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Do's and don'ts of social media

With social media constantly changing and the endless variety of platforms and tools available, it’s easy to become completely overwhelmed by it all. Getting the fundamentals right is extremely important as a social media presence can really impact a business’s reputation… but it doesn’t have to be a stress or a chore.

Start putting your social plan together by following these simple “do’s and don’ts:

  • Firstly, and most importantly. DON’T waste time trying to set up social media for your business, if you aren’t willing to invest the time to do it properly. You are better off investing in paying someone who already has the experience and knowledge to do it and do it well.
  • DO establish your target audience and buyer personas and do your research. What kind of people are you targeting? Males, females? Younger, older? Business owners, young mums, sportspeople, dog-lovers, train enthusiasts? What are their motivations, concerns, life goals and dreams? It’s more than simple demographics these days. Once you know who you want to talk to, find out how. Use any market research you can get your hands on. Try social media listening tools to find out what’s trending in your industry and what people are having real conversations about. Having your target market established will help you decide what platforms to focus on, the tone of voice you want to use and even what time of day you will post content. If that sounds all a bit intense – refer to point one above.
  • DO create an editorial calendar. Planning ahead and scheduling in content to share over the next 3-12 months and identifying where you want to share it, will save A LOT of time and stress. There are loads of free tools that can help streamline your social strategy and schedule content in advance to save you having to spend a lot of time on it each time you want to post something. This calendar should also recognise important dates. E.g. special holidays, industry events, relevant local activities and potential opportunities.
  • DON’T think you have to have a presence on every social media platform under the sun. Establish what works best for your business and what doesn’t. This goes back to point two. If you understand your target market you will know what platforms they are using and where you’ll achieve the most engagement. If you spread yourself too thin, you may be diluting your brand, wasting money needlessly, and chewing up valuable time.
  • DO reuse content. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel right? You want to be seen as an authority in your industry and to always have your finger on the pulse. So keep an eye on complimentary industry pages and share, if it’s relevant to your business, or recreate the idea to suit your customers.
  • DON’T oversell. People don’t appreciate being constantly sold too, so implement the 80/20 rule. Make sure that 80% of the content you share is organic, topical and light hearted. Provide valuable information that is insightful – give advice through blogs, case studies and tips and tricks. Be personable – celebrate client success, talk about what’s happening in your community, share stories that people can relate to and will play on their emotions. If you do this, then people are more likely to engage with the 20% of your content that is selling your products/services and won’t feel like they’re being spammed.
  • DO a social media audit regularly. Reviewing your social media content every few months is vital to ensure you are getting out what you are putting in. Keep referring to your strategic marketing objectives to check if your content is getting engagement. Are you meeting your targets? If not, it’s time to review your content and rethink your strategy.
  • DON’T forget social media is social. Ensure you are responding to all customer enquiries or questions in a timely manner. If someone walked up to you in the street and asked you a question about your product or service, would you answer straight away or ignore them for days or weeks before replying? Again, if you don’t have the time to do it properly – don’t do it or get some help.
  • DON’T be something you’re not. Be authentic and tell your own story in your own way. People gravitate towards social content that is real – humans can spot a false narrative a mile away. Do invest in good images, video or copywriting, but don’t pretend to be something you’re not.

If your business could do with some marketing advice, social media set-up or training, brand or design work, or a casual consultation now and then, then we’d love to help. Get in touch for a one-hour free consultation to find out how we can help, or contact your usual Baker Tilly Staples Rodway advisor.

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