Whether for a brand or personal account, now more than ever, social media is an essential tool in the professional toolbox. It’s one of the best forms of advertisement, allows for potentially lucrative interaction, and helps define and build a brand.
However, social media is so omnipresent in most people’s lives that getting heard is a real problem. It’s also such communal sphere that it becomes a minefield of potential mis-steps and public fails. Here are some ground rules to maximize the success of any social media strategy, without stumbling into any of the typical pitfalls along the way.
There’s nothing worse than a social media presence that just sounds like a word-bot. Any social media account has to have some personality, otherwise it will just get lost in the ether.
Give people a reason to follow your company and to pay attention – whether through humour, narrative voice, or emotion.
Using last year’s (or, in this fast-paced world, last week’s) slang or meme is a surefire way to make your company or yourself look slow-paced and old-fashioned. Not exactly great adjectives to be associated with.
Don’t be patronizing
Similarly, overuse of popular online tropes can make you seem like you’re trying way too hard to fit in. Don’t try to cram current buzzwords in unless appropriate. Remember: it’s better to not use them at all than to overuse them or use them wrongly.
Read and watch
Try to gauge the vibe of a platform before going in all guns blazing with a totally misjudged tone and off-beat message. Spend a bit of time listening and watching ad it’ll pay off in dividends.
A successful social media strategy is not built in a day – rather, it is the cumulative effort of many consecutive days. There’s nothing less appealing than a silent account whose last post was in February 2016.
It sounds obvious, but in order to further a business through social media, you actually have to use said social media.
But don’t be overbearing
Only slightly less offensive than a seemingly abandoned account is one that posts several times a minute, every minute of every day. Not only will this be annoying (which is a sure fire way to lose a following) but any valuable content will get lost in the mix. Try to be at least a little bit selective.
Breadth as opposed to depth
There’s no point in having a totally amazing Instagram presence if your Twitter is a barren wasteland and you don’t use Facebook. You need a cohesive presence across platform in order to maximize your social media success.
Consistency is key
This isn’t just about consistency of posting, but maintaining a unified tone and voice across platforms and posts is essential. It makes the account more “real” seeming, and people better know what to expect from it.
It’ll help gain followers, but more importantly gain followers who actually care about the account.
If at first you don’t score thousands of followers, try, try again. It takes a long time to build a successful social media persona, so don’t be discouraged if the process seems to be dragging. Giving up is a sure-fire way to never achieve success.
People make mistakes, sure. But remember, mistakes made on the internet are written in the public memory in indelible ink. If you’re worried about something you say offending people, don’t say it. If you think people might not “get” the joke, process with caution. And for goodness sake, always, always proofread.
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