Social Media Rules, The Marketing GP

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5 social media ‘rules’ it’s ok to break

Humans are programmed to be social creatures. In other words, finding the ways to communicate and work together with others is already imprinted in our DNA. While this is the most basic thing that differentiates us from other species, the avenues to which we reach out to others of our kind are constantly evolving – with social media totally changing the game!

Social media has been around for over a decade now. It’s no wonder that there are ‘rules’ on how to maximise social networking sites. Since the technology is ever-evolving, these rules are bound to be broken. Some of the time, breaking these rules works, but other times it does more harm.

So how do you break them without putting your brand at risk?

Well, you have to know the rules first before attempting to break them!

Here are the 5 social media rules you shouldn’t be afraid of breaking:

1. The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule, otherwise known as the Pareto Principle, is the idea that you should post 80% non-promotional content and 20% brand-related posts on social media. After all, your target audience isn’t on social media to hear you talk incessantly about what you sell. Although this doctrine works wonders for most brands, it’s something that’s very flexible; therefore, a rule that you can easily bend.

If your social media presence is bleak, you might want to start breaking this rule now and promote more of your brand. But how do you go about this without bombarding your audience with your sales pitch?

Create more brand-related stuff that’s not only interesting, but also informative and very useful to your audience. It doesn’t necessarily have to sell your product or service. Publishing them in different formats is a surefire way to get your point across without being redundant.

2. Respond to all comments

Any social media expert out there will tell you to not break on this one as this is a great way to engage with your audience online. However, if you’re dealing with internet trolls who are only out there to cause havoc for fun, responding to their comments will only make the situation worse. Remember that’s exactly what they want from you, so don’t give in to them.

Instead of wasting your time with trolls through intense verbal combat, focus your attention on doing something good for others. Focus more on the people that actually care about what you do and go after those that genuinely need your help. Not only will you save a lot of time, you’ll also have made more genuine connections to people who matter to you most.

3. Being everywhere on social media

Sure, social media is a very powerful avenue to reinforce your brand presence. It may seem logical to say that brands should cover every social networking site out there to be noticed. But do you know that being everywhere on social media is only a waste of time and money? A great recipe for poor ROI if you ask me.

If you didn’t know yet, each online platform has a dedicated audience and unique qualities. What works for one may not work for the other.

A great strategy in breaking this rule is to know which social network matches your brand’s identity. Which channels do you think your target audience frequent? That’s where you want to be!

4. The bigger the audience, the better

While it makes sense to reach far and wide to gain a bigger audience for your brand, it doesn’t necessarily mean your brand will end up famous – or even relevant. In the long run, you could still end up feeling lonely despite all the followers or likes that you’ve got.

It has seemingly become a common practice by organisations to buy likes or followers these days. If you’re only chasing after Facebook or Twitter likes or expanding your followers without any regard of who these people really are, you’re not really doing your brand any good. You could buy a million followers, but how many of these followers are really your target audience?

I say, reach out to the right audience; it doesn’t matter if there’s only a handful of them. What matters most is that you’re sure they’ll invest their resources in your brand, given you’ve done your due diligence. This means looking at your engagement and reach, rather than your total number of followers.

5. Avoid reposting old posts

Aside from connecting with others, people are on social media to also know what’s happening around them. Publishing timely content is one great formula for a brand’s content marketing success. And that ‘timeliness’ may occur more than once – and that’s okay! Don’t post the same thing every day, or even every week, but look to use old posts again.

Most of the time, not all your followers see everything your publish online. You might even be surprised that only a handful of your followers ever get to see your content on their newsfeeds. This is because each social networking site has its own algorithm for social reach. So go ahead and don’t hesitate to repurpose your content every now and then.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can integrate your social media approach into your wider marketing plan, I suggest you consider one of my 6-week online marketing workshops!

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