? We hope not. Treat them with care. Also check your post through the eyes of your reader. Could it be offensive? Ill thought out? Ambiguous? It only takes one wrong move to hurt your carefully prepared social strategy.
Juicy tip: A quick proofread from another set of eyes can save you the headache of a plan B strategy.