A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media – 10 Hits and Misses

social mediaSocial media is now an integral marketing vehicle for businesses/brands of any size and shape. Until a few years back, when not many companies knew about its effectiveness in brand building and establishing a strong customer connect, social media accounted for just a negligible part of a company’s advertising and marketing budget.

In contrast, significant budgets are now allotted to social media platforms. Facebook, the biggest social media platform, often takes a large chunk of the marketing budget, followed by other social networking websites, such as Twitter, Google plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc.

Today, I will focus on getting our strategy right on Facebook, which is a particularly powerful channel for B2C marketers.

Social media marketing – Hits and misses

Though seemingly ubiquitous, social media marketing is relatively at a  nascent stage to conclusively identify the perfect ingredients that constitute a  successful social media strategy. However, over the years, we have made some observations that can spotlight the hits and misses. Let’s begin this guide with some of the lessons we picked up during our rendezvous with social media.

One of the earliest clients of our agency that wanted an exclusively social media-centric campaign was from the hospitality industry– a luxury hotel. The client approached us with a target to get a certain number of “Likes” within a fixed period, i.e., 3 months.

The first post — Hit or Miss?

We took the first step with a poll, which we felt was a safe bet to gauge whether the thinking/strategy was in the correct direction. We started with a question like this:

What is the most attractive feature for you when choosing a luxury hotel for your stay?

The question got more than 100 votes/ responses. For a page that had less than 200 fans to start with, getting such a huge participation level was extremely pleasing.

Verdict: Hit

Running a poll on the page is a hit but a lot depends on your question and the way you ask it.

Rules: Be crisp and use simple words. Ask relatable questions and give attractive options.

Unfortunately, Facebook has removed the polling option but you can ask questions via a post and call fans to participate via their comments or images.

Below are our personal hits and misses based on our experience of handling multiple clients from diverse industries. The below rules can be applied to boost user engagement on any page from any industry/background.

10 Hits – Types of posts that work

  1. Did you know facts?

  2. Knowledge sharing posts/blogs/YouTube videos etc.

  3. Creative/artistic/out of the box posts

  4. Innovative crafts/designs/how-to-do, DIY stuff

  5. Update that actuates emotions – such as – happiness, anger, etc.

  6. Engaging posts, such as games/puzzles/trivia/polls

  7. Timely posts – Celebrating mother’s day, valentine’s day etc.

  8. Light posts – Life quotes, inspiring stories, funny posts, weekend posts etc.

  9. Social responsibility actuating posts – Reduce, Reuse And Recycle…

  10. Up-cycling ideas – How to reuse/repurpose?

10 Misses- Types of posts that you should avoid

  1. Marketing posts – a complete no-no. If you must put in a marketing message, be subtle and that too occasionally.

  2. Direct selling posts– unless you have an irresistible offer to announce.

  3. Too educational/”scientific” posts

  4. Too corporate/self promoting posts (Never glorify yourself too evidently on the social platform)

  5. Never post too industry-specific posts (especially for technical pages)

  6. Excessive ‘Call to Action’ posts. (Hit like, click the link etc).

  7. Just text and no image is a strict no-no, fans love visually appealing updates.

  8. Repetitive posts – Variety is the spice of life and that’s true for the social space. Plan your calendar and make sure you don’t trigger the same emotion everyday.

  9. Random updates … updating stuff that deviates from your existence is fine on some days but constantly uploading stuff that has no connection to your page will drive fans away. There is a reason why they have liked you; be worthy of that like.

  10. Low –quality images: it annoys the fans and may drive them away from your page.

In addition to following the hits and misses, work to develop an authentic profile. Win the trust of your fans and let them know that you are reading their suggestions/comments. Respond to your valuable fans on an ongoing basis to strengthen your bond. Nothing can beat the value of a genuine profile. Build one and begin your social media journey in an upbeat manner.

Namita Walia Sawant is a Content Manager with On Target Marketing Solutions, a Mumbai search marketing firm . To find out more about our Social Media Marketing services and how we can help you get the best exposure from your social media marketing, contact us now.


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