Five Social Media Marketing Strategies That Stick

The question on everybody’s lips these days is “How do I make social media work for bringing in more business”.  It’s quite amazing to see how these platforms have matured in such a short amount of time and how small businesses can foot it with the big ones by creating a huge online presence on a micro budget.

Once the perfect ground for poking, tagging and retweeting, the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest have grown up to be extremely effective sales and marketing tools known to the humble entrepreneur.

At the same time as their meteoric rise in popularity, the competition to be seen, heard and even noticed on these social media sites, has increased triple fold.

The common current marketing trend I see is people trying to be everywhere and anywhere in the hopes of attracting more business, leads and traffic.

It’s a lot like watching people throw wet toilet paper at a ceiling and seeing what sticks. In other words – a pointless waste of time!

How To Make Social Media Work For You

What matters most when you’re planning your social media and internet marketing strategies is a commitment to doing more of the right things on a regular basis. Rather than getting completely overwhelmed trying to stay on top of every new trend, it’s time to get strategic and maximize your time spent on social media to get you the results you want.

I’m going to pass on 5 key pieces of advice about how to apply social media in business so that you can use these platforms to effectively market your brand’s products and services, connect to your community and build your credibility.

#1 Go where your audience is.

You do not need to spend inordinate amounts of time on Facebook if you’re audience is hanging out on Twitter. You don’t need to spend hours each day answering LinkedIn questions if you’re ideal client is only using Pinterest.

Know which sites appeal to which users. For example Facebook’s dominant demographic is 54 years plus, female Mums. It’s primarily a platform used for sharing photos, key pieces of news, videos and staying connected to your favourite brands as well as keeping tabs on friends.

LinkedIn however targets the 30 year old professional in an executive position who earns around $100K plus a year. Twitter appeals to the 35+ media savvy, tech focused, brands, celebrities and those who want instant real time information.

Do your research online and find out which social media sites attract which type of person and then ensure you make your presence felt there; if your audience hangs out on Twitter, then learn how to use Twitter for marketing.

#2 Know what to post to keep them engaged

Once you’ve found the right platforms you need to consider your marketing and content strategy. You want to be a giver not a promoter. Give and share valuable information, inspirational quotes, news articles, blog posts and advice to your community. Don’t spam them with continual sales focused updates – that’s a sure fire way to turn them off you for good. People interact most with photos and questions that start with ‘How do you….’ so make sure you put this to good use on the sites you’ve chosen.

Also consider broadcasting different pieces of information to stand out. For example if there’s a key topic that everyone is talking about, consider posting about something fresh and different to stand out in the stream of content people are scanning on Twitter, Google Plus or Facebook.

#3 Know when to reach them

There are certain times of the day when it’s better to post than others. The more you learn and apply this information continually gathered through online studies, the more success you’ll see.

For example posting at 9am (first thing in the morning when people head to work and check in on their favourite sites), 12pm (lunch break), 3pm (quick break) and the evening, are the smartest times to post. But that said don’t forget about weekends. For example if you’re in the entertainment, leisure or travel industry then weekends are more useful to post on. Forget about Monday too – I mean really who wants to check in on things on Monday when you’re commonly bombarded with too much info from every business wanting to get your attention.

 #4 Don’t stop before you’ve started

I’m often baffled when people expect instantaneous results from just one action.

They post on Facebook or share an article on LinkedIn and expect massive amounts of traffic and engagement on those platforms.  To build a community or an online empire, you need to do so one step at a time and then build on every action consistently. If you publish a new blog post then have it feed automatically on to your Facebook page, profile and Twitter. Add it to to your LinkedIn status and share it with some key groups and then do that all again over the next few days.

People see updates just once in amongst a plethora of 24/7 communications, so it’s likely they missed your first update. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and your influential circle to retweet, share or like your update to help spread the word. Then do the same for them and regularly.

It’s all about sharing and caring.

#5 Track your progress

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there. This famous saying also applies to your social media marketing efforts.

If you’re out there networking, posting, publishing, commenting and engaging then you’re likely on the right track. But if you have nothing to benchmark it against then all this work can feel like it’s for no reason. So set some goals though and then you have tangible metrics to track.

Want to get 300 new likes in the next two months? Great – what tactics do you have in place to achieve that?

Keen to get 200 new Twitter followers over the next 4 weeks? Well, what strategies will you employ to build your following and what value will you offer to ensure they stick around?

Track these at least monthly and see where your efforts are paying off most using tools like Google Analytics, bit.ly reports, HootSuite click throughs and Facebook page analytics.

Putting it all together

At the end of the day you should treat social media like a workout. The more you exercise your muscles the stronger you will become.

To recap, remember to:

  • Pick the social media sites where your audience is and just focus on those
  • Post a variety of content and medium to keep your community engaged
  • Ensure you’re posting at the times of the day when people are active on social media
  • Keep doing this consistently and cross promote on each social network
  • Make sure you set goals that you can track each month to ensure you’re making progress

Train regularly, be consistent in your efforts to workout on social media and watch your efforts pay off as you sculpt your social media marketing strategy into one that brings you consistent new fans and leads and potential new opportunities, clients and customers.

Natalie Sisson is a Suitcase Entrepreneur creating freedom in business and adventure in life for those wanting to create their ideal lifestyle. She ensures you use social media, online tools and outsourcing to build a business you love and can run from anywhere. She also runs her popular online program Sculpted Social Media to ensure you get maximum results with minimum efforts.

Comments

  1. says

    You hit one of my favorite “behind the scenes” strategies Natalie.

    When I post something important on a social site that I want to get a lot of attention, I send a lot of people a private note asking them to comment on it.

    This works especially well for getting a lot of buzz on a Facebook post or getting a LinkedIn discussion to the top of a group’s discussion board.

    • says

      Great to hear Jason. It really blows me away that people post some great piece of content just once and expect people to find it. Like any community building you have to work at it and let people know about what you’ve done more than once and why that matters.

  2. says

    Dear Natalie:

    Thank you for this great post! I agree with everything, especially point #1. It’s something I tell my students all the time: “It’s not because people tell you to be on FB, that you need to be there. Social media marketing is not a one-size-fits-all practice.”

  3. says

    Natalie, yeah it is good to go where the customers are and the main problem unlike SEO is that most people do not know how to conspuciously place their social media campaign in the face of those who needs their service. Nice post and needs more explanation.

    Sheyi

  4. Erica Lane says

    Natalie, I love your suggestion to treat social media like a workout.

    Many times as entrepreneurs we are quick to jump onto the next new thing in the social media world and you are right, we don’t need to use every single piece of social media equipment to get results. Choosing the path that we are going to take could be the difference between getting J-Lo’s booty or Chris Hemsworth’s body…both great physiques but as a female I wouldn’t want to look like a dude.

    When we take the time to grow one step at a time, when we set a benchmark then we can consistently track to make sure that we are on the right path.

    Where do you suggest someone start if they are totally new to applying social media to their business?

    • says

      I agree, we don’t need to look like dudes Erica :)

      Great question. I would say that aside from Danny’s useful tips and mine, one of the best sites when starting out is Social Media Examiner (http://socialmediaexaminer.com) as they have very easy to understand how to articles on the latest updates, trends and tools.

      When I started out I read voraciously on other blogs and sites until I found someone with a style that resonated with my learning. I also like videos and I find the main social media sites – esp Facebook and Twitter offer their own simple training guides for businesses wanting to use their features that are worth a look!

  5. says

    Awesome to the point article. I love you how you put it all together in a way that helps people get started. Social media can a best friend or one that takes and doesn’t give back and it is all dependent on you behave.

  6. says

    Wow, Natalie, you hit me between the eyes with #4. I know I do “drive by” posting and expect to see great results.

    I appreciate what you said about giving back after asking for shares and likes. It’s so easy to get caught up in ME. I love what Zig Ziglar says about helping others, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

    Yes it is about me but it’s about you and us. Otherwise what’s the point.

    Stay Strong and Be Inspired.

  7. says

    Thanks for these reminders Natalie. I need to be a bit more disciplined about #3 and schedule updates a bit better. I tend to just get onto Facebook or twitter when I can work it into my schedule so could leverage things a bit better there.

  8. says

    For my work (IT Enterprise Solution), I hardly spend a lot of time on social media. Most of my prospects/clients will not spend a lot of time on social media.
    I focus on LinkedIn for engagement and know each other in same industry.

    For my personal interest in emotion healing and life coaching, I do social media for engagement and understand what the audience want.
    Two things I need to improve are post and engage more frequently.
    I’m using hootsuite to help me.

  9. Steve says

    Nice post out there Natalie. I agree with all your points especially your #2 point. many people don’t know how to keep people engaged. most of them just don’t consider what customers have in their mind. they just want to promote their product.

  10. Jonathan Payne says

    All great points! I think #5 is the biggest key on the list — you have to measure and analyze what works, then build upon that while tossing out the bad stuff. This is really the only way to exponentially grow your presence.

  11. prime says

    I always loved reading tips on social media from Natalie. I must confess that I’m not very strategic in my use of FB, Twitter orLinkedin because I started using these tools only to connect with friends (or inthe case of linkedin just to display my resume). It was only when I got more serious in building a community and discovering that I got a lot of traffic from facebook, that I’m getting more strategic and I’m using posts like this to guide me.

  12. Myrna Greenhut says

    I thought this was a well-constructed post and a sound argument for not just flitting around without a strategy and throwing stuff randomly out there on every platform to see what sticks. But assuming that you know your target audience and have solutions they need to their problems, achieving more visibility for your posts through syndication is the oldest trick in the PR manual and quite useful.

    There are many good reasons to syndicate the content you produce in many instances so that you get mileage, traffic and expand the potential of your hard work and solutions being found by the people who need them.

    Asking your friends to chat you up is one approach, but repurposing content, tying your efforts together by blogging and posting on FB and Pinterest simultaneously, RSS feeds, social media press releases are still great ways to get the word out to your ideal customer.

    The extra work involved is so minimal that you are saving a small amount of time and leaving lots of visibility untapped.

  13. Emil Zimmermann says

    This post perfectly highlights the problem we are facing these days. We forgot the basics! Taking advantage of social media is just like taking advantage of your flash and blood network. If you like dancing but hate plumbing, you will not hang out with plumbers but with dancers, simple as that (no offence to plumbers – they are great an indispensable people, this was just an example).
    the trouble is that in all this information flood we are experiencing every day we are so overwhelmed that it takes a great effort to remain sane.

    Posts like these are a necessity today, because we have to remind ourselves and others that life is not that complicated after all, all we have to do is have a lot of common sense

    Thank You Natalie!

  14. says

    Hi Natalie,

    What a great article. The Point that You and Jarom make about people submitting a link and then just waiting for things to happen is a great one.

    In some ways Social Media makes people lazy, they forget that you have to work on relationships and build you presence in the different Communities in order to get the traffic.

    I’m currently working on building my Linkedin Community, hope you don’t mind me sharing a link on how I approached that.

    (http://www.stehughes.net/2012/11/how-to-use-linkedin-to-drive-massive-traffic-to-your-site/)

    I’ve shared this article with my connections, and would love to Connect with you on LinkedIn.

    Steve

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