Social Media Marketing Best Practices

Social media allows you to directly connect with your customers, prospects, and brand representatives about everything from products to challenges. An engaged audience is one of the greatest assets a brand can have.But do you know how to use social media to solidify these relationships?

1. Follow back and interact
If you’ve got a healthy number of social media followers and you’re only following a handful back, that tells everyone that you’re not interested in what your community has to say. Follow back and interact. This will help grow your overall following and create goodwill within your community.

Plus, when you follow back, you might get some public thanks, which will give you an opportunity to chat with your community members, learn more about their interests, and deliver on their needs.

2. Keep the social in social media
It seems like it would be obvious, yet many brands using social media don’t actually get social with their followers. Should you engage with your brand’s influencers? Yes! Should you engage with your customers? Absolutely! Should you engage with everyone who reaches out to you? Indeed, with a few exceptions (like avoiding trolls and spammers).

Social media is about relationships. Step outside your comfort zone and expand your horizons. Not everyone you connect with has to be like-minded. Diversity breeds inspiration! Don’t overlook social media monitoring and engagement platforms like Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, either. They’ll help you find brand mentions across the social web to connect you with people who are interested in your product or industry.

3. Determine your voice and tone
Is your voice very corporate or is it a bit more casual? What you’re sharing says as much about you as it does your audience. Is your voice representative of your brand? If it is, then is that representative of the demographic you’re trying to reach? If your tone and voice aren’t appealing to your prospects, then it’s time to change it up. Though it’s important that your social media engagement be as unique as your brand, it’s also important not to stray from your brand’s image. Let your corporate culture be your guide.

4. Keep it Short
According to Strategies for Effective Tweeting: A Statistical Review, “Tweets containing less than 100 characters receive 17% higher engagement than longer Tweets.” While Twitter limits your messages with its 140 character limit, Facebook, Google+ and other networks don’t impose a character limit. Sometimes, the shorter, the better!

5. Create Brand Awareness
Social media platforms offer the potential to increase your public profile. You have the ability to create grassroots campaigns, engage with influencers in your industry, share content from them, and stay active in conversations. If you create and share worthwhile content, you’ll be ready for the time when industry influencers send a flood of new followers your way.

6. Don't Over Share
“Sometimes being able to publish every whim that scans across your brain is the best thing in the world. Sometimes, it can become a real problem. The killer is this: when it is a problem, you’re usually the last to know and the damage is done.” - Mitch Joel

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Popular Q&A

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What are Some Social Media Marketing Best Practices

Mitch Joel over at Six Pixels of Separation is asking for best practices for social media marketing. I’m going to turn it around and ask YOU to answer Mitch. If you’re doing interesting social media stuff, specifically that you have some best practices for social media marketing, I think you should do the following:

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