8 Best Practices for Social Media Success

The list below of best practices are not a secret or only available to exclusive group of people, but it may seem that way because so many people still don’t follow these simple tactics. Despite the cartoon below, by following these best practices, you will not be mediocre.  In fact you will shine above others.

1. Listen

Listening is a critical piece and should be the first tactic in any social media plan.  If you can’t commit the resources to actively participate in social media, start by listening.  Conversations are happening and people are talking about your organization, with or without you.

2. Be Authentic

One of the benefits of social media is the ability to connect with customers and others you may not normally connect with.  You can then build on that connection by developing a relationship with them.  Just as it’s important to be honest in relationships you have in person, it’s equally important to be authentic in online relationships.

3. Respond Quickly

We live in a world of immediacy and expectations have been created that brands will be responsive when questions or complaints are made on social media platforms.  If you have an account in a social network, it is your invitation for others to interact with your company.  Be prepared to respond in a timely manner.

4. Promote Others

Have you ever met a person that loved to talk about themselves and how cool their life is? Their conversation quickly got old and you were probably ready to move on.  The same is true for social media. Instead of constantly promoting your business or services look for opportunities to promote others.

5. Integrate

Social media is just one medium for marketing and communicating.  Integrating your social media efforts with your more traditional marketing efforts will help ensure that you receive maximum exposure for your social networks. For examples, include your social media addresses in your e-mail signature.

6. Experiment

Even though social media tools like Facebook and YouTube have been around for over five years, social media is still relatively new in the mainstream usage of it.  There is not a clear cut answer for what tool works best for your business.  The best way to understand what works is to experiment. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas and don’t be afraid to take a little risk.

7. Develop a Policy

The word policy may strike fear in the heart of employees, but a social media policy will provide clear direction for both employee and organization.  A policy will identify for employees how to handles themselves on social networks to protect both themselves and the organization.  For the organization, the policy can indentify how to respond to negative issues when they arise, and they will.

8. Set Goals & Objectives, Then Measure

Being active with social media tools for the sake of being there won’t deliver any results unless you first identify what you hope to accomplish.  Also, when choosing which social media platforms to participate on, they should be aligned with your goals and target audiences.

What are some of the tactics that you implement for social media success?