We’ve all heard the hype and seen the blogs: everyone in the online world is simply gushing over the results they’ve had with social media marketing. It’s certainly hard to disagree with them, as the potential benefits certainly outweigh the cost — it is free, after all.
But how exactly does one transcend into social media superstardom? What is the secret, and how do they do it? Here are some quick and easy tips that most people haven’t tried.
1. Don’t Discount Myspace
The truth is, Myspace is still one of the most popular social networking platforms on the Internet, and it truly doesn’t deserve all the negative hype it gets. According to the Guardian UK, “The website claimed that about 40,000 people a day had signed up to Myspace since it introduced new ties with rival social networks, Twitter and Facebook.” The article estimated Myspace’s total number of users at about 25 million, and now that the once struggling social media platform has hitched its wagon onto Facebook and Twitter, that number is projected to keep growing.
2. Post Smarter, not Harder
Once you have your company Facebook page established and you’ve got a couple of “likes” it’s time to start delivering content that will engage people. You want as many likes, shares, and comments as you can get, but how do you get people to go from an amused observer to an engaged user? The answer is not to kill yourself coming up with content all day long, but to utilize some easy strategies to get a bigger response, with less effort.
- Research suggests that 2-5 posts a day is ideal. You want to walk that razor thin line between always being there in someone’s newsfeed, but you don’t want to overwhelm them with spam and make them angry.
- Keep your posts at 80 words or fewer. A study performed by Buddy Media showed that posts between one and 80 characters had, on average, a 27% higher engagement rate than posts with over 80 characters. Nobody wants to read an essay, it’s Facebook!
3. Be Consistent
The biggest mistake many people make with social media marketing is that they lose interest and slow down. The winners are the ones who faithfully post day after day. Many people start large scale social media campaigns and hit the ground running with hourly updates, and a constant stream of fresh content. These are usually the same people who have completely unrealistic expectations, thinking that everything they post will instantly go viral—when they don’t see the results they were anticipating, they get discouraged and their pages die.
This kind of marketing is a marathon, not a race. Regular updates over a solid period of time will always win over sporadic posting sprees.
4. Have a Clear Goal Before You Start
Okay, if you’ve already started, it’s still not too late to set goals. Many misguided folks jump on the social media marketing bandwagon because their favorite blog told them to. You should have a deeper reason other than “because everyone else is doing it”. Ask yourself what exactly you’re trying to do with all this. Do you want to build customer loyalty? Increase brand awareness? Boost conversion rate? Most people might answer “all of the above”, but in reality you can’t effectively do all three with the same profile. For example, if you really want to increase sales, then you may want to create a separate profile so you can push the envelope in your marketing without the risk of damaging your brand name.
5. Understand That Nobody Cares About You (Yet)
Many small businesses and startups make the same mistake with their social media strategy as oafish men who don’t know how to hit on girls. They swagger into someone’s online life and brag about themselves thinking that their audience will be impressed. Don’t boast about your company in your blog or brag excessively on Facebook; It’s obnoxious, and only your mom is going to retweet it (sad). According to a study done by Social Media Scientist Dan Zarrella, tweets that contain a self-reference get far less RTs than those that don’t. The same rings true for almost all social media platforms. Unless you’re an established, beloved brand with a captive audience who will do whatever you say, people are going to share your content because it’s good content; not because they want to help your company, so give them good stuff that is not simply self-serving!
Don’t Learn Your Lessons the Hard Way
Social media marketing is like a siren call for businesses. It tempts them forward with irresistible promises of high rewards, but most of the time, people steer towards this fickle niche without knowing what they’re doing, only to wind up shipwrecked on the jagged rocks of failure. Get a clue about how to do it right, before the sweet sounds of success lead you down a path of imminent demise.