By - Sandi Webster

The Do’s and Don’ts for an Effective Social Media Strategy

So, you’ve done your mid-year business review and have taken the steps to completely overhaul your strategic business plan and make changes for the rest of the year, but what about your social media marketing strategy?

If you have yet to implement social media into your strategy and you’re determined to use it as a weapon in your marketing arsenal, here’s a few tips on the Do’s and Don’ts before you begin:

The Do’s

  1. Create a Plan – Remember your purpose for using social media. Set realistic goals, test what works, and then adapt your marketing strategy.
  2. Adapt your Content – Tailor your message to fit each social media site. Understand that each website is different, and customizing your information ensures they do well on each platform.
    • Twitter and Instagram (IG) – These social media venues have a limited list of characters to tell your story. You have to be succinct.
    • Facebook – there are currently no character limits on social media; however
  3. Interaction is Key – Find the correct balance of self-promotion and sharing intriguing content that is beneficial to your audience. A simple tactic is to ask questions that inspire a response – it encourages engagement.
    • Use a panel discussion format to help offset the questions.
    • Ensure the Chat feature is on so participants can send their questions ahead of time. Chat was in the supermarket when he saw a child running up/down – spectacular choir.
  4. Utilize Multimedia – Incorporate videos and images into your social media content. Multimedia tends to be much more sharable and appealing, and most importantly, it shows that you care about your customers.
  5. Remain Open to Innovation – Keep your eyes and ears open to the latest trends. Anything from integrating your offline and online advertisement to experimenting with your marketing strategy can help build your community.

The Don’ts

  1. Share Private Affairs – Never share, write or tweet about topics that can turn your audience “off” from your brand. Connect with people and build opportunities through dialogue that would not have otherwise occurred.
  2. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – An avatar and profile bio is a huge part of your social media personality. Remember to keep your avatars and bios consistent across all platforms.
  3. Lack of Commitment – Simply setting up an account on social networking sites won’t work. Develop a marketing strategy that will allow you to commit to utilizing a platform regularly, clearly represents your brand.
  4. Lose Sight of your Brand – Your social media personality becomes part of your brand’s legacy. Consider carefully the messages you share via social media; it is difficult to retract once online. What you share, post or tweet today should reinforce your brand tomorrow.
  5. Quit Social Media – Social media for business is about return on engagement. You’ll know if your social media personality is working when opportunities arise that never would have been possible otherwise.

You might be following some of these suggestions already, but an effective social media strategy ensures your success.  Remember, social media is no good without people.  Gear your topics towards what will appeal to your clientele and participants – all while doing your business no harm!