Do your research
If you’re struggling to get to grips with social media and you’re confused by the different types out there, read up about the subject first. There’s no point in adding social media to your marketing plan if you have no clue as to what it is.
Set some goals
Don’t just jump into social media head first. It’s good to have a thorough plan, so you can measure your success and adapt your social media marketing accordingly.
Consider your target market and use the right social media for your audience.
For example, if your business sells consumer products, Facebook might be the best platform for you. Or if you’re an accountancy firm, perhaps Twitter would be more suitable.
Be on your best behaviour
Everything you say and do online gets recorded, so it becomes permanent. It goes without saying, think before you type.
It’s an obvious tip but if you’re boring, people won’t want to follow you. Try to add some lively and interesting tweets or updates to your social media accounts. It will keep people coming back for more.
Social media is all about engaging, two-way conversation, so don’t just bombard your followers or fans with your own company news and updates. Communicate and interact!
Join everything up
Hook up your website as much as possible. How do you do this? Integrate your own blog to your website and use it as an effective marketing tool.
Don’t be negative
Never slander any other business or person through social media. It will come back to haunt you.
Keep it regular
Keep your social media profiles current and updated. If you leave them to fester, they'll become stagnant and therefore risk making you look unprofessional.
Get the SEO right
Consider SEO or Social Media Optimisation (SMO) when choosing a username. Try to add some keywords to your profile name.
Make life easier and use tools to automatically hook up your blog to your Twitter or Facebook accounts. TryHootsuite.com or Twitterfeed.com.
Give a personal touch
Personalise your profile pages and adapt to company branding. Ensure you have filled out all the necessary information.
Use your face
If at all possible, put a face to your brand. People prefer to follow humans instead of logos.
Keep your eyes peeled for social media updates or newcomers. It’s no good using social media if you haven’t a clue what’s going on. Mashable is an excellent online news site regarding social media.
Quality not quantity
Only sign up to a couple of the top social media sites. You don’t need to go mad. And make sure you don't spam everyone's feeds with your own tweets or updates all the time. It will just turn people off and they're likely to stop following you.
Get your privacy controls right
Make sure your privacy settings are correct. Double check them at all times.
Link and link again
Add links to your social media accounts on your company website and vice versa.
Check the legal side
Be aware that some social media sites won’t allow you to run competitions without prior consent. With Facebook, for example, you need written permission before running any giveaways on any of its pages.
Make best use of advertising on your social media network. Opportunities are increasingly available. It’s certainly something to consider as part of your marketing plan.
It's not me, me, me
Finally, don’t be selfish. Share, help and encourage other people and businesses online. It’s great karma and will make you seem transparent, open and friendly – the type of business people want to be associated with.
The original version of this article can be found on: http://www.creativeboom.co.uk/tips/top-20-marketing-tips-for-social-media/