The Fantastic Five

The Fantastic Five

Allison Moraga-Rodriguez
Allison Moraga-Rodriguez

The Top Five Rules for Social Media Marketing

Social media has come to be an integral part of businesses everywhere. You can now shop on Instagram, make reservations on Facebook, and get tech support on Twitter without ever leaving the mobile app. But, unlike passing trends (we're looking at you mullets), social media is for everyone, as long as it's done right. So, here are five foundational rules to keep in mind when starting a social media marketing campaign.

1. Do it with a purpose.

Your messaging won't go far without strategy – ensure that you have proper guidelines and practices for addressing your audience, a timeline for how your message will evolve, and backup messaging in case the world turns upside down.‍

2. Ensure that your brand personality comes across.

If your brand were a person, how would it sound and behave? Does that personality translate to your social media presence? Are you charming? Funny? Conservative? Or are you just forgettable? Your brand's personality is key to reaching the right audience.

3. Keep your eye on the prize.

What are you hoping to accomplish on social? Identify your goal and stick with it. At the very least, your goal should be to make the audience aware that your brand exists beyond social media. You don't have to make a post for National Pancake Day (unless you're a breakfast joint) if it doesn't translate to conversions. Remember, those who try to be everything to everyone quickly become nothing to all.

4. Social is a means to an end, not the end itself.

Yes, having impeccable visuals on Instagram is commendable, but that same effort should apply to customer relations, data collection, and website maintenance. Is your comment section teeming with unanswered questions? Do you have capable people answering the phone to take reservations when a new inquiry comes from a social media post? Is your website mobile-friendly and ready for traffic from social? A relatable tweet makes for great exposure, but your product should always be the priority for your existing and potential customers.

5. Analyze growth and re-strategize.

Successful marketing is nothing without analyzing results. So, after starting a new campaign or launching a new product, wait a couple of weeks before diving into the analytics and evaluating the results. Whether social media managers use social platforms such as Spout Social or Hootsuite, they should look at the data from many angles. For example, perhaps you're disappointed with the website visits you've received from your latest post. Still, the margin of sign-ups to your mailing list is nearly double the usual amount – that's an indicator of a dedicated targeted audience. Remember: Success might be hiding behind a thorough analysis of your metrics.

The proper focus from the outset of a project means the difference between getting it right vs. getting it done. Most can get it done, but is that what you set out to do?
Mark Natale
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