Time: under 5 minutes
Level of Knowledge: Beginner
Social media is constantly evolving, and it is important to know the basic principles to move forward. There are so many tactics to implement social media. Below are some of my basics of social media and are my constant go tos. The challenges, the channels and audience might change, but the foundations will stay the same. It’s important to understand the very basics of social media, before jumping into the more complex and more fun concepts!
Know your Audience
The basis of all marketing is knowing your target market. It all starts with your audience. Before you start any marketing strategy or even in the midst of a marketing strategy ask yourself the following questions: Who are you aiming to draw in? What community are you a part of? Some of this information may seem a bit complex, and you may feel overwhelmed trying to answer these questions, but using an analytical tool will make it much easier. In fact, I would even recommend for those of you that think you know your audience, still check out the sites. You may be pleasantly surprised. Twitter by far my favorite social media tool. It is open. People can find you. And it gives you so much real time information. Also, there are so many analytical sites that provide Twitter data for you. However, Twitter provides you with its own analytical tool as well. It gives a breakdown of your audience’s interests, demographics, and lifestyles.
Not just any content, but original content! No one likes a copycat. Take your own photos on Instagram. Shoot your videos for YouTube. Be artistic and creative. Don’t recycle or steal tweets on Twitter, either. Although this can be challenging, people like to hear what YOUR brand has to say. The reshares and the repurposing of other people’s content is okay to a point. However, your audience is unique to your brand. And, that is why your audience or as we call it in social media, your community, follows or likes your page. Not someone else’s. Make sure to create content that is specific and unique to your brand and solves the pain points of your customers.
Use Keywords! (or #hashtags)
Keywords help drive traffic. Finding out what words work best for your brand improves your SEO. Social media plays a large role in the SEO algorithms for a number of reasons. For instance, every time your place a link to a social media site, that is an inbound link which is favorable in Google’s world. So, it is important to provide keywords that are specific to your brand and industry. Learn from the target audience which keywords they are using and start using them! You can also use them to help develop hashtags. What are hashtags? Hashtags make it easy for others to look for specific content. The key here is not to go overboard! Having too many hashtags in a post can drive away users from your content. Having 2-3 hashtags per tweet, post, or photo is ideal.
Engage and Interact
The best thing about social media is the easiness to connect with your community. When someone mentions you, it’s because they are looking for a reaction. Social media has the term social in it for a reason. The whole premise of social media is to interact with other and engage in conversations. Some channels are much easier to create engagement while others are not. However, the more you engage with others, the better it is for you if they interact with you. Engaging is the fun part of social media and should come completely natural.
For those who are not exactly social savvy just yet, you will learn. Always make sure to be extremely transparent about your brand. In today’s society, everyone will find out everything. Case in point, Volkswagen. Don’t get me wrong, I am a true brand advocate of Volkswagen, but they were distrustful with their diesel car and the emission scandal. Luckily, they rose above the crisis that ensued, but it took a lot of social media and brand advocates to help them come out from under the challenges. Which brings me to my next point, dDon’t be something or someone you are not. Again, be original and be yourself. Being transparent also means being open to criticism, both the good and the bad. It means addressing both and building trust. Responding in an orderly manner makes you trusting and credible.
Are there any social media tips that you find useful? Please share below!