Some businesses make the mistake of thinking that social media is just a case of signing in to Facebook, Tweeting, creating a LinkedIn profile or signing up for Google Plus. It isn’t that easy. To get value from social media, you must share value. That is the key to successful social media marketing that will help you to build a large following of loyal fans and customers. Here are 12 golden rules to help you run a super effective social media marketing campaign:
1. It Takes Time
Although it is extremely effective, social media is not a quick-fix. There are no shortcuts if you want to make your campaigns a success. Like most strategies in marketing it takes time, commitment, consistency and effort. If you are not willing to invest in social media it will never bring you the results that your business needs.
Social media marketing is a commitment that can’t be avoided or ignored.
However, don’t let that put you off because the rewards for your investment and time are well worth it.
Studies show that small businesses and the self employed are most likely to generate leads, close business deals and find partnerships thanks to their involvement on Facebook, Twitter and the other social media sites. Patience is crucial so don’t give up after a short time. It might not happen overnight, and it does take hard work but you won’t regret it.
2. Use Images and Multimedia
They say a picture paints a thousand words ….and a video more! Your followers expect to see pictures and video so make good use of multimedia to engage them and keep them interested.
3. It Is All About the Quality – Not The Quantity
Don’t think that just because you are adding a dozen posts an hour on Twitter and Facebook that you are accomplishing great things for your business. Remember, you need to be productive, not noisy…
So instead of being a serial poster, concentrate on adding friendly, concise gems of advice and information instead of constant irrelevant conversation.
4. Nobody Cares What You Had For Breakfast
To get people to listen to you, you have to contribute something of value for them. If your posts are banal and boring, then you will be ignored.
Think about it: Why would anybody take advice from somebody who doesn’t know anything and just posts useless trivia about what they are doing that day?
Quite simply, if you are not saying anything meaningful then you shouldn’t be saying anything at all. All you’re doing is adding to the ‘noise’ on an already busy platform and you will be ignored.
Keep your posts fresh and consistent. If someone becomes your ‘friend’ on a social network it’s probably because they want to learn more about you, your products or your services.
Always make sure that you can offer valuable, useful advice to your fans and followers. If you position yourself as an expert, they will hang on your every word and you will have customers for life.
5. Keep Up To Date
People get bored very quickly. What’s hot today may be out of date tomorrow, so it’s important to keep up to date with popular trends. If you make the mistake of talking about something that was ‘so last year’ your comments and opinion will seem outdated and irrelevant.
6. Listen First….and Then Speak
Listening to your audience and showing interest in what they have to say is one of the strongest ways to create engagement and make it a conversation. Don’t just talk and give your opinions without hearing your friends’ feedback.
It is important to remember that your aim is to encourage conversation, so give your followers and fans ample opportunity to air their thoughts. If you are monopolizing the conversation, it just becomes a boring lecture instead of a successful marketing strategy.
7. Make Your Followers Feel Special
If you make your followers and fans feel special and important they will be much more likely to listen to you and tell their friends about you, so don’t ignore them if they try to make a connection with you. A simple re-tweet of one of their comments, or a reply to their post, can show that you value their loyalty to you and your company.
8. Be Professional
Because of the impulsive nature of social media, there can be times when followers and fans may not always be polite or complimentary. They might disagree with your content, your views or even your company.
But no matter what they say, allow them to speak and then respond in a professional manner.
Remember: Thousands of other people will be reading your comments too and if they see you ranting at a customer, or being disrespectful, it will do a lot of damage both to your business and to your reputation.
9. No Spamming
Nobody wants to read a blatant sales pitch from you every time you post. Doing that will only accomplish one thing, and that is to turn people off what you have to say.
Instead, you will gain more followers (and ultimately more sales) if you keep them engaged, keep them entertained, keep them informed and keep them wanting more.
10. Don’t Lose Focus
It’s very easy to get distracted on social media sites, so you need to keep focused on what you are trying to achieve.
If your social media marketing efforts are not leading to conversations or some sort of productivity for your business then you are wasting your time and all of your posts are pointless. Plan in advance what you want each post to achieve and if it doesn’t perform as expected then make the necessary changes that are needed.
11. Build a Relationship
Successful social media campaigns are all about building trust and a relationship with your followers. This takes time.
If you make the right connection with people, they will respond favourably to you, but it is important to remember your fans and followers are not required to listen to everything you say.
They certainly don’t owe you anything just because they happen to follow you. Just like in the real world, you earn their trust and respect over a period of time.
12. Don’t spread yourself too thinly
Don’t be tempted to join too many groups, as this will hamper your marketing efforts. Spreading yourself too thinly will harm your campaigns so always limit the groups you participate in to just a small number that you can easily monitor and contribute to.
And always… remember to have fun!
Social media marketing is meant to be fun so if you are not n enjoying yourself then you are not doing it right. Social interaction should be enjoyable and purposeful. If it is a chore and too much like hard work then you need to adjust how you are doing it.