9 Social Media Best Practices


Published: February 22, 2016 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
9 Social Media Best Practices

As a 21st century business owner, you need to understand the importance of Social Media and how it will affect your business.  Social Media establishes your online reputation and taking the time to do it correctly will pay off in a big way.  Here are the top best practices to ensure your social media activities are a success.

Low Cost

Social Media channels like Facebook and Twitter are free tools to expose your products and services to new and existing customers.  They also allow you interact with your customers by answering questions, providing support, and receiving recommendations.   You also have the option to boost your posts for a fee to advertise your business to a broader audience.

Social Media channel selection

As you know there are lots of social media channels, but don’t try to tackle them all.  Narrow down the list and focus on 2 to 3 channels.  Find which channels work best for your industry.  To connect with consumers, try Facebook and Twitter.  Business to business relationships work best on LinkedIn, Google+, or even Twitter.

Create a Content Strategy

A content strategy is defined plan for creating your social media posts.  Your content strategy should answer the following questions:  What topics will you post?  How often will you post?  Which channel will  you use?  What type of post will you create (text, photo, link, or blog)?

Once you have your list of topics, the next step is to lay them out on a calendar.  Schedule posts 2 to 3 times per week to start.  It can be tempting to schedule posts everyday or even multiple times per day, but you will not only annoy your audience, you will actually receive less engagement (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc) overall.

Quality Posts

Keep the post text short and interesting (50 characters or less). No one will read more than a few sentences.   If you need to communicate more than 50 characters of information in your post, it’s recommended that you provide a link for more details.

Lifestyle Images

A quality post should include a single high quality photo showing people doing an activity.  For example, a sports drink might use people running.  Including more than 1 photo doesn’t work as well and often receives less engagement from users.  Stock photos can be used for this, select photos that show life in motion.

Include hashtags

Hashtags (denoted with the # symbol) are topics for your posts.  If you are writing a post about cooking, you might include a #bestrecipe or #eatinghealthy hashtag.  When a social media user clicks the hashtag, they will be taken to a list of other posts with the same hashtags.  This will give your post more exposure.  You can include the hashtags in the body of your post, or simply at the end of your post text.

Focus on Relationships

Though your ultimate goal might be to sell products, you focus should be on building relationships with your customers.  Customers are more likely to buy from companies they trust and have good communication with.

Schedule the post

Many social media channels have the ability to schedule posts in advance.  It’s recommended that you plan and schedule posts for at least 2 weeks in advance.  Once you are ahead of the game, it will give you plenty of time to focus on creating quality posts.  Don’t forget to use your Social Media Calendar to help you space out posts.

Check your Reports

You will need to review the reports and graphs provide by your social media channels to make adjustments to your content strategy.  Look at which posts that have the most activity.  What days of the week and times worked best?  Which channels are getting the most activity?  Keep some notes on what works best for your business.

The best practices in this article are a great foundation to get your business started or make adjustments to your current Social Media strategy.  You want to find what works best for your small business.  Don’t be afraid to try something new and make adjustments along the way.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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