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There aren’t any rules when it comes to social media marketing. There are guidelines, and some are more important – or useful – than others, but that’s all you’re going to get.

The best strategy comes only after a cycle of trying, failing, trying again, and so on. It’s all trial and error. And you will make plenty of mistakes on the road to getting it right.

But there is one mistake you can’t afford to make – and it’s one that people and businesses continue to make all the time. What is it?

Not posting anything at all.

It doesn’t matter how large your company is or, for that matter, how small. Social media marketing is marketing at its core. And marketing isn’t just a necessary evil; it’s engagement with your audience. Big companies (think McDonalds or Coca-Cola) don’t continue marketing because they need to do so. They market because it increases their engagement with their customers, and social media does that more directly than any other medium can.

If you stop feeding your followers, they will find nourishment somewhere else. Coca-Cola knows it and so should you. That’s why they have the large teams of people to cope and deal with their social media (and why you dream of having those teams).

Social media isn’t a one-way street.

There’s something else you should know about social media. It’s not just about creating compelling content and putting it out there. It’s the best way for small businesses to gauge their customer’s need and interests.

Your followers aren’t static; their interests change – and they change. Just because you addressed their needs once, it doesn’t mean you’re doing it now. Social media may look like the marketing arm of your business, but it is also the research branch. When you stop posting, you lose all those valuable metrics. That damages the core of your business more than you could realise.

And, these days, we cannot think of a single excuse for not posting to your social networks regularly. You can develop content in advance, you can schedule it into automation programmes, and you can hand the responsibility over to someone else.

That’s not a bad idea, you know… Giving us your social media responsibilities is not a mistake. We’ve been through the trial of developing the best strategies, and we keep our ear to the ground for the best practices and knowledge so we can pass it on to you.