Social media is a direct line to your audience, and when it’s used properly it can be an extremely effective marketing tool. However, you need to make sure you’re not making careless mistakes when you’re using such a powerful platform.

Social media moves very quickly, and it can be tricky to keep track of what works and what doesn't. But amidst all the trends, there are a few rules that'll always be relevant, and it's important to stay on top of them if you're going to keep your socials on track.

1. Tailor your tone

'Social media marketing’ is a broad term, but it’s important that you’re familiar with the nuances of each platform. From LinkedIn to X, your posts and your communication style should be tailored for the platform you’re using.

LinkedIn, for example, is a bit more ‘formal’ than the rest. This isn’t to say you need to be robotic - you should always add a little bit of your brand’s personality into your posts - but you should try to retain a slightly more professional tone. Facebook is a little more relaxed and informal, but it’s important that you retain your brand’s personality and make sure the tone doesn’t dilute the purpose of your post.

2. Back to the brand

Your brand’s personality is key in any scenario, but it’s particularly important on social media. We’ve spoken about the importance of tailoring your tone to the channel, but you should never lose sight of your brand’s voice; it’s a key part of your brand’s individuality. Whichever platform you’re using, posts that deviate too much from your brand voice will be jarring to long-term followers and fans, and it can hamper the impact of the post.

3. Eyes on the prize

Your social media strategy will assign goals or aims to each platform, whether that’s simply to entertain your followers or to drive sign-ups for an event or service. Whatever the goal, it’s important that you stick to it; don’t try and do too much, because you’ll more than likely lessen the impact.

Make sure all content and language is geared towards the goals you have set for that platform. You need to stop scrollers in their tracks and make them pay attention to what it is you want them to do. Grab their attention and finish on a powerful CTA to drive them towards the end goal.

4. Proof your posts

Just like you would with web content or long-form pieces, you should always get somebody to proof your posts before they go out. Even if it’s a post on X with just 280 characters, that’s still 280 chances to make a mistake, and spelling or grammar mistakes can hamper your brand’s professional image. Social media is fast-paced but take an extra moment for one last check.

5. Keep it fresh

When you find a formula that works for your social media strategy, you’ll obviously want to stick to it. However, it’s important that you don’t let your content go stale; if you deliver the same posts in the same format every day or week, the impact of those posts will diminish pretty quickly. Stay up to date with new platform features and find a way to utilise these tools to keep your content fresh and engaging.

6. Use quality visuals

Social media content works best when it's authentic, and you can create great content using just a phone. However, nothing makes a post seem rushed and slightly amateurish than a bad photo or a poor-quality graphic. Even when making content on the fly you should be referring to clear visual guidelines to ensure it's impactful and on brand. Create content with the platform in mind; landscape video does not naturally suit a portrait-focused platform such as TikTok.

7. Create content fit for purpose

If you’ve got a topic you’d like to talk about in detail, consider using a video rather than copy to do it. A lengthy text-based post might intrigue some people, but most people will be put off before they’ve even started reading it. Sometimes, visual content is much more effective, both at grabbing attention and capturing nuance. Assume your audience is time-poor and do everything you can to help them absorb information as quickly as possible.

8. Keep your audience in mind

Even if you want to post about something, you need to consider whether it’s relevant to your audience or not. When creating your social media strategy you will have completed thorough research to determine who your audience are and what they want to see. You may be very proud of a new company-wide initiative, but consider whether users scrolling Instagram for inspiration will have the same interest. With carefully curated content, you can support and educate your audience with every post, which also helps to strengthen loyalty and trust.

Keep in mind

Your social media channels are the most immediate and direct line of communication with your users, customers and audience, and that’s why it’s so important for your content to be slick, sharp and useful. It’s vital to try new things out, learn from what doesn’t work and build on what does. By constantly reviewing performance and staying true to your brand, you can create social content that drives engagement and keeps your audience coming back.

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Selina Conroy

Selina Conroy

Social Media and Content Manager