Social media is a powerful marketing tool and it’s FREE! Using social networks to promote your business or brand is not only advantageous, but necessary to compete and build a strong internet presence. Marketing your business across a variety of social networks is a strategy that most people are aware of and have accepted. This is why nearly every person or business with an online presence can be found on one or more social networks.
Unfortunately many people, especially those new to marketing through social media, struggle to create an effective social presence. Hopefully you are not one of the many people in this predicament, but if your social media efforts need a boost keep these tips in mind.
#1: Your Voice
Remember who your audience is and that you are speaking with people at all times. How do you address your audience, what tone of voice do you use, and what’s your narrative? Finding the right voice that best represents your business and engages your audience is key. Settling on a tone that works for you may take time, but keep it simple and honest. Social networks are meant to allow people to converse and build relationships.
Whether you realize it or not you are connecting and building relationships with your audience. Allow the tone of your voice to resonate through your message to build trust.
#2: The Message
Ensure that the message you are trying to convey is clear, concise, and has substance at all times. Always ask yourself “What makes this message important?” and “Why should people care?” After all, what is the point in reaching out to people and relaying information if it does not create some level of engagement?
#3: 4 – 1 – 1 Content Model
If you only share information that’s directly related to your products, services, or promotions then you will likely not succeed at building a strong social media presence. The concept of the 4 – 1 – 1 model was originally created by Andrew Davis, author of Brandscaping, to get greater visibility with social influencers. 4 – 1 – 1 suggests for every six pieces of content shared four should be influencer content, one should be content marketing, and one should be sales related.
Influencer Content – Sharing ideas of other experts that are related to your field or niche. These ideas should provide knowledge that your audience will benefit from learning, and you should not expect to receive anything in return for sharing this information.
Content Marketing – Original educational content that you have created. This is one of the best ways to show people that you are an expert and why you should be seen as an authority.
Sales Content – Promote your business whether you are sharing something about a product or service, coupon, or press release.
The fundamental concept to take away from this model is that you need to give people these content gifts, and don’t be afraid to alter the model to fit you. In all honesty, you will be lucky to even see a 5% retention rate with your sales content. But what will happen over time is that more people will see you as an authority and trust in the products and services you offer; so allow content to drive sales.
Become an authority by sharing your expertise with a few channels at most. The idea is to go deep and not broad. It’s important to show people that whatever niche you operate in, this is what you do, and this is what you do well. Do not deviate from discussing things outside your wheel house, and people will see and accept you as being an authority in your field.
People love pictures and so should you. Images can amplify social engagement tenfold. A picture can say a thousand words, but it can also be shared a thousand times (more if you’re lucky). Be creative and keep the images relevant to your message. Choose images wisely and include very short and simple captions that capture the message you wish to convey.
#6: Social Networks To Focus On
The growing number of social networks can be overwhelming. Do not feel obligated to have a presence on every single platform. Focus on a few networks that work for your business. The idea is to be where your customers are.
If you don’t know where to start keep it simple. Stick to social networks you are comfortable using and align your social profile to fit your business. Ask you customers which social networks they are using. Take advantage of free tools like Google Alerts to find out where people are talking about topics related to your business.
Bigger networks are not necessarily better networks. I generally have three staple networks for most projects, which are Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. I find Facebook and Twitter great for sharing my content and getting it out there. But I have always relied on Google+ for a bulk of my social discussions because I feel it allows me to reach my audience on a more personable level.
#7: Social Media Events
Get creative and schedule social media events for your community that will get and keep people talking. Keep the events fun and entertaining. This will attract new people to join your audience and keep those already following you engaged.
There’s no need to go overboard hosting events. One social media event every month or two is fine. Do not spam people with invitations, but give everyone plenty of notice. Take advantage of hashtags by using one that’s creative and synonymous with your event.
#8: Online Influence
As you begin to gain authority you will start to build online influence. This influence is the most powerful aspect of social media marketing you can hope to achieve because it is what leads to new customers, it’s the foundation of building an authentic online following, and inevitably allows you to lead the conversation in your field; resulting in more people trusting and becoming loyal to you.
I can’t stress enough that this is a process that’s going to take time so please be patient. Never give up on providing people the best of everything you have to offer. Social media marketing is one of the most powerful tools available to any business. Take the time to show people why they should see you as an authority and give them a reason to continue following you.
Social media marketing done correctly can grow your business to a level of success you never imagined possible. But it’s going to take time and patients.