Social media is changing every day, and as it changes, it’s important to revise and update your social media marketing strategies. If you stay on top of the current trends and best practices, you’ll do your best to stay engaged with your customers and spread your reach to new customers. Activity on social media is also vital to creating an online presence and a recognizable brand. Read on to learn more about social media best practices in online marketing.

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If you aren’t yet on social media, be sure to develop a social media marketing campaign for your company. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Yelp, SnapChat, and YouTube are where people spend most of their time on Internet now. Limit yourself and your time to the platforms your customers are most likely using and will be the best use of your efforts.

Paid Advertising

Each platform offers different options for paid advertising and promoted content. There are currently more options available than ever. Analyze your market to determine which forms of paid advertising on which platforms are the most likely to be successful for your brand. More companies are starting to use paid advertising on platforms like Snapchat to reach younger audiences.

Ads with visual content, like slideshows and videos, are more likely to generate leads. With any ad, users should be able to click your ad and be directed to a landing page. You may also try advertising a promotion like an online coupon. Offers like these tend to attract traffic and new customers.

Personalize the Online Purchasing Experience

Online shopping is an isolated activity that is usually done in solitude. As a result, customers aren’t getting the experience of face-to-face interaction with salespeople or retail associates. It’s important for your target market to get to know you. Put a face on the company by infusing your content with personality and your company’s tone. This is all a part of your online branding. You can even post “Get to Know Us” videos, so users can see the passionate people behind a brand; this makes you more personable and more memorable. Share your passion and dedication, which  encourages people to connect with your product.

On that same note, online customers are not able to touch the product. When debating whether or not to buy something, people like to try out a product, like one would try on clothes. Videos are great for providing product education and will result in more conversions. Demonstrations of a product on video will also help users become familiar with you and your product.

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Engagement

Engage, engage, engage! You may not think your audience wants you to reach out, but online marketers are finding that engagement with users creates stronger relationships with customers. More companies are directly asking users to comment on their posts, share their stories and photos, and hashtag content. Marketers are finding that if the include the phrase “Please retweet” or “Please share,” that their posts are engaged with more.

Go ahead and have fun interacting with your audience on social media. Thank people for following you, like and share their content, and comment on their posts. The same interactions are important in a B2B context, where engagement may lead to future collaborations like guest posts.

Make a point of sharing user-generated content, especially if they are posts about your product. If it’s a positive post, share it, and thank them. If it’s a negative post, reach out, and see if you can help resolve the issue. Reply to user’s complaints in their reviews, and answer their questions in a timely manner. Not only does this provide customer service, but it develops relationships with those who may become repeat customers and give word-of-mouth recommendations to their friends.

Adopt New Tools and Trends

The social media landscape is ever changing with new innovations happening every day. Learn how to use and implement new tools and trends going on in the social media world. For example, Facebook recently launched Facebook Live; users stream live video that can be commented on and reacted to in real time. Users can view the video later in the post after the live video has ended. Are you going to use Facebook Live in your social media marketing campaigns?

People spend most of their time on the Internet on mobile devices, so your content and website should be optimized for mobile. Make it easy and convenient to spend time on your webpages.

Extend your reach and your engagement by adopting the newest and most effective social media behaviors. Post to group boards on Pinterest, join groups on Facebook, and add videos to your comments.

Visual content is the best performing, so be sure to produce clean, appealing visuals to accompany your posts. Videos are the most successful form of visual content, but don’t forget about photos, infographics, and slideshows. Add the “Pin It” button to all photos across your materials, so users may conveniently post your content on Pinterest. Place end cards at the end of your YouTube videos, and users will be more likely to watch your other videos as well.

Strategize

Different platforms are dominated by different age groups with varying interests and behaviors. For example, you may decide to start using growing platforms like Snapchat; simultaneously, you may estimate that only a small minority of your target market uses Pinterest, and thus, you may decide not to dedicate time to posting on that platform.

Once you decide which platforms to dedicate your important time and marketing efforts to, devise a social media marketing campaign that includes measurable goals. Write and create a variety of original content and post it during peak times. You can use a tool like Hootsuite to schedule these posts ahead of time. Don’t overpost and unintentionally spam your followers.

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Collaborate with influencers whose audiences are like yours. Always communicate clearly with an influencer; both parties should benefit in the collaboration and expectations should be straightforward. Following the collaboration, reach out to follow up and continue to develop the relationship for future campaigns.

Set weekly goals regarding your social media activity, and measure them to make sure that your efforts are working. If they’re not, then you can revise and adjust your strategies. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Social media strategy involves A/B testing, trial and error, taking risks, and challenging your creativity.

To learn more about social media best practices, call Square 1 Group for a consultation. We are a boutique web development firm specializing in personalized website design and digital marketing plans. Visit our website to see our work for satisfied clients.