You would have to have been living under a rock not to have heard about “New Media” or “Social Media” and how many businesses are using this platform to market their products and services online. Here are 10 of the most important concepts to grasp to make sure this platform works for you and your business.
Just so we are on the same page, here is my definition of Social Media. Social Media is an online platform where people can have conversations and create relationships with other people. Social Media Marketing is when you leverage those relationships to market your products and service.
Connection – The social networks are built around this concept, so it is very important you get this first for success. You begin by connecting with your friends, family, and people in your target market. Then you connect with their friends and family. Before you know it, just a few connections become many.
Conversation – One of the most important things to remember on social networks is you cannot begin with the end (sales). It’s like going to a cocktail party. Would you go to a party, meet someone new and right away launch into a sales presentation? Of course not. You would first get to know each other this is what social media allow you to do online. You begin with a conversation, and you learn what your new friend needs and how you can help them.
Create Relationships – As you have these conversations online, you begin to get to know each other. This leads to a better understanding of what your new friends need and what they love to do. You find out how you can help them. Like all great relationships, it should be less about you and more about them.
Content – The saying on Social Networks is CONTENT is king! Your goal is to provide useful, relevant, free content to all your new friends so they can get a feel for what you do and how you can help them. Don’t worry about giving away too much because strangely, the more you give, the more you will get in return. It’s a huge paradigm shift from the traditional marketing model, but it does work.
Community Building – Your community is your core group of like-minded individuals. The more time you spend on social networks the bigger that community will become. It starts out slow but as your community grows the faster you will grow your connections because you have access to an ever-growing pool of people. For example, if you start with ten friends and each of them has ten friends you then have access to 100 people. Once you become friends with those people, you then can connect with each of their ten friends, and it just goes on and on in a geometric progression. Now not every one of their friends will become your friend but the larger the pool of choices the more chance you have to grow the number of people you have relationships with.
Caring – As human beings we all hunger for other humans to connect with. It’s just built into our DNA. Because our jobs and family commitments isolate us a lot of the time, it becomes harder and harder to find and create connections. Our online communities can help to fill that void. The most successful communities are the ones where people truly care about each other and try to help each other. When you give of yourself, you open yourself up to receive more in return, and this is where Social media shines! It is the perfect platform for giving to others.
Clients – Studies show that people prefer to do business with other people they know like and trust. Once you grasp all the previous concepts the next logical step is for your friends to do business with you. The cool part about this is you don’t need to “sell” your products and services. Those people who need what you are selling come to you presold. Because of everything you have given them for free online.
Find People Interested In Your Product or Service – Social Media Marketing is an excellent way to find people interested in your product or service. You can easily find discussions and join in the conversation. Keep an eye on the conversation, drop in when you see where you can add value, and offer tips and resources, however, do yourself a favor, Be Social! If you wade into the conversation with constant “buy my stuff” you will be ignored.
Deliver Quality Content – You can create blog posts, share pictures of your products, ask questions, conduct surveys, and write articles, share teleseminars, and webinars. There are hundreds of ways to share quality content. However, in the beginning, it can be challenging to know just what to post. You can find information that others have posted and share it. Remember this content does not always have to be yours, but please do give credit where credit is due. Make sure you name who created the content, they deserve the credit.
Gather Their Information – You may be creating a list of followers on Twitter or a great group of friends on Facebook, remember that information belongs to Facebook and Twitter, it is not yours. They could shut down, or god forbid, block you. You must have a way of gathering information about the people who are interested in your product or service. There are various services out there such as Getresponse, Sendfox, or Mail Chimp that can enable you to collect the names and email addresses of the people who are interested in your product or service. These systems will also enable you to follow up and stay in touch consistently and easily. People ask me “just how do I make money with social media?” That would be similar to asking “How do I make money with a yellow pages ad?” Social media is where you find people who are interested in your product or service and where people find you. Take the time to learn it yourself or find someone to do it for you.
Social media has actually existed for quite some time, even though it may not seem like it. Social media is so popular at the moment that a business absolutely must utilize it to succeed. Since social media is still in its infancy, it will continue to evolve for some time to come, but the basics should stay constant. Social media is growing off late at a faster pace than ever before, a properly planned and effectively targeted social media marketing campaign can help your small business thrive and succeed.
Whichever sites you pick, make sure to add quality content that you enjoy. Spamming is ugly no matter what type of marketing it is being done in. People want value, so give it to them. Also, be diligent in picking the tools you use to automate. Look for quality features and a great reputation when you choose your tools for success. These tips will help you to build up your business using social media. The websites you’re personally using each day could be effective and helpful for business use. You can reach a global audience with social media and thrive thanks to tips from this article.