Social Media is a potent marketing tool, if you know how to use it correctly. I’m talking about much more than simply knowing how to send a tweet or post a comment to your Facebook wall.
In fact, many individuals and businesses alike simply do NOT understand how to use these platforms effectively. The landscape of social media is constantly changing and evolving.
It takes a bit of experimentation to find a successful strategy that WORKS as there are no hard-and-fast rules, but the following basic tips are as close to social media truth as you are going to find ANYWHERE regardless of which site you fancy.
1) It’s NOT about YOU!
Yep, you heard right. If you’re using social media to build your business, make the main focus of the time you spend online about your friends and followers. Sure, you can invite people into your life, business and activities but make them an intimate part of what you do and vice versa.
It’s OK to let people know what you’re up to, but ask what they’re up to first and chances are they will ask you back. While it is true that people will want to get to know YOU as part of a personal branding strategy, don’t make this the main focus.
Conversation is an art, and no one is attracted to the person who simply LOVES to talk about JUST themselves. Remember, the same thing applies online as it does off. The best conversationalists are often the best LISTENERS.
Whether you’re building a brand or providing a service, one of the best ways you can learn from your friends and followers is through feedback. Asking questions engages people in dialogue and let’s them know that their thoughts count.
You will also grow as result of the interaction. If you shift the focus from your needs to the needs, wants and desires of everyone else, you’ll be nothing short of a social media rock star!
2) Failing to bring the VALUE!
Value is defined by its respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, and importance. The greater the value of the information you share, the more people you will attract. A simple social media rule of thumb to live by is “He Who Brings The Most Value Wins”.
What do we win? The client or customer that’s what! This could also mean attracting top notch talent for JV relationships. When people get to know, like and trust you, you’ll win them over, and bringing value is the surest way to do just that!
Your content should be intended to provide information that can be deemed useful. Ask yourself before you share a story, article, quote, photo or video, will this improve the lives of my friends and followers?
Put yourself on the receiving end of the content you share. Sometimes even an inspiring quote can bring a simple smile or more powerful still, can even trigger an “AH-HA” moment. It is these little series of moments that have the power to change lives for the better.
Successful people position themselves as leaders. Leaders in business are made by stepping up to the plate and “bringing it” (value) more than the next guy. If you want your social media efforts to be successful, then YOU better “bring it” as well.
3) Putting $$$$$ before RELATIONSHIPS!
This a big mistake that so many marketers make when they approach the social media sites. People do not come on to these sites to be subjected to offers and ads. I know I don’t.
People simply spamming their links across the social media landscape is a ubiquitous example of what NOT to do online. If this is your strategy, you will not last long!
People crave relationships and human interaction. This is what makes social media SOCIAL! Communication lies at the heart of this process. If you simply take the time to build genuine relations, people will naturally want to do business with you as a result.
This is the real “SECRET” of social media that remains elusive to so many. This also comes as a result of understanding tip #1 on this list. If you put people first and focus on building the relationship (not promote your company, product or service) the money will flow later quite naturally.
4) Lack of AUTHENTICITY
Nobody likes a fake. This is especially true on the social media sites. Authenticity is what makes relationships you build online REAL. This is also what genuinely attracts like minded people to you as well.
Transparency plays a big role in authenticity because it tunes people into the pulse of your life and business. You don’t need to be completely transparent but enough so that people can relate to you and crave more from you as well.
Give people just enough “behind the scenes” content to make your branding personal. Be authentically personable and people will be back for more. Being both personal and personable is an attractive combination.
Just remember to be yourself and not put on a facade about your life or business. Fooling others for selfish personal gain by misrepresenting yourself online will only lead to you being the fool in the end.
When you create your personal brand, you want your name to be synonymous with integrity. Approaching your business will the highest moral and ethical standard will create a foundation for longevity in the industry of your choosing.
5) Mismanaging Your TIME Online!
Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have a way of sucking you in for hours and hours at a time. This can lead to serious efficiency issues when it comes to your time management.
Use these sites as weapons and have a clear plan of attack. Once the plan is created, execute and commit to it. Consistency plays a big role in your social media success. It takes time to build genuine relationships and the associations you make online need to be nurtured.
Part of your daily routine should include 30-60 minutes of “Facebook” or “Twitter” time. If you find yourself wasting entire afternoons or evenings on the social media sites, you may want to rethink your strategy.
Real productivity is accomplished by spending the majority of your time creating killer content that you’ll share with your following, enjoying life with friends and family as well as working on your personal development.
This is the universal freedom that most entrepreneurs seek, and why many of us are online in the first place. Sometimes we simply need to step back and take an objective look at how we spend our time online to insure we are managing it wisely.
6) Following all the WRONG people
This is another VERY important point to consider if you are looking to get bona fide results with your social media marketing efforts. You must first be very clear on the NICHE and the MARKET you are targeting.
Once this is clearly defined, you want to be laser targeted on the people you friend and follow. Building relationships that are not in alignment with your marketing objectives could lead to frustration from a lack of results (and may contribute to #5).
For example, if you are looking to attract leadership types with an interest in network marketing, you want to be hanging out in niche specific places online where these people frequent. This could be a Facebook group, a fan page or a Ning community that exerts a pull on these type of dynamic entrepreneurs.
Increasing your credibility as well as visibility can easily be accomplished by befriending influential people in your industry and interacting with them as well as their friends and followers. This would be another great way to meet like minded individuals with whom you can build relationships.
Bottom line is that in business, the friends and followers you make online become a conscious part of your marketing strategy. Do your due diligence and research where potential business partners and clients/customers spend their time and make hanging out there a part of your daily social media ritual.
7) Being a follower NOT a LEADER
Position yourself as an authority figure in your niche right from the start. Pursue an active vs. passive role in the market that you enter.
Leaders lead and they do so by focusing on delivering valuable content (tip #2). This needs to be very clear in your mind but at the same time you want to make sure your coming from a place of authenticity as well (tip #4).
Personal development is an offline strategy that will enable you come into your own in a very real and powerful way. Pushing beyond the boundaries of what’s comfortable is a necessary part of the process on the path to becoming an empowered entrepreneur.
Through ones own personal development, you will uplift and inspire others around you as well. This is a core leadership trait that creates a magnetic effect. People will gravitate to those individuals that, through there own growth, help others grow as well.
This is an absolutely essential part of one’s success online. Team building, setting goals, fulfilling milestones, breaking down boundaries are all hallmarks of a true leader. Personal development becomes inter-personal and by becoming a leader yourself, you will in turn create leaders in those you attract.
In conclusion, the tips outlined above are all related to the principles of attraction marketing. Being authentic, positioning yourself as a leader, putting others first, value value value, are completely aligned with this strategy as well as the rest of the content you’ll find on this blog.
If you would like to comment or add to the list above, please leave me some feedback below. I would love to know your thoughts. If you’ve found this post of value, please tweet it, facebook it, digg it or share it using the social media site of your choosing.
Your Partner In Success,