You’re finally ready to introduce your product or business to the online world. You start creating social media accounts, quite eager to get the ball rolling. So how do you go about it?
Don’t let questions like ‘What should I post?’, ‘How should I reply?’ or ‘Is this image good enough?’ make you panic. Social media marketing may be a tad overwhelming at the beginning for the uninitiated, but that’s what we are here for. Here are our tips and reminders for beginners in social media marketing.
DO arm yourself with a plan.
As with any business, do not pursue any marketing endeavors without a plan. How do you want your customers to perceive you? What kind of online reputation do you want to build? Know your demographic and identify your customers. Research for your market’s online behavior and from there, you can check out which social media platform would be tailor fit for your needs.
DO NOT compare your online efforts against already established brands.
Remember that you are only starting out and growth does not miraculously happen in a short period of time. To manage your expectations well, remember to create objectives. Make a timeline. List down achievable short term and long term goals. Be patient about your plans, but also be flexible. You are bound to experiment on what clicks with your customers in the early stages, so keep an open mind when it comes to tweaking your campaigns. Learn as you grow.
DO your research and be familiar with the rules and guidelines of your social media platforms.
Each one is a different ball game, with different community cultures. It is best to take note of how the usual users interact and see which kind of media they are most likely to respond to. Does it have character limitations like Twitter? How long can your video clips be on Instagram and Snapchat? What are the image guidelines on Facebook so that it can be approved for your ad campaigns? This will help you save time by avoiding needless effort on something that is not allowed in the first place.
DO post relevant content.
Quality content is relative to your business or product. What may seem relevant to your community is nothing to another group. Remember that your customers are seeking information or looking for updates so make sure that whatever you post would be useful to them. Introduce your products without sounding like you’re pitching sales. Repost reviews from other media or photos of your customers enjoying your product or service. Let your posts tell your audience a story about your product through informative videos, motivational posts or infographics related to it. Ask yourself: if I’m the consumer, would I care about this post?
DO NOT ask for private information.
Yes, some social media platforms have options like the poll that you can use to ask feedback from customers. However, it is common internet etiquette not to request any pertinent information from your customers that might compromise their safety like asking for a scanned copy of a government ID or passport just to receive a freebie.
DO: Proofread before you post.
If you’re updating a status, read it out loud. Check if the update is ambiguous or if it can be taken out of context. Remember that a simple comma or an apostrophe can make a ton of difference. There are several tools on the internet that can help check your post for grammatical or typographical errors.
DO: Listen and respond to your customers.
Your social media accounts are not your megaphones online for your products. When your customers show interest by leaving comments or sending you a message, take the time to respond just as much as they have taken the time to reach out. Communicate and interact. Show them that you listen, that their feedback matter. Sustain the interest and cultivate the curiosity.
DO NOT blow your top at trolls.
There are different types of personalities that you’ll encounter online. You’ll have people who love to like your updates (yay!), people who send you enquiries that are basically on your FAQ section, and people who rave about your services. Then there are the trolls. There are a variety of ways on how to deal with them, but one thing you should never do is to forget your composure and start mouthing off at them. You can always ask them to send their concerns to you via an email or direct message.
DO: Always double check.
This applies to a variety of things: double check if the account you’re updating is for the business or your personal account. Double check if your outgoing links are the right ones and see if they are working. Double check if the information or news you are reposting is not a hoax, false alarm, or satiric that may confuse your audience.
DO NOT plagiarize content.
It means that you shouldn’t pass off an article or an image as your own if you didn’t produce it. Learn how to properly attribute and cite your sources if you can. There are stock photos you can use that are royalty free.
DO NOT spam.
Keep your social media accounts active by posting frequently, but avoid spamming email or content. Spamming is the practice of sending repetitive email messages or posting the same comments all over your wall repeatedly—both of which you would find annoying if you are on the receiving end.
DO: Always be mindful.
As stated earlier, a wrongly timed response could result in a PR nightmare. Think twice before posting. Is it racist? Are the figures factual? Is the post offensive? Be objective and stay unbiased. Remind yourself of the image that you want to establish and see if your post or reply adheres to that.
Overall, you always need to keep in mind that what you are posting online will reflect on the overall image of your product or business. Come up with a strategy, know your audience, research about your chosen social media platform, and most of all, have fun interacting.