By now, every business owner knows that social media is an integral part of their marketing strategy. Online campaigns rarely succeed without at least some form of social media presence. Facebook now boasts more individual users than ever with the number of people using the site way in excess of the population of the world’s largest countries. That means a potential audience of billions. There are still over 1 billion people using the site on a daily basis, despite reports that certain demographics have begun to move away from the platform.
Facebook Best Practices
For digital marketing professionals, Facebook is a tool of the trade. Here are three strategies every business should be aware of.
1. Compare the competition before you start
Look around at what other people in your business niche are doing with their Facebook pages. Take note of trends such as “like and share” promotions, user generated content and the overall look and feel of their page.
2. Respond to comments within 24 hours
This is essential if you want to maintain a good relationship with your online audience. Even a brief reply is better than nothing at all. Understand that Facebook is now considered an essential communication tool for many people, not an additional extra.
3. Monitor the site for mentions of your brand
Programs such as talkwalker and hootsuite can help you to keep track of any conversations that involve your brand. There are other apps available, too. Doing this means you can react to comments if you need to, gather information about how your brand is being received and keep track of any important news, too.
Twitter Best Practices
Using twitter effectively as a business is all about restraint, diligence and professionalism. Though it is generally a place for casual conversation, never forget that everything you write, post or retweet can and will be seen by your audience.
1. Don’t ignore @s unless they’re from bots or trolls
Twitter is a very public way to have conversations with one or more people. Responding directly can be time consuming, especially if you have a lot of active followers, however, it is an essential part of building your online brand. The exception to this would be dealing with the inevitable online trolls and bots that can latch on to popular accounts. By now, most people can identify suspect behaviour, so you don’t need to worry too much about blocking and reporting content like this.
2. Check Your Stats Regularly
For businesses, its important to monitor how your tweets are performing. Look at how many people have viewed and interacted with what you have shared on an hourly, daily and weekly basis. If you’re using the rule of thirds to post a balanced mixture of content, you will notice significant differences in the level of engagement depending on what you post and more importantly, when.
3. Engage with the Twitter audience directly
This platform attracts articulate, intelligent, politically aware people, which means the approach you need to take might vary when compared to the tone and style you might use on Facebook. Around half of new twitter users are educated to degree level, so though your content doesn’t need to be unnecessarily complex, it does need to be engaging and challenging enough to appeal to a college educated crowd.
Facebook Worst Practices
1. Neglected pages
For some people, an online presence is a mere after thought. Facebook pages are created as a placeholder initially, then never completed. This is a great way to damage your reputation. Messages that don’t get a response create bad feeling and a page that looks unmanaged definitely doesn’t instil a sense of consumer confidence in your users.
2. Mixing your personal life with the business
A certain amount of human emotion can be a great thing when posting social media content. People do want to feel as if they’re interacting with a human, rather than a faceless company. However, certain things should be avoided at all costs. Overtly political statements, disagreements with friends or family, private jokes or anything that could be deemed insensitive to the current sociological climate.
3. Blanket Posting Across All Platforms
This applies to both Facebook and Twitter but it’s something that has become a problem for quite a few businesses now. Sharing content across multiple platforms is a brilliant thing, but you need to tailor it, rather than simply copying and pasting it. Ensure links and images display correctly and that all text is readable. Character limits can still be an issue, as can formatting and loading times.
Twitter Worst Practices
1. Feeding the trolls
No matter how righteous you might feel at the time, its never worth engaging with trolls. Doing so drags you down to their level and also makes you look unprofessional. There has been some real progress in managing online behaviour and people who frequently cause problems for others are now blocked and banned from twitter every day. Treat trolls like any other form of antisocial behaviour. If you see it, report it.
2. Having private conversations in public
Remember that anybody who follows you, or the person you’re speaking to can read the details of what you have written. Unless you protect your tweets, which isn’t usually recommended for online businesses, a simple, throwaway comment can become a problem very quickly. Always be mindful of the line between public and private information. What you share needs to reflect your personality and brand voice, but you should never communicate online in the same way you would speak to a friend in person.
3. Posting Too Much
Constant retweets and tweets with no real point will begin to grate on people eventually. Limit your business twitter account to a few meaningful posts per day. Aim for quality rather than quantity as it’s the insightful articles, witty comments and well-timed retweets that create the best impressions, not the random comments about the TV show you’re watching at the moment.