Brian Tracy once said,
“Your company’s most valuable asset is how it is known to its customers.”
Today, businesses large and small stumble to find a solid start within an ever-changing social media universe. In fact, the biggest challenge that companies face with social media marketing is understanding why they should start. Mr. Tracy simply and eloquently emphasizes (in a statement about brand marketing) the sole reason why you should begin one of the most important, and potentially successful, marketing campaigns; your company’s success in sales revolves around its overall reputation.
With that said, we want to help you get started with your social media marketing campaign so you are able to realize the impact social networking can have on your revenue. Now, no matter which networking platform in which you choose to participate, after you set up a profile, you can follow this 3 day guide and realize success.
Day 1 – Find a Lab Coat & Start The Research
“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought”. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi who was, at the time, speaking about biochemistry research also hit the proverbial nail on the head with regard to social media research as well. When you look at other company’s activity throughout their networks, you can see (literally) exactly what has been done and how it has worked, but you also have the opportunity to brainstorm niche topics that are industry related which have not yet been used by your competitors.
So, what exactly are you looking at on this first day?
- Competition Already Established — First and foremost, scout out the scene to see if your local (or global) competition is already on that particular network. You also need to find companies that are related to yours either through product affiliation, service similarities, or other like-characteristics. Once you have those initial bodies you want to stay current on their status changes and content updates by “following” them.
- Target Audience — Following your competition, you want to geo-locate your target audience. In most social networks you can search terms and/or locations which is a huge benefit to you to see who is out there an taking an interest in your industry. Once again, you want to “follow” them and monitor their updates.
- Topics and Trends — Now that you have a group of people with whom you are maintaining a (what I like to call) “listening connection”, it’s extraordinarily important for you to track the trends and topics they discuss with their audience (a.k.a. you). This is a tremendous step and achievement for you because you now start to get an understanding of what makes these people tick (and what doesn’t).
Day 2 – Merely Comments
As you now have people/companies to follow, you are also now able to view their content and comment. This truly is the way that you start to gain an audience – through your comments on their material. In general, you are showing them that you care and are listening to their happenings; what better way to establish trust than to comment.
The problem that a lot of companies run into, though, is how to comment. Keep the following in mind:
- Helping Others Is Your Mission — Instead of going out to the networking platform(s) and commenting on everyone and everything, construct your comment to be useful and something of benefit to that particular person. It’s the over-serve principle – you are getting nothing upfront for your help that goes above and beyond, but you will absolutely increase your reputation which will consequently increase sales.
- Maintain Your Brand — While you want to reach out to as many people and/or companies as possible, you also do not want to spam those individuals/businesses with a comment that stretches for a relationship to your industry. In other words, if someone were to post an update that has little to no relation to your business then stay away from commenting. However, if someone has something to say regarding a similar product or service then provide a knowledgeable (and beneficial) comment.
- End With Questions — Interaction is key with social media marketing campaigns; your goal should be to get as many true discussions going as possible while keeping your comments in perspective to your brand and business. So, feel free to end your initial (and follow-up) comments with a question to get some consistent interaction. On the side of caution, though, make sure you don’t drag out a conversation to the point of boredom. In other words, as long as you can provide quality (and beneficial) information then keep it going. As soon as you start to get repetitive or redundant then end the conversation and start it up again on a future post.
Day 3 – Start Posting Your Updates
Believe it or not, people are waiting to hear what you have to say. They want to know what kind of coffee you drink, what television shows you watch, what books your like to read, what music you are into, etc. If you have done everything right in day 1 and day 2, you will start to have a good start to a social network that cares about what you have to say.
However, instead of posting every little thing that is going on in your life (or your business’), remember:
- Tips, Tricks, and Strategies — Provide updates that have value for the audience. Including tips that cannot be found elsewhere, tricks that are industry “secrets”, and strategies that will improve their life in some way are excellent places to start. It’s the start of the “WIIFM Theory” – What’s In It For Me; people tend to listen more when they know that they will get something out of it.
- Re-Broadcast People You Follow — If you find an update that you find particularly interesting (and one that relates to your business), re-broadcast that to your audience and give the original poster the credit. You provide benefit to the original poster by spreading their good word, and you also show your audience that you want to share information that benefits them as well.
- News, Successes, & Happenings — Your business is bound to have some sort of news whether it be good, bad, or ugly. It’s important that you remain transparent with your audience and share that news with them (make sure that if you share bad news with them you include ways that you will rectify the situation/issue). The same holds true with your successes; if you hit a record number of sales for a product or service then share that with your audience, but make sure you thank them for their support in the meantime. If you regularly attend a chamber or rotary event, let your audience know where you will be and ask them if they will be in attendance as well. Again, try to get the interaction throughout your followers.
So, will you take advantage of this 3 day guide and establish your brand reputation through social media marketing? It’s as simple as research, comment, and post. What are you waiting for? Give it a try and let us know your results.
If you need assistance in finding the appropriate social networks or to establish a social media marketing plan feel free to contact us today
If social media marketing is something that you are interested in but don’t know how to get started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.