Have you ever made a social media faux-pas for your business? From a typo, to a snarky comment or an unintentional error. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. The problem with making mistakes on social, is that they can be exposed to potentially thousands (or millions in some cases) of followers in a flash, putting your business on a virtual chopping block. So how do you ensure your social posts are relevant, timely, effective, yet still engaging?

Cheryl Metzger wrote an article for Social@Ogilvy, “The 7 Dos and Don’ts of Real-Time #Marketing,” in which she points out very useful rules-of-thumb for effective real-time posts and tweets that make an impact the right way.

1. Timeliness is key. There’s no use in posting about last year’s scandal or gadget (unless it somehow becomes relevant again). Make sure you talk to people about what’s current now.

2. Don’t interject your post just for the sake of  shameless self-promotion. If it doesn’t make sense to say something, don’t. By that same token, don’t try to force a post when it’s irrelevant. Metzeger advises to “Instead, practice engaged listening. Identify in advance what cues align to your brand—whether thematic, linguistic, or behavioral—then listen intently for these natural openings into the conversation.”

3. Never use tragic events as a platform for your marketing. Here is an example of what not to do (in response to the tragic Boston Marathon Bombings):


4. Know who you’re talking to aka understand who your audience is, and pinpoint your social posts to them. For example, if your target market ranges from the 50-65 year-old range, it’s important you talk about things that matter to them, using words they understand. This will better ensure that your message comes across loud and clear.

5. Keep your Call-to-Action (CTA) in mind with every message you send. This should be the objective and driving force before every post. If your CTA isn’t always clear to you, it won’t be clear to your audience.

6. Focus on being relevant to your needs, not keeping up with other brands or trying to impress the wrong people. Even if your message doesn’t always seem to be “super cool,” if it resonates with your audience, evokes engagement and drives results, then that’s all that matters. Metzger advises, “…focus your real-time marketing on delivering tangible benefits—whether it’s providing creative inspiration, surprising product hacks, free expert guidance, or a tool to help in a crisis. Practical utility delivered in real time provides instant value—the currency necessary to forge 21st-century customer relationships.”

Have any real-time social media marketing tips of your own? Witness any social media dos & don’ts you’d like to share? Let us know!

© 2013 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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