To bang on about the immense power of social media these days is borderline cliché in its own right, but at the same time remains perhaps the single most important marketing topic of all. Approached and used correctly, social media has the potential to single-handedly propel pretty much any business of any nature clear through the stratosphere. Suffice to say, actually getting it right issomething a quite striking contingency of businesses still fail quite miserably at – despite the fact that the world’s leading marketing gurus are constantly sharing their wisdom with the world.
So in the spirit of giving anyone wishing to do so the best possible shot at making things work, here’s a quick rundown of five inarguable and mentally unbreakable laws of social media marketing:
1 – Listen
First and foremost, the key to success when it comes to modern social media is to quieten things down on your side of the fence and learn how to listen. In this instance, what we mean by listening is of course reading the discussions and content your target audience is both producing and sharing, in order to not only gain a better understanding of what makes them tick, but find the perfect opportunities to dive headfirst into the discussion yourself.
2 – Focus
The single most important rule when it comes to any social media marketing plan whatsoever is focus. It will in no way benefit your business to attempt to implement an overly-broad strategy with the aim of appealing to everyone – it’s a much better and simpler idea to focus your efforts on a very specific audience with a very specific goal in mind. Establish your goal and your audience before getting started.
3 – Quality
What’s becoming more and more obvious by the day is that quantity no longer rules the roost when it comes to social media. Or to put it another way, there’s absolutely no point having 100,000 connections or followers online if only six of them are of any value to you. Instead, you’re far better off focusing your efforts on smaller audiences of high quality, value and relevance as this will if nothing else ensure you are not wasting your efforts on dead weight.
4 – Patience
Every business that takes to social media hopes for the kind of viral success that propels them to dizzy heights quite literally overnight. Unfortunately, that only tends to become the reality for about 0.01% of those using social media and indeed the web in general, which means the odds are most certainly not in your favour. As such, plenty of patience will undoubtedly be required while your social media campaign begins gathering momentum – trying to rush things will always be a recipe for disaster.
5 – Value
Last up, try to remember that social media is a uniquely ‘social’ marketing tool – the clue being in the name. There’s a time and a place to go about the hard-sell and to generally thrust your products, promotions and services right in the faces of your target audience members. Suffice to say however, this is most certainly not it as most people don’t use social media to practice their general consumer habits – it’s all about accessing content, conversation and discussion of relevance and value. As such, it’s up to you to ensure that the content and conversation you yourself contribute is indeed valuable.