Social Media Marketing is like a two-way motorway: Marketers and consumers alike use it freely to get to their intended destinations—and it’s their method of choice.
Because it’s convenient.
However, most marketers are using social media incorrectly. They’re either not maximising it to its full potential or they’re making mistakes that are repelling, rather than attracting, their ideal customers.
Let’s talk about how you, a social media marketer trying to build a brand, can leverage the power of this oh-so-popular method of communication to raise visibility, awareness, reputation…and yes, profit.
8 Tips for Getting the Most from Social Media Marketing
I suggest every brand builder adopt these guidelines when marketing, and simply interacting, on social media:
- Put Serving before Selling. No one—no matter if they’re part of your intended audience or not—wants to engage with a social media page filled with propaganda and sales pitches. Focus on giving freely of your expertise, in service to your ideal customer. Your social media pages are not sales pages; instead, they are pages where people can learn more about you and your brand, and engage with you in search of a rewarding relationship (which will include spending money with your brand).
- Read More than you Write. Too many social media marketers are busy plastering their pages with updates, instead of conducting research into their ideal customers’ wants and needs; and therefore, they’re missing the mark. When you’re preoccupied with putting out the information YOU choose, you’re building a brand in a vacuum—where it can never survive.
- Share Content. Every time you publish an article, a blog, a new webpage, etc., share it on social media (with a link) and give people good reason to follow the link and to share it. This will not only increase engagement on your social media pages, it will drum up more traffic to your other web places, which Google will recognise and reward with improved search engine rankings.
- Focus Only on your Audience. I see lots of social media marketers attempting to create broad appeal through their pages, hoping that more attention from more people will mean more sales. This includes adhering to latest trends (even when irrelevant to their ideal customer), inviting everyone to like their pages (regardless of applicability), and posting about a broad range of subjects (in spite of their brand’s purpose). This approach will not only fail to deliver the desired results, it will harm a brand’s engagement levels.
- Seek out Influencers. What do we call social media users with avid followers? We call them influencers or micro-influencers (depending on the size of their audiences). What do we call those same people when their contact lists contain the names of our ideal customers? We call them ideal brand advocates. Make contact with these people. Introduce your brand. Make the value of connecting with it evident. Share each other’s offerings with your audiences. Work to forge a relationship that will be mutually beneficial, and your brand will be a winner!
- Think in Terms of Long-Term Relationships. The social media mentality places lots of value on the number of likes and shares a post gets. However, comments that lead to engagement are far more valuable when attempting to win over hearts and minds. Post photos and stories that will be of great interest to your audience, and encourage interaction by asking for opinions, questions, recommendations or other feedback.
- Forget About Immediate Results. Your personal circle of friends required lots of time and patience to build. Your social media accounts’ groups will be no different. Not only will you find that the acquisition of genuine fans will be slow at first, but like a snowball rolling down a snowy hill, you’ll see that it rolls faster, getting larger and gaining momentum, as it goes. Follow the rules of social media marketing, and your patience and effort will pay off.
- Respond to Every Enquiry and Comment. Failing to acknowledge and address any interaction with your brand is a death sentence for engagement. Not only are you insulting the person who made the comment, others are witnessing your lack of concern and applying their perceptions to your entire brand operation. Even if comments are negative, express gratitude for the feedback and communicate how you plan to improve.
This should be enough to get you started on the road to superior social media engagement—which will lead to increased visibility, credibility, awareness, recognition…and yes, profitability. There is a lot more to learn about the art (and science) of social media marketing, and a great place to get that advanced information is at a B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, a full-day fully immersive branding experience for anyone wishing to increase their brand’s viability in the market. Click here to learn more.