If you’ve tried your hand at managing various social media accounts for your business, then you know that your workload can add up quickly! And it would be a little relief if you had some advice on social media best practices to help you out.
Between creating social media posts, running ads, and responding to messages in real-time (not just on one platform but on 3 or 4!), managing your social profiles can become a full-time job. Thankfully we offer social media management services to help you out there.
The two biggest problems that most businesses face are that they either don’t have enough time to manage their social media. Or if they do, they don’t have the knowledge or experience to manage it well and use social media best practices.
Social media management can sometimes appear easy to take on at first due to the easy user experience on any given platform. But handling social media strategy for a business is a lot different and more intricate than it is for a personal account.
All of the sudden, followers and engagement become more than a vanity metric: they’re opportunities for leads and sales.
Engagement is now crucial for you to capitalize on for the growth of your company. Publishing your Facebook posts everyday is no longer just a fun hobby but a necessity to keep your followers engaged and invested in your brand.
Plus, many users who have never used social media for business probably don’t know this, but most all social media platforms have a backend user experience specifically for businesses.
These platforms such as Facebook Ads Manager, Twitter Analytics & Ads, Instagram Business profiles and others can take a while to get really experienced at. But they are essential to growing your business social media accounts!
So how do you implement social media best practices with all of your social network accounts? Which tools and strategies are a waste of time, and which are truly effective?
We’re going to answer this question and more. Because today we’re covering the 8 social media best practices you should incorporate into your marketing campaigns.
8 Social Media Best Practices to Follow
1. Conversion Ads
If you have any sort of checkout process set up on your site, or if you capture leads of any kind on your site, you’ll want to invest in conversion ads.
We talk more about conversion ads in depth in this blog. But we’ll cover the basics here too because it’s one of the absolute top social media best practices!
Many advertisers make the mistake of running Website Traffic Ads. You may be wondering how it’s a “mistake” if you’re directing users to your website, but you have to take Facebook’s algorithm into account.
If you run a Website Traffic Campaign, then Facebook is going to show the ad to users within your target audience who are likely to click, and that’s it – not actually convert.
Do 3,000 link clicks to your site matter if none of them convert? No, of course not.
Even if you change the optimization from link clicks to landing page views (which is supposed to show the ad to those social media users who are likely to click and wait for the page to load), you’re still not optimizing for conversions.
A conversion ad is presented to people within your target audience who are likely to click and convert! And at the end of the day, that’s what we value the most right?
Optimizing for conversions within your ad campaign is definitely one of our recommended social media best practices you want to follow for success.
Like we mentioned previously, a conversion ad campaign is best when you want to track sales or lead form completions on your site. This can include anything from a vast ecommerce store to a simple contact form.
You’ll need to install a conversion tracking pixel in order to run conversion ads. And that can take a little extra setup, but it’s well worth it!
Outside of laser-targeting people who are already likely to convert, the second major benefit to a conversion campaign is its trackability. You can track everything from video views to engagement to clicks and finally sales. And you can create filtered, funneled audiences based off of this information.
Having this data allows you to send specific ads to specific audiences and continue moving them down the sales funnel until they’re a closed customer.
Unlike older, more traditional forms of advertising such as billboards or even TV commercials, a social media conversion campaign gives you the ability to follow your customer’s journey and see if your marketing efforts directly paid off or not!
2. Posting Daily
This is one of the biggest social media best practices: post content daily.
Social media channels are a 24/7 arena, and users are always hungry for new content! If you don’t post and share content on all of your social media platforms every day, then you risk the chance of losing both engagement and followers.
Not only does it stunt your potential for engagement from your current audience, but you’ll probably see fewer new followers come in as a result as well.
In the few brief seconds that someone makes a decision to follow your social media account or not, one of the first things they’re going to look at is how active the account is.
If the last time you posted was 3 days ago (let alone 2 weeks ago or more), you’re losing a good percentage of potential followers. So don’t miss out on a single opportunity! Post daily.
Another way to follow social media best practices and ensure your accounts look active is with any real-time updates. This will look different across different social media platforms, but this could include publishing Instagram Stories, live-tweeting, or live-streaming on Facebook, for example.
As you publish daily, be sure to keep up with real-time events and holidays also to reinforce your relevancy and up-to-date branding as a business!
In addition to the obvious, bigger holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July etc., be sure that your content strategy will pay attention to any smaller holidays that are relevant to your business.
For instance, if you run a dog-walking business, then you’ll want to capitalize on National Dog Day (which is August 26, for those wondering). This drive-in theater chose to capitalize on the holiday and target their dog loving customers.
Not only will this help gain traction with your specific audience and boost your social media engagement, but it will make your account appear current and active which is a must!
If you can’t allot enough time to post daily, you can also use social media management tools like Buffer, SproutSocial and HootSuite to help you schedule posts in advance.
3. Boosting Posts
Now that we’ve discussed how important it is to post daily, let’s make sure your audience is seeing those posts!
Did you know less than 10% of your Facebook followers see your posts organically in their News Feed? The same general rule applies to Instagram and Twitter as well, but Facebook in particular is a very “pay-to-play” platform.
It’s hard to follow social media best practices if your audience isn’t even seeing your content.
So how do you ensure that your audience sees your fantastic daily posts? Boost them! (Or promote them as it’s called on Twitter).
Boosting a post is the equivalent to sponsoring it; you’re putting ad dollars behind it to give it more reach. Similar to Google Ads, within the ad platform, you can select the audience you want to serve the post to. This can either strictly consist of your Facebook following, new people who haven’t liked your page yet, or both!
Either way, boosted posts optimize for post engagement, giving you the most bang for your buck in terms of reach, comments, likes, and shares on your daily content.
4. Using the right creatives
Using the right creative is essential when looking at social media best practices. Did you know that people, especially millennials, respond best to visuals because they remember 80% of what they see?
So be sure your brand is making a good impression with these types of content! It’s super important to make sure all of your visuals are fresh, high-resolution, bright, “non-stock-image-y” looking photos.
This is especially important on Instagram given its visual nature and grid profile look. Aside from images, some other examples of visual content you can create are infographics, gifs and videos.
Outside of the look of the visuals, you want to make sure they’re sized properly! Different platforms, types of posts and paid posts all have different size requirements.
For instance, an Instagram post could be 800×800, whereas a LinkedIn post needs to be 1200×627. It’s super important to pay attention to the size because poor sizing could lead to a high-resolution photo appearing pixelated.
Not to mention, any sort of errors that appear in your social media (whether it be the wrong photo sizing or a grammar error) can lead to a lack of trust in your brand from your followers. And a lack of trust can eventually make you lose out on potential sales- and we don’t want that!
In addition to your posts and organic content, you’ll want to be specific with your ad creatives as well. Facebook and Instagram both have the 20% text rule for any ad creatives (including boosted posts).
This means there can be no more than 20% text on the ad image or video thumbnail, otherwise, the ad will not run!
Since boosted posts are considered advertisements, you’ll want to try and think about your content in advance; if you plan on boosting a post, make sure the image with that post isn’t covered in text.
The last thing to remember when it comes to using strong creatives is to use videos- especially with ads! Videos outperform static images 9 times out of 10 on social media, and they’re great at getting a point across in a matter of seconds. Be sure your videos tell the same message with and without sound though. Because most people watch videos on mobile and often have the sound turned off.
5. Growing Followers (Organically and Paid)
It doesn’t matter how much you invest in your content and ads if nobody is seeing them! Growing your followers is crucial to growing your brand awareness and potential customer base.
So how do you do it? Well, there’s two ways: organically and with paid ads.
As we mentioned earlier, Facebook is a pay-to-play platform. Unless you’re a famously well-known brand, like Nike for example, it’s nearly impossible to dramatically grow your Facebook followers without the use of ads.
Facebook has the Page Like ad campaign that gives your target audience the chance to like your business page from that ad. At that point, they will see a percentage of your posts moving forward.
That is just about the only way to significantly grow your following on Facebook, but thankfully this is not the case on other “organic” platforms as we call them!
On platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you can grow your followers without having to necessarily pay for them.
LYFE Marketing performs mass following strategies to gain targeted followers for our clients, and we also utilize the help of hashtags.
Hashtags are public searchable words or phrases (that do not include spaces or punctuation), and when you use them in your posts, your post will then show up for that hashtag. The more hashtags you use, the more routes people have to find your post, and therefore your account!
Using hashtags increases follower interaction because you are able to reach more people. Be careful though! There is such a thing as too many hashtags depending on what your audience likes to see. Find that sweet spot.
6. Initiating Conversation With Intentional Engagement
This social media best practice sort of ties in with #5 as well, but we’ve given it its own bullet point because we think it’s that important: initiate conversation with your target audience.
By nature, social media is an intimate space. It gives you a direct peek into people’s lives and behind the scenes of businesses- so don’t be afraid to be personable in the way you communicate with users. Just be sure that you always use your brand voice in interacting with other social media users.
The same way that users can use hashtags to find your posts, you can use hashtags to find theirs.
For instance, if you run a car wash, try searching hashtags around #carwash and see what you find! Finding tweets from people that say “Man I sure could use a #carwash!” gives you the perfect opportunity to reply to their tweet, and start making a sale.
There are hundreds and hundreds of thousands of businesses in the world; make yours stand out by “listening” to your customers online. Show your customer base that you care and that your ultimate goal is to solve their needs.
Most businesses today focus too much on just promoting their products or services that they tend to forget interacting with their users. And that is obviously not how social media works. If you want engagement, then you need to “engage” with your followers. And this is one of the coolest things about social media, you get to talk with your customers in a direct way. It gives you more power in building a stronger relationship with them.
Liking your customer base’s content, commenting @ them and overall engaging with them increases their trust in your brand, boosts your brand awareness, and brings you one step closer to increasing your revenue.
7. Monitor Daily
The more you begin to grow your followers and engagement, the more regularly you’ll need to check your account. At LYFE, we monitor for our clients daily M-F!
Keeping tabs on your notifications and responding to comments or messages in real time is key to ensuring good customer service and building trust in your brand.
Facebook even keeps track of your response time for you on the admin level of business pages. Users can see this status as well.
You can even set up automated messages that trigger when your page receives a message.
Even if it’s something as simple as, “Hello and thank you for messaging us! A team member will get back to you shortly,” that allows your response rate to stay immediate 100% of the time, and it gives the user instant reassurance that they will be responded to.
In your monitoring, you’ll also want to make sure you respond not only to the positive comments, but to the negative comments too. This is an integral part of reputation management for your business.
Complaints can definitely appear in your social media comments or reviews, so you want to make sure you handle them in a timely and professional manner so as to keep your brand in good standing.
You’ll also want to check for spam or vulgar comments. Negative or spammy-looking comments that have nothing to do with your business can and should be deleted as soon as possible so as to keep your page clean and free of them.
Outside of your organic content and pages, the last thing you’ll want to monitor are your ads.
Running social media ads does not mean setting them up and then just letting them run. You should be checking them daily and optimizing them to ensure they’re spending the budget properly and meeting your goals- just like what we at LYFE do for our clients.
Retargeting may be the last point on this list of social media best practices, but it’s by far one of the most important.
It’s extremely rare that customers make a purchase or form completion upon the very first time of hearing about your company.
It’s important to have several touch points with the customer in order to warm them up to your brand and turn them into a closed customer. In order to do this, you’ll need to retarget them.
And the good news is you can retarget just about everything we’ve talked about so far! Remember earlier when we said you can create specific audiences based on engagement, video views and more? This is where that comes in handy.
For instance, you can create an audience of people who have engaged with your ads, or watched a video, and exclude people who have already converted to make sure you’re bringing in new customers.
But that’s not to say that you can’t retarget existing customers as well- go for it! Retargeting your existing customer base is an easy way to make repeat customers out of them.
Now You’re Prepared
Those are the 8 social media best practices. Your social media campaign should not rely on any one method, but should more so lean on a combination of methods that work together in one cohesive digital marketing strategy. With the right message finding the right audience, you’re bound to be successful on social media. Need an experienced digital marketing team to handle your social media marketing for you? Contact us today! Our team of experts use all the social media best practices, and then some to make your campaigns successful.