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5 Cardinal Rules of Social Media Marketing

Using Social Media for Marketing

Social media is one of the absolute best online tools available to marketers today. Each platform has its own affordances and best practices as far as marketing goes, but all of them have some basic rules that marketers should follow. Content on social media should be…


Regardless of what platform you’re posting to, odds are you can include visuals. Rarely would I ever post ANYTHING without some sort of visual element. I don’t just mean pictures, either. Get creative with it… don’t be afraid of using GIFs, video, even emojis in your brand’s post. Some of the top brands in the country are taking advantage of emojis, which you can see here. Something as simple as mixing up the format of a post can create a visually appealing composition. Users skim right over plain text, so do something eye-catching to stand out and get people interested.


Give your followers a take-away. Give them a link to click on to learn more about the subject matter of the post, a tip/trick/hack for their daily life, or something they’ll want to share with others. Let’s say you’re a dentist. Don’t just remind people to brush or floss or come in for checkups: give them tooth-healthy recipes, recommendations, or cures for bad breath (to name a few ideas). Make your content something that someone will spend more than a glance on. Let’s say I wanted to post about social media marketing on our company’s Facebook page. I might consider including a link like this.


Encourage your followers to participate. Make the post something that they will engage with—-whether that’s liking, commenting, or sharing, the easier you make it to engage with the post, the more likely people are to do it. Answer questions, ask questions, respond to comments, and push out content people care actually about. Use a casual voice that people can connect with (try not to sound too promotional or sales-y: leave that for ads). Social media is a place for people to interact, so keep your tone conversational. Engagement on social media is really the end game, after all. Users are more likely to remember brands with which they engage online. Check out some examples of engaging posts here.


Post frequently so that your followers don’t forget about you. There’s a fine line, though, between frequent posting and over-posting. The goal is to remind your users that you’re there, not to annoy them. I really can’t stress this point enough: don’t just post to post. Have a reason for everything you’re doing online or you’re just wasting your time and space in your followers’ feeds. If you have ten super-engaging, useful, and relevant posts every single day, then post away! If you are just tweeting your slogan (don’t do that in the first place by the way), ten posts a day is going to lead to some “unfollows”. Just think about what you’d want to see in your personal feed. Here are some best practices for post frequency on different platforms.


Most importantly, make sure what you’re posting is relevant. There should be an obvious connection between your brand and your post. Make your content reflect your values and competencies as a brand. Give your followers something that will help convey the image you want to portray. For good examples of relevant campaigns, click here.

Have a Goal

Keep your content all-of-the-above to stay successful on social media. At the end of the day, make sure your content is something that people want to see. Nothing is going to detract followers more than mundane, long, or sales-y posts. Post often with something visual that your users can use, engage with, and connect to your brand, and watch those metrics climb! Just remember: no matter what you do when marketing online, have a goal in mind. Whether your goal is conversions, foster brand loyalty, or just plain brand awareness, make sure what you’re doing is reflecting that goal!

EMSC manages social media for clients in a variety of industries. To see how we can help your company with their social media marketing efforts, visit our social media management page.

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