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Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing

An illustration of different social media marketing techniques.

Social media is an incredibly powerful marketing tool for businesses. Not only does it build credibility and reputations, but it also allows companies to interact directly with customers and clients. This highly visible platform has the potential to create intimate and instantaneous connections – but with poor planning,your social media marketing can do more damage than good. Before you dive in with your company, you must know the right and wrong ways to use these networks and how to make the most of them.

Just How Social Are People Getting?

When it comes to social media, chances are your target customer is using it.[1],[2],[3]Graphic illustration showing that 83 percent of Americans have a social media account

  • 2.8 billion people were using social media by the end of 2016, up 21 percent from 2015
  • 83 percent of Americans have a social media account
  • 48 percent of Americans have interacted with companies on at least one social media network
  • Mobile use of social media increased by 30 percent in 2016, surpassing 2.5 billion users globally (91 percent of all social media users)
  • Young adults were among the most strongly represented social media adopters but usage by older adults has increased in recent years

As a business owner or marketer, you know the impact social media has on the connection between companies and consumers. But are you making the right impact?

Consider These Social Media Marketing Dos and Don’ts Carefully

DON’T start posting until you know who you are.

Like people, brands are living entities that have personalities and relationships. They have real meaning in people’s lives. Before your company heads to social media, it’s crucial to develop and understand your brand identity and the voice you will use on a social media platform. Nobody knows your product, service or company better than you, so give it some thought and plan how to best communicate it.

DO understand your audience.

Just as you must know your own company, it’s equally important to know whom you’re targeting. What do they do for a living? When do they spend time online? A savvy social media expert can help you dig up the demographic research and data, but knowing your target audience at a base level will be valuable to when and what you post. Remember that regardless of who your audience is, they will be on social media looking for you. In fact, 41 percent of Americans say it’s important that companies they engage with have a strong social media presence.[1]

A person looking overwhelmed by the amount of social media options available. DON’T use every social network.

The number of social media networks is ever growing. There’s Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, Vine, Tumblr, Periscope and tons of other sites that promise to create connections. Attempt to have a presence on every one of these sites and you’re probably going to fail. For most companies, there simply isn’t enough time or energy available to effectively manage the content on each platform. Choose four to five networks and put your best foot forward on each.

DO have a plan.

Many companies go about their social media activities without any planning or social strategy in place. If you expect to see results, having a clear strategy will help you set goals, which will be analyzed down the road to see if you’re getting a return. Unless you’re an experienced social media strategist or have one on staff, it’s probably worth it to collaborate with an expert. Having a resource on your side who is completely immersed in the platforms will help you measure your goals and meet them.

DON’T just promote yourself all the time.

While you shouldn’t rule out self-promotion completely, companies with informative and responsive social media pages tend to resonate best with consumers. Knowing your audience comes into place here as well, so listen, learn and engage. To engage users, you must have something to say or share. You must present yourself as an expert in your field. And you must be there when they need you. As one study found, 59 percent of Americans who have a social media account feel customer service via social media has made it easier to get questions and concerns resolved.[1] Keep them engaged with your knowledge, answers, interesting industry trends and anything else you believe your followers will enjoy. By listening to clients’ concerns and interests, and using that knowledge to improve your offering, organic “likes” and sales will follow naturally.

DO post regularly.

Companies often wonder how often they should post on social media, and while it can be somewhat subjective based on your industry, consistency is key. You want to post often enough that you stay top of mind with consumers, but not so much that they find you annoying or repetitive. According to many research studies, here is the appropriate frequency for businesses to on the top five platforms:[4],[5],[6],[7]

Facebook – One to two times per day during the week; once per day on weekends
Twitter – Three to five times per day
Instagram – Seven posts per week
LinkedIn Business – Daily (20 per month on weekdays)
Pinterest – Three times per day

DON’T post controversial content.

“Far too often, businesses push agendas that have nothing to do with their main role of selling products or providing services.”

Far too often, businesses push agendas that having nothing to do with their main role of selling products or providing services. What good does it do the customer for a fast-food chain to endorse a political candidate or a toy company to share content about police violence? Regardless of the business you’re in, avoid hot-button issues. Involving your company in controversial subject matter will only risk damaging your brand personality and the reputation you’ve worked hard to build.

To get the most out of your social media marketing strategy, try to put a dedicated employee on the task. Then, once you’ve started getting more consistent with your social media activity, don’t forget to track and analyze your performance, and make changes and additions where necessary. After all, these days your tweets, likes and pins can make or break your business.

If you’re looking for a social media marketing expert or a trusted partner to help you create an effective marketing campaign across multiple channels, Mary Pomerantz Advertising is ready to help. For over a quarter century, we’ve been putting our knowledge and expertise to work to help businesses of all sizes achieve their marketing goals. For more information, call 732-214-9600 today.

  1. https://hootsuite.com/resources/white-paper/8-social-media-tips-for-the-retail-industry
  2. https://hootsuite.com/newsroom/press-releases/hootsuite-survey-highlights-importance-of-social-media-across-the-customer-journey
  3. http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/social-media/
  4. http://tracksocial.com/blog/2012/06/optimizing-facebook-engagement-part-2-how-frequently-to-post/
  5. https://www.socialbakers.com/blog/1847-tweeting-too-much-find-out-the-ideal-tweet-frequency-for-brands
  6. https://smallbusiness.linkedin.com/small-business-marketing/engage-your-audience
  7. https://unionmetrics.com/resources/brands-on-instagram/
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