The social media has become an almost indispensable appendage of internet marketing. Many people flock the facebooks, tags, twitters, of this world. This has attracted media moguls, marketing guru, journalists, manufacturers, advert agencies, salespersons, lost drunkards, desperate housewives, celebrities, etc like a carcass to a pack of hungry hyenas. Millions sign up or simply visit social media sites every day, every time. The number of social media sites is dizzying, running into tens of thousands. In the latest Alexa ranking of the top five hundred (500) social networking sites, the following are in the top twenty: Facebook, twitter, Blogspot, LinkedIn, Yahoo! Japan, Bing, sina.com, yandex.ru, vk.com and Ask.co.
Therefore, a new visitor to the social media, will find this array bewildering. Different caliber of people visit social network sites with different intentions. A manufacturer will have extremely different objectives and expectations when setting up a social media account from a High School graduate. However, whether you are graduate, a minor, a pensioner, marketer, insurance salesperson, consumer, tourist, priest, etc, you need to know certain things about social media. With the increasing use of smartphones and the technology present in the palms of the user, they are constantly connected on the social media. The opportunities this platform provides to anyone and everyone are endless.
A useful platform indeed it is, but not a panacea to all our social and technical problems. There are certain mistakes of omission and commission that you ought to avoid when taking up the social media. The litany of dos and don’t for social media is probably longer than The Nile, but the following ten should top the list, and not necessarily in that order.
1. Avoid Multiple identities or Profiles
This simply confuses the potential friends and strategic partners or clients. There is a tendency for individuals, companies, organizations, or groups to have multiple profiles. This also makes it difficult to maintain an active profile, and you may be forced to abandon some.
2. Have A Plan or Strategy
It is almost a crime to jump into the fray without a plan. Many companies have been known to set up Facebook, Ask. Com, and LinkedIn accounts with impressive presence, but alas, no clear strategy of what they want to achieve. In the end, investing in such accounts becomes an exercise in futility for the organization. Therefore, a quality manager and a clear strategy are necessary.
3. Do Not Remain Silent
One of the golden rules in social media is to interact. Failure to do so as an account holder is to commit suicide. It is actually a sign of extreme negligence since you wonder why anyone would set up shop then close the doors throughout. It may also reflect wrong choice of social media manager.
4. Aim Right
Choose your target audience right and formulate strategies that target and hit the bull’s eye. There are billions of internet visitors. You can spend your entire lifetime interacting with the wrong visitors who will never add value to your company. A well-focused content and communication strategy will ensure some form of fruitful interaction. The account manager must exercise vigilance to weed out spammers and fake followers.
5. Invest time and money wisely
Nothing comes for free, well except for Oxygen! In order to realize the best from social media account, spend, but spend wisely. Advertise. Advertising in social media enhances your presence and visibility. It also improves your focus and target. A common mistake made is to assume social media is all free, needing no investment.
6. Do not Over-follow
Following too many people makes you lose focus, and wastes your time. Take time to vet your interactions meticulously and build up a constant flow of credible followers. You achieve this by equally following selected links only. Otherwise, you end up following everyone to nowhere.
7. Do Not Post Back-links automatically
The key to having a robust social media account is quality, not quantity. The sheer volume of traffic can easily guarantee quantity, but then, you were not just interested in everyone one, were you? Randomly or automatically posting back links not generate quality linkages; it will just give you a bad name as a potential spammer.
Never underestimate the value of posting added value content. Sharing content from other sites on yours will help you draw interest to your site. People appreciate reading other views on the topic so resist the urge to post your own content only. If you are catering to a niche market, take the trouble to post information from “experts” as this will lend more credibility to your site content.
9. Automation tools
These are fantastic to use but should be done with some level of discretion. To a certain extent, social media already eliminates the probability of personal connection or personal touch. Using too much of the automation tools, will eventually cause your audience to feel less special and thus turn elsewhere to feed their interests.
10. Visits as opposed to “like”
It is quite easy to click on the “like” icon as a response to a particular posting, but this does not genuinely help you or your site if the interested party stops just there. There is a real need to ensure the visitor actually makes the attempt to view the whole content of the posting. Make it easier for them to do so by adding tools such as thumbnails, catchy phrases or descriptions to draw them in. Timing is also another vital factor to consider. You don’t want to be posting material when not many people are online as this limits your chances of helping your post go viral.
11. SEO friendly
Check what words or phrases are currently deemed popular and attract the attention of SEO tools. Make sure your content uses as many of these as possible but without disturbing the actual credibility of your content. Heightened SEO attention can bring your online presence to a desirable position, thus giving you the attention you need, to be a success on the social media platform. Don’t underestimate the power of these simple words or phrases, in your content.
12. Hash tags
Failing to use this social media tool is another mistake that will cost you dearly. Most visitors want to be able to follow a discussion from one posting to another with ease. When you don’t include hash tags, you are invisible, ensuring your visitor does not have the option of gaining further information without hassle. This is highly damaging, especially if your initial posting is about a very relevant, exciting and intriguing topic.
13. Less is better
Sometimes you may have to resist the urge to follow every tip you come across. Reading too much and implementing everything you read, that is supposed to be effective in drawing attention to your site may actually end up overwhelming both you and your visitors. Don’t use too many of the highly recommended tools, as although your visitor would like to have options to further their search, they don’t want to end up frustrated and confused.
14. Staying current
Posting relevant information is always paramount. Some people like posting about events and things that took place a long time ago and this is fun if you are sure your content is going to be “over the top” popular. However, if you are not sure, stick to matters that are more current to your target audience as people who are active on social media sites have a lot to choose from, and you want them to choose your site.
Using this tool to your advantage is something that should certainly be explored. There is always going to be some level of “measurement” on the content that you post and having social media ROI on your side will benefit tremendously. Elements such as insights, confidence, promotions and connects are all necessary to create optimization. With the ROI check and balance tool, you can at least be assured to a high level of relevant and attention attracting visits.