Social media is a growing popular marketing strategy, but it also has the potential to drive customers away if not used properly.
To help you get to grips with using social media and not drive customers away, here are some do’s and donut’s of social media.
DO – use text and image
Dare to shock your audience with risky titles and bridge contrasting ideas together to generate interest. Keeping posts short and sweet allows readers to engage quickly, whilst using numbers in titles can engage readers who enjoy list posts, such as Buzzfeed, which make information easy to process. Offer benefits to readers whilst invoking emotion and using linguistic tricks such as alliteration, assonance and the power of three to make your content catchy.
Everywhere we look online there seems to be images. It takes no longer than a second or two for us to decide if we want to read on, or to scroll past and look for something more interesting. There’s nothing worse than a blurry thumbnail – keep it simple.
A full-res image that is stunning might only look like a pile of colours in a thumbnail, but go too low-res and your blurry image will have readers scrolling past without a second glance. Keep it really basic. Even the most beautiful image could be confusing – when we look at images online we want to be able to take one glance and straight away say ‘This is the subject’.
DO – be mobile friendly
It’s a no-brainer that as more people use mobile devices to access the internet; we need to adapt to accommodate it. Gone are the days of pinching the screen to enlarge tiny writing – users want high-quality mobile-friendly versions of your website linked through social media sites. If you’re not responsive then it’s time to take a rain check and update your site.
There’s no point having an ad if it can’t be seen. Optimise any ads you have to appear clearly on mobile devices and make sure there is good screen resolution, or you might just end up missing out.
DO – create a name for yourself
It is important to build your online identity. It may be positive or negative, but one thing’s for sure, it can spread extremely quickly. Social media gives everyone an opportunity to be heard, so you want to make sure that you get your ‘vote’.
Although Google currently uses information to place a ‘value’ on your authorship, it’s not to say that this won’t extend to social platforms in the near future. This means that it’s worth creating a name for yourself using social media now in preparation for that possibility.
DON’T – assume it’s that easy
Congratulations, you have created some business profiles. Give yourself a pat on the back. Now see it for what it is, and move on. Just because you’ve created some profiles, does not automatically guarantee you the sudden surge of admiration you might expect. Not only do you need to create brand presence, but now you have to engage with the details of social media to successfully build relationships with your customers.
Be real with your customers. You need to remember that despite you being sat in your office wearing your best suit, it is quite possible that you could end up talking to someone sitting at home in their pyjamas watching yesterday’s TV and eating a bowl of cereal. However, making your job title known will make the customer feel special and worth your time, as well as helping them to trust you if you have a reputable title.
DON’T – overdo your marketing
Why do we spend so much time scrolling through Twitter and Facebook feeds searching for something interesting? To feed our social appetites. We’re sociable creatures, and let’s face it, none of us really appreciate marketing ploys being thrown in our faces as we half-scroll, half-daydream through our social media feed.
As marketers it’s important not to intrude into customers’ personal space. You don’t want to be ‘that’ company who seems to personally stalk people. It’s creepy, and frankly, it’s annoying. Instead, make friends. Reach out to your audience using humour, wit, and common interest. Respond willingly to your contacts to gain their trust. This will make your audience feel like they know you individually and want to approach your website, rather than you having to chase them.
DON’T – #hashtag #everything
Hashtags are a sure-fire way to shout insecurity at people. Overusing hashtags suggests desperation, when really the content you’re sharing should be enough to draw customers in. Let’s be honest, the user with 1,000 hashtags in one post looks like they’ve gone mad, and it just looks messy. However, getting hashtags right can prove pretty helpful when you know how. They’re a fantastic way to summarize updates, and create memorable marketing.
DON’T – lose your integrity
When attempting to go viral, consider the possibility that it could completely flop if you don’t get it right. Every single post now finds itself opened up to the harsh, shallow scrutiny of social media users, meaning that it’s absolutely vital that you get your content right for the audience.
Treat all of your content equally and make sure that it is all of a high standard. Optimise your posts to the max to provide clickable elements, and measure how successful it is using on-page metrics.