The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing In 2020
Social media isn’t just for sharing a photo of your entrée or a selfie at the beach. For business owners, it’s a powerful tool for promoting your brand, driving traffic to your website, and establishing a reputation that your competition can’t ignore.
In this guide, we put together a list of the top do’s and don’ts of social media marketing for business owners in 2020. With these rules in mind, you can tweet, comment, post, and snap with confidence knowing that you’re on the right track.
Create a posting schedule.
I’ve seen far too many small business owners take it upon themselves to run their own social media channels, come out of the gate with an intense posting routine, and then quickly lose interest and eventually abandon their profiles. This is a recipe for disaster, and it proves the essentiality of having a posting schedule.
Social media tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Sendible can take much of the legwork out of remembering when to post. These platforms let you load content into their “hopper” for posting at a later date and time.
Set the right frequency.
Finding a sustainable posting frequency is perhaps one of the most important aspects of building a social media brand. Although conventional wisdom has long held that posting at least once every day is the gold standard, there is no hard-and-fast rule to optimizing your frequency. Rather, you should simply commit to a frequency that you can reliably sustain long-term.
If you’re running a business full-time, chances are you may not have time to create seven days’ worth of original content for publication every week. If you can only manage two pieces of content, then commit to merely posting twice a week. The important part is that you stick to the schedule week in and week out.
Separate the personal and the professional.
Business owners often tell me that they want their brand to have a “personal touch” and not be “faceless” in their online presence. In other words, they want to associate their personal account with their business’s account by commenting and sharing between accounts.
This is a slippery slope that we advise against, as it can attract controversy to your brand if you gain the ire of the public on your personal account.
Have some fun with it.
Boring brands don’t make for worthwhile social media follows. That’s why it’s crucial that you get creative with your posts and establish a fun brand identity that isn’t afraid to take risks and show some personality or humor. Spicing up your page with inoffensive humorous captions or an original meme (especially in your tweets or Instagram Stories) can help improve your retention rate.
Vary your post type.
Your social media feeds should involve some degree of variation. The same old 3:4 aspect ratio photo style can get repetitive, and some of your followers may start skipping over your content without engaging with it if they’re tired of your format. That’s why we always suggest posting an even mix (or a 2:1:1:1:1 ratio) of the following:
- Regular square photos.
- Vertically oriented photos.
- Horizontal (landscape) photos.
- Gallery posts.
Don’t make spelling or grammar mistakes.
This may sound like a given, but far too few business-owned social media accounts have their posts proofread by a second pair of eyes. Before firing off a post or update, ensure that at least one proofreader has checked it over. Alternatively, apps like Grammarly can help reduce your typo rate.
Don’t give into trolls.
Naturally, popular social media accounts are bound to run into troublemakers who post inflammatory content merely to get a rise out of the account owner. If you encounter a social media troll who makes disparaging or offensive comments, delete the comment and report the user. If left unattended — or, worse, if they are approached with retaliatory comments — then the reputation of your business can be put in jeopardy.
Don’t neglect your stories.
To keep your brand at the top of your followers’ minds, you can easily provide daily Instagram, Facebook and even Snapchat story updates. These posts take a fraction of the time required to make a full post and can be used to share special moments throughout your day or to announce updates such as an early store closure or that a product is running low on stock.
Don’t leave your followers out.
Promoting user-generated content around your brand is one of the best ways to create buzz online. Best of all, it requires little (if any) extra work on your part. For example, you can throw a social media giveaway contest for those who post the best photo using your product. Or, you can simply encourage the use of a brand hashtag (e.g., #BobsGardenCenter).
Putting Together Your Social Media Marketing Strategy
It’s the responsibility of business owners to use their social media presence as the marketing tool that it is. Social media marketing is about developing visibility, personality and community for your brand. By abiding by the do’s and don’ts listed above, you can put together a set of basic ground rules for your business’s next social media marketing strateg