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January 29, 2019

Social Media Dos and Don’ts for 2019

Achieving goals of any sort involves doing more of the right—and less of the wrong—things. Marketing and social media goals are no exception. How can you better ensure your social media efforts will help you accomplish your brand’s objectives in this new year?   These Dos and Don’ts should help.

Dos

Think first. Then post.  Remember that what you post on your personal social media accounts can affect how people view your company. Think carefully about how posts that issue commentary on hot-button topics like religion, politics, or gender issues might impact your relationships with customers, vendors, and others in the business community.

Let them hear your voice.   On your blog and social media channels, let your readers see your personality shine through. Many people follow bloggers because they like what the writers are saying AND how they’re saying it. Share your unique insight and strike a conversational tone that engages readers. My client, Lennie, an elder law attorney, is an excellent example of a blogger who does this well. While many writers in his field cover the standard stuff like “10 things to put in your will,” Lennie writes about how smart seniors do dumb things, and he infuses his perspective into his content.

Be real. Show your audience that you have real people behind your logo; it will make it easier for them to relate to your brand. Some ways to do that are to introduce members of your team, show videos with “behind the scenes” glimpses of your staff doing what they do best, and take photos of your team at special events and activities. Also, consider promoting the personal brand of your business owner or a high-level manager to put a face to your business name. Many organizations are doing that and it’s an effective way to facilitate loyalty and trust. 

Set realistic expectations. Realize that social media alone can’t grow sales. Yes, it can help immensely by building your brand reputation, generating awareness, and increasing visibility of your business. However, many other areas of your company impact customer acquisition and revenue growth. Examples include the performance of your website, the quality of your products and services, your sales team’s skills, and your customer service. You must pay attention to your business as a whole for social media to succeed.

Write for your readers.  Focus your content on what will help your audience and write it in a way that they will understand it. Simplifying your content doesn’t mean you have to dumb it down, but avoid overly complicated wording and sentence structure. For instance, I once edited a post for a client in which he used an example of bilingual translation to illustrate his point about communication. It was complex, and I feared readers might not grasp the meaning. I simplified his content to discuss communication via text message instead, something his millennial readership could relate to better.

Put personalization into practice.  Customers expect that brands will tailor deals and discounts to their unique interests and needs. Consider embracing the potential of targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns on social media to cater to the demand for individualized content and offers. 

Don’ts

Engage with haters, trolls, and other negative influences online. Battling them is—and always will be—a lost cause. If you do, you’ll waste time, energy, and creativity that you could be using to build your brand and serve your customers. 

Try to be everywhere and do everything.  Not every social media platform will deliver results for your business. And by trying to maintain too many channels, you’ll become overwhelmed and dilute your effectiveness on those that matter most. Stay active only on the accounts that give you the best return on your time and effort.

Post without proofreading.  If you publish posts with careless grammar and misspellings, it will reflect poorly on your brand. Before making posts live, review what you wrote and fix mistakes.  Review the content again after you publish it because sometimes sneaky errors can slip by despite initial proofreading efforts.

Ignore your followers’ questions, comments, and messages. Although this seems like a logical no-no, it happens often. Ignoring your audience is the fast track to causing hard feelings, missing opportunities, and damaging your brand. Keep tabs on activity on your social media accounts and respond promptly to your followers.

Use AI as a substitute for human interaction. Marketing automation saves time, but never use it as a replacement for person-to-person communication on social media. Your followers expect to develop a relationship with your brand, which can only be done if you’re genuinely, humanly engaged with them. 

Dwell too much on your competition. Watching your competition is essential, but more critical to your success is developing your business and delivering excellent service to your customers. Leverage and nurture your brand’s unique strengths and capabilities rather than trying to be a carbon copy of another company.

The Year is Young—Start Doing the Right Things Now. Take charge of your social media strategy, and don’t look back! Now is the ideal time to revisit and refine your plans. The positive changes you make now will position your business for better outcomes all year long.


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Rachel Strella is the founder of Strella Social Media, www.strellasocialmedia.com, a social media management company serving dozens of clients nationally. She is a regular contributor to Small Business Trends and Social Media Today and has been featured in Forbes, ABWA Magazine, PR Daily, SmallBizDaily, Business Insanity Radio, and numerous other major publications. She’s an avid blogger with her award-winning blog (six awards) having over 75 posts syndicated internationally. She’s also a well-respected speaker having delivered dozens of social media presentations to businesses, colleges, trade groups, etc.  Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RachelStrella

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