If you’re anything like our team, you spend a good amount of time checking out social media resources, tracking the latest trends and finding ways to stay both relevant and effective as far as your followers are concerned. It’s clear that social media networks are here to stay, and that it’s worthwhile for most businesses to maintain active practices on them.
While many practices and tactics will change, it’s easy to forget about tried and true methods for connecting with target audiences, customers and potential customers that have worked for some time. Instead of forgoing the past in favor of the latest techniques, consider keeping the following 10 practices around! Sometimes keeping it simple really is best!
1. Sticking with What You Know
Here’s the thing: the big networks hang around because they’re popular. While it may feel like there’s a new app or network that springs up each day, or a new term that makes it into popular social lingo (both are true), sometimes it’s best to master the networks that your target markets are already familiar with, before branching into the unknown. Spreading yourself too thin, or, moving forward before you’re comfortable with a single network could hurt your chance at long-term social media success.
2. Maintaining a Regular Presence
It’s possible to maintain a regular social presence without spamming or overwhelming your followers.
I get it: it’s hard. When you have 30,607 other focus areas, getting a message out on social could seem like a headache. But, that’s the beauty in it, a message doesn’t have to be meticulously curated over a 4-hour period. Something simple to remind your followers that you’re around is all that it takes. Don’t overthink it, simply focus on staying active.
3. Understanding Audience Types
Something our team has worked hard to understand, is that someone following your LinkedIn account, isn’t looking for the same thing as your Twitter followers.
Take the time to learn which audiences are searching for what, and, post individual messages that match these purposes on each of your accounts. Link to the same content, by all means, but, make sure your messaging is on-point for each network.
Look, hashtags aren’t just fun terms thrown out in both online and regular conversation (though, in some ways, it feels like they’ve become just that). Instead, they’re ways to alert those who might be searching for information relating to an event, a campaign, a business or news item, to find it without sorting through pages and pages of irrelevant content.
Pick a hashtag for your business and for individual campaigns. Our team uses: #datainmotion and #theZerionWay on a regular basis. Then, tailor other hashtags toward specific events and target audience types. A few extra characters can go a long way!
5. Visually Appealing Content
Your followers will be more likely to pay attention to your posts if they feature visually appealing content, an image, a photo or infographic. Not only that, but most social media algorithms favor posts that include images.
Whether you need to set up a stock account, or encourage your team to take more photos, or both, adding a photo here and there might be more worthwhile than you think.
6. Networking as a Focus
Never forget the purpose of social media (even though there are many excellent benefits): networking. Your goal is to build a network that helps you push your message, and brand, out in ways that standard SEO and paid search options simply cannot.
To accomplish this, take advantage of meetings with customers, of ways people are using your products, of conversations that happen at trade shows and any other potential interaction that could double as a social interaction as well. Take a photo, tag someone outside of your company, or, another company. Follow others in your space and those who target the same audience that you do. Like, share, re-tweet…do whatever it takes to keep networking one of your top priorities.
7. Engage, Then, Engage Some More
The more conversations you host via social media, the more attention you’ll receive. It’s a simple equation that is as true today as it was in the very beginning of Facebook.
Ask questions when you share information. Post about relevant local events or news stories. Post a quick message on traditional, or fun, holidays. When someone responds, follow up! A simple “thank you” or “rock on!” demonstrates your interest in those that interact with you and could help boost your following.
8. Getting Your Team Involved
Everything’s more fun when the team is involved, that’s what we believe, at least. It’s also more fun for your followers.
Instead of holding too tightly to the social media reigns, share access with your team members who are interested in participating. Set guidelines, provide some overall standards and share a few helpful articles to get started…then, go for it. At Zerion, we hold weekly social media team calls to answer questions and provide encouragement along the way.
9. Telling Stories
Humans are attracted to stories. It’s been true since the beginning of time and still matters. What stories could you tell on your social media accounts? More than your “about us,” focus on what your goals are as a company, how your team members interact with one another and what sets your product, service or tool apart.
10. Interacting Instead of Broadcasting
This is tough. A company’s goal is to grow, so sharing product updates and announcements are what matters most…right?
While these announcements matter, sharing helpful information — information that matters even to those who aren’t current users or customers — and focusing on engagement (see #7) sets your brand up as a trusted authority, and allows followers to interact without fearing a bombardment of overly-salesy messages.
Nothing listed above would be considered “groundbreaking,” by any means. But, by sticking with what works (while certainly exploring new ideas and practices), your team will maintain a certain level of comfort, while your followers can continue to turn to your accounts for trusted, helpful information.
Tradition — even on social media networks — is important! What have you seen work for your team?
Social Media Basics: 10 Traditional Practices that are Worth Continuing was originally published in ZerionCustomerSuccess on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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