Almost every business has a social media presence today. Did you know that there are 30 million company social media accounts on LinkedIn alone? Indeed, social channels have become an essential part of every brand’s marketing strategy.
However, not all businesses are successful with their social media strategy. What separates successful businesses from the ones that fail? In this article, we will discuss the best social media practices that winning businesses follow.
You’ll learn how to use social media for your business, what social media networks can do for you, and the numbers that show the important role of social media in today’s marketing culture.
First, let’s find out why social media is so important to a business.
Why Leverage Social Media Channels for Business
Social media is a different world. How so? Because it centralizes a huuuge number of users into one place. When we say social media, that encompasses the various social media platforms today, both mainstream and ‘on the rise.’
And each of these platforms has its own different weight.
In terms of the user population, here are the recent numbers per mainstream social media platform:
- Facebook = 2.934 billion users
- Instagram = 1.440 billion users
- TikTok = 1.39 billion users
- Twitter = 396.5 million users
- LinkedIn = 830 million users
That is yet to include all the other social media applications that users are popularizing as of writing.
Businesses have found that having social media accounts is one of the best ways to connect and promote their products. Social media allows businesses to create a profile for their company and interact with customers on a personal level. In 2018, Kleiner Perkins released a report that reveals that 78% of Facebook users have discovered new products on the app.
Additionally, using social media accounts allow businesses to share video content, images, and articles that can help promote their products. Statistics show that social media presence is an important part of marketing today, and businesses that don’t have it are at a disadvantage.
So that you’re not one of those who are at the disadvantage, let’s familiarize the social media best practices that’ll help you make the most out of your social media marketing.
10 Best Social Media Practices to Observe as a Business
As social media becomes an increasingly important part of marketing, more and more businesses are looking to find success on various platforms. However, not all businesses are aware of the social media best practices to follow in order to achieve this success.
Here, we will outline the 10 social media best practices that businesses should apply in order to maximize the results of marketing on social media.
1. Find out what social channel your target market uses
Point #1 is at the top of the most common social media best practices. And for all the obvious reasons. Businesses need to be where their target market is, and that includes being on the right social media platforms.
If your target market is on Facebook, you should be too. If they’re on Twitter, you should be there too. Determining where your target market is can be tricky, but it’s worth it to do the research and find out. The more accurately you target your marketing, the more successful you’ll be.
There are also many different social media tools that can assist with this task.
Businesses use a variety of social media platforms in order to reach their target markets. The most popular social media platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, businesses should do their research to determine which platforms their target market uses the most.
According to Gartner, if you’re in the B2B space, the top three (3) social media platforms that you should be on our LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. If you do influencer marketing, of course, you should find your audience on Instagram and Tiktok.
To find out what social channels your target market is mainly using, conduct surveys or make use of recent statistics.
2. Don’t use every popular social media platform; don’t get swayed by the shiny new thing!
No, you don’t need to create a social media account on that new social platform that just got released.
What matters is being on the right social media networks.
Not all businesses need to be on multiple social media platforms. In fact, it’s often more effective to focus on a couple of platforms and really excel at them than to try and spread yourself too thin (social media managers know this for a fact).
First, it’s critical that you determine what that one important social media platform is. Then focus on that.
Being present everywhere on social media commonly gets mistaken as one of the many social media best practices, but this is totally not true.
Trying to be active on every social media platform is a recipe for disaster – you’ll never be able to keep up with the best practices for each one, and you’ll end up doing a mediocre job on all of them.
If you’re a content creator who creates courses and offers your services to influencers and businesses, investing a great deal of effort in YouTube, Tiktok, and Instagram makes sense. For one, YouTube will help you produce longer-form videos (shorts too) that will bring awareness to your services.
Spending much time on Facebook and LinkedIn won’t give you the same results as YouTube and Tiktok would. Why? Because Facebook and LinkedIn simply isn’t the kind of place where your audiences would hang out if you’re a content creator trying to increase your reach.
So do your research and find out where your target market is before deciding on the social media networks to use. Don’t get swayed by the newest, shiniest platform – it might not be the best fit for your social media strategy.
3. Don’t sell right away!
This particular part of the most common social media best practices talks a little bit more about your self-control as a marketer or as a business. As a business, it’s given that your ultimate goal is to sell. Being in your face about it, however, can do you bad.
It’s important to engage your customers before selling because that’s the best way to create trust and a relationship. When customers feel like they have a connection with a business, they’re more likely to be loyal and buy from them again in the future.
Additionally, businesses can learn a lot about their customers by engaging with them – what they’re interested in, what they don’t like, etc. All of this information can be used to improve the business and create better products and services for customers.
Instead of focusing all the time on how to make the sale, provide value first. Provide value first and provide it often.
Blog posts are a common example of how many brands provide value to their customers. Through informative blogs, audiences have something to consume other than the brand’s actual core product.
4. Always create opportunities for dialogue
Social media is a social place, and whatever allows your target market to socialize with you is definitely considered among the top social media best practices.
One content strategy to create a buzz with your content is to make sure that you are creating opportunities for dialogue. When your readers feel like they can interact with you and share their own thoughts and ideas, they are more likely to become invested in your content.
Let’s say you’re planning your next video content. To make sure that the video you’re about to release gets tons of engagement, create the video around a hot topic, and do so with time sensitivity.
When your video content revolves around a topic that a lot of people are, for example, talking about on Tiktok or Twitter, you are more likely to garner reactions and comments.
Because it’s a hot topic, people are more likely to dive into the content and share their thoughts about the discussion. Make sure also that you are responsive to comments and questions, and always be respectful of your readers’ feedback.
To stay on track with the latest social media trends, monitor the top trends on Twitter. You can also make use of hashtags. Most social media platforms display the number of conversations that revolve around a topic or word through the use of hashtags.
You can also look up the most recent news regarding pop culture, politics, business, etc. Through this social strategy, you’ll get a gist of what people are talking about online and what you can use as the focus of your next content.
5. Focus on your KPIs
Knowing your KPIs, or key performance indicators is vital when it comes to forming social media analytics that can guide your decisions. By tracking your KPIs, you can see how well your social media campaigns are doing and whether they’re resulting in the desired outcomes.
This information can help you adjust your campaigns as needed in order to achieve better results, and eventually, social media success. Later on in the article, we’ll brief you on what social media KPIs represent and why they’re relevant.
Additionally, tracking your KPIs can help you determine which social media platforms are giving you the best return on investment and focus more of your efforts on those platforms.
Below are KPIs that businesses need to track in social media marketing.
- Reach: How many people are you reaching with your social media campaigns?
- Engagement: How engaged are your followers? What kind of engagement are you getting?
- Traffic: Are people visiting your website or blog from your social media posts?
- Leads: How many leads are you getting as a result of your social media campaigns?
- Sales: Are you making sales as a direct result of your social media campaigns?
If you have a dedicated social media team to monitor this, the better.
6. Align your social media marketing to your overall marketing goals
Businesses should use social media marketing to support their overall marketing goals because it’s a great way to reach a larger audience with their message. Additionally, social media provides businesses with the opportunity to engage with customers and learn more about them.
One way to align your social media approach with your other marketing goals is to make sure that your social media content is supporting your other marketing efforts.
Another way to align your social media efforts with your other marketing goals is to use social media to create a stronger connection with customers. By engaging with customers and creating opportunities for dialogue, businesses can learn more about their customers and what they want.
If you’re running a contest on your website, make sure to promote it on your social media pages. You can also use social media to drive traffic to your other marketing channels.
7. Listen to your target market
When developing your social media content strategy, it’s essential to touch on social listening.
Social listening is the process of monitoring various social media pages for mentions of your business, products, or brand. By doing this, your social media content strategy can effectively get a sense of what people are saying about you and how they feel about your company.
Additionally, social listening can help you identify potential customers and leads. By listening to what people are saying online, you can learn a lot about them and their needs, which can help you create relevant content and create better products and services in the future.
There are a number of ways that businesses can conduct social listening. Some of the most effective methods include:
- Setting up alerts for your business name, product name, and brand name. This will help you to track any mentions of your company online.
- Monitoring social media pages for keywords related to your business. This will help you to find conversations about your business that you may not have otherwise known about.
- Using social media tools to help you track relevant hashtags. These tools can automate the process of social listening for you and provide you with detailed reports on what people are saying about the topic that is related to your brand.
- Creating surveys to gather feedback from customers about their experiences with your company or products. This can help you get feedback directly from customers and learn more about how they feel about your products and services.
- Participating in online forums and discussions where people are talking about your industry or products. This can help you to get a sense of what people are saying about your products and how they feel about them.
8. When creating content, make sure it can influence your audience
When creating content, businesses should always focus on the goal of influencing their target market. By doing this, they can create content that is relevant and appealing to their customers.
Earlier, we briefed through why it’s important to not be so focused on selling. The significance of social influencing adds to this subject matter. When your brand utilizes other resources that can influence your audience deeper, it becomes easier to sell eventually.
These resources can take the form of Facebook posts, blogs, carousel posts on Instagram, or Tiktok videos. Whatever you choose, the key is to do it consistently. Creating content around a social media content calendar is also another best practice.
When your audience finds that they can rely on your social media for consumable content—the kind that they can indulge in anytime—you become a figure of authority to them.
Additionally, by focusing on influencing, businesses can create content that is more likely to be shared online. This can help them reach a larger audience with their message and improve their brand visibility.
Micro-blogging on Facebook or Twitter, posting carousels on Instagram, and making TikTok videos are just some of the few ways to do this. Using a social media content calendar is also one way to stay consistent with this task. When done consistently, it becomes more effective. For starters, use a simple social calendar template.
9. You shouldn’t connect only with your audience (connect with other brands too!)
Many businesses make the mistake of only connecting with their target audience on social media. While it’s important to connect with your target market, it’s also important to connect with other businesses.
By doing this, you can create relationships with other businesses and share content with them. This can help you reach a larger audience and improve your brand visibility.
Additionally, by partnering with other businesses, you can learn from them and get advice on how to improve your social media campaigns.
10. Optimize your brand for selling
Businesses use social media to connect with their target market and sell their products and services. However, in order to be successful on social media, businesses should highlight in their content strategy the need to optimize their brand for selling.
There are a number of ways that businesses can optimize their brand for selling on social media. Some of the most effective methods include:
- Including the right keywords in your social media profiles and posts. This will help you to reach a larger audience who is interested in buying your products or services.
- Targeting the right audience on social media. By targeting the right audience, businesses can reach potential customers who are likely to be interested in what they have to offer.
- Creating content that is relevant and appealing to potential customers. This content can help businesses sell their products or services to their target market.
Earlier, we mentioned why it’s important to heed your KPIs. Social media is a competitive place for businesses to be in. And for you to compete, it’s important that you know how to interpret your KPIs.
So what are the common KPIs when marketing in social media?
Let’s find out.
The Common KPIs in a Social Media Strategy
Social media best practices are essential for any business looking to measure the success of its social media campaigns. And these practices need to be measured. By focusing on key performance indicators (KPIs), businesses will have a well-rounded perspective of their social media performance.
Engagement is one of the most important aspects of social media best practices that help businesses have a two-way communication channel with their target audience.
By monitoring engagement, businesses can see how successful their social media posts are and which ones are resonating with their audience.
This information can then be used to effectively create posts in the future. Additionally, high levels of engagement can also indicate that social posts are being shared by others, reaching a larger audience.
But how do you measure engagement?
To measure engagement, monitor the likes, comments, and shares that your social media content is garnering from the public. When people find your posts as relevant content, usually, they’ll leave a reaction, click like, comment on the content, or share the post with their friends.
When you’re posting content that helps influence these kinds of interactions from your target audience, that means your content is engaging. And users love to engage with engaging content.
Impressions are one of the most important metrics used to measure the success of a social media marketing campaign.
This metric is important because it shows how many people saw your post and how far it reaches everyone that is connected or happens to stumble upon your account on a social media channel.
It’s also important to remember that impressions are different from reach and that impressions will always be larger in number than your reach.
Later on, we’ll explain why that is when we get to the concept of ‘reach.’
But how are impressions measured?
Let’s say a user is scrolling through their timeline. When they come across your post, that adds to the post’s impressions, regardless of if they engaged with it or not. When they come across your post again, doesn’t matter when that happens, that gives another impression on your post.
Impressions simply refer to how many times users see a post on a social network.
Social media reach is the number of people who have seen your post or content on a social network. This number is determined by the number of people who have seen your social media post, whether it was organic or paid.
Reach is not the same as impressions.
Not all businesses are seeing the same success with their social media presence. The main reason for this is that many businesses are not focusing on reach. Reach is one of the most important factors to consider when creating a social media strategy.
When you’re creating content for your social accounts, you want to make sure as many people as possible see it. You can do this by sharing your content with your followers and using hashtags to increase its reach.
But how do you measure reach?
For example, on Facebook, reach is calculated from the number of times your Facebook post is seen by a user for the first time. Whether it’s a micro-blog post or a series of video posts, when a user sees it for the first time, it counts as reach.
Here’s how it differs from impressions. Above, we reiterated that a reach is only counted when your post is displayed to a user for the first time. But what if they see it again? In that case, it’s now considered as an impression—not a reach.
Reach can only happen once for every user, impression, on the other hand, is calculated regardless of how many times a post is displayed to one user.
Social media is one of the most important tools a business can use to connect with its customers and sell products and services. By following best practices, businesses can see success in social media marketing.
In order to be successful, businesses need to focus on engagement, impressions and reach, the share of voice, referrals, conversions, and response rate and time. Additionally, they should partner with other businesses to reach a larger audience and improve their brand visibility.
I’m the founder of Grow Predictably, a company that helps businesses make an impact. We work with you to create a marketing strategy tailored for your needs and goals. We help businesses grow and make an impact by providing services that drive predictable, profitable growth.
Making an impact is what drives me. I founded my company on the belief that successful businesses should make an impact. And we’ve been helping businesses do just that for years now. It’s why we exist – to help businesses reach more people and change more lives for the better.