How to be Awesome at Social Media Marketing
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Posted by: Rhette Baughman
We all want to be awesome at something, don’t we? Being “OK” at social media marketing doesn’t do much to earn you new customers, but being awesome, well now that puts a whole new spin on things. Here’s my take on how to pull it off.
1. Know your audience
Maybe we should call this “know your customer” instead, because hopefully you are targeting future and current customers on social media. Get to know your audience by engaging with them and get to know their likes, dislikes, and why they connected with you in the first place. What’s in it for them? Are they getting free stuff? Discounts? What unique knowledge do you have that will make their lives easier? Yep, it really does come down to what you bring to the table my friend. Better get used to being a “giver”.
2. Write for your audience
I could spend days talking about content, but here’s a quick way to look at it. Where you land on the list will have a huge impact on your results.
Show Up: Posting regularly is a good start. For many small businesses, it’s all they can manage. If this is you, focus on value-added content and offers. You’ll get a steady stream of followers as long as you put out good stuff and remind people to follow you.
Engage: Yeah, baby…here’s where we see some action! Engaging content gets a response from your followers and gets shared. A great picture, animated GIF images, and videos are definitely engaging and sharable. If you are posting written content, make it worth reading and sharing, and give it some awesome visuals.
Stand Out: You’ll know this one by the tingling feeling of adrenaline rushing through your body when you see all the engagement you get. People that generate truly remarkable content are rare and very sought after in the marketing world because they get massive results. Content that stands out is either crazy useful or makes me want to ROFLMAO. It can take time to plan and execute, and can be as simple as a Vine video or large campaign, but one thing is true; when it viral, it’s a marketing home run. Here are some examples of viral marketing campaigns from over the last 5 years via Ignite Social Media.
3. Plan your time
I’m starting to think good planners rule the world. No hard facts mind you, but planning sure seems to get more done. When it comes to social media marketing, a content calendar is your friend! There is a saying: Thoughts become words, words become behavior, behaviors become habits, etc. Imagine how much better it becomes when you write it down! Evolving from planning your social media marketing to doing your social media marketing is big, and a content calendar will help you make it. Step 1: Open a Google or Outlook calendar. Step 2. Fill in the blanks. When will you blog? When will you post? When will you interact and share? To what sites? This is one of the most useful and simple steps, yet so many marketers still don’t have one. Shame on you.
4. Choose your playground(s)
Take some time to research your options for where to share your awesome content. Trying to be good at using all the the social media sites can be like hurling yourself down a social media rabbit hole. Start out with knowing your platforms well, and figure out which ones your audience spends time on. QuickSprout did this awesome infographic that I just pinned to our Pinterest page that covers platforms: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/453174781227912008/. You can also check out this article from Entrepreneur Magazine.
5. Pick the right tools
Picking the right social media marketing tools is a little like picking the right friends; Choose wisely and you’ll be together forever. There are three main areas you are looking for:
Automation of your posting
Tools to help you curate, interact, and build influence (find others to connect with)
I like HootSuite, or Moz for both tools and reporting, and even SproutSocial. These are only a few example of the many different tools with extra features. There are a TON of other specialty tools out there too, like Circloscope and Friends+Me.
What tools do you use and recommend? Let me know if the comments.
6. Automate, but don’t “annoy-a-mate”
That’s funny…I’m not even Australian (but I did Skype with one this week.) Automating your posting can be a lifesaver, but being annoying is a poke in the eye to your followers if you don’t do it right. Stay focused on your audience and what they like. I like to use HootSuite’s scheduling feature, but Facebook and Twitter let you schedule posts too. Be careful to not over-post, and be very careful with linking your accounts together. Posting the same thing 3 times is enough to get you un-followed, a shame after working so hard to get those followers.
7. Engage with the right people
Engagement is the key to driving new business, so be choosy who you engage with. Your customers are the primary audience. Talk to them, ask them what they think, and by all means, seek them out online and post comments etc. on their pages. Look for expert engagers, too. These are the experts in your field, wherever they are, that your customers may already be interacting with. Comment on their pages, strike up conversations with them, and share their content if it’s on target with what your audience wants to hear. I’m still waiting on that prize of all prizes; a mention from George Takei. He’s a social media genius.
8. Stick with it.
Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich (and many other books) called it sticktoitiveness. Get started if you haven’t, do something regularly to market yourself on social media, and don’t quit. Consistent effort builds on itself, and before you know it, you’ll rise to the top. Be sure to share some of what you learn along the way, ok? How are you awesome at social media marketing? Please share your experience with us all on this this post.
Originally published at Social Media Quickies. Written by Joey Ambrose.