Not another article about social media. Hasn’t it all been said before?
Maybe (although I doubt it, because we are always learning and testing new things). But even if it has been said before, not everyone was listening because I’m still seeing the same mistakes being made out there.
So here we go again…let’s look at what makes a good social media campaign.
Let me start with some social media truths…
- You won’t build true social media momentum overnight. It is a commitment to a marketing strategy and you have to know that going in.
- You will not succeed if you go in with blinders on and the only thing you can see is YOUR agenda. Social media is about interaction and relationships.
- Social media is about numbers but most people look at the wrong numbers. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have. It matters how many followers are engaged! How many followers read, click links, respond and retweet (or like/share/+1). You could have 100,000,000 followers and not get a single lead out of that. Focus on the right numbers and you’ll learn where you need to improve.
- Social media does have the potential to generate buzz, excitement, leads, sales, referrals, connections etc. You may not be able to relate to it, you may not want to use it personally but the stats show that enough people do relate to it and do use it (as a source of entertainment, as a resource for information and as a place to get referrals so they can buy products and services). Twitter is now proven as a marketing concept. The only question that remains is can you figure out how to properly use it to make it a successful marketing strategy for your business?
Let’s look at some of the buzz words that are tossed around in all the articles and Blog posts out there:
- Offer value
- Quality content
- Unique content
Sure, it may seem like it’s more spouting of the same old buzz words BUT there is a reason why those words keep coming up. If you focus on what they really mean and really absorb the meaning of them, they should guide you through successful campaigns (in Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and in your Blogs, articles etc)
The words are actually related and if you work on each of the layers, you will find social media success.
Quality content – This is a cornerstone of your business. It determines your credibility. If you can’t put out something of quality, you won’t get far. You don’t have to have every answer and cover every point in your articles, posts and tweets. But you need to put thought, you need to organize it well, it needs to appear professional and polished. It needs to say something or mean something and it needs to be something that you are proud to have speaking for you publically, because that is what your content does (tweets, posts, articles etc). Remember that every piece of content you put online via whatever vehicle is like an employee walking around talking to people and networking for you. Would you send out a guy that smells, can’t answer questions, didn’t brush his hair or tuck in his shirt and is so self-absorbed he can only converse when it’s centered around his needs? Nope, I sure hope you wouldn’t. So don’t put out stinky content that pushes your agenda without offering something of value.
Unique content – There is only so much that can be said about a topic BUT that doesn’t mean that you can’t put your unique spin on it. Think about how to present it in a way that it stands out to others. They may hear something 20 times and on the 21st time they actually get it. So it may not be a new discovery you are reporting but you are putting your unique spin on it. Please don’t misunderstand, retweeting and reposting other quality content is important too and again it’s the spirit of social media – but in addition to that you need to add your own unique material to the conversation or you just become a vehicle for other people’s content and you don’t build credibility and exposure for your own.
Offer value – This one is a no brainer and it’s where most people drop the ball. You need to offer something of value. It could be a discount, it could be info, it could be a good laugh, it could be an answer to a question, it could be advice or news. There are so many ways to offer value. One of the best ways is to ask people what they are looking for and what they need. Survey your social media followers – find out what problems they have, what questions they have, what products or services they need – and then offer it to them.
Attract – I think before you can engage someone you need to first attract them. You attract them with your personality, style, wit, images, compassion, knowledge. To me this means you have to be “skim worthy” – when someone lands on your Twitter profile or even sees one tweet or post, there has to be something in it that attracts them and makes them want to spend more time. Once they spend time, they will see you offer value and they will feel engaged and they will like or share.
Engage – We talk about engaging people because we are all inundated with messages: tweets, Facebook posts, Blog posts, RSS feeds, emails, videos, ads. The ones that people respond to are the ones that engage them. The ones that make them feel connected and feel like it speaks to them. What I talked about above on Likes and Shares is the need to engage people to get them to do the Liking and Sharing.
Share – We talk about sharing because the goal of social media is getting people to share our content so it spreads and creates more exposure. So know going in that your goal is to get a share. Ask yourself if the content you are putting out there (whether it’s a 140 character tweet or a full on Blog post) is worthy of a share? Is it funny, witty, controversial, information, honest, shocking? Does it solve a problem or answer a question? Does it cause people to smile, laugh, gasp, question, think? Ask yourself what your reaction would be when you read that content and be sure it evokes some kind of reaction. That’s how you get a share (retweet, +1, share on FB etc)
Like – The same thing applies as above, we all want a Like or a +1. Think about why people bother to “like” something. It always comes down to the things above – because it caused them to think or feel something that motivated them enough to take action. They felt moved, inspired, educated, entertained. You’ll notice the key here is what you put out there has to be about the READER and not about you. That is what causes people to respond and once they have taken an action, they have a soft spot for you and are more likely to share/retweet/click links/recommend you etc.
There are a lot of other words like evangelist, loyalty, followers, fans etc and they all come down to the same thing. Pay attention to the above words and you’ll develop the fans/followers and loyalty from evangelists that you are after.
Viral – Note you don’t need any or all of your content to go viral to find success. Granted, it is the Holy Grail of the likes/shares/retweets. Everyone wants to go “viral” and see their content spread like wild fire. The stuff that usually goes viral is usually strong and either funny, attention getting, controversial, shocking etc. Focus on quality content and a variety of different kinds of content (writing, video, pics etc) and focus on building personality and adding value and offering unique content and you’ll work your way to viral.
Social media is simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy but it really is simple. The best thing you can do is create an action plan so you have some consistency and then run through the words listed above and make sure you have kept all those key elements in mind.
Spend the time to build a foundation and continue to focus on quality content and you’ll be glad you did. You will get a greater response when you post your calls to action (like sign up for newsletter or webinar or buy a product or service).