The 6 Cardinal Rules of Social Media Marketing

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Image courtesy of

You’ve finally set up a social media account for your business; that’s great! You’re taking a step in the right direction but your work isn’t quite done yet. Developing a successful social media presence takes some creative effort; understanding how to generate content your audience enjoys while keeping your brand top of mind is key to successful social media marketing. But, how do you effectively follow that fine line between brand promotion and engaging content?

Follow these six tips and you’ll be on your way to becoming a social media marketing expert:

1.    Be a person – People use social media as a way to pass time and what they don’t want to encounter is ad after ad promoting something they have no current interest in. Act like a real person on social media and give your followers something they enjoy. Whether it’s a punchy tweet or an industry applicable article, giving them a reason to follow you will help you gain more followers and, in turn, awareness of your brand.

2.    Be social – Being social means engaging with your followers and encouraging them to interact. If a client, customer or prospect tweets at you, tweet back. If they post a thank you note, show your appreciation for their time and business. Social networks are places for people to get to know your business, you as a person and the quality of service you stand by. So by all means, go be social!

3.    Pay attention – There is nothing more cringe-worthy than watching a company destroy their social reputation with an untimely tweet. Pay attention to what’s going on in the world and understand what trending hashtags mean. Spending time exploring what’s happening on social media each day will save you of this embarrassment in the long run.

4.    Tailor your content – One of the most important aspects of creating successful content is tailoring your posts for whatever network you’re on. On Facebook, images with a short narrative captures attention, Twitter is perfect for a bit of humor and Pinterest is ideal for showing your solutions integrated into daily life.

5.    Keep it Simple – You don’t need an elaborate body of text or a five minute video to gain your audience’s attention. Social networking sites are quick moving platforms that require quick moving content. Give your audience something they can appreciate for a split second and then move on; if your message is unclear they won’t stick around to figure out what you’re trying to say.

6.    Tell a Story – Think about why your audience is on social media. I hate to break it to you, but it’s not to learn more about your product. People want to be entertained by stories. Take advantage of this by creating content that gives your audience something to grasp onto. Whether you’re using images, video, text or infographics, your posts need to incorporate a meaningful message in the form of a story.

Social media is a great tool that every business should be utilizing when it comes to marketing. But in order to get the most out of your social networking sites, it takes some creativity, time and effort. Look to other companies for inspiration on social strategies that work. Check out this article for a list of branded tweets gone viral and explanations as to why they were so successful. Happy tweeting!


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