Social Media Best Practices
Back in 2010, the digital publisher Mashable dedicated an annual day to recognizing the impact of social media on communication. Through each of the assorted social platforms, we’re able to connect with old friends and make new ones, facilitate business, and grow our networks on a global scale. On June 30, World Social Media Day celebrates the art of this connection.
Fast forward a decade, and the social media landscape looks a little different. Today, we see more and more people using their voices to promote important social justice causes and find ways to connect with their audiences, even when a global pandemic keeps everyone physically distant.
As brands continue to join these conversations, it is important to keep a pulse on industry best practices when it comes to the ever-changing nature of social media. We asked our social media team to give us their best advice for ensuring brands navigate social media in the most appropriate and effective way possible, and here’s what they had to say:
Value Customer Feedback
You can learn valuable information from your followers on social. Users enjoy interacting with their favorite brands, and they will share all the things they love about your products or services. They will also provide insightful feedback into what they want to see from your brand next.
Now more than ever, it is important to listen to your audience. What are they passionate about? Do they feel heard? What do they want to see from your content? Take the time to consider the needs of your consumer before posting for the sake of posting.
Social media is one of the best tools a brand can utilize to talk directly to consumers one-on-one. If someone reaches out with a recommendation or constructive criticism, use that to your advantage! Listen to your audience and learn where you can grow and improve.
Moderate Social Media, But Be Responsive
Not all followers are happy when they reach out to brands on social media, and they’ll use the platform as a tool to air grievances. It is your job to always protect your brand’s reputation, whether a complaint or negative review has validity or not. While hiding and deleting user comments is certainly the easiest route to take (this is often where people use the “out of sight, out of mind” approach), censoring user comments will raise a red flag, especially if done repeatedly.
It is certainly appropriate to remove comments that incite violence, hate speech, or vulgar language. But more often than not, removing and hiding comments from users sharing a negative opinion, warranted or not, will generate even more negative blowback.
Instead of hiding or deleting the negativity, use it as an opportunity to provide a positive customer service experience! Not only will you be staying true to your brand’s commitment to customer service, but you will also be able to demonstrate to other consumers that you are willing to receive feedback and take action.
Monitor the Trends on Social Media
Social media conversations and trends move rapidly. While developing a content calendar can be a great tool for planning ahead and maintaining consistency, be prepared to pivot your content accordingly. Things change from one day to the next, and a post that might have been considered innocent one day can come across as insensitive the next.
Monitoring the digital landscape as a whole allows brands to join current conversations and maintain relevancy among their followers. As a full-service agency, our departments work together to analyze trends and maximize their impact for our clients. For instance, our analytics team may discover a consumer trend through paid search that we can implement on Instagram, and there may be certain trends on Pinterest that inform content for YouTube, etc.
There will always be fun, lighthearted trends on social that brands can tap into to boost engagement and combat the algorithms that downplay company pages. But note that as more brands join movements that take a more serious tone, audiences are taking notice of those who do, and do not, represent themselves well.
More than anything, consumers are looking for authenticity from the brands they follow. Keep a pulse on trending social conversations to ensure your brand is relevant, respectful, and responding appropriately when it matters most. And at the end of the day, ensure that every piece of content you publish is an accurate reflection of your brand voice and company values.
Let’s Get Social
If, after reading this article, you realize you need help finding your brand voice and developing your social media strategy, contact us. The Warren Douglas team of social media experts are incredibly adept at this and we would love to help.