A comprehensive plan for a strong web presence, part 3 - Best Practices: Social Media Marketing

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BEST PRACTICES: SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING

This is one in a series of posts on best practices in all aspects of building and maintaining a strong online presence. See also: Content Marketing; Email Marketing; SEO (Coming Soon.... Web Design.)

Keeping up with social media best practices is at least as challenging as making sense of Google’s endless algorithm overhauls and tweaks. Companies and consultants that have gone all in on a particular platform have found themselves scrambling when that platform abruptly changes the rules. Facebook, for example — by far the most popular and influential social media network in the world — has been suppressing the organic (unpaid) reach of brands’ pages for a couple years, and recently announced that it will soon be even harder for brands to get their posts to appear in fans’ newsfeeds. It’s a clear push to get those brands to buy ads.

Doing social media badly is arguably worse than not doing it at all, so we recommend focusing on those platforms that make the most sense for you brand. A bar, for example, is probably better off on Facebook than LinkedIn, and a B2B industrial parts supplier will find LinkedIn more useful than Facebook. Both, hypothetically, could benefit from Twitter.

Maybe. The life span of a tweet is pretty short, and indeed all social media come with serious limitations for brands. Some are even arguing that social media is a waste of time and money. We’re not willing to go that far; it’s hard to write off the prospect of reaching even a tiny sliver of the billions of users, and there are various ways to measure, in granular detail, who you’re reaching and how often. Successful social media marketers rely on an array of tricks of the trade to maximize reach, most of which anyone can duplicate, but be advised that there are no real shortcuts. Persistence is required.

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