Do you want to know how to be great at social media? Keep reading.
I coined the phrase “The secret to becoming great at social media is to become great at being social”
What does this mean exactly? Well, to illustrate this for you, I want you to honestly review how you interact with any new followers you get on Twitter.
Do you direct message everyone who follows you personally, and I am not talking about using those false and horrible autoresponders, but actually type back a genuine thank you to that person for taking the time to follow you?
In this interview Gary relayed (I am paraphrasing because the brain cells are not what they were) how he saw all these very big named influencers and social media gurus, who had thousands of followers all giving out advice that companies and people need to ensure they are interacting and responding personally to their followers, customers etc, yet it appeared that some of them did not practice what they preached.
On the flip side, however, Gary made it his business to thank every new Twitter follower for choosing to follow what he does, and he actively made it his business to answer every email.
I do this on Twitter with a personalised thank you to every new follower and the engagement and personal messages I have received back have proved to me how valuable taking the time to do this has been.
So, if you do nothing else after you have read this post, look at the social media channels you are on, and seriously critique are you really interacting, connecting, communicating and really been social with people in a meaningful way?
How to help your business be great at social media
It takes hard work and dedication but the following 5 key things to focus on will provide you with an excellent starting point to get great at social media.
Your list is your customers, your followers, your supporters and your target audience. Whether it is social media, direct marketing, email etc, having a list of people that support you, trust you, buy from you and advocate for you, is central to all business success.
What is the point of been active on various social media channels, sharing great content and driving people to your website, if all the time you are not capturing at least an email of these people who want to engage with you, listen to what you have to say and ultimately buy from you, so that you can then communicate and reach out to them directly.
Therefore, at every opportunity, you must make it easy for people to be able to sign up for your blog updates and always look to capture key details about them when they go to interact on your website to download an ebook or request a quote. By building a list of people interested in your message you now have the building blocks for creating real long-term relationships that will be mutually beneficial to you both.
By building a list of people interested in your message you now have the building blocks for creating real long-term relationships that will be mutually beneficial to you both and allow you to start to be great at social media.
The offer is a core reason that hooks people into you and your brand and allows you start to be great on social media. In social media blatant self-promotion of your products, and constantly bombarding your audience with repetitive sales messages is the perfect way to alienate you and your business from your audience.
To be great at social media you need to be genuine, useful, insightful, helpful and trusted. Provide targeted content in the form of blogs, ebooks, white papers, infographics, SlideShare presentations, video and audio tutorials etc, to build real trust and rapport with your audience as you are offering solutions and answers to their problems.
Once you build up a trusted following, you can then begin to expand your offer into paid products and affiliate marketing. However, once again these must be seen to have a definite benefit in the eyes of your audience otherwise you could undermine the trust and credibility you have created.
However, once again these must be seen to have a definite benefit in the eyes of your audience otherwise you could undermine the trust and credibility you have created
To be great at social media you need to understand that even though the business environment is constantly changing, your target audience still has the same needs, questions to be answered and problems to be solved.
Review your analytics data to see when certain content and products seem to spike and increase uptake and engagement.
Actively communicate with your customers, followers and your email list as to whether certain times of the year are particularly challenging for them, and then plan to have solutions to be offered during these periods.
By looking at this carefully it may allow you to strategically map out what products, solutions, and content plan you need to be doing at certain times of the year. For example, if you are a florist your strategy should have a timed objective around Valentines, and maybe you see that certain months there is always a spike in the number of weddings, once again content and offers should be aligned around these critical periods.
This is the key one if you want to be great at social media. If you are not deemed relevant by your audience, your online presence will soon become a ghost town. People look for answers on the web each day to questions and problems they have. If you provide content that is relevant and answers these questions you will soon be seen as a thought leader and the place to go for information.
It is also critical that you employ relevance across your media strategy and ensure that you are being very detailed in the level of information you are capturing about your customers.
For example, if we take again the florist business and on their website, they have some ebooks such as a guide to choosing the best flowers for your wedding depending on the season or how to look after your bonsai plant.
By capturing the name and email of those people who download these very different ebooks, further relevant content can then be promoted and emailed to them and their eyes you will be seen as someone who is great at social media and understands their business.
The secret to staying relevant is to know who your audience is, what do they need, where do they hang out online, and what topics do they actively discuss and engage with. Once you know this you can then ensure your information has the highest degree of relevance from an information point of view so that your audience will be drawn to consume it, share and come back to you for more.
I mentioned Gary Vaynerchuk earlier in this post. He details a strategy of providing ongoing relevant, benefit-driven content tailored to your audience in his must-read Jab Jab Jab Right Hook.
This ongoing content or jabs as he refers to them actively provides solutions and benefit-driven content using a variety of media and once you have built up that trust and reputation then you can introduce the sale or right hook so to speak.
If you only read one book this year to show you how to be great at social media this is it.
This is the toughest one for all businesses whether you are an entrepreneur or a large multinational everyone is looking for the sale, for the return on investment. But to be great at social media by creating long-term meaningful relationships requires dedication and above all patience.
Be true to you as a person, as a brand and as a business. Listen, engage and be committed to providing the best solutions to your audience as opposed to just thinking about the end sales.
Of course, I am not stupid, your business is there to make money but build the audience and gain their trust. Once you have that and your solution or service is of the highest quality possible the propensity that your engaged loyal audience will want to buy and support you is very much increased.
I hope you enjoy this post and please share with your community. If you would like to know where I see social media heading then read this post and watch a video where I share my thoughts.
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Phillip (The Curly Marketer)