Getting started in social media marketing without previous experience can be challenging. Leveraging the awesome power of content and social media marketing can get your business some much-needed attention, but before getting started in the world of social media marketing, it’s essential that you learn some basic fundamentals that will guide you along the way. I have 10 guidelines to share with you that will lay a solid foundation when it comes to social media marketing and more importantly, it will result in better service for your customers.
1. Listen — If you’re hoping to achieve success through social media, it’s necessary that you listen to what your users say. This involves reading what your audience says and joining in the discussion when necessary. This way, you not only learn what’s important to them, but you also ensure that your customers feel that you are a real person.
Listening and responding to your users is a great way to learn about your audience to create valuable content that matters.
2. Focus — Focusing your efforts on one area pays off in the long run. Being a jack-of-all-trades is great, but it’s better to do one thing really well as opposed to doing a lot of things somewhat well. Your social media and content marketing strategies will be much more successful if they are carried out in this way. By focusing on only one area, you also ensure that users will pay attention to what you’re saying as opposed to when your content seems to jump all over the place. Not everyone will be interested in what you have to say, but there will be a good number of people that are interested in what you choose to focus on.
3. Choose quality — It’s far more preferable to have 2,000 followers who value and talk about your content as opposed to 20,000 followers who disappear immediately after joining up for the first time. Nothing beats quality. A company should pursue quality over quantity any day of the week.
4. Be patient— Miracles don’t happen overnight. It takes a long and concentrated effort to make things happen in a tangible, noticeable way. While it may be possible to get it right the first time and drive a massive amount of traffic within the first few months, it’s more likely that you will need to be consistent with your work in order to achieve and sustain results.
5. Compounding — This strategy involves publishing high-quality content for your audience to read, share, and discuss with their friends and family. This is a surefire strategy, as everyone appreciates quality content. If you create superior content, your audience will be faithful in sharing it. Your content can go viral in a very short amount of time if you have managed to gain enough followers. Another point that works for compounding is that search engines will love your content and will likely feature it on their front page. Getting backlinks on a site that has millions of visitors every day is a great way to get noticed by search engines.
6. Influence — Finding people of influence in your niche who may be interested in what you have to offer is very important. It opens up avenues for you to be heard and also helps you find new audiences for your content. Connect with people who have already established themselves in your target market; they will share your content, and subsequently offer to share theirs so you can build a relationship with them. If you come across an authority in your field, they will likely feature your content on their websites where it will get a wider audience and additional interest.
7. Create Value — The key to keeping your audience engaged for a long time is to create value. If you spend most of your time online marketing your brand, people might actually stop listening and may even block your content, in the same way that some users block certain people who post too many things. After all, no one wants to see their feed become inundated with one type of information to the point where they can’t see what others are posting. Instead, your company should aim to create valuable content and release it sparingly or on a regular schedule. This way, you won’t burn people out with your information and you will attract people that are more willing to share your content. Silence is a powerful tool to use.
8. Acknowledgement — Do not make the mistake of ignoring anyone that reaches out to you online. You wouldn’t dream of doing that to someone in person, so don’t do it online.
Also, the way you handle both negative and positive comments will say a lot about your business to others. Remember that many people have access to see what you post and you want to maintain a good impression. Acknowledging others is a great way to build trust that you will not only respond and acknowledge your customers, but also that you care enough to take the time to respond, even though ignoring someone could have been an easy alternative.
Building trust is very important in your social media marketing strategy, as it also helps with brand building.
9. Be Accessible — This guideline is equally as important as the others. There is no point in publishing your content online, only to disappear off the platform. Make sure that you are accessible to your audience. When you publish content, be available to reply to comments and participate in conversations. Also, make sure to reply to comments fairly quickly, since your followers do not have a lot of time for you to reply to their comments. If you take too long to reply and you don’t make yourself easily accessible, then they will quickly disappear and replace you with some other business that will engage with them more.
10. Reciprocate — When people share and talk about your content, be sure to reciprocate by doing the same for them. If you share useful content from others, then they will likely appreciate it and may do the same for you.
There is a lot more to social media marketing than the 10 guidelines I’ve expressed above. However following these 10 guidelines will help you get started sooner and quicker. No matter how experienced you become in social media marketing strategies, referring to these 10 basic rules as a guideline will help you in valuable ways, regardless of how far you end up going with it.