Social media is becoming the name of the game in the new generation of marketing.

Many businesses hear about the advantages of social media in terms of marketing their products or services, but some forget to look at other major benefits of social media beyond finding leads or making a sale.

Social networks and blogs are changing how consumers find places and services, how and where they share their experiences, and eventually, where they will spend their time and money. Without an understanding of, and participation in, social networks, you can miss shaping and contributing to the decision-making process of those who define the success of your business.

While social media cheat-sheets and short cuts are available almost everywhere you look, the truth is that we have some work ahead of us. To help, we’ve put together a quick rundown of the best online practises when dealing with the most popular online marketing methods.

Facebook

Almost 90% of Facebook’s revenues come from advertising. The other sources include revenue from Facebook credits and other sources.

In 2011, the revenue through advertising rose by 104% (more than doubled) to an estimated R24 billion.

Facebook is currently the leading social site in terms of referral traffic, and should be your top priority in terms of social networking. Facebook is where the people are; it’s incredibly share-heavy, engagement prone, and media loving. With Mark Zuckerberg’s latest announcement that Facebook Timeline will be available for brands at the end of this month, the stress on visual content is more critical than ever. For proper etiquette on Facebook for better engagement, you should focus heavily on these types of posts:

  • Create a call to action- promote shares, likes, and ask questions
  • Post photos and video content often
  • Tag users whenever appropriate
  • Be human. Expand content from solely about your company- broaden your posts to industry news, ask for fans opinions, and always respond.

Twitter

Twitter is incredibly information-hungry, article-sharing, and media-loving. It’s been deemed the conversational search engine of the social networking platforms, and should be treated as a venue for real-time, brief, valuable information. Improve your engagement by providing bite-sized content and heavily focus on the following:

  • Articles that are relevant to your industry
  • Don’t ask open-ended questions; instead, aim for “yes-no” type questions, polls, or action-prone content to encourage engagement.
  • Utilise trending topics when appropriate (this is where hashtags come in)
  • Timing- do an analysis on best times to tweet with a free tool like, Tweriod
  • Retweet industry influencers and followers when appropriate

Your Company Blog

Your brand’s blog isn’t necessarily a social networking platform by definition, but when talking about best practices for each social site, it’s vital to take a look at your blog’s current performance. How have you been utilizing this critical aspect of your brand? In order to provide best practices for social, the foundation of your brand’s content and overall presence should be centrally located on your blog. Here is a quick refresher for how you should engage your subscribers:

  • Make a point to always be relevant, updated and consistent
  • Post something that has absolutely nothing to do with your brand (but still relevant to your industry)
  • Don’t neglect holidays or important current events
  • Open up the floor to your subscribers
  • Make sure you have plug-ins to your social platforms

Focussing on these three services will help you grow your online presence. Spend some time investigating the other platforms and see which will work best for your company.

We really hope this has given you some insight into how social media can improve your business, feel free to ask us any questions you might have about social media marketing, we’re always here to help.

Netmechanic can provide you with all of the support you need with running a successful online campaign.