Thou Shalt Not Spam!
Dazed and confused about social media? You’re not the only one. Even the “experts” sometimes need to get back to the basics. Whether you have 10 years experience in social media, or you're simply aspiring to pen your first Tweet, you're in luck. I've been summoned to bring you the 10 Commandments for Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and more. The following rules should be the root of all social media strategies.
Repeat after me:
I will not, under any circumstances, use social media for hard sales.
Social media builds your community, serves as a platform for brand evangelists, and acts as today's most dynamic word of mouth marketing tool. It’s a place for you to show your current and potential customers how passionate you are about your brand. Passion is contagious, and social media is your catalyst.
Thou shalt not take yourself too seriously.
This is not heart surgery, people. This is social media. Be relatable, be fun. Show behind-the-scenes information and photos from your office. Starting from scratch? Let your social media followers see how you’ve grown as a company. Take them on the journey with you. People love to be a part of something, to think that they’ve helped nurture something from the beginning. Have a new office? Show before and after pics. Just hired a new employee? Post a pic and introduce them. Having a bad day? See #6.
Thou shalt have a strategic plan.
Social media is a vital extension of your overall business and marketing objectives. You can’t have a social media marketing plan without considering how you’re going to cross promote and support your other online platforms. You can’t support the other platforms without determining the personality and tone of your social presence. You need to figure out how your social strategy is going to elevate, and increase awareness for your product or service.
Thou shalt not forget that you are human.
So many companies are afraid of social media because you MUST be transparent in order to be successful. No one connects with a company full of robots. If you make a mistake, don’t feel like you have to delete it right away, but be sure that you own up to it. Sometimes your followers will advocate and clear up the problem for you. If so, send them a cupcake. Everyone loves cupcakes.
Thou shalt not only self-promote.
We get it, you’re awesome. But you also need to be supporting organizations you pull inspiration from, content you find engaging, and maybe even inserting a little humor now and then. This not only helps establish brand personality, but positions your brand as a consistent source of sharable content. Start discussions, answer questions, host a twitter chat, or create a company hashtag. A truly social company utilizes existing content to increase visibility and strategically position itself as an industry thought leader.
Thou shalt not overshare.
That’s all that really needs to be said about that topic. Just don't.
Thou shalt not ignore comments.
The beauty of social media is that you can truly engage with your followers and fans. It’s an excellent tool for customer service as well. Make your life easy by using apps that will automatically let you know if someone has tweeted you a question, or commented on a facebook post.
Thou shalt not throw shade on other companies.
Not only does this scream “I’m insecure”, but it’s also super tacky. It’s an open invitation to turn your brand advocates into brand haters. It’s always good to keep a pulse on what your competition is doing, but instead of bashing them, learn from them. Then do the same thing, but different and much better.
Remember to shorten thy links.
Bit.ly is your friend, tweeple. Not only does it prevent annoying long links, it helps you track click-thru rates. Also, when you post a link to facebook, you can delete the entire link once the preview has appeared. Glorious!
Thou shalt review analytics regularly.
We all know that social media ROI is the golden ticket, and while we’re still defining what that looks like, it’s important to take a close look at what content your followers are sharing, what they’re liking and what they’re not engaging with. This allows your social media plan to be a living working document that you can shape as you move forward to best cater to your audience.
Do you agree with the 10 social media commandments? What would you add to this list?