Years ago when I wanted to get updates on the world, I went to MSN or another news-oriented website. I can’t remember the last time I visited MSN.
Social media has revamped the way we locate, share and view information.
When I want to know what is occurring locally, I check my Facebook feed. If I’m looking for international news, I check my twitter feed and when I’m looking for industry specific information I check Google Plus or Linkedin. When I want to feel good I check out Instagram and when I want to buy something I got to Pinterest.
Recently when I started having battery power issues with my iPhone, I took my question to Facebook. I immediately had a nice long list of potential solutions, all from resources I trusted.
When I need to know about a product or service, I turn to social media outlets first and then “Google” for a solution. I like to think I’m a fairly typical consumer.
What does this mean to you?
If you are trying to market a product or service then social media is no longer a “fun toy” but a necessary part of your business.
Does this mean all companies need a strong social media presence? Well, that depends.
Virtually any company that is marketing directly to consumers needs a strong social media presence. Your customers are likely on some form of social media, which means you need to locate the platform they prefer and communicate on the consumer level.
It gets significantly more complicated with business to business (BtoB) companies and your marketing efforts will need to shift accordingly.
Knowing your intended market is critical to a successful social media campaign.
Each social media platform has a slightly difference purpose and their users expect different types of information.
For a detailed breakdown on the six major social media platforms and their best uses check out this article by Wishpond – Social Media Marketing: Which Platform is Right for your Business.
7 Simple Social Media Rules To Live By
1. Remember KISS
Keep It Simple Stupid.
Start with the platform that will have the most bang for its buck based on your business model. Open an account and gradually get up to speed. Take the time to build a loyal base that is interested in you and your product.
Once you have mastered one platform, then move onto the next.
It is always easiest to build a firm foundation before expanding.
2. Be authentic and honest.
Don’t be afraid to share your personality. People want to know there is a real human behind the post.
I can sense phony social media profiles a mile away. It is so easy to tell the profiles that are just there to try and sell you something. Focus on helping people and before long you will have a loyal following.
3. Share worthwhile and interesting content about your industry.
Your news feed should focus on content that is interesting to your fans. Yes, you can include stuff about your company, but keep the direct promotions to less than 20%. This percentage varies based on the platform, but is a great starting point, especially as a newbie.
It takes a lot of time to find good content to share. I started out by finding a few bloggers who consistently posted great content. I began sharing their content and each week would add a few new posts to my feed. It took time, but since I was developing my content at the same time it worked well with the percentage rules.
I’m not saying don’t share you owns stuff. Ultimately your goal is to be a known trusted resource in your field. As you build this level of trust people will be more and more interested in listening/reading what you have to say.
4. Develop a marketing plan for social media and stick to it.
This is an area I really struggle with. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. However, I’ve found that when I have a plan, my follower base increases quicker.
This plan should include an editorial calendar and a list of promotional ideas. Take the time to know your audience and develop content that will interest them.
5. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures
Think visual when planning social content. I could quote stats and figures, but next time you scroll down your Facebook feed notice how frequently you stop at posts with interesting pictures. A picture really is worth a thousand words.
A picture really is worth a thousand words.
I create most of my artwork in Canva or PicMonkey. Both programs have a free component that is sufficient for most users. The paid versions are even better, but honestly, most bloggers can get by without spending the money.
I try and use my own photo’s, but when I don’t have the right image tend to use Flickr or Pixabay.
Check out my post on how to use Flickr for free blog images.
6. Avoid Black Hat Techniques
Black Hat techniques are pretty much anything that encourages you to try and cheat the system to gain traffic.
They don’t work and will harm your brand. Forbes recently wrote a great article about Google’s views on these tactics – Social Media is the New Blackhat.
You aren’t smarter than Google, so why waste the time and money.
7. Be responsive.
This is something I struggle with at times. It is really hard to be a one person show and consistently respond in a timely manner on all social media platforms. I do my best but have definitely missed responding at times. I’m constantly trying to do better.
Do better than me, if someone comments always respond. This is your time to shine and show your professional expertise.
Quick positive responses will dramatically increase your company’s fan base.
Effective social media management takes a lot of work
This list isn’t even close to being all-inclusive. There are literally hundreds of things you should be doing with your social media platforms.
Let’s be honest though – you don’t have the time and resources to do everything, so pick your priorities based on bang for your buck and just get started.
Just remember KISS and you’ll be fine!
For additional social media advice check out these posts – most of them were created based on my mistake.
- How I use Social Jukebox to Manage My Evergreen Twitter Content
- How to Increase your Twitter Following the Old Fashion Way: Work
- Why You Need an Email List Now If you are a Blogger
- Why I’m not Adding Snapchat (or other Platforms) To My Social Media List
Photo Credit – Jason Howie