Social Media Marketing: Top 3 Basics for Brands
I have been working in social media marketing for over three years now. I was fascinated by the social media revolution and the impact it was having on the communications industry, while studying public relations at university. I was excited to get out into the industry and figure out this beast that was not only changing the way that brands were communicating with their customers, but changing the way that people were communicating with each other.
There were some standard rules I learned at the beginning of my career from the likes of Brian Solis and Paull Young. Best practice being around authenticity and transparency, an opportunity to have an open dialogue, to be heard and to listen to others, it was an opportunity for brands to connect directly with your customers and potential customers. This all still rings true today. I don’t believe much has changed at all in the past five years; sometimes it’s important to remember the basics.
Here are my top three rules to follow if you are considering starting up a presence for your brand in social media:
Invest in time
Maintaining a social media presence for your brand takes time. Social media is “always on” you cannot switch off the conversation at any time, nor can you ignore your community when you are having a busy week. Assign a community manager to look after your channels and make sure they understand the audience and converse in a way that is authentic to your brand, while still being relevant to your fans and followers. Do not set up multiple channels if you cannot handle the volume, it is better to have one channel and do it well than to have an account in every new platform and not run any of them effectively. With each channel comes content creation, moderation and acquisition, a focussed approach is much more effective.
Engage with your fans
One of the biggest lessons a traditional PR or marketeer needs to learn is that social media is about engagement. It is not a push channel, nor is it a channel where you can constantly publish “news” from your organisation if there is no value in it for your community. Social media is about the conversation, consider who your audience is and what they are interested in, adapt the content to be relevant to them and engage in a dialogue around the content. If there is nothing to talk about, then the content should not be posted. Always ask your fans to contribute their opinions and stories.
Consider your content
Facebook have a great mantra that they teach community managers. Before posting something to your community, you should ask yourself “Will they care? And will they share?” if the answer is no to either of these questions then you should rethink what you are posting. Content needs to be valuable to the community or they will not engage with you and eventually, they will leave.
Can you think of a brand that has a great social media presence? Tell us about it in the comments below.