As with many new ways to market and sell things, there is a degree of learning curve to truly master the discipline. Social media has been sweeping the world in recent years, with the advent of Facebook and Twitter, and this has brought with it new ways of doing things to enhance your business marketing.
There are definitely some dos and don’ts that you will want to take into consideration when deciding how much time and effort you want to put into marketing in this fashion.
There is no doubt that social media is here to stay and getting it right is going to be paramount to how others see you and your business. Done correctly, you have a golden opportunity to really connect with your audience and reap the benefits of a more social way to sell.
Failing to Plan. Like most things in life if you “fail to plan you plan to fail” and nobody wants to do that! What do you want out of your social media? Have you decided which social media platforms will work best for you? Are you going to be covering them all? How frequently?
Facebook is always a good medium to have as your base, as many people, possibly the people who are in your target audience, use Facebook to chat with their friends and find out information.
Perhaps you want to add a blog to your website and tie everything together. A blog within your website that is updated regularly with unique, fresh content is an offering to the SEO gods which will help considerably with natural search engine positioning. Make sure that you have a plan and are working the plan to ensure you are making the most of your social media time and efforts.
Trying to “sell” on social media sites. One of the biggest no no’s in social media space is to be aggressively selling your products or services. Social media is a more laid back way of doing business and therefore you are not going to be very well liked if every pronouncement is selling something. Just like walking into a room full of people at a party, you do not start selling, rather you begin by introducing yourself to the people nearest you, making friends and finding out about each other. It is just the same in any of the social media platforms – make friends first. Get to know like and trust someone and people will generally reciprocate by liking and trusting you which leads to a purchase.
Trying to do too much at one time. Trying to get everything out at the same time in the belief that if it is “out there” people will be drawn to you is not going to win you any friends or followers. A slower, more measured approach will serve you better in the long run. Make a plan to do a certain number of blog posts per month.
Google and the other search engines will reward you for your SEO efforts and your human visitors will love you for the unique, quality information you are giving them.
Don’t make it about your competition. Trying to outsmart your competition by making it a competition will only backfire. It doesn’t show you in a good light and your target audience will be able to see through your arguments. It goes back to that statement that people don’t like being sold to. Stick to doing what you do best and showing people what you do best. In the long run your expertise will come shining through and you will gain much more out of your experiences with social media marketing.
Compromise the quality. Quality always out-trumps quantity!
Make sure that you are “talking” to your target audience in the way they want you to, so that they can easily absorb your information and act upon your call to action. Go the extra mile in your communications, giving people great information and advice. They will come to trust your statements and like you all the more for your expertise.
Not engaging your community. In order to fully engage with your community you need to know how to speak with them, how they want to consume your information. After all, it is called “social” media for a reason. One of the very best ways of being able to do this is to create an image of your very best customer or client. Who are they? What age are they? What do they do for a living? What do they like to do in their spare time?
Building a vivid and accurate image of the person you wish to connect with will enable you to more easily speak with them, to understand how you can help them. Taking the time to draw up this blueprint will pay dividends in the long run and will also help you brand yourself and your products or services.
Spending too little or too much time… finding the right balance. Setting aside a consistent amount of time is paramount, so make it an amount of time you will feel comfortable with day in, day out, week after week, depending what schedule you want to go with.
Bear in mind are spelling and grammar – don’t forget to pay attention here. They show the world your integrity and for the sake of a few minutes extra proofreading, will help you establish your brand.
Don’t expect too much too soon!
Remember the hare and the tortoise? Going off all guns blazing, only to quit a few weeks down the line because you have not amassed thousands of followers and made hundreds of dollars does not mean that social media marketing doesn’t work. It only means that you haven’t set the right pace.