When starting to work on a completely new thing I google the s*it out of it. I’m looking for the best practices, tips, and ways to do my job better than everyone else in the universe. I’ll research it a lot to understand what others did, said and implemented, then combine all of it in a (hopefully better solution). I want to make sure that I’m creating the best content out there. Thus, social media managers have to follow the best practices to improve their chances for a better reach and engagement of the brand in the digital world.
Every social media channel has their own life, rules and has to be treated accordingly.
How do you improve the post? You’ll probably write a better copy, create a better image, put a better CTA, change the time or all of the above, right? I’m here to help you understand what the marketing best practices are to follow this year. When reading this piece, you’ll learn about:
- How to define your voice on social media
- How to tell a better story
- What’s the best practice to engage with your community (actionable tips!)
- What are the best times to post on social media
You should be focused on constantly optimizing your social media posts for the best outcome in terms of followers, engagement, and obviously sales from social. If you’re into e-commerce, then most of your customers are definitely on social media. They’ll probably not buy directly from Instagram, but hell… they definitely should you there.
It takes a lot of time and dedication combined with a very good social media strategy to get the best results and I’ll provide you few basic tips that will work for you!
1. Define Your Voice
It’s the most important thing you have to start with. Your social media accounts have to be synced with each other in terms of tone of voice. It’s about the choice of words, jargon and the way you use it.
You can be comical, fun, serious or sarcastic. It’s your choice, but you’ve got to understand what your audience relates to most. Is it a cute, lovely, motivational or totally badass brand that you want to build on social media?
What will you go for? People want to follow brands that they’re on the same page with and that understands what they like. Social media is about emotion and you have to give them the right engagement.
Don’t pretend to be what you’re not. Here’s how Disney keeps a friendly voice combined with beautiful media on their page.
To improve your brand’s voice, here are a few questions you should answer.
- What does your company stand for?
- What do you want to tell the world?
- How do you want your brand to sound?
- What will the audience get from you?
- Are these answers suitable for your brand?
After answering them, you’ll get a better understanding of how you want to talk on social media. It highly correlates with your customer persona. Align social media ideas to types of people you want to reach. If you’ve decided to be funny on social media, like Wendy’s, make sure it’s appropriate for your followers and their cultural background.
It’s also very tricky to use technical jargon if you’re not a tech company. Make sure it fits the people you’re trying to reach and that they don’t have to “decode” your language. Too many unknown words are definitely a big-big no for your audience.
2. Tell Stories, Don’t Try To sell
What I loved in Gary Vaynerchuk’s Book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” – he’s saying that you should be aiming for creating engaging content and emotional response to your audience first, and only after that, you can strike with the content that aims to sell. You’ll see tons of brands on social media that are constantly trying to annoy their online fanbase with the product and kill any engagement potential.
Think about that.
Most brands still don’t understand social media, that’s why most of their content actually sucks. Even the best brands in the world can create content that’s cringe. This happens because brands still don’t know how to tell a story on social media’s native language, for each platform. Social media best practices for employees is to help their digital producer in the company and contribute to feedback.
“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup,” says, Vaynerchuk.
It’s easy to get unfollowed, really by:
- Too many promotional messages
- Using a voice that’s not understood by your audience
- Too many tweets, posts, and activity on social media
- No relevant information
- You’re annoying
Look how each post by Humans of New York is tightly related to each other with the same style, and format. You should be aiming for your customer to stick around your content, and one day add things in the basket. The rule is that most of your content should be interesting for your audience to engage with and start a conversation about it.
After that, and only after that you can promote your business.
One of the social media best practices for businesses is to use multiple ways to tell a story to your audience, see examples below:
- Use a long format Facebook Post
- Create a SlideShare presentation
- Start a Facebook / Instagram Live
- Create a carousel post on Instagram
- Produce a video (not necessarily a complicated one)
- Start a hashtag and get people using it
- Create a series of Instagram stories
- Put together a YouTube Playlist
- Create a Tweetstorm
What’s the one you’ll start with? If you have any other ideas, ping me on @vladcalus.
3. Engage With Your Community
Engagement on your social media accounts means two things, people like what you’re sharing and it’s something that they want to participate in. And that’s amazing, it’s exactly what you’re looking for into building a successful brand on social media.
It comes with responding to users mentions, questions, comment on their thoughts. It should be very manageable in the beginning, but if this is growing exponentially, you’ll probably have to consider a community manager for your pages. After that, you’ll begin to follow a solid social media strategy and gathering all the feedback from your audience, what they like and what they don’t and then act accordingly on this data. Below is an example of one of the best practices in social media for customer support Wendy’s showing us.
Some of the B2B best practices for social media are the following:
- Ask questions, instead of writing a short message with a “Thank You” note. People will love when the brand wants to continue the conversation with a question on the topic and usually will reply.
- Add a GIF, I always love when the brand is funny with me and is humanizing the conversation with a lovely GIF. With the GIPHY integration on most of the platforms it’s REALLY easy to do that.
- Add images, everything is easier with images. If you’ll add to your message a how-to visual to explain your feature, your audience will definitely engage better in the future. Don’t forget to use the correct image sizes.
- Invite influencers to manage your social media page for a week, it’s one of the Instagram best practices for an influencer to create stories for you, engage with the audience and create something absolutely new with their exclusive insights.
- Accept guest posts, you can promote their post on social media and they’ll also do the same with their own social media channels, which will improve the chances for a better visibility of the post.
4. Use the best times to post on social media
It’s important to post when people are online, duh! That’s your best chance for people to see your content. Unfortunately, nowadays social media platforms are not chronological anymore, meaning that algorithm totally decides when the post will appear in the feed, and not the time. Even so, most of social media strategists recommend following some time slots for publishing your social media posts.
By following these social media posting best practices, you’ll be able to improve the engagement on your pages, here are a few important points:
- Instagram audiences are better engaged during the week, and your post will get more attention at 8-9 AM, 2AM and 5AM
- One of the Facebook best practices, to increase your shares and likes it’s better to post at 1 PM, 3PM or 9AM
- Tweeting is at 5-6PM, noon and 3PM, and the worst time is during the night
- Seems like the best day to Pin on Pinterest is Saturday, according to Quick Sprout – choose the time between 8-11 PM or 2-4.
- LinkedIn is engaging the best during the workday, which makes total sense, somewhere between 7-8 AM and 5-6 PM are good times to post. I’m using 11AM usually.
5. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles for Success
- Adding a profile picture
- Adding a cover photo
- Filling in your descriptions and bio
- Setting up website CTAs and moderators
So, these are my two cents and as I said, before you start any new project, research the s*it out of that topic and when you do I hope this piece will serve your research pile.
Vlad Caluș is Chief Marketing Officer at Planable and a Marketing Hustler. Dropped out of college, moved to another country with 2 of his friends and built Planable at 19 y. o. Have any questions? Ping anytime at @vladcalus on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.