Improving Your Brand Online: Making social media efforts matter
We are all aware that social media is a prominent platform for communicating today and this communication is done on a lot of different levels. Social media is a fast and easy way to “blast” your information out there to share with a lot of people all at once. The best part about it is that every platform has its own pluses and minuses and you can pick which ones work best for you.
Picking the right social media platform(s)
There are a ton of different social media platforms. We will not focus on all of them, but be aware that your target audience’s local social media hangout may not be on one or more of these. There are a lot of smaller platforms that are not well publicized except in the niche groups that they are catering to. If your niche happens to use one of these smaller, more specialized platforms, it is more important for you to go where your potential consumer of goods and/or services is rather than trying to make a larger platform work for your needs.
A non-comprehensive list of social media platforms can be found here: https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-sites/. We will not be discussing any of them in real depth, but be aware that there are more than just your big five (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+) available to your social media marketing disposal. Explore them at your own leisure.
Once you have picked your Social Media Platform(s) of choice and have gotten started by making your first few initial posts, it is time to delve into the deeper use case scenarios of each platform you have selected and how to make them work for you. Social media marketing is more than just make random posts when using social media. It is more than just writing a few, limited character posts. It is about sharing. Sharing knowledge. Sharing general information. Sharing ideas. In the simplest form, it is about sharing – sharing “content.”
Unfortunately, we find that many businesses use the platforms as a source of social vomit. They spew everything they can get their hands on in their “feeds.” It is not a good thing when your potential consumers feel inundated by all the social sharing on the various platforms.
Marketing on social media is about being “helpful.” Your goal should be to “help” as many people as possible when you sit down to write a post for social media. If you are not helpful, you are not running a successful marketing campaign. Period.
That is something to stay focused on when you are working on your social media marketing plans. Ask the these questions:
- Am I sharing something useful?
- Are my potential customers going to be helped by this?
- Is it relevant?
The list can continue on, but this is a good basis on which to start. Remember it is about your potential customers, not about you. Figure out what their needs, wants, and desires are. Cater to those.
Engage with your followers
Part of being on social media is being social. Imagine that. You should engage with your potential customers – interact with them, help them find information on topics that interest them, share information about your industry that is relevant to them, share your content from your blog and/or website, etc. It is through this natural process of social interaction, you will be able to promote your products and/or services without being the bleeding turnip sales guy that everyone hates.
How much is too much? Too little?
I am not saying that you should not promote your upcoming sales or promote your products, I am simply saying that your job is to promote your content and the rest should come naturally. The key here is to have quality content to promote and not just social vomit. Once you have successfully done this, your products will come to customer’s minds when they need your type of product and they should want to buy whether you are having a sale or not because you have built yourself as a trusted source of information.
If you picture your social media marketing plan as a pie (chart), which piece should be the largest? Who should get the largest piece of the pie? It has been studied and put into practice numerous times that they consumer should get the largest piece of the pie. It just works.
The largest slice of the pie graph should be you promoting content that is relevant to your customers. This is often shared content from other sources. Remember you are sharing information on social media. Next should be content that you have created that is relevant to them. You know your target audience best (or you should) and these are things that are more geared toward their specific needs. The smallest slice should be you promoting your products and services. It is important to find the balance that works best for you and your business, but no one piece can be forgotten to truly be effective.
What are you doing to improve your social media marketing efforts?
Do you feel like you need to hire someone to do these tasks for you?
See also: Have a brand, Start your blog or website, Create your content, Making Social Media Work, Making social media efforts matter, Share!, Email marketing, More on content, Give something away, Online marketing is not a one time deal.