The Unwritten Rules of Social Media Marketing

If you aren’t leveraging the potency of social media marketing, you’re several steps behind your competitors, regardless of your industry.

Social media, which seems very basic in nature, is one of the most efficient ways to elevate your audience and customer base. It’s cost-effective, and offers unparalleled reach to today’s consumers who’re always connected to the Web.

And while social media seems simple – anyone can write a post and attach a picture or link, right? – a lack of experience or insight can make it very challenging.

You may think there’s no science to social media, since millennials and such can figure it out, but there are social media fundamentals which are crucial to understand & utilize if you want any success with your campaigns.

These unwritten rules of social media marketing will help create the foundation of your accounts, allowing you to provide value to your customers, your brand, and your bottom line.

Rule #1: Listen

Being successful on social media isn’t about who says it the most, or who says it the loudest.

In fact, it’s the opposite: social media success involves more listening, and less speaking. Don’t be afraid to dive into your target audience’s preferred online content, and join discussions to learn what’s important to them.

Listening will have you processing what they say, appreciating their opinion, while giving you time to think before you speak. When it’s time to create content, you’ll be able to provide something of value, igniting conversations that are helpful instead of half-hearted.

Rule #2: Focus

Many social media strategies involve too many moving parts, trying to tailor their content and posts to everyone.

Rather than trying to be a jack-of-all-trades, work on specializing your content, directly focusing on your target audience.

A narrowly-focused social media or content marketing strategy will form a stronger brand image, making you synonymous with an area of expertise you can be ‘known’ for. Building a broader strategy weakens your focus and message, since it’s impossible to be all things to all people.

Rule #3: Patience

Social media stardom doesn’t happen overnight. Unless you’ve created a god-like post that somehow finds its way to viral immortality, social media marketing is a long-game strategy.

Offer consistent quality in your social posts, and over time, your following will grow.

Rule #4: Quality

Speaking of quality, it trumps quantity, too.

And that doesn’t only apply to the content you’re providing either – it goes for the quality of your followers as well.

We’d rather have 1,000 connections who are engaged with the brand – reading, sharing, and discussing your content with their own audiences – than 10,000 online followers who are sedentary after following you for the first time.

Rule #5: Value

This may be the golden rule of social media marketing: always provide something of value.

In today’s digital playground, using your social media platforms for nothing more than promoting your products or services will quickly get you shunned. The instantaneous and readily available content throughout the Web means people will quickly stop listening to you if you’re coming off like a greasy used car salesman.

It’s vital to add value to any conversation. Focus your efforts on creating original content, and fostering relationships with your online followers. The latter point is essential, as they’ll in time become key catalysts in driving word-of-mouth marketing for your business.

Rule #6: Accessibility

It’s a common mistake for people to post their weekly social media content, then vanish until it’s time for another update.

Always be available to your audience. That includes both frequent posts, and frequent engagement with people commenting on your content. Online followers are a fickle bunch – they’ll have no problem finding another source of quality content if you’ve disappeared for even a couple of weeks.

Rule #7: Reciprocity

This is the equivalent to ‘you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours’.

Did you really expect for others to share your content and praise your posts, without you doing the same for them? While some loyal followers will do this (read: close family members), most will appreciate some reciprocity for building up your posts.

So, dedicate some time on social media to discussing and sharing content published by others.

What goes around comes around!


Still unsure about what kinds of content you think would speak to your target audience?

Print Three’s marketing experts can execute a social media strategy, schedule, and content posts to meet your business goals – whether it’s building brand awareness, or converting clicks into sales.

For more information about our social media marketing, or other online marketing services, contact a Print Three location near you!