Social media

Social media has become an incredibly effective tool in a brand marketer’s toolbox. But if managed poorly, a social media presence can be as harmful as it is helpful for a brand’s identity. Here are several common mistakes in managing a social media marketing strategy and what you should do instead that Danielle Winski describes in her article “11 social media mistakes brand managers should avoid.”

Don’t just jump right into social media without having a consistent plan in mind for how you will use it. A good plan includes knowing how often you will post, when the best time to create posts is for each platform, and where your sources for content are. It’s also important to know your customer base. Adding dozens of followers on Twitter is useless to you unless they are potential customers whose business you might secure. This can also impact which sites you actively use—take the time to learn where your customer base lives and devote your energies to the proper media platform. If this includes multiple services, don’t treat them the same way. Take the time to create individualized posts for each one to avoid looking impersonal or even spammy. And even if you decide it’s not worth it to use a particular platform, take the time to fully deactivate your account instead of just abandoning it. A silent account may lead people to think your company is no longer operating.

Making all your activity about your company itself is a waste of effort—followers follow you because they already like or are interested in you. A more effective route is the 80/20 rule, where 80% of content is relevant but not directly about your business (like an industry article) and 20% involves product information or company announcements. If your followers engage with your content, don’t delay in responding to their attention. Turn on your notifications so you don’t leave someone waiting an hour and shut down a potential customer. To make people more likely to engage with you, ensure that your company bio is not only complete, but fun and interesting as well. Avoid misspellings and grammatical mistakes as often as possible—these give the impression of unprofessionalism and easily discourage people from engaging with you. Try to get proofreading whenever you can before you post.

Finally, don’t concern yourself with the quantity of your followers over the quality. A few highly engaged followers are more valuable than a dozen who never interact with you. Building up strong, committed followers who talk about you with their own acquaintances is a better goal than hundreds of distant ones. Don’t measure your engagement simply through some likes and comments, however. Ensure you are regularly checking thorough analytics to track the right tactics and content that click with your audience.

Social media can be a tricky nut to crack, but approach the task with a plan and concrete goals and you will find the rewards much more worthwhile.

If you’re in healthcare, insurance, technology or other professional services industries, and need help with a PR, marketing or social media campaign, contact Scott Public Relations.

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