If your business is new to social media, or if you are finding that – despite your best efforts – your social media marketing is failing to gain traction, it can be helpful to look at the basics. Some of the most effective techniques for establishing engagement with your brand on social media are just common sense, but others are perhaps more counterintuitive. Here are a few fundamental social media marketing guidelines you should try to employ.
- Social listening. Too many businesses are guilty of thinking of social media as a broadcasting tool. It isn’t; it’s a communication tool, and you need to remember that conversations go both ways. Listen to and observe your target customers to learn what is important to them.
- Share and reciprocate. If you go on to social media expecting others to share your content, then you should be prepared to do the same. Remember that social networks are literally about networking; build relationships with other businesses, reviewers, and bloggers and share their content.
- Keep your focus. Social media marketing strategies work best when they keep their focus fairly tight and relevant to the target audience. Yes, be experimental. Yes, be fun. But if your social media channel starts sharing every news story, meme or Buzzfeed list under the sun, you risk seriously diluting your brand message.
- Be patient. A social media channel takes time to build and grow, so don’t set out expecting overnight success. It can take time, experimentation and a lot of effort to organically create a successful social media marketing profile, so remember to think long term.
- Be accessible. The most successful corporate social media channels understand that it’s about interaction. If you put out content and people react to it, then it’s important that you, in turn, react to them. Once again, social media is a conversation platform, not a broadcast platform.
- The power of influencers. Find prominent online influencers in your target market – whether that’s a journalist, celebrity, blogger or YouTube personality – and build relationships with them. Done correctly, their audience can become your audience, and massively expand the scope of your social media marketing messages.
If you stick to these six fundamental rules of social media marketing, you’ll have a solid basis on which to experiment and analyze the success of your following strategies. Getting your social media presence right can benefit both your brand and your customers and can, in turn, drive your business to greater successes.