Did you know that 72% of adult Internet users use Facebook? Or did you know that Instagram photos showing faces get 38% more Likes than those not showing faces? I bet you didn’t know that 52% of Snapchat users are under 25 years old, 71% of Pinterest users are women and that only 25% of the 450 million LinkedIn users actively visit this social network every month .
If you’re in business in the modern world, but at this point, you/your brand aren’t on any online social network, you are missing out on a type of connection with your target customers that the traditional approach to marketing can’t replace. Social media is the social niche between the world and your business. Online social networks have played a vital role in flourishing major businesses through customer engagement – even if the business is a mini local café or a tech start-up.
Social media has provided not just a golden platform for success in order to voice out your ideas to millions of people around the globe, it also has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than the outbound marketing.While tools such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have boosted up the ranks of various businesses in the market, many people have decided to target social mediums that can help them achieve their goals and thicken their wallets by maximizing the outreach of their websites.
“SO, WHAT IS THIS SOCIAL MEDIA ALL ABOUT?”
Simply put, social media are websites and smartphone applications that enable users to create and/or share content or to participate in social networking rapidly and efficiently across a diverse audience.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Podcast, and Periscope are only a few famous examples of social media transforming itself from social networking tools to magnets that attract clients to retailers.
If you’re new to social media, in order to harness the true power of it for your business you have to research it first! It’s very important to understand the core fundamentals of social media as well as to define what you want to get out of it. Ask yourself, is it:
- Significantly increasing your customer base,
- Maximizing your business profit,
- Improving your products’ quality by collecting customer feedback online, or
- All of the above.
Social media creates an image of your brand online and shows the impact of your brand on your audience. While having millions of social media followers sounds cool, your ultimate goal is to make sure each one of them is actually creating an influence for your brand – by them sharing your content or not.
TIPS FOR STARTING TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MARKETING PURPOSES
To achieve your end goals, you need to create a proper strategy or plan. To do that, follow these tips:
- You can start off by identifying your ideal customers.
- Find out what social media channels they use the most.
- Then try to understand the language/jargon that they use in describing themselves as well as the words they use to search for brands that offer same or similar products/services as you do.
- It is also necessary to learn about the connections your competitors have with their followers.
- Decide which social media platform/s you will be using to connect with your target clients and what kind of content you will be sharing at which platform.
Hence, it is crucial to know the pros and cons of each chosen platform as each of them have its own scalability and efficiency.
LOOKING INTO SOME SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING ACTIVITIES
Some of the most common types of social media marketing functions include:
Sharing quality content/hashtags
Schedule and publish regular tweets or posts with interesting and trending hashtags – this leads to increased followers’ base.
If there is a well-read blog in your industry and you comment on it, chances are that their followers will also see your comment and maybe connect with you as well. Some businesses prefer making pre-made comments or templates that they use on the influencer’s blogs. Blog commenting has been viewed as an important way of connecting with peers on various topics that would not be possible otherwise.
Businesses that follow and interact with influencers online are likely to get comments by the very same influencer on their own published content. It is always wise to connect with people who share similar interests as you and show great interests in product trends that are similar to the ones you offer. This opens the door to various new opportunities for collaborations and sharing your content with their own customer base.
Because it’s oh, so very important to develop strong online brand awareness and nurture relationships with potential clients online, here are the 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing every online marketer should know and obey:
1 – The Law of Empathetic Listening
Social media is a two-way street. If you want great self-outreach, you must allow for the outreach of others too! Try to pick out sometimes going through online social media discussions in order to learn what is truly acceptable for your target audience. Success in this field desires greater listening and less expressing. Only in this way will you be able to produce sharp content and meaningful conversations that shall shine on your customers’ wish lists.
Consider what type of content is the most popular and hits the hot trends at that specific time. Be sure to look also into what the people prefer or dislike. Embrace discussion forums, feedbacks, and you will be ready to go!
2 – The Law of One-point Focus
It is always wise to specialize. You cannot be the Jack-Of-All-Trades to people and neither can your social media status. You need to give the time to establish a focused and persistent brand message and marketing content through social media platforms you prefer.
If you fail to do so, this will fragment your purpose; confuse your consumers and water down your brand image. Note that a strong brand has a better chance of success than a branched strategy that fails to provide clear guidelines about the content it publishes and spreads.
TIP: To operate according to your ideal customers and these ideal customers need to be identified by you and you alone. You can also get external help if you do not have the right skill set to work in a particular niche. Simply put aside your ego, and collect the right expertise.
3 – The Law of Prioritizing Quality
This law focuses on expanding your list of dedicated and committed followers and neglecting those who share no enthusiasm for the establishment of your brand.
It is always better to have a pool of 1000 followers who are truly interested in your brand/message and give your content the read and shares rather than 100,000 followers who hardly demonstrate any interest to your cause. So, you should focus on building up those die-hard followers, and do what you can to provide quality online content and quality product to them. Remember that quality dominates quantity!
You should also keep in mind that one perfectly written article is better than hundred articles that are not. All it takes is your effort in increasing the quality of your content and that is done by spending quality time on each article so that better results can be ensured. If you think that content quality is a major issue for you, do not hesitate to get some external aid.
4 – The Law of Patience
If you think that social media marketing is merely an overnight success, then you are wrong! You need to exercise patience. Social media marketing demands time in getting high-quality results – it’s not achieved in a week or two. In a world with so much competitiveness, the time investment is crucial.
Consider the scenario where you have an upcoming Math exam. It is obvious that you will get a better grade if you spend more time practicing Math. You can’t simply expect to get an A grade just by opening your textbook one night before the exam and going through the formulas at the speed of light! The point I am trying to make here is that you have to be patient and consistent if you are doing what’s needed to get the results you desire.
Many brands often give up after a few weeks of work as they see the slow progress as something negative in terms of online success. This is where they go wrong. Never give up!
5 – The Law of Compounding
This is perhaps the most important law. When you provide your customers with good quality content, they tend to share and discuss it on large-scale social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. This sharing, in turn, raises your business ranks, especially on Google. So be sure to provide interesting social media content. This will have a compounding effect on your efforts, as it will reach out to a huge pool of people interested in your brand.
A person who likes your Facebook content might also tweet about it on Twitter. Or maybe a person who subscribes to your YouTube channel might also recommend your channel to his/her friends who will also subscribe to it. This, in turn, creates more locations where more people can find your content.
6 – The Law of Influence
This law states that it is important to build up good terms with online influencers who already have a successful pool of customers and followers. If you end up on their interest list, they might share your content with their massive following who might be interested in your product or services as well.
So seek out the top scorers for your game. Share or promote their content and make it your aim to reach out to their audiences and form strong long-term bonds. Remember that there is always some community out there that will be interested in what you’re selling!
7 – The Law of Adding Value to Voice
If you are excessively promoting your business, your followers will eventually get annoyed and irritated so they will ignore your messages and leave your followership.
If you keep focusing on brand promotion all the time, then other areas of your business will suffer from lack of attention and time. A café near me had become one of the finest in my town. But, due to excessive promotions, their staff neglected to make their current food items better.
Instead, they kept on increasing prices to cover the costs of their marketing. So this café did not last long and they had to shut it down with a great loss to the owner. Now you wouldn’t want the same for your business, right? Of course not!
It’s the value that your customers get from your business and promotional activities that ultimately convinces them to stick to your brand. Furthermore, provide customers with incentives if they are loyal to your brand – such as free stuff or discounts on upcoming services or products. The more value you add, the more satisfied your customers will be.
8 – The Law of Accessibility
You must be regularly available and accessible to your clients! You must engage your audience constantly and participate in conversations with them. Never disappear after publishing your content. Realize that this two-way street concept never works out if you are not fully playing your part in the game. Note that social media users are fast in forgetting businesses that they feel are unresponsive or not accessible.
So make it obvious that you’re always accessible and online for them. As they say, “Actions speak louder than words” – this can be applied here as well. Therefore, make sure that when you receive a message in the inbox of your brand page, you reply within 24 hours. It doesn’t look professional if you don’t!
9 – The Law of Acknowledging Everyone
Be sure that if someone reaches out to you (personally), you must acknowledge him or her – never make the mistake of ignoring anyone. Give this more importance since they have taken out time to personally reach out to you.
For example, every time someone shares even a single post of yours, be sure to say: “Thank you” as this small sentence can mean so much in the long run by creating a relationship with that user. So go ahead and transform your clients into loyal fans by simply acknowledging their contributions.
Your social media relationships work in a similar fashion to your physical ones. In both cases, the other person is expecting a welcoming and comfortable environment in order to stay in touch with you for long. They are looking for people who would value their efforts as well – not the ones who would use them for their benefit and ditch them later.
10 – The Law of Reciprocated Efforts
For huge brands to share your content with their massive followings, it is important to know that you’re also willing to do the same for them. This reciprocity plays a vital role in maximizing your social media efforts in reaching a greater audience. So, if you are not willing to reciprocate, you will have your content banned from the interest lists of all the other potential influencers! Don’t be self-centered and work your way up on the social media ladder to achieve great success!
This law has always been one of the critical ones for providing you the edge that you need to stand out from millions of similar retailers out there. Be sure to be always ready to play an equal part in helping your allies, as if you don’t – you will find yourself standing in the battlefield along with many enemies who will aim to shrink your business to the ground. The Internet is a battlefield and it’s one where you have to make a stand along with your potential allies.
SO, WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE?
While many businesses consider social media channels as significant means to achieve their goal, it’s only a few businesses that truly appreciate the vastness and integrity it provides in its ever-growing state.
Always keep in mind that the path to a successful social media marketing game is a long road where you have to focus constantly on meeting your target customer’s hopes and expectations. Once you succeed in doing so, you shall notice considerable results. So stop wasting time, start tracking your progress by following your social media strategy, and keep redesigning it until your brand shines like a gold.