There are certain fundamental truths to social media marketing and many falsehoods. This post will explain my social media marketing “truths”.
The blog post will help you to better understand social media marketing and get you to think about how to do it best for you and your business.
1. You Need a Plan
At this point in time, if you are just getting into social media marketing you are coming a bit late to the party. Some may refer to you as a late adopter. This means that it is very important (even more important) for you to have a plan. Many of the early adopters floundered around a bit (some a bit too much). Some also quit too early and often because they did not have a plan.
Social media is not a silver bullet and you will need to be smart and do some work to catch up. You need to start with a plan.
2. It’s Really Not New
Humans are very social creatures and we have used this to our advantage in the evolutionary scheme of things. The technology we now have available to us is what’s new and it keeps getting better and more capable. Let’s be clear that using a social network is not new and what works in a physical setting will work online and vice versa.
So keep this in mind; the social media part is something we already know how to do it is the new technology that we have to learn.
3. It’s Much More Than facebook and Twitter
The online world is vast and to be responsible in your social media marketing efforts you need to know your audience and where they hang out.
Most social media marketing plans often start with the obvious contenders, such as facebook and Twitter. This makes sense on one hand since the audiences on these two platforms are so immense and diversified that you’re bound to find people interested in your product or service offerings. However, are these platforms right for you? This is a key question.
Get to know the popular social media marketing platforms and determine the ones that your audience uses. Also, give serious thought to whether that platform is right for you in terms of your time and skill resources.
4. Social Media is Social
Social media is more than just broadcasting. It’s about connecting, engaging and networking. Even if your blog (as an example) is filled with delightful content your blog must be marketed in order to be successful. A successful blog will help you in many ways but you need to spend time to build bridges and get inbound links to help visibility.
5. Being Continuous and Consistent Is Huge!
Last year I met a friend at a social gathering who was selling raffle tickets to help her son raise money for a snowboard competition. I received a follow up e-mail and then a 2nd one about the raffle. There was then an effort to get me to help sell raffle tickets to my friends and family. I was happy to help. After the window closed on the fundraising she disappeared.
This story often parallels one of the main issues with social media marketing. To engage well means that it is not a once off blitz effort.
Your social media marketing plan needs to factor in consistency and continuity.
6. It’s Not Free
Yes, Twitter and facebook and other niche sites cost nothing to join. This means that the barriers to enter are very low and it means that everyone can participate. This is great! However, there is a catch: you end up spending time on these networks, and that’s when the money starts adding up. After all, time is money.
While the barriers to enter are very affordable at the end of the day, you need to be willing to pay for time and possessed expertise.
7. It Is Permanent
Everything you do and say online can be used against you. If you do something silly or worse – make a big mistake – then this can harm your reputation because search engines do not easily forget. Moreover, a negative message can spread like wildfire thanks to the potential of the Internet and social media.
Furthermore, reviews, referrals and ratings can play a big role in social media marketing success. A bad review can do more than ruin your day.
Companies should also provide a plan and have guidelines to help anyone who is involved with the company’s social media marketing. Marketing using social media cannot be haphazard. After all we’re talking about marketing your business!