For all the analytics, all the strategies, and all the crunchable numbers and reviewable facts and figures, at the core, social media marketing comes down to people. It’s about building trust and loyalty; it’s about relatability and human psychology. Basically, it’s something just a little too messy and unpredictable to be boiled down to an easy formula or a straightforward recipe—and while that may be daunting for some, it’s liberating for others.
What it ultimately means is that, while there may be some best practices and some recommended approaches, your mileage on these things may vary, just depending on your brand and your audience. The only way to really find out what works best for you—what gets the results that you need—is to experiment. The question is, how can you approach social media marketing with a mad scientist mentality, without compromising professionalism or totally shooting yourself in the foot?
Knowing Your Voice
The trick is to experiment with your social media marketing, trying new things and different tactics, without losing sight of your brand’s ultimate identity. Experimenting with whether morning or afternoon Facebook posts get more traction, or which Instagram filter seems to generate the most likes, is all fine and good. Going totally off-topic, off-brand, or contrary to what your users ultimately care about—now that can be dangerous.
Before you experiment, then, it’s important to know the values that your brand stands for. Having a written mission statement, or even a good company ‘About’ page or bio, can provide you with a helpful reference point, keeping you anchored to your core values.
What to Experiment With?
With that said: Exactly what can you experiment with? As you play around and try to figure out what generates the best results with your social media accounts, consider trying different approaches with each of the following variables:
- The time of day you post. Of course, you likely want to post during hours when your customers are awake, but you may get different results posting during the early morning hours versus late afternoon or evening. There’s no right or wrong here—just see what works.
- Hashtags. Should you be using them? Yes. Which ones? Well, that depends. Depending on your brand, you may have success with humorous ones, trendy ones, or simply descriptive ones. Even the number of hashtags you use is something to experiment with, though we generally advocate for no more than three.
- Filters. This is for Instagram; see what makes your pictures shine, and generates the most attention.
- Topics. Are you blogging about industry trends? Offering helpful, practical tips? Giving behind-the-scenes glimpses of your office? Seeking to educate, or to inspire? All of these strategies can work, but it’s smart to play around a bit to see which ones work best for you.
A final piece of advice: Make sure that you truly are scientific in tracking your experiments and analyzing the results. Otherwise, your experimentation is all in vain! You need to know what’s actually working, and what’s not.
To learn more about the right approach to social media experimentation, contact Grammar Chic, Inc. today: Call 803-831-7444, or visit www.grammarchic.net.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.