Do's and don'ts of social media marketing

Do's and don'ts of social media marketing

There are plenty of compelling reasons for organisations to make full use of social media, but to realise the true potential of social media to promote your services, there are a few guidelines to follow.

Here are a few key “Do's and Don'ts” of social media activity that you should strive to follow:

Do's

1. Make a plan

Every post that you release into the wild says something about your business and has an impact on your brand image. The right kind of Facebook post or tweet can strengthen your connection with your audience and drive home your core values. Therefore, every piece of social media content should be carefully planned for maximum effect.

The following tips will help you with that task:

2. Know your audience

Whether it's existing customers, future customers, investors or colleagues, every social media post needs to appeal to its target reader.

When designing a post, think about the interests of your audience and not your own. You will also need to ask or find out where your audience is, what social media channels are they using? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram….? Then you can use the most effective platform to reach them.

3. Be time-conscious

As well as finding out where they prefer to consume social media you will also need to discover when they are using social media. Many social media platforms provide analytics about your followers which include this information (e.g. Facebook Insights/ Twitter analytics).

If you don't have this information, creating a marketing 'persona' will help you to use your judgment. For example, scheduling a parent-focused post to arrive when they are most likely to be enjoying some down time can make all the difference between your post being read and enjoyed or skimmed and dismissed.

4. Social listening

The best way to understand the types of content that your audience like to read (and share) is to sit in the background and observe.

Make notes on the types of conversations they are having and which ones tend to be shared, re-tweeted or liked. Aim to post similar content to maximise engagement.

5. Consider advertising

Social media advertising is popular due to its comparatively low costs and ability to target very specific groups by both behaviour and demographics.

Social media advertising is an art in itself and it is worth thinking about getting some specialist help to manage your campaigns or at least provide consultation.

6. Decide on your tone

Tone Of Voice MatrixThe tone of voice portrayed by your social media posts is a crucial part of your branding. Consumer businesses may not wish to come across as too 'corporate', B2B brands may focus on communicating authority, most organisations will want to sound professional regardless of the other aspects of their tone.

Try defining your tone using a this Tone Of Voice Matrix. Metrics for which you score zero should be avoided in your tone. Any metrics scoring five mean that they should be the predominant themes for your activity on the social media channels.

Ensure that your tone is consistent across platforms and posts.

7. Get advice

If all of the above seems too daunting or you have further questions, feel free to contact the team at Eyes Down for more advice.

Don’t:

1. Rush your posts

Despite best intentions, it can be tempting to share content or post on a whim. This is rarely a good idea.

If you find yourself pushed for time, it is usually best to wait until you can plan your post properly rather than posting for the sake of it.

2. Post pictures or personal information without permission

This is clearly especially important when it comes to a childcare setting. Ensure that all staff in charge of social media activity are compliant with your policies on child protection, including photography and publicity.

In most cases, parental permission will need to be given for a child's face to be on a social media post.

3. Be inappropriate

As well as obviously inappropriate content, it can be easy to unwittingly post content that some people may find offensive. Re-read all posts before publishing them to ensure you are not likely to attract criticism.

Also, be careful who you follow and like. Your audience may be unhappy if you are seen to be associated with organisations who post inappropriate or controversial material.

4. React publicly to negative posts

Many people now use social media platforms as a way to air their grievances about a business or organisation.

The standard rule of thumb when it comes to dealing with negative social media posts is to respond quickly and publicly to acknowledge the complaint but to resolve the issue privately, either through private messaging/chat on social media or through another private channel.

Resist the urge to lash out publicly as this can escalate a problem.

5. AWOL

A key to social media success is consistency so you should try not to leave huge gaps between posts. It is also important to respond to messages and comments promptly so that your audience know that you care about their input.

6. Overwhelm your audience

On the other end of the scale, don't bombard your audience with content in an attempt to dominate their newsfeed.

Rather than increase their engagement, overly active posters can find the opposite happens as people start to tune out. In some cases, people can get so annoyed by the frequency of posts that they turn off notifications or block the offending page or profile completely.

7. Forget other platforms

Facebook and Twitter tend to be the most popular social media platforms for many businesses and nurseries are no exception but social media doesn't stay still for long. Trends change and different platforms appear or gain in popularity.

Individual businesses also have different ways of working. For example, if you tend to post a lot of video content, creating a YouTube channel may be worth looking at. If you find you are sending out lots of photographs and other visually rich content, investigate Pinterest, Instagram or even Snapchat.

To conclude (in 140 characters)

Social media activity needs careful planning and measuring – don’t leave it to chance. For help and advice please contact Eyes Down today ❤️

Topic: Social media


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