With plenty of new social media platforms popping up on the market constantly and every existing one continuing to develop and update their offering it can be hard to keep up. There always seems to be new rules to abide by, but what is true for one platform may not translate to another. Believe it or not however, some things in social media stay the same. Here are the top 4 rules that always apply.

1. The only thing that will never change is that things will always change  

In the last few months alone Facebook has changed its algorithm twice to ensure you see more from your friends and less from brands. Instagram has introduced an algorithm so you can see more ‘relevant’ content as opposed to what was most recently posted. These changes will keep happening so it’s important to take the time to read about the updates and to experiment with your own data to see how it affects you, or ensure that you are being advised on how your social media presence may need to change.

2. Do what’s right for your brand 

Do you need Twitter? Should you post every day? What’s more important, Facebook or Instagram? Just because everyone else is doing it should you? To answer, think about what you are trying to achieve (your end goal) and the best ways to do this and then work backwards. Don’t decide that you need a Snapchat and then try and align it with your goals. If you don’t have great visuals don’t be on Instagram until you do, if you don’t have something meaningful to say every day don’t say it, but always commit. There is nothing worse than an abandoned page, languishing in cyber space. If you have it, use it – or make it clear what the purpose is (contact details, news updates etc.)

3. Learn from your own data 

Yes there are general trends about best posting times and content length and image vs video BUT, there is no audience just like yours, there is no content just like yours and there is no DATA just like yours. Use the studies as a guide but don’t forget, you have your very own focus group right at your fingertips, you have the reporting capabilities and you have the power. Work out what works for YOUR BRAND because in the end that’s all that matters.

4. Stay Social, Stay Human 

More and more marketers are falling into the trap of focusing on ‘Media’, whilst ignoring the more important ‘Social’. Don’t forget, for consumers it is less about the technicalities of the platform but what it allows people to do: stay in touch with friends, share meaningful moments, create connections and learn something new. The fact that we are all human is an asset on this platform, so use it.