As marketing managers, adding a new social media network to your strategy or just trying to juggle the day-to-day can easily get us bogged down in the details instead of looking at the bigger picture. Whether you are getting started with a social media plan or have been at it for years, there are some inalienable truths or “commandments” to live by to keep your content honest and your audience happy.

  1. Organize – The easiest way to get overwhelmed and fall behind your social media goals is not taking the time to get organized. Utilizing an editorial calendar that has both a high level view of major events to promote for the year, as well as daily posts, helps everyone involved understand the plan for the week, month, and year. When creating your calendar make sure to detail when content (i.e. Blogs, Press Releases’s, & Whitepapers) are to be published and when other events such as trade shows, conferences, and fairs are happening.
  2. Consistency – Once you have an organized calendar you can be consistent. Consistency is one of the most important commandments of social media. The golden rule is never over commit. The goal is to work to master each network one at a time to keep things manageable. Biting off more than you can chew causes posting, voice, and message inconsistencies on your channels. If you are going to start on a network, make sure you have the means to keep it up.
  3. Promote – This commandment is two-fold. Not only are your social media profiles tools to promote your business’ content, but you also need to promote the channels themselves. Add links to your profiles to email signatures, on marketing collateral, and the top right hand corner of your website.
  4. Listen – Spend time researching what other companies in your industry are discussing and what topics customers talking about. Utilizing social listening gives you a better understanding of the types of content prospective customers are looking for and what answers you could provide to them via social media.
  5. Add Value – Before adding a post, ask yourself, “Does this add value? Will my target audience find this information useful, informative, or interesting?”
  6. Relevant – Along with adding value, is the information your sharing relevant to your audience or industry? Social Media for B2B is quite a bit different from B2C. Your average “Happy Friday” post does not always cut it. Develop a content strategy in the organization phase so you can curate relevant content that adds value.
  7. Engage- Always make an effort to respond to comments on your updates. Answer questions, thank those who participate, and stay involved. We recommend spending 10 minutes everyday checking your direct messages and responses on each network, and responding to all feedback.
  8. Vanity – Make it pretty. While a huge part of social media is to promote valuable content to your audience and attract new prospective clients to your website, you want to be sure that your networks are in line with your brand and look. Skin all of your networks to match your web design, use high quality images, and avoid junky url’s or text. Keep it clean, simple, and attractive.
  9. Be Human- Think of your social networks as the human voice of your company. Marketers put out plenty of salesy messaging, information dense whitepapers, and newsy press releases. Your social networks are your opportunity to speak to your current customers and prospective customers as you would over the phone. Add some personality where appropriate.
  10.  Patience- The last commandment is to be patient. Social Media is a necessary tool to have in your toolbox but will not be the only source of traffic to your site or sales leads. Growing a following and increasing engagement levels takes time. Stick with it (see commandment 2).

What golden social media rule do you live by?