Social Media – Dos & Don’ts

Social Media. Everyone is online today, especially with the technical savvy “snap chat generation” consumer market. Social Media is consistently growing with new apps, new products, and new ways of networking and reaching your audience. If that grows, then surely, we must grow too.

Maintaining your online presence is a total must have for any business today. If you’re not using Social media, then you’re offline. Which means that your target audience isn’t really going to go out of their way to connect with you. If your audience is growing, then you need to grow with them, and for them.

There are plenty of social media apps and tools out there that are completely free to use, and if they’re free to use then why not make use of them?

Nescience is the answer we’re looking for. The problem with using social media to your advantages these days is despite everyone going online, there are still too many people that lack the knowledge on how to use social apps properly and effectively.

This thread is to hopefully shine a light on the Social Media Dos and Don’ts when it comes to E-Commerce marketing.

DO: Keep up with social networks

With new apps springing to life, some tend to do incredibly well and all the rage whereas others tend to not be. Look at what networks are popular, and if they can be used to your advantage, then use them.

DON’T: use all of them.

Just like above, if you can use a social network to your advantage then it’s best to test the waters and use them. However, not all social networks will work or be right for your company. Would you focus on streaming live fashion on LinkedIn? No, you’d use Periscope because it’s more suited.

DO: Make use of Hash tags.

You can use trending Hash tags as a way of reaching your wider audience. You can see what people are talking about, and if you have some content that is suited or matches to what people are discussing, then it’s best to use that # in your marketing. Hash tags are used both on Facebook and Twitter. All of the people that use the same tag will see your tweet, so if it’s a very popular one with say 1 million people using it then you’ve already hit a large target audience.

DO: Post frequently

None of us like scrolling through our Facebook and Twitter feed only to see your content once a month. We want to see more of what you have to offer; otherwise you may end up losing a lot of followers due to your lack of quality content. The thing to take into account is Facebook’s Edgerank algorithm.

The Edgerank analyses the quality of your content, media mix and how often you post, and then cross matches this to your followers likes and interests, they are then shown your content. This does mean however, that not all of your followers actually see your posts, despite your follower count. The key to increasing your Edgerank is by posting at the right time of day (which depends on when your followers are online), posting a mix of images, short links, short posts, videos and questions.

DON’T: over post.

We all hate scrolling through hundreds of posts from the same business, which leads us to eventually “un-like” that page because we’re bored and it looks like spam. We hate spam!

Keep it simple. The norm is around 5 tweets a day and 3-6 quality posts on Facebook. You should also use Facebook analytics to help show you when your followers are online in order to make the most out of your posts. You don’t want to do 3 posts from 9am – 12, when your audience is online and most active at 2pm-4pm.

DON’T: link Facebook posts to Twitter.

This is one mistake that many people do wrong. There is an option on FB & Twitter where if you make a tweet (or FB post) it will be sent automatically to the other networks profile page. They are both different networks, should be used differently and never ever link them together.

If you have some quality content on FB (and it’s rather long), having this automatically send to Twitter will go way over the 140 character limit and in turn means you’re not marketing effectively on Twitter. Instead, entice your followers (within the 140-character limit) with a catchy tweet and include a short link to your FB post.

DO: Engage with your audience.

Everyone loves to feel respected & appreciated, and what better way to strengthen your brand by engaging and interacting with your audience.

If someone comments on your posts, or tweets you, then comment and tweet back (quickly). This will show that you’re active and aware of their presence, in turn promoting your amazing customer service. This goes the same for your content. Don’t speak like a robot; show some enthusiasm, energy and personality.

DON’T: React negatively to negativity.

There’s always going to be that one person that had some bad experience with your brand, products or company and wish to turn ‘troll mode’. The best thing to do is to not fight or argue back. This will only make you look bad, and strengthen the troll’s argument. Never send an email or private message as they can use this against you.

You can instead just relax and try to deal with the issue as your normally would do in a polite, calm and appropriate manner. Get to the bottom of the issue; see how you can fix the problem. Don’t leave the matter to get out of hand though. If you have tried everything that you possibly can, it wouldn’t really harm anyone if you were to block, report and remove the negative content from sight.

DON’T: Post long links.

Never post long links. This just looks horrible and can sometimes max out your character limit. Instead make it more attractive by using link shorteners, which you can find all over Google. My personal favourite being Bitly, which also allows you to track the clicks on your links.

DON’T: Start a tweet with a Twitter handle.

Never start a tweet with the Twitter handle because it won’t be seen by your followers, unless they also follow that person. However, follow the below tip.

DO: Make use of a . before @

If you want to tweet let’s say Twitter with “@Twitter is amazing”, then the only people that will see that tweet are any of your followers that actually follow @Twitter, and will only be seen as a conversational tweet meaning your reach probably won’t be that high. However, using that little . before the Twitter handle, “[email protected] is amazing” will turn your tweet into a normal one, meaning everyone of your followers will see that tweet, therefore making your reach much higher.

DON’T: Automate messages.

Never ever, ever, ever automate messages. We all hate spam. You’ve probably had it where you follow someone on Twitter and get an automatic message send back saying ‘Thanks for following, please sign up to..’ This is terrible marketing and will most likely result in your customer possibly un-following you. Not good, especially when you need that sale.

DO: Use relevant images
Use relevant images (legally) where possible. Posts on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin will generally gain more attention if there is an image or other media rather than plain text. (Courtesy of Darren - Import Expert).

Cody Stallard is a Community Manager at The Wholesale Forums.
  • H
    Hattie Clark
  • July 17th, 2016
Some excellent tips there Cody - thank you for sharing this! I will definitely use more of these techniques in my social media strategy. :)
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