As we start a new year a lot of people are creating brands and businesses and will be relying on social media to help promote. I’ve gathered some do’s and don’t that every creative should keep in mind as they are preparing their social media for the upcoming year. Being successful in social media marketing requires good preparation and the right mindset.

Dealing with social media with brands is difficult and requires a lot of work and dedication. When approaching what you want to do within it should be started by taking small steps. Keep in mind social media is a “double-edged sword”. It can be used to help you grow your brand or contribute to holding it back.

Create A Specific Strategy For Each Platform

The same way you would plan for any kind of marketing has a specific and intentional plan for each platform you use. Each platform has its nuances and best practices for generating engagement. Your brand may not have to have a presence on every platform. Decide what platforms you can be effective with. Your posts should have a target audience. You need to have a strategy that is specific to the platform you’re using.

Here are some questions that should be asked when planning your presence on any platform you use.

  • Why am I using this platform?
  • Who will reach on this platform?
  • What post types work best on this platform?
  • How are my posts unique to this platform?

If you are having a hard time answering these questions, you may have to dig deeper into why you should even try to have a presence there.

Focus Your Messaging

Each platform has its own unique demographic. It’s essential to understand your demographics so you can tailor your content to have the most impact. Having a focused message will help you create higher quality content that is on-brand. When you have a solid message that represents your brand, you can count on your posts to stay relevant.

Networking/Contacting

Networking with people with similar interests has its benefits. By connecting with other people you increase the chances of your work being seen by more people. From my own experiences I’ve created partnerships and exchanged a ton of good ideas, tips, and built friendships.

Look for communities related to your interests and actively participate. You can also start your own groups around your brand and cultivate an audience with shared interests.

Get Personal

One of the best ways to become close to your followers on social media is to just be yourself. Share your journey in life and the processes you used to build your brand. I love to share my other interests along with the things I am working on. It has helped me create conversations and expand to different audiences.

Posting Times Are Important

Posting at the right times can make a huge difference in the reach of your posts. Track your insights using the tools the platforms provide you with to see what times your followers are most active. The more engagements in a short period of time will equal a greater reach.

Measure x Analyze Your Results

To make sure you’re being effective from your social media marketing, you need to be accurately tracking and measuring your work. About 40% of brands don’t accurately track their social media ROI.

To make it easier to track your work, identify key metrics that are important to you.

Key metrics like:

  • Reach and engagement for Facebook
  • Impressions, retweets, and mentions on Twitter
  • Clicks, impressions, and interactions on LinkedIn
  • Engagement and impressions on Pinterest
  • Likes, comments, and mentions on Instagram
  • Views and engagements on Instagram Stories

You should keep a weekly, monthly, and quarterly tabs and make changes to your strategy as needed.

Interact

Like I said before social media users crave authentic interactions with the people they follow. So on top of posting high-quality and relevant content, make sure you’re interacting with your followers on each platform. Answer and respond to things that come up on your posts, handles, or hashtags. Don’t be afraid to chime in on other conversations that you feel you’re an expert on. You should promptly respond to people who mention you. Thank those who share your content and add some value to where you see people mentioning your brand.

Don’t be afraid to start conversations. Ask them questions and respond or add to that conversation. It is a really easy thing to do.

Here Are Things NOT to Do

Don’t buy followers, likes, comments, or views. These things will hurt your ability to expand your reach. There are algorithms in place that monitor your engagement. For example, Instagram will share your post with more people if you and your followers are engaging back and forth. The faster you respond or receive comments the higher it will rank in other people’s feeds. If you have 10k followers and there aren’t any engagements back and forth your rank will fall and fewer people will see your posts.

The same goes for those who hold contests for prizes by asking you to comment and share the post. It will improve your ranks, but give you a false reality of actual reach. This will hurt you when other brands look at you for paid collaborations.

In closing don’t expect excessive results in the first 6-9 months of starting a fresh account. It’s rare that you will gain over 2k followers fast unless you go viral or have a high output of high-quality content. The goal is to have realistic goals and benchmarks and continuously expand your reach. There is a possibility to be disappointed and quit when you shouldn’t. So keep at it even when there seems to be no growth. Hopefully, the things mentioned above will help you be effective with social media marketing.