One of the best ways to get your company out there and create some hype surrounding your brand is via social media. It’s an easy channel to reach a wide group of people and start a network … and there’s the added benefit of it being fun! But there does need to be some method to your madness when you’re first starting a social media marketing campaign. These rules will help keep you focused on those critical aspects that can make or break your campaign so you can ensure your social media presence gets the attention it deserves.
The fundamental rule of social media marketing is engagement. We mean this in two senses: First, you need to be engaging. You need to create excitement with the posts that you share. Disseminate material that is relevant to your target audience and that will pique their curiosity and make you a memorable brand.
The second sense of this engagement is engaging with your audience. Social media is a prime platform for getting to know your customers through real conversations or even addressing problems and concerns. If you create a presence that is available and willing to dialogue, you simultaneously create a trustworthy rapport with your audience.
This is the opposite side of the dialogue coin: You need to be ready to listen to your audience. They have concerns, questions, comments — and you can grow as a company by listening to this input and applying it to your business. The best way to be the brand that your audience wants is by learning what they want, and the best way to learn is through listening.
3. Be Shareable
This, again, follows from the engagement heading (you’re probably starting to see why it was No. 1 on the list). When you create relevant content that your customers find insightful or helpful, they’re much more likely to share it with their friends. When your content is shared, you reach a far wider audience that you may never have connected with otherwise. For this reason, being shareable is a huge boost in social media marketing.
Creating content that people want to share can be tricky. You need to stay on top of trending topics, use eye-catching graphics, and have a unique voice that people want to remember and pass along.
4. Offer Something
“What’s in it for me?” Though it may seem petty, it’s human nature to want to receive something in exchange for doing a favor. This is why you see so many companies initiating giveaways or supporting causes in exchange for likes, shares or comments that give them exposure. This strategy does cost you, but the price of giving away one of your products or donating to a local charity is minuscule in comparison with the amount of exposure and the image boost you’ll receive.
Social media is incredibly useful for getting to know your audience and connecting with them, but you can also utilize it to network with fellow companies. Find related brands that are influencers and thought leaders, and forge relationships with them. When done correctly, you establish a rapport that results in a symbiotic relationship of “I share your content, you share mine.” Everyone wins!
6. Focus on Quality
People have so much information being thrown at them on a daily basis that they can’t afford to waste time reading posts that are inane or irrelevant. Focus on putting out quality material, not just flooding the social media world with content that keeps you in the forefront. Doing this will certainly get you attention, but only for a short time, as your audience loses interest and may even block or unfollow you. A smaller amount of content that is worth reading is far more effective than a massive amount of poorly conceived material.
Some people are total Facebook groupies, while others spend most of their time on Instagram. Cross-promote your material across a variety of social media platforms to ensure that you’re hitting each portion of your target audience, no matter where they prefer to spend their online time.
8. Be Consistent
Your brand has a voice that you’re shaping every time you create a new piece of content or publish a new post. Be sure that your voice is always consistent, as a deviation can confuse and alienate your audience. If necessary, put only a few people in charge of your social media posts, and have them work together closely to keep your brand voice from becoming muddled through a change of hands.
9. Push Through
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool, but it will not bring you success overnight. It can take as long as six months to see real, measurable results from your social media campaign. Be patient, sit tight, and persevere in your campaign. If you keep these rules central to your strategy, you’ll be in a good position to create ripples throughout the social media world and establish yourself as a solid, trustworthy brand.