Developing a marketing program on social media platforms can be a daunting task. What steps should you take and what should you avoid in order to achieve the most success?
- Include high quality photos and videos in your marketing program. Facebook users are more likely to engage with posts that are visually appealing and attract their attention when scrolling down their News Feed.
- Create Facebook Events so potential and current supporters or clients of your organization can engage with your group and create a community built around your brand. Online social interaction is especially beneficial when it leads to physical face-to-face interaction in which customers can be more engaged in your brand.
- Post content on a consistent basis. Determine how often your organization wants to post on Facebook vs how often they should. Depending on what kind of content your organization plans on posting, it may only be necessary to post every other day vs. daily. Know your audience.
- Overuse hashtags. While hashtags on Facebook are a great way to attract attention from Facebook users interested in specific topics, including too many in your posts can distract from the main text or message your organization wants to highlight in a post. Use hashtags sparingly and strategically in order to maintain the “attractiveness” of the post while still being part of the Facebook conversation.
- Include too much text in your posts. Remember that Facebook users may be accessing their accounts via mobile and large blocks of text may deter users from reading your message. Keep your organization’s messages and stories concise and visually easy to read otherwise it may get lost in the Facebook shuffle.
- Post when your audience is not online. If you are an organization that is developing a marketing program towards teachers, posting content on Facebook in the middle of a school day will not be optimal. Research when your audience is likely to be logged into Facebook otherwise your posts may be wasted on audiences that are not likely to engage with your organization.
- Spellcheck and check your grammar. While this may be common sense, it is beneficial for organizations not only to plan out what kind of content will be contained in their Tweets, but to ensure that no spelling mistakes and sentence structure exist. These kind of mistakes can distract Twitter users from your message and may create confusion when reading your Tweet. Your authority on the subject matter your organization Tweets about may also come into question and affect your impact on the social media platform.
- Create short, simple and unique hashtags for your organization. You only get 140 characters in a single Tweet. Use them wisely. Long hashtags may limit how much of your message you can get across to a Twitter user and difficult hashtags (i.e. easy to misspell), might prevent users from engaging in your organization’s conversation. Unique hashtags will have a higher chance of being memorable and can be utilized across multiple social media platforms.
- Make your organization’s Twitter account public. If you privatize your account, you risk alienating potential customers or clients. While it may be important to your organization to be exclusive, keep in mind that your Twitter followers will not be able to Re-tweet or share any of your Tweets and your global reach will be limited. Keeping your Twitter account public will also allow users who are interested in your organization, to contact and engage with you.
- Tweet the same Tweet over and over again. Be creative in how your marketing program shares its information and messages. Change the text and images/videos in your Tweets and diversify the message. Nobody wants to see the exact same Tweet every single day. This is a surefire way of losing followers and losing engagement.
- Tweet at every single customer publicly. Reply to their questions or comments individually so that your conversation is personalized. The general public does not need to see your organization engage with every single one of your supporters or customers. If you are consistently publicly acknowledging each Tweet, you will be spamming your current followers. Nobody likes spam.
- Use low quality photos in your Tweets. Like many social media platforms, a majority of Twitter users access their account via mobile. If your photos are grainy or hard to see, there is always a risk that your organization’s message will just be scrolled right over. Use photos that are captivating or unique and can be understood at one glance.
- Use hashtags. Unlike Twitter, which has a character limit per post, and Facebook in which hashtags are used sparingly (or should be), Instagram is all about the hashtag. Your organization’s post is likely to garner more attention if your hashtags are accurate (relate directly to your image/video and message) and are directed towards certain Instagram communities and topics (ex. #writingcommunity, #digitalmarketing).
- Update your Instagram profile. When Instagram users visit your organization’s account, what will they see? While your post will likely be their first impression of your brand, what your profile page looks like will dictate whether or not they are likely to engage with your organization (i.e. follow) or move on to the next one. Ensure that your organization’s name is clearly visible, the link to your website actually works, and your description is accurate, interesting and unique (and there are no spelling errors).
- Have a theme. Don’t confuse your followers by posting random content that does not perpetuate your organization’s message or brand. If you’re a fashion organization, posting images of nature will create mixed messages unless you tie it to an overarching theme (models posing in nature would make more sense overall).
- Over-filter your images. One of the great features of Instagram is the ability for users to filter their images and “make them look better”. If you are an organization, consider investing time, effort and money into photographers or graphic designers that will produce high quality images that will not need to be altered via Instagram before they are uploaded. If you need to filter, ensure that you have a designated member or members of your team that have the aesthetic skill to make such an important decision.
- Post images too often. If your organization wants to share images of a recent event, posting 15 pictures in a row will not be effective and your followers may skim your posts rather than engage with each post separately. Spread out the content you want to post while they are still relevant (do not post images from two years ago unless it is #ThrowbackThursday). You are more likely to reach a wider audience and less likely to annoy your current followers.
- Post images without context. Unless you are Nicki Minaj, Drake or major celebrity, your organization should be utilizing the space available for text beside your photo or video. Why did you post the photo? What are you promoting? Give context and a call to action so users can interact with your organization in the future.
The above are just some of the many points organizations should consider when developing a marketing program. Whether you’re pursuing Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, consider all of these do’s and don’ts before taking the plunge into the social media world.
Have you implemented any of these points in previous marketing programs?
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