If you want to know the true value of social media for marketing a business, you don’t have to look too far. There are more ‘helpful’ articles and guides than you can shake a stick at. Many will bombard you with statistics about the number of tweets sent, how many hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every day and how quickly the numbers on Instagram are growing: they’ll imply that all you need to do to be successful is to jump on the bandwagon and, hey presto, you will be successful too. What they won’t tell you, however, is that reading about something and actually doing it are not the same thing.
Making a mark on social media is difficult, particularly if you’re inexperienced. It’s hard work driving a more targeted audience to your website from social media channels. To get more page views you have to put in the work, and without help and useful advice the task can become even more insurmountable. So what should you do if you’re new to social media marketing or have little experience in the area? Well, our advice is keep it simple. Think in terms of the broader picture, rather than specifics and concentrate on basic concepts. We believe if you understand the purpose of social media marketing first, the rest will follow naturally. Here are our top 5 social media marketing tips.
Listen and learn
People are born with two ears and one mouth, and one of the best lessons you can learn in life is to use these gifts accordingly. In other words, listen more and talk less. That basic principle is equally applicable in social media. Listen to what people are saying, understand their needs and learn from their experiences. You may have great content to share, but that content may not be relevant or important to the audience you’re trying to target. Keep your powder dry until you’re sure what you are going to say will resonate with the people who are reading it.
Read comments that people have made either about you or your competitors, read blog posts from respected authorities in your field and then digest and absorb all of that information. This will inform your strategy: it will point you in the right direction and give you clues about what you need to do to engage with and be embraced by your audience.
Quality content, not self-promotion, will win you respect
Nobody wants to be bombarded by constant promotions; nor do they want to receive endless offers in their feeds. If that’s all you’re providing they’ll soon lose interest. What they want is quality content. They want something that informs them or stimulates them. In short, what they want is something that adds value.
Share authentic and unique content about your brand with the audience. Engage with your audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; answer their questions and offer solutions to their problems. Finesse your position on social media so that you come to be seen as an expert in your chosen field and the go-to person when problems arise.
Make yourself accessible
The most successful stars of social media all share one characteristic, and that’s that they are accessible. They make themselves available for their audiences and provide new content and updates consistently and regularly. They’ve worked hard to build their audience, but they then work even harder to keep it. If you want to be seen as an authority on social media channels, you have to be totally committed. Answer questions promptly, respond to enquiries and deal with any negative comments speedily.
Participate and share
People won’t talk about and share your content if you won’t share theirs. Why should they? If you won’t engage with them, why should they engage with you? Social media is underpinned by give and take. If all you do is plough your own furrow, you’ll quickly find it’s a very lonely furrow indeed. Participate, engage and share.
Don’t expect instant success
Rome was not built in a day. Social media success will not be either. Success on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is determined by hard work, absolute commitment and total dedication. Success will come naturally if you embrace your audience and nurture your relationships.