Social media. A place for branding, advertising, connecting, sharing, expressing. It's where your business builds its social identity. It's where your brand's individuality is made, composed of ideas, ways and means of expression and connection to your audience.
Place, where you can either take your business to the next level or make it harder for yourself to succeed. Alright, I think you get the idea. To put it dramatically, social media will either make you or break you.
Before going into this article let's establish one thing, social media is changing as you are reading this article. Yes, that's anxiety calling you. I know, it can be really hard to keep chasing what's in today and understand what will not be tomorrow. So, the first thing to do here is throw away that chasing trends mentality.
To continue, there is a discussion around the fact that Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and all the other social media platforms are digital environments where being fake is part of the deal and naturally, most people do follow the crowd and you have to find your place to blend in. Well, take this article as an opposing view to the stated argument.
Let me present you with 3 absolute don'ts for social media marketing in 2020. Alongside, I'll introduce 3 do's, corresponding to the don'ts. This list will include the ultimate, core ideas that are changing on social media. You may agree or disagree. Hopefully, these key points will provide you with an afterthought taste you can use later.
DON'T: Post for the sake of posting
Being visible on everyone's timeline 24/7 sounds like a great idea when you want to catch some eyeballs. It may work for one minute, and maybe it worked at some point in time a while ago, but it does not now. Let me tell you why. First of all, people truly like authenticity (I will come back to this point later). People do respect it or learn in their lives to value it.
Second, there is already so much unnecessary information and constant stimulation around us we would just be better off! Think about it. Don't you want your content to stand out and ultimately bring more people to your website? Then it's important to realise that sometimes less is more. Yes, even on social media.
We have grown to understand that a lot of people are not real and genuine on social media. Therefore, we can spot whenever someone is posting for the sake of posting and it does not impress us.
People usually fill their accounts with tons of repetitive posts when they don't actually have anything to say, or when they don't really know who they are or are trying to be. I mean, that's just social media in a wrap.
DO: Post what you would put on your bedroom wall
So, should you leave unnecessary social media posts with quotes that mean nothing much to you in 2019? Yes, please. 2020 is here and ready for fresh, carefully curated and meaningful content.
If you are not filling your LinkedIn and Instagram account with something that doesn't mean much but looks nice, keep reading. Now, you should invest time in creating content for social media, that truly mirrors your brand and what you believe in.
Create an amazing post or article, really work on it from different angles, including all the right keywords and perhaps ask around for some opinions so that you would be proud to put it on your bedroom wall. I promise this will pay off! Literally.
DON'T: Create an unrealistically ideal image
Okay, don't get confused by this.
With this point, I want to continue what I previously touched upon - authenticity. We all have heard that you have to be who you are, just be you and so on. However, a lot of us don't have a clue what that means, right?
You may think: "What does this have to do with my business? I may not know who I truly am but I have carefully and strategically created and shaped my business' brand."
Hold that thought.
Ask, what does it actually mean to be yourself in real life and/or social media? Even if you don't have a clue whatsoever, in the simplest way it means to confidentiality share your strengths and also show the everyday struggle of being a human, so others can relate. At least, showing that you know and care about what is happening in the world and around you.
Now, when talking about social media marketing, I am not saying that you should share flaws or negative experiences. What I am implying is that people will build respect for your business, value your authenticity and create a closer connection overall if you don't just project an unrealistically ideal image of you and/or of the world all the time.
Share how you overcame a struggle and build this brand. Share what sparked a passion in you to start your business. People love inspirational stories.
DO: Make people inspired
As I outlined, we all love to be taken away by a true story. Even though we were and still can be captured by looking at an ideal image of life on social media, this type of content is slowly losing its appeal. You might still disagree, but if you want to hear a fresh opinion, this is it.
Implement the human factor. By this, again, I don't mean that you should share anything that will make your audience view you as unprofessional. However, I do mean that you should keep it real and incorporate a genuine tone of voice.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, social media is an ever-changing environment. Businesses who do grow their brand awareness on social media and earn the trust of their target audience are businesses who not only shape their marketing strategies and innovate but also stay consistent with their content production and the way they represent themselves.
Frequent changes, fluctuation, indecisiveness will read online as being unreliable. If you want to build your target audience online, obtain qualitative leads and solid results over time, you need to be consistent with who you say you are.
But why is it important to leave fluctuation behind in 2019? Honestly, it always should have been left behind. However, there are still a lot of brands that are constantly fluctuating and not following through their social media marketing plans they have established.
DO: Create a presence
Instead of always changing up your social media posting schedule, the type and quality of images you post, the kind of language you use, etc., create a one universal, ultimate guideline for your social media channels. In other words, structure your unique presence on social media.
This implies that you need to set ground rules for each social media platform. Even though you may shape your strategy over time, those rules (e.g. tone of voice, use of language, image quality, overall intention) will keep you grounded.
From a more general point of view, people do respond with trust and sense of reliability if you have a well-put-together presence on social media. Everything nowadays is so fast-paced and unreliable at times, so it really does make people hold more dearly onto things that have a solid presence.