Social media is important these days. It’s not just mildly necessary anymore. We can’t act like it doesn’t exist, and if you’re trying to make money on your blog there’s a good chance that you’re losing some income if you aren’t attempting to conquer social media.
Arguably, social media today is as important as good SEO, and that’s not just speculation. We know this because of the results we see when it does work, and we can actually benefit from this dynamic. It gives us options. SEO is still vastly important, but if it’s not your strong suit, perhaps social media and public relations can be.
Let’s talk about 5 simple tips that will get you better social media results quickly.
Develop Social Media Etiquette
When most of us began using social media during its rise, I am sure a lot of us didn’t expect it to become so important for good business strategy. What we were given was a tool, and that tool has evolved.
Don’t Hurt Your Chances
It’s silly to think you can say anything on social media if you’ve got stake in your business there, as well. It’s so easy to hurt your chances at a strong community or network when you jeopardize your own reputation online. No one wants to associate with or promote someone who is careless about what they say and do within their networks.
Be mindful, be strategic and make your words count. Nothing is truly lost on the Internet, and you’d do well to treat your online presence as you would your dreams and passions. You guard them, cherish them and show them to people who will give you their support.
Setting the stage early on as a professional, someone who not only knows what they’re talking about within their field, but also conducts themselves politely and productively is a big first step in changing how we are perceived in these growing networks.
Display Your Knowledge
Such a simple premise that it’s easy to overlook. Social media usage for business is like your public relations campaign in a normal setting, except amplified. What you display matters, so why not compliment good social media etiquette with a solid display of your knowledge?
Again, it sounds so simple, but there are dynamics here that require practice. You are responsible for commanding authority on a subject. If you’re an internet marketer, people can’t believe for one second that your strategies are gimmicks or schemes. A genuine approach to your business strategy will show, and it will become vastly important as you navigate each network.
Things that show a wealth of knowledge on a subject are affected by accessibility. Make your strengths known and easy to see. Testimonials, articles, guest blogging, Q&A – anything that engages while promoting what you know.
Seek New Networks
Seeking new social media networks is one of the best ways to strategize the third step of strong social media usage. It’s great to focus on two or three really large networks with a lot of potential, but you never know what else is out there. If you already do well on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in general, I have a suggestion for ways to find more targeted communities – we’ll call these social media niches.
Social Media Niches
Seek out groups, or tribes, that relate to your content. Small or large, they’re guaranteed to be somewhat interested in your blog or business because they will have similar content themselves.
The great thing is that ‘new networks’ don’t always mean you have to leave your established ones. Many of these communities and groups can be found as accessories to sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and others.
The potential for growth in these smaller networks is greater because you have groups of people who will help articulate your approach, especially since you will be able to compare content.
Finally, don’t be afraid to branch out to that alien social media site you haven’t really used before. There are many social media networks that are for very specific fields and users, all you have to do is look. There might even be a forum available that will help you strategize your approach for your blog or business.
Social media management is the one thing in this list of tips that you cannot overlook.
You’ve worked hard to set up your networks, communicate with groups of people and learn what you need to do in order for your online marketing approach to be successful. The worst thing you can do now is let it falter.
Social media marketing is about growth all the time. In fact, it has a real snowball effect when you stay on top of it. Unfortunately, though, when growth isn’t maintained at a decently regular level you start to lose ground. This means less traffic for your site, less engagement with your support community and less potential for leads and clientele.
Worst of all, you kind of have to rejuvenate things if your networks fall to the wayside. This happens because of the growth factor I mentioned. If you stop letting people know that you matter by engaging with them, they’re going to forget and move on. It’s not personal, it’s survival. Your networks will reward you when you put effort into them, where on the other hand they will stop generating as much if you aren’t committed.
Put Resources to Work
What’s a networking campaign without social media tools? After all, you can’t have the time to do all of this yourself, can you?
The bottom line to social media marketing is learning where you can make its tools and resources work for you. There are premium tools, free tools and even people for hire who will help you reach your social media goals. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Buffer – If you lack time, Buffer is your friend. You can schedule network updates in 3 seconds by clicking a button. There’s a free version, as well.
- Hootsuite – Obvious, but so useful. Go for the paid version and you’ll likely never need any other update scheduling tools.
- SocialFlow – Learn what content will be effective, and when. You can request a demo to give it a shot.
- Shareaholic – Engage your readers and track usage-based analytics. A quick way to learn which content is most effective.
- Mention – Track alerts related to your business and its content. You can market better when you know what’s making waves publicly.
Finally, do some research on your own. Putting the time into your business is as important as seeking out every strategy you can find. The resources that work from some may not work for all, but it’s your job to know which works for YOU.
Social media might not be professionally crafted SEO, but it contributes to it and equalizes the playing field in many ways. We have more tools than ever at our disposal to help cultivate audiences, convert them into users and generate income. It’s a numbers game, but that doesn’t mean engagement and real interaction go out the door. The genuine relationships crafted in your networks will reap tremendous rewards. You just have to get started and stick with it.
Got questions or comments? I’d love to hear what you think. I’d also like to thank Enstine Muki for giving me the opportunity to guest blog here, and share some of my thoughts with all of you. My home is over at Janzen Web Dynamics, where I write on issues in blogging, social media and WordPress. Happy networking!