A Few Easily Adoptable Best Practices for Social Media (Part 1)

Amanda Luzzader

Some social media best practices that you easily implement right away

So, your organization has figured out which social media platforms to use to brand itself, reach potential customers and clients, and spread the word about products, services, and promotions. That’s great! You’re posting regularly, and you’re getting some followers, likes, and shares. Also great. You’d like to do better, but how? In this article, we’ll examine some social media best practices that you easily implement right away.

What are social media best practices?

There are lots of social media platforms, and there are lots of ways to use each one. But each platform has specific practices that seem to work best, and there are also practices that are recommended for all social media platforms. Applying best practices, which is sometimes called “social media optimization,” will make your presence on social media more useful, more powerful, and more unified. In this two-part article, we’ll first discuss some best practices to implement into all your online resources. Then, in the second part, we’ll talk about best practices for each social media platform.

General best practices for all social media platforms

This first list of tips is aimed at all your platforms, whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and even your organization’s website. It will take some effort, but it shouldn’t be difficult to implement these practices across your entire online presence. 

1. Update and unify your look and feel across all online accounts.

Sometimes social media and other online branding resources diverge in their look, feel, mood, and message. This may be because different people in the organization manage different resources. It may happen because certain accounts are of different “vintages,” and so they’re loaded up with graphics and images from different periods in the evolution of your organization’s online efforts. To unify your brand online, make sure all your platforms are drawing from the same visuals. Your profile images, backgrounds, banners, and logos should be up-to-date and loaded with the same set of graphics. This can be facilitated by creating a bank of the most-current and authorized imagery, and draw exclusively from there when branding visuals are needed.

2. Update and unify your copy and text across all online accounts.

Similarly, your various social media accounts may contain mixes of newer and older text, the messages of which may no longer match or complement each other. Just as you can develop and draw from a common image and graphic bank, develop and utilize a bank of text and use it to stay on message and on brand.

3. Update and unify all online targets and landing pages.

Lastly, under the heading of “update and unify,” make sure that your social media platforms and calls to action all point at the right places. The use of landing pages, product pages, and promotional pages should be completely in lock-step. When your followers want to shop, learn more, zap a QR code, or take advantage of a promotion, all social media sites should send them to the exact same places. With your online targets and landing pages unified, you can then use UTM (tracking) technology and analytics to determine which pages are receiving the most interest and traffic, which in turn will enable you to adjust and refine your sales, promotions, campaigns, etc.

4. Use keywords and hashtags (but don’t over-do it!).

More and more often, social media accounts and posts are appearing in ordinary web searches. Leverage this trend by using your industry’s keywords and hashtags to make it more likely that your latest TikTok or Instagram post will show up in Google searches. There’s no need to pack your social media with keywords the way you used to with SEO meta data. Just incorporate your business’s keyword and buzzwords into the text of your post content, and then tag everything up with the appropriate hashtags (but be careful about overpowering your posts with long block of hashtags, and make sure the hashtags you use really apply to your content). You should also use the same keywords in the informational fields of each social media platform (and your website)—account descriptions, introductions, about us pages, etc.

5. Stick to a schedule.

Figure out the best frequency and timing for your posts (it may be different for each platform), and stick to that schedule. How do you know how frequently you should post? How do you know what times of the day, week, and month to post? Well, each platform has an optimal frequency, and we’ll talk about that in the second part of this article, but for now, there are some ways to pin down your organization’s optimal social media calendar. 

-Talk to your followers. Ask some of your more visibly engaged followers how often they like to see your content. Have there been times when you’ve posted too much or too little?

-Check out your competitors. How often do they post? Does it seem like they post too much or too little? Could you snag some attention from them by posting on their schedule?

-Analyze past campaigns and periods of social media activity. Check out your social media history and see what rhythms and frequencies have been successful in the past.

6. Audit your entire social media program on a regular basis and base future efforts on the results. 

Social media audits have quickly become a standard and critically important practice for organizations of all kinds. If you have social media, you have to audit, review, and analyze it. Social media audits can be as complex or simplistic as necessary, but it basically breaks down to examining all of your online resources, figuring out what is and isn’t working, and then repeating the successes while trying not to repeat the failures. What posts are most successful? What kinds of posts have fallen flat? Are there posts that work on one platform but not another? Find out what works and do more of that.

In the second part of this article, we’ll discuss tips, hacks, and best practices for specific each of the most popular social media platforms!

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