10 Golden Rules for Social Media Managers and Marketers

By Brian Peters

Buffer Social:Resources

I was a bit nervous before writing this post because there are so many possible golden rules for social media managers.

I wondered, how could I ever hone in on the most important ones?

From golden rules like setting proper social media goals to truly understanding consumer behavior and implementing that into your marketing strategy, this post could have taken on a variety of shapes and forms.

But then I realized, social media managers are in the market of verbs. Our entire careers are based on verbs: share, comment, measure, post, create, solve, design, write, Snap, etc. Verbs govern the rules for social media managers and propel us to amazing places.

So without further ado, here are 10 golden rules for social media managers explained through verbs.

Let’s go!

1. Communicate

The word “communicate” comes from the latin word “communis” which is also the origin of the word “community.” Communication and community are essential to social media managers’ daily tasks as it helps you to build a loyal audience.

The key to the golden rule of communicate is to communicate with your audience and not at your audience. Communicate transparently, honestly, and genuinely with every post and response on social media. Over time, doing so will build trust with your audience. They will look to you as a source of reputable information and guidance.

Action point: Give your audience a voice

One thing you can do to work on communication today is to give your audience a voice and allow them to share their opinions openly and candidly. Recently we experimented with an AMA (ask marketing anything) post recently to give our audience the opportunity to do just that. Other brands like Inbound.org have built online communities where audience members can interact and share ideas.

What are ways that you can give your audience a voice?

2. Share

Sharing is caring. Sharing content across social media as a brand is caring because you are providing value to your audience and a potential audience who may not have heard of you yet. Sharing is the way brands amplify the awesome content they’ve worked so hard on creating.

The key to the golden rule of sharing is to create unique experiences across the various social media platforms. Each piece of content you share should feel native on whichever channel you are sharing it through.

Action point: Experiment with content

Spend some time researching best-practices behind each social media channel and which type of content performs best. What works for Instagram may not work for Facebook and vice versa. Recently, we studied more than 16 million posts on social media and learned that this is especially true for brands that share on multiple social media channels. Spending the extra time on customizing content for each channel will pay off big time in your marketing efforts.

3. Measure

When I first started in marketing four years ago, measuring the successes (and failures) of my social media efforts scared me. At first, I didn’t know what to measure and then once I did I worried that the stats wouldn’t add up. That if I fell short of my goals I wasn’t good at my job. But then I realized I was thinking about it all wrong.

Measuring your social media marketing results isn’t the end – it’s just the beginning.

Tracking social data allows you as social media managers to get better at your job. It allows for experimentation with confidence knowing that you’ll be able to point to exactly what’s working and what isn’t. Doors open up when you’re willing to examine past results and learn from them.

Action point: Measure your social media performance

Start with the “Big 4” when measuring marketing results: Social media metrics (followers, reach etc), channel (how people arrived at your website), consumption (page views, time on page, etc), conversion. Brandwatch put together an awesome guide on the specific stats to measure for each, which is a great place to start. TrustRadius found that demonstrating ROI is the number one challenge among marketers, but it doesn’t have to be for you!

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