A standard approach to social media marketing will get you standard, not stellar, results. Sure, post according to the recommended times. Follow formatting guidelines for various platforms and how best to update. Use those images! Do the things you're advised to do, but for high-impact social media, don't stop there. Here are the next steps.
Saturate your followers with relevant, specific, interesting, helpful information.
Generic list posts? Nobody needs them.
Another boring rendition of generic success advice or ten tips for doing slightly better in some saturated topic? Nope. Nobody wants them.
What people want is in-depth, insightful, interesting information that will genuinely help them in some specific way. Provide that, with lots of photos, and share it all over the place, generously. Speaking of generosity...
Be a beacon of generosity in a selfish social media world.
Amidst the onslaught of selfies and personal branding, let your social media shine like the pure sun of generosity in action. Give attention, instead of seeking it. Highlight your customers instead of your products. Share great information from all over the place, not just your own. Lead people to resources. Make and give away resources. Give lots of credit, applause, and praise to followers, peers, and even competitors.
Generosity is attractive. It's magnetic. It's like a rainbow of warmth that makes all those me-me-me! accounts fade into cold, boring gray.
Be quick to respond and always courteous.
Social media gives you the ability to connect instantly with your consumers and potential consumers. So when one of them brings you a complaint, or a question, or anything, respond. They expect you to be quick, and they expect you to be direct (though always courteous and respectful, as well).
Don't sidestep a question. Make apologies when appropriate. Hand out information like candy. Connect customers with the right resource or the right person. Above all, do not ignore your customers when they interact with you on social media.
Show some personality.
There's a word for a social media account run by a team of marketers lost in corporate jargon and lawyerly constraints: that word is "unfollowed."
The Internet is an endless free library of interesting things, and your customers have no reason to waste their time on boring social media accounts. They won't. So don't be boring. Whether it's an individual or a team running the social media, authorize them to show some personality. Limits like "be respectful" and "be courteous" and "stay professional" provide boundaries. Within those boundaries, have fun.
Find ways to get your customers involved.
Social media can be passive, or it can be interactive. Interactive is better; live interaction sparks interest, spreads engagement, and, ultimately, increases future conversions. Find ways to proactively involve your customers rather than only feeding them information or waiting passively for questions to roll in.
Come up with a contest. Get creative with coupons and promotions. Highlight customer stories. Use gamification, have trivia nights, host online chats and photo shares: anything that will get your customers as interested in your social media account as you are.
There are lots of ways to spread messages; the beauty of social media is that it can be much more. Social media marketing has the potential to be a never-ending, interesting, beneficial conversation between you and all the customers you can handle... if you let it become that.