Social Media Marketing Tips You Need To Know
Too many people fail at social media marketing simply because they make the mistake in thinking that it is all about them. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If you want to be successful with social media marketing it has to be all about your following.
Understanding what their needs, goals they’re trying to reach and problems they’re trying to solve and offer solutions to them. I’ts not about you pitching every new product so you can make some money.
People hate to be pitched to and you’ll never build a following let alone a relationship that will allow you to build trust and establish you as the go to person in your niche.
Make Your Followers Feel Important
If you do this then your social media channel will instantly be better than a huge proportion of what’s out there at the moment. But it won’t be perfect. Why?
Because if you look at social media only from that perspective then you’re missing out on a very big part of it. Simply put, social media is a social tool. It’s intended for communication and that’s a two-way thing.
Even if you’re posting the very best content in the world, if that’s all you’re doing then it will still feel like a one-way bombardment that will quickly become frustrating for your following.
So instead, you need to focus on that social aspect too by actually engaging with your audience and communicating with them rather than making this a one way thing. And this starts by treating your visitors like VIPs.
This is a small and simple difference but it’s one that can have a huge impact on your success.
The key is to make following you on social media seem like an exciting lifestyle change and the first step on a great journey. If your social media channel is about fitness for example, then you can create a situation where simply signing up to your social media channel feels like the first step toward the body your audience wants.
Did you know that people who tell others about their plans to get into shape often fail to do so? The reason for this is that simply telling other people that you plan to lose weight or build muscle relieves some of the psychological tension of wanting to achieve a goal.
When we tell people, it becomes a part of our identity and that means we sometimes feel as though we don’t have to work so hard!
Of course this is not a good thing but what it does show, is how making a social step like this can actually feel like positive progress and even bring a sense of catharsis and achievement.
When someone clicks on your ‘follow’ button, you can make them feel like they’ve taken the first step to a new them: more confidence, more muscle, more money, more sex… And that makes them feel great about themselves, which is excellent feedback!
Your job is to encourage this feeling by positioning your social media channel as some kind of movement, some kind of statement. This is why many of the most successful online brands will tell people to ‘Follow and take part in the new fitness revolution!’ or ‘Join a community of elite money makers!’.
This also has another advantage, because it makes your followers feel like they’re a part of a community. This creates social pressure to join (everyone who is anyone is following you!) and it makes them feel that they may be missing out by not following.
People hate missing out but they love being a part of something and if you can combine these two feelings, then you will be on to a winner! You can then also carry this on by making your followers feel like VIPs in the way you continue to speak to them throughout.
For example, you might refer to them using a group name, or you might tell them how they are receiving early access, or restricted information. Anything that makes them feel good and feel excited to be a part of your brand.
What’s in a Brand?
A big part of this will come automatically from building your brand in the right way to begin with. A brand is much more than simply a logo you see. Rather, a brand is all about your value proposition (as we’ve discussed) and your ‘why’.
Going back to that why, we can refer to Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’. This is the idea that you need to understand three ‘rings’ of your business. The outer ring is ‘What’, which is the service or product you create. Ring two is ‘How’ which is how you make it different and how you achieve it at all. And ring 3 is ‘Why’. Why do you do what you do?
So the 3 rings are: What is it that you want your business to achieve? How do you want to make your mark on the world? And it’s by emphasizing this why over the what that you can create a brand that people are excited to get behind.
We’ve already seen that the best way to market your social media channel is to create real value. But it also follows that you need to be able to have a motivating force and a vision behind your products themselves.
Look at Apple. Apple didn’t create a computer and then try to find a purpose for it. Jobs and Wozniak began with their why. Their reason for existing was to make computers fun, personal and creative.
They wanted to overturn the idea that computers were for businesses only and they wanted to empower people to be creative and expressive.
That is what enabled Apple to thrive. That is why people responded to their products. That is why there are still so many fervent Apple fans today – despite the hardware being technically inferior and no longer quite so ground breaking.
Other companies aim to give people more personal freedom. Or they aim to make the planet a cleaner place to live. Or they aim to help us see the world. Or achieve financial independence.
What is it that makes you wake up in the morning? How is it that led to your business? Focus on that because that is a movement and a vision and that is massively more motivating, engaging and exciting than ‘We Sell Washing Machines’.
Plus, once you find the reason for your brand’s existence, then you can start to look into other ways of expressing that so that you can find ways to deliver value through your social media channels or to generally be more inventing and creative with your marketing etc.
Give Back to the Community
As you’re hopefully starting to learn, being a ‘good business’ is good for business. Putting your viewers first, delivering value and not just
spamming… these all lead to real engagement and following.
It can take a little longer but in time, it’s a much better strategy that will yield far greater results.
And another example of this is just how beneficial it is to give back to the community. And by that, I don’t mean doing community service and washing graffiti off of the walls! (Although that would likely be good for PR…)
Instead, I’m talking about giving back to the community in your niche by actively taking part in posts and discussions that have no bearing on your brand and nothing to do with self-promotion.
With no ulterior motive at all, comment on the posts others share, answer questions and generally help out in the community.
Why is this important? Well, for starters, it helps to get your name known. If you post regularly on Reddit for instance, then over time, people will start to recognize your name or profile and thus they’ll be more likely to trust you and to respond well when you post in future.
This will help you to build trust but more importantly, you’ll gain contacts and even friends in the community. This is what can help you to start to build true fans – because if you have been communicating as contemporaries in the past and you then come out with some new content, you’ll find that the community will work hard to support and promote you.
Compare this with landing in the community and instantly trying to sell something and you’ll find that the result is hugely more positive.
To demonstrate just how powerful this concept is, imagine two scenarios and two approaches to selling an ebook. Approach one, is that you find a Subreddit that’s all about your chosen niche, whether that be fitness, style, dating or something else.
You then sign up for a new profile and post a link there to your new ebook on the subject, or just to your site. What do you think happens?Best case scenario, your post gets deleted.
Worst case scenario, your post gets absolutely taken apart with angry criticisms and people telling you that you are quite clearly not welcome in their community if all you’re going to do is promote yourself. This is not a good start!
Now imagine approach number two. This time, you create your profile first. Weeks, months or even years before you have anything to promote. You then engage in conversation, answer questions, help people out and become a trusted and liked member of the community.
People know you, they joke around with you and they like you. Then, you post one day to announce that you have a new ebook or website you’ve been working on.
This time, you’ll get a ton of praise and support because these guys are now your friends! The link might be promoted by the moderators (if you aren’t already a moderator yourself!) and you’ll find that the members of the community actually help you to spread the world and build even more links and followers.
All this will make an absolutely massive difference to the impact that your post eventually goes on to have and it can transform the way you make your entry. And countless massive brands actually started this way.
Online communities can really help to elevate their individual members and lead to great things.
It’s a random example but take the Sonic Fangame community. This was such a big movement that received so much support that eventually, one of the prominent members ended up developing the new official Sonic game.
SEGA saw the huge amount of praise and support from the community and heard their petitions – and it led to an amazing business opportunity.
So give back to the community, take part and try to make genuine friends. This will give you an army of followers to help push you to amazing heights!
Be Personal (Where Appropriate)
Often, businesses will use their social media accounts in a very detached and ‘corporate manner’. We’ve seen this with the very bland and official sounding promotional posts that I’ve discussed in earlier articles.
The unfortunate part of this is that often the companies are very well intentioned. Often, the aim behind this is to create posts that will sound official and ‘professional’ and they thus hope that they will be able to gain more followers as a result.
But the web is forcing business to adapt and today customers often don’t want to buy from businesses that attempt to be detached or corporate. Instead, they want companies that are exciting, youthful and personable.
And this is why more and more successful businesses online use what is called a ‘personal brand’. A personal brand is essentially a brand that uses your name instead of a generic company name and that incorporates your own personality and lifestyle into the promotional and marketing material.
This works particularly well when you are selling some kind of lifestyle, such as fitness or money making. Then, you can address your followers using your own name, talk personally about how the product or information you’re selling worked for you and meanwhile try to develop what will feel like a real relationship with your followers.
Let them share insights into your daily routine, see your lifestyle and generally enjoy being a part of your lifestyle every day. This is a great way to use social media and what works especially well about it is that your audience can feel as though they almost know you.
This in turn will make them considerably more trusting and thereby more inclined to be interested in buying from you etc.
But the key with personal brands is to make sure that your niche and your industry is suited to this type of promotion. For example, if your business is a B2B company, such as an accounting or consulting firm, then having a chatty ‘personal brand’ where you post pictures of your morning cereal or amusing thoughts might not be terribly appropriate.
However, for marketing to individuals and where building trust and familiarity can be an asset, this becomes a much better strategy and it’s very engaging while creating lots of opportunities for new posts.
Promote Your Social Media on Your Blog
Here’s a very simple principle that nevertheless gets overlooked a lot – which is to promote your social media channels on your blogs.
Too often, companies and marketers will think of their social media as a tool to promote their website only, not realizing that this actually can work both ways.
In fact though, promoting your social media on your blog is a great way to promote both aspects of your business and to capture your visitors and turn them into warm leads.
This way, if someone should land on your website for the first time and find they enjoy your brand, then they might decide that they want to follow you and learn more. Once they’ve seen your logo right there on the page, seen some of your posts etc., they will have a much better idea of what you’re all about.
Then, if you have social media buttons right there – and you draw attention to them in your content – your new visitors can opt to follow you and stay updated (and this is easier than capturing email addresses).
Now you have direct contact with your audience and you can promote to them in future. That means they’re more likely to come back to your blog and it means that they’re more likely to share your blog posts with their connections on social media.
This then creates something of a ‘virtuous cycle’ (the opposite of a vicious cycle!). Everything you do to promote your social media will now better promote your blog and everything that promotes your blog will lead to more traffic on your social media!
This also establishes that clear link and ensures that it’s very obvious that you are one brand that has multiple social media channels. The whole things becomes a self-sustaining loop!
Of course this also goes for social sharing buttons – make sure it’s easy for people visiting your site to share your content on their social media pages by liking it or Tweeting it. This is a great way to get more exposure for your blog posts.
What You Must Know About Social Media Marketing Conclusion
I hope this has given you a an few ideas of how to go about growing your social media marketing efforts and shorten your learning curve when first starting out.
It takes time and consistency to grow your following and establish your brand as one to trust but there are many others that are using these exact techniques and seeing the results.
If you ever have any questions just reach out and I’ll be more than happy to share more tips.