As a business owner/manager, it’s vital that you understand social media marketing fundamentals. If you oversee developing or implementing a social media marketing strategy you’ll need to understand how social media marketing differs from platform to platform in addition to understanding how this strategy can fit into your overall marketing efforts. Without this knowledge, you’ll likely be sending the wrong message to the wrong person not maximizing the potential of your social media channels.
From maximizing content quality to increasing your online touch points, abiding by these 10 laws of social media marketing from business site, Entrepreneur will help build a foundation that will provide your customers with valuable content, position your brand as a leader in your field, and (perhaps most importantly) improve your bottom line.
The Law of Listening
Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. After you have determined your target market, search out your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Learn as much about that audience as possible. What are their likes? Dislikes? What problems are they having? Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than act as a distraction.
The Law of Focus
In the case of social media, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Remember, there are currently more than 200 social networking sites from which to choose. While a jack-of-all-trades certainly has their value, in this case it’s better to focus on 1 or 2 targeted platforms at a time. A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to appeal to the masses.
The Law of Quality
I firmly believe this when it comes to social media. It’s much better to have 100 online connections who regularly read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after the initial “like”. Remember it’s about quality not quantity.
The Law of Patience
Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. While it’s certainly possible to create amazing content that goes viral, it’s highly unlikely and only happens to a very small percentage of the population (See our chapter on What Does it Mean to go Viral?). You will most likely need to stay committed to your social media efforts to see success in these endeavors.
The Law of Compounding
If you consistently publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.
This sharing and discussing of your content is the very basis of social media marketing. It opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find your business in keyword searches. Those entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.
The Law of Influence
Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.
If you get on their radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information, they might share your content with their own followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience further increasing the possibility of your content going viral.
The Law of Value
If you spend all your time on your social media channels directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become powerful promoters of your business.
The Law of Contact
You wouldn’t ignore someone who reaches out to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.
The Law of Accessibility
Don’t publish your content and then disappear. Be available to your audience. That means you need to consistently publish content and participate in conversations. Followers online can be fickle and they won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for weeks or months on end.
The Law of Reciprocity
You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. So, a portion of the time you spend on social media should be focused on sharing and talking about content published by others.