A — Authenticity: Whether you are a brand or an influencer, your social accounts should be bullshit-free zones. Be real and passionate about what you post online because even though you’d hate to admit it, your audience can smell inauthenticity a mile away.
B — Brand Voice: Avoid having a visible identity crisis and determine your brand’s voice before all else. Jot down a few words that are representative of your brand and create a persona: your dream brand ambassador if you will. Be sure to stay in character when communicating with your audience and publishing content across platforms.
C — Consistency: As I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again, “consistency is key.” The best way to gain, and more importantly, retain followers is to show that your brand is on top of it! You should do your absolute best to commit to the brand voice, while maintaining the same level of quality and quantity of the content you are publishing.
D — Dedication: The internet does not sleep, which means social media is a 24/7 beast. Content and conversations are constantly being pumped out into the social world. Be sure to dedicate time and effort into backtracking and analyzing what you’ve missed while unplugged.
E — Engagement: This is a big one! If you’re looking to build a following that looks more like brand ambassadors rather than just followers, you will need to actively communicate with them. The foundation of a good relationship is communication, right? I mean, imagine going on a blind date and not saying a single word; your date would be out the door while simultaneously logging back into Tinder. Don’t let your followers lose interest — engage, engage, engage!
F — Fun: Between new social channels poppin’ up all over the place, the people you connect with and impromptu trends, remember to remain agile while enjoying every damn minute of it.
G — Goals: Set channel specific goals so you know exactly what you’re working toward. Collect data weekly to see if you’re on the right track and execute based on those insights.
H — Humour: Try to inject as much personality into your social presence as possible, no one likes answering to a robot. A punny or emoji-filled post here and there won’t hurt anyone and it can draw attention to your account.
I — Influencers: Do your research and partner up with influencers to help promote your brand. You can find influencers by searching within native apps or skimming through people on Klout. Whatever you do, be sure that your product aligns well with the influencer’s audience otherwise it runs the risk of looking inauthentic. If you’re a brand looking for a quick way to connect with influencers, check out Instabrand.
J — Judgement: Make decisions with the best interests of your brand in mind. Use your judgement when engaging and publishing. For example, there will ALWAYS be trending hashtags, it doesn’t mean you have to hop on every single one. Unless you can think of something creative that won’t weird out your audience, stay away from trends that do not align well with your brand.
K — Keyword Research: Surprise, surprise! This is just as important for social media as it is for other components of digital marketing. Be sure to play detective and research keywords for each platform you’re using because audiences can vary from platform to platform.
L — Listening: Make like Duane Dog Chapman and start tracking! Look out for specific words, phrases or conversations you can insert yourself into. Your bounty: brand awareness.
M — Managing: Social can sometimes feel like a bit of a jugglin’ act: create, schedule, monitor, engage, repeat! You’ll want to find a third-party app and master an efficient workflow that allows you to carry out different tasks for all of your accounts, in the same window. Properly managing your brand’s accounts is the first step in growing an audience.
N — Niche: Narrow your brand’s focus by finding your target audience. It’s easier said than done but: Find a niche, fill the niche, own the niche.
O — Optimization: Use the right tools and get things done right, we can all tell when you’re being a lazy little shit. Image optimization is most definitely my biggest brand pet peeve because it takes very little effort but makes a huge difference. So listen up brands of the world: stop hitting that tempting share button in Instagram. Instead, snap your photos horizontally and upload them directly into the native app.
Don’t you want to give your photo all the attention and respect it deserves?
Well fine, you can be the judge:
P — Planning: I have two words: content calendar. The more you can organize and plan out the content you curate, the more time you can focus on real-time engagement. Be proactive ya’ll!
Q — Quality & Quantity: I’ll get straight to the point with this one, do not go from posting 2–3 high-resolution images a day to posting 1 pixelated monstrosity a week. You will confuse the hell out of your audience.
R — Responding: If your brand has any social presence, it’s the first place your customers will look to for answers, complaints or testimonials. If you’re an active brand on social and you’re not responding to your audience than what exactly are you doing? It won’t take long for you to build up a bad reputation for all to see. People don’t want to feel ignored or discredited, respond in a timely manner and set the right expectations.
S — Sharing: The line between consumers and brands is getting closer and closer, get real social by sharing other peoples’ content as well as your own. User generated content is on the rise and sharing is indeed caring.
T — Tools: There are 101 different social tools available out there, it can definitely be overwhelming. Take a deep breath and start your hunt, finding the right tools will help save time while increasing your productivity.
Here are a few of my favourite tools:
U — Uniqueness: If your brand happens to fall into a competitive niche, you’ll need to step up your creative game. Don’t blend into a social feed, stand out! Think about this when developing your brand’s voice or when you’re about to push content out — will it set you apart from the others? If the answer is no, get back to work.
V — Virality: When it comes to publishing, every content manager has the dream of going viral. Baby steps though, the pressure to go viral should be present but I believe the primary focus should be on hitting the goals and benchmarks you’ve set for you brand. You never know what could go viral these days, the internet is weird like that.
W — Whereabouts: How do you know which social platforms you need to be on? You don’t and you won’t until you test them out with your audience. Be everywhere but don’t spread yourself thin.
X — Xylophone: Woah, thanks for reading this far down! I could not think of a word for x but xylophones are pretty sweet instruments so I thought I’d give them some love. If you can think of something, feel to free to respond with your suggestion.
Y — YOLO: You only live once and so does your feed. The social world can get quite noisy so don’t be afraid to take some risks, chances are whatever you commit to posting will get swallowed up in a few seconds anyways. Or hey, maybe that one risk leads to virality? To quote my favourite fictional teacher out there:
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy! — Ms. Frizzle
Z — Zeal: Social gives each and everyone of us a voice, use it for good measure and authentically. Let your enthusiasm and passion come out through your brand’s voice.