Let Me Help YOU Not Fail at Social Media Marketing
As I'm sure you can imagine, I've had some decent experience in Social Media Marketing by handling all the social marketing / management and community management for this site, SocialMediopolis.com - and our sister LinkedIn Group with over 500,000 members (subgroups included) ... Social Media Marketing on LinkedIn. This has given me a unique perspective and a lot of experience in the SMM "Dos and Don'ts" ... I've decided to share some of my wisdom here with you, because I love our community / readers so much. ;-)
Social Media Marketing
What it is: Social Media Marketing is a new-age form of marketing brought about by the rapid adoption of and daily use of social networking sites by much of the world's population. Go figure, eh? A new form of communication method is created and adopted, there has to be some form of marketing that follows right? Marketing is trying to speak your product to customers where they engage and conduct daily life activities. Over the years this has changed, more evolving as technology evolved. Social Marketing is just the next step in the evolution of technology and marketing follows suit.
What it isn't: Social Media Marketing is not some flashy new pop-up ad that's as easy as installing a script / code into your site. It's not something that has a handbook for success... Why you ask? Because social media is not a set formula. There's no way to predict the actions people take and the things they'll say or do, share, like or comment on - social media is fairly chaotic so it's not easy to say: "If A happens, post X." There will always be certain corporate guidelines more 'big' corporations will use to guide their employees how to act on behalf of the company, but what if you're a small business owner and this is all in your hands? I'd like to think I've got a pretty good handle on marketing through the social media platform successfully, especially since I market to marketers... A.K.A. - professionals in this very field! ;-)
Some Free Advice on How to NOT Fail at Social Marketing:
- Don't post irrelevant content - People follow your brand for content that is directly related to your company / area of expertise. If you post something that doesn't have anything to do with your brand / industry, they'll likely be frustrated and almost guaranteed not engage (like, comment, share) with it in any way... this has a negative affect on your ranking in many different algorithms. (Facebook EdgeRank, Google SEO)
- Think before you speak - Social media is just people connecting through a different platform than face to face. Imagine you're representing your company at a retail store - how would you act when talking to a customer / prospect face to face? Would you make a snarky comment in response? If you're someone who values your job, you probably won't... Don't do it on Social Media either.
- Think before you post - Think to yourself, "Would I read this?" ... If something you're about to post isn't interesting to you, it's likely not going to interest your customers / prospects either.... Get something new, start from scratch, modify it until it IS interesting - then move on from there.
- ENGAGE!!! - I can't stress this point enough.... I see so many brands / people, every single day, that only automate everything they do - and while I understand using a service like Hootsuite has its advantages (hell, I use it myself and I LOVE it) - not engaging with the consumers when they reach out to you is the ULTIMATE No-No. Also, if you don't spend some time on each platform, as your brand page, liking and commenting on other articles and content posted by relevant / related companies or brands - you likely won't see any new growth for your own social channels at all.
Social Media IS Real Life Social Interactions
This is a point often overlooked by many... but it is such a critical point to understand. Social Media isn't some mythical land of business / professional relationships only (maybe LinkedIn can get away with saying this, but given what I see on there all the time - I can guarantee you it's not) ... Social Media is PEOPLE connecting with other PEOPLE. What does this mean? You need to talk to them as you'd talk to any normal person. Of course, if you're representing a brand, you have to tread carefully and not say outrageous things or demean / yell at the consumer... unless you want a social fiasco on your hands, which trust me - you don't.
Keep it real, keep it social, keep it relevant, keep it engaging and interesting - know that it's an ever-changing landscape and there's no guaranteed formula for success to this industry, and you'll be just fine. Let your intuition guide you - you're a business owner/ brand ambassador for a reason after all... I'm sure you've attended plenty of real life social interactions, be it an office party, a Chamber of Commerce meeting, or something similar. Keep in mind social media is no different - it's just a lot more likely that your screw-ups will get noticed, and quick. So what do you do? Don't screw up! ;-) I've given you the basics, take from it what you will and leave what you won't.
About the Author: Tyler Crosson is the Community Manager / Marketing Manager for SocialMediopolis.com; He is also the CEO and Publisher of ClickVenture.com - for Online Entrepreneurs. He has a very successful background in Social Media Marketing / Management and starting / growing companies through executive strategy, social strategy and visionary strategy. You can connect with him here on LinkedIN.