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The 4 Golden Rules for Social Media Success

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When it comes to your business, you can invest as much time and energy into your social media accounts as you like. But, the more you put in, the more you get out.

At the very least your business Facebook page can serve as an online business card – telling customers your address and your opening hours. With a bit of clever curation, however, your social media presence can be a major marketing tool, a branding device, and an avenue for customer service.

Playing your cards right will have you racking up likes, shares, follows, and comments, growing you an online presence to rival that of a Kardashian. If you employ these best practices you’ll be on your way to social media success.

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The 80/20 Rule

Social media is the perfect platform for content marketing. Just remember that the golden rule of content marketing is that to be most effective it needs to be unrecognizable as marketing. Your content should purely be high quality stuff which informs, amuses, entertains, or enlightens.

Of course, some straight-up promotional content is allowable, especially if it’s to announce an amazing sale, a social-media-only exclusive deal, or big company news.

Just keep in mind the 80/20 rule – 80 percent of your content should be non-promotional.

Quality not Quantity

Many individuals and businesses alike fall into the trap of posting way too much on social media. Yes, it’s true that high volumes of statuses, images, tweets, and videos being posted on these platforms means that nothing is around for very long and if someone hasn’t checked their feed within half an hour they may have missed your post.

Posting constantly in the hopes of every single follower seeing at least something is not the answer to this. Your social media efforts are in vain if everyone has blocked you, hidden you, or unfollowed you for being annoying and clogging up their feed.

Maintaining consistently high quality and worthy posts means that you will hold people’s attention and earn your place on their newsfeed. If you’re really good they may even go searching for any posts of yours they may have missed.

High quality content that people love cements you in their mind as a brand they like.

Use Your Hashtags Wisely

As the first two best practices have explained, social media success hinges on maintaining an active and interested audience and not turning them off.

This also includes not over-tagging your photos or posts. Ten different “follow me” hashtags and a hashtag for every version of “photo of the day” aren’t a good look. You need to restrict yourself to just a few useful hashtags.

To make your hashtags work for you (that is, to reach a broader audience who are looking for that tag) you’ve got to think of what potential customers will be searching for. It’s often a good idea to look at your competitors’ pages to see what tags are working for them, too.

Always use location-specific tags and geo-locate your posts so that they’ll come up when people are searching in your area.

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Communicate With Your Community

When it comes to best practices for social media success, using the customer service opportunities is a big one.

Social media is a two-way street, it’s not just about broadcasting your content to everyone. To really work marketing magic on social media, you need to engage. When someone asks a question of you, you reply.

Whatever the feedback is, don’t let it go unanswered. Played cleverly, you can even turn a bad comment, review, or feedback into a positive. Just look at the poster boy of great social media customer service: Dan from Optus.

The customer service you provide on social media doesn’t need to take the same tone as your more official channels. You can keep it what it is – social. It’s the perfect branding opportunity. Use a friendly a fun tone? People will think of your brand as friendly and fun. You can build a rapport with your online community and you can give your company a human edge.

An effective social media presence comes down to the content you post and the way you post it. It’s about finding the sweet spot where followers are engaged and interested, while using the branding and customer service opportunities it presents. Keep in mind these golden rules and you’ll be well on your way to social media success.

Alex Sizer

Alex Sizer is a red wine lover, content writer and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing her own travel blog, she's writing for The Social Savior's content team.

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