Internet Marketing Trends 2014 [Part 8 of 11]: Social Media Best Practices

Anyone can have a social media presence. What takes more work is doing it well, and the businesses that do so are few and far between. This gives you a golden opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Are you following social media best practices? Here's a good place to start: Part 8 in the blog series inspired by our free eBook, 11 Internet Marketing Trends 2014.

1) Have you secured your username on all of the major social media platforms?

Try and get the same username for every platform across the board, including Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram. Keep in mind that some platforms, like Twitter, have fewer characters for your username than others. In this case, keep it as close to the full username as possible that you're using elsewhere.

As for platforms, you may secure your name on any number of places even if you do not plan on being active there right now. The last thing you want is someone else securing the username you have everywhere else, as this can be confusing to customers and could potentially damage your brand.

2) Are your profiles filled out in their entirety?

Once you've secured your username, take the time to fill out your profile. The amount of information you can provide will vary from platform to platform, but keep the language and look of your messaging as similar as possible. And by all means, replace the default image icon with your logo or picture.

3) Are you posting compelling content?

It may seem counter-intuitive at first, but the worst way of driving sales via social media is to talk about your product or service. While you can (and should) have promotional updates now and then, make sure they do not represent more than 1 out of every 10 posts.

That said, do be sure to keep all of your posts relative to your industry. In this way, you'll position yourself as an authority in your niche – building your brand, your following, and, ultimately, your bottom line.

4) Are you posting frequently?

With so many of us competing for attention in the social media space, standing out is a tall order. That's why it is so imperative that you get yourself on a regular posting schedule.

Frequency depends, of course, on how much time and resources you have to devote to your social media campaign. At the very least, make sure you are posting and/or engaging at least once a day. Scheduling posts via Hootsuite or some other social media management helps a lot.

5) Are you engaging with influencers?

The only thing more powerful than sharing your content with your followers is when an influencer shares it with theirs.

An influencer is someone with a strong social media presence in their niche.

Seek them out within your industry and start engaging with them. Follow them, like and reshare their content, and comment on their posts (all in a non-promotional manner). Do so consistently, but in moderation – say a couple of times a week – and you'll be well on your way to building a healthy social network.

6) Have you integrated social media into your website?

One of the first things your website visitors look for these days is your social media presence, especially if they don't want to forget about you. While many people do still bookmark pages and sign up for email lists, what's more common is following you on their favorite social media platform. By all means, give them that option.

7) Are you tracking your progress?

Who's following you? How many people are resharing your posts? Are they influencers? Which types of posts get the most clicks? How many people does each platform drive to your site? Tracking the answers to questions like these can go a long way toward helping you gauge the success of your social media campaign and make tweaks accordingly.

Get more in-depth social media marketing tips in the ebook. Click here to download Internet Marketing Trends 2014. It's easy, fast, and free.

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