It’s 2019 and social media is one of the leading online channels for marketing promotions.

Every business, small and large, now has a social media presence and is vying to get the attention of its target audience. So, in this competitive environment, how do you make sure that your social media posts are leaving a mark with your audience?

Follow these best practices to make sure your social media efforts are working harder for your brand:

1. Create your posts with goals in mind

Some standard goals for social media posts are:

  • Drive traffic to a website
  • Sell a product/service/ticket
  • Generate leads
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase engagement and followers
  • Communicate with customers

Make sure your social media goals for each channel are S.M.A.R.T goals:

  • Specific — Be clear of what you to wish to achieve with each post, such as “Grow followers on Facebook and Twitter.”
  • Measurable — How will you measure the success of your posts? Use a metric that makes sense with your goal. If your channel goal is to grow followers, then your goal for each post might be that each post garners at least 1 follower. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, then your post goal might be that each post garners at least 1 share.
  • Achievable — It’s good to aim high, but beneficial to set realistic and achievable targets to what’s reasonable, given the audience size/scope of your industry.
  • Relevant — Once the goal is achieved, it should have a positive outcome towards your business.
  • Timely — Your goal should be deadline- and time-based, for example, “Double the number of followers in 6 months.”

2. Follow a calendar

It’s good to follow a schedule when posting on social media and having a calendar will help you achieve this. A calendar can help you:

  • Plan — A calendar will help you plan in advance on the type of content you wish to promote. This will reduce last-minute stress of doing your research.
  • Be Accountable — A calendar will hold you and your team accountable for deadlines. Creative and content teams can prepare needed content in time.
  • Strategize — You can strategize better on type of the content you wish to post. Let’s assume you have a digital product and you want to promote the product during Cyber Week after Thanksgiving. You can arrange the posts for each day of the week.

3. Post on the right channels

There are several social media channels. Here are some to name a few:

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Quora
  • Reddit

Do you need to be posting on all channels? No; each channel has its strengths and you need to determine which one is the best for your business. Understand the audience and type of content posted on each channel and determine which ones are the perfect channels for you.

Facebook vs. LinkedIn

Facebook is used to connect with a variety of people — your friends, family and those you work with, go to school with, or people you used to be friends or classmates with. LinkedIn is designed to connect professionals; Facebook is designed to just connect people.

4. Quality wins over quantity

Sprout Social did a study on multiple brands social media practices and found that brands that post too frequently resulted in drop of 34% followers. On the flip side, post too little, and brands lose 18% of their followers. The best way to tackle this is to find a balance between the two. Also, emphasis should be given to the posts’ quality and not the quantity. Brands should not post just for the sake of posting. Make sure every post counts and is in line with your overall social media goals.

5. Creative your own social media personality

Even for very specialized niches and products that are jargon-heavy, on social media, you are communicating with real people. It helps to add a little personality to the posts. Mix up your content, add some humor or language that sounds like the post is coming from a person, not a corporation. Also, all posts should not be promotional. In a study, HubSpot found that 45% of people unfollow a brand if their posts are too promotional. People usually scroll quickly when browsing their social media post. If your post is not interesting, its just going to get lost in the clients’ feed. Make sure your post is interesting enough that it makes the user stop to read and encourages them to act: like, share, comment, etc.

Follow these 5 best practices and your organic social media efforts will be a success. Happy posting!