Social Media

8 steps to social media best practice

8 steps to social media best practice Lloyd

Here is a “roll up your sleeves” guide to posting and responding on social media. But before we get into the dos, better make sure that you stay away from any fire starter situations. Avoid doing things in this list at all costs!

Social media worst practice list of doom

Don’t

  • Talk politics or religion – Don’t do it. Ever.
  • Go feral – Don’t post rants or gripe when things don’t go your way. Avoid a catastrophe.
  • Spam – Post as often as you have good quality information to share. What would someone who has had a long day at work be interested to see?
  • Respond hastily – Well thought out & correct answers are vital. Never post angry.
  • Bash competitors – Focus on your customers, then you. Not your competition. Rather than say what is wrong with your competitors X,Y or Z talk instead about your product or service and how it solves problems.
  • Self-promote all the time – Instead use the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts should be helpful and informative, 20% can be promotion.
  • Be conservative – This is your opportunity to speak directly to your customers. Be outgoing & engaging.

Now that you can avoid pitfalls, let’s dive into social media best practice.

The social media best practice list of awesome

Do

  1. Go visual – Even for brands not renown for excitement, visual engagement can be achieved.
  2. Treat your social audience as VIPs – Release opportunities to your social audience first, ask them what they think about your industry.
  3. Respond and engage – It’s not just about posting. Keep watch on your content and participate with conversation and comments.
  4. Learn from the best – Find the world leaders in your industry and follow them on social. Look at what they do and learn from them.
  5. Educate and inform – By educating and informing potential customers on what they need to know about your industry you become a trusted brand.
  6. Keep it short – Social media is a quick consumption medium. Keep it short, easy to read and light.
  7. Analyse – Spend time looking at what works and what doesn’t. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Here is a great bootstrapping guide to measuring social media.
  8. Integrate – Use your website, email signature, business cards etc to make it easy for people to follow you.

If you had to start social right now, what would you like to know that we haven’t touched on?

8 questions to ask when getting a new website

8 questions to ask when getting a new website Lloyd

If you are thinking about getting a new website that will be the focal point of your online marketing, what should you look for when hiring a website designer, developer or agency? This will vary based on your specific needs, but here is a start to make sure you are armed and ready to uncover any potential issues.

  1. Are you (or agency) a designer, developer or both?

    • Here are some very broad and unwarranted generalisations but serve as a good starting point. A designer won’t understand the best way to “make things work”. A developer will give you something that looks like everything else out there. An agency will easily use all your budget. What is the best choice? It will come down to the specifics of your website needs, but consider an agency. They will have people with a variety of skill sets working on your site.
  2. How does your new website cater to mobile, desktop and everything in between?

    • You’ll want to listen out for things like Foundation, Bootstrap, Gumby, Unsemantic or Skeleton. These are very popular CSS frameworks that support rapid production, are used by many developers and are rock solid in performance. If these aren’t being used it should be something similar and documented. And what is CSS? It is the language used to present html, which includes elements like colour, layout and fonts.

    skeleton

  3. If a Content Management System (CMS) is being used, what is it?

      • If a CMS is being used, is it open source or proprietary? In short, open source means the website software is widely available, while proprietary means it is solely used by your prospective provider. If you go down the proprietary path you’ll most likely be tied to your designer / developer forever. Open source means you’ll have freedom to select who works on your site.

    WordPress

  4. What deliverables are provided with your new website?

    • Are you getting the basics included such as Google Analytics, an XML sitemap, a robot.txt file, alt text on all images, a keyword strategy on each page, competitor analysis, website goal tracking, and the list goes on. The things under the hood can be just as important as the outward appearance of your site. A good place to start is to ask for what is not included in the package.
  5. How easy is it to blog?

  6. How does social media and email marketing integrate?

    • Email is the most effective form of marketing for small businesses. Social media is the new word of mouth and a powerful testimonial tool for your business. You need to have a plan to make these three form your online engine. Bundle these together as part of the project.
  7. When can you start?

    • Get this question in early to make sure your deadline can be met. Do they have capacity now and how long will the project take to deliver.
  8. Do you support long term relationships?

    • If you are in a growth phase and in need of support after launch, it pays to check if you can be supported when needed. Some may want to hand work over to a third party once the website launch is complete.

This is not an exhaustive list, but should serve in creating a meaningful dialogue with an agency or individual. A desirable contact will be able to talk to all of these points and should make you feel comfortable and confident in going forward.

What else would you like to cover as part of your online mix?