Social media has become a cornerstone of Internet marketing. It is a method of reaching an endless amount of people quickly, efficiently, and using direct engagement. Never before has it been so easy to reach your target audience, no matter where in the world they are, or what your industry may be.
The only downside is that it is a very quickly evolving form of marketing, where tactics don’t always have a very long shelf life.
Likewise, the number of platforms and their usefulness expand all the time. We now have half a dozen regulars, and they don’t even count the many niche social networks, the content curation sites, or even blogs, which count as a form of social marketing themselves.
This post is going to be focusing on some of the latest tips, and some of the classics that are still relevant.
Understand the Difference…
Decide what your goals are, and then pick the platform that best encompasses it. A good rule of thumb to begin with:
- Twitter for connecting to influencers
- Facebook for running contests and engaging customers
- Pinterest for pushing visual content
- StumbleUpon for generating traffic
- Google Plus for generating authority
- LinkedIn for connecting with industry leaders, etc
Tag, Tag, Tag, Then Tag Some More
I have seen a tactic used through the years that randomly tags followers when a new piece of content has come out, in order to get their attention. Especially if those users are influencers with a large follower base.
This is the wrong way to use tagging.
Instead, you should tag people only when it is relevant. Say that you are posting a link to an article you read and really enjoyed. You would tag the blogger’s account it came from, then the name of the author. It gets the attention of both, without seeming as though you are pitching anything to them.
Social Media Isn’t a Dumping Pile For Links
Yes, you want to share links on your social profile. But social media isn’t there to be a dumping ground for your content. You should be sharing links in between engaging with people directly. Ask questions, post other people’s work, answer tweets and statuses, and just be social.
Not only does this bring in more results on the marketing front, but it gives a face to the brand you are promoting.
Start Getting Visual
Visual content gets shared more than anything else across all social networks. So you should be spending a fair amount of your time posting images, videos, comics, infographics, etc. If you are on a site like Twitter, you can post up to four at a time. If you are on Facebook, create a gallery, or even post a Slideshare presentation.
You want something that catches the skimmer’s eye, and visuals do that much better than text alone.
Remain Consistent, Or You Will Be Forgotten
The most important sure of social marketing? Be consistent. You should be posting regularly, and with enthusiasm. If you slip up, you are going to start losing followers very quickly. It is amazing how quickly your social media credibility can go down.
It is just like posting content on your site. The more often you do it, and the higher the quality, the better.
Build Relationships With Influential Users… Off Social Media
If you are going to a conference, make it a point to have a list of people you know would be attending, and to make plans to meet up. It is easy, with so many people using hashtags related to events. Just send them a quick message asking if they would like to grab coffee, or even dinner or a drink after the day’s sessions.
Meeting in person is always more affective than just being a social media avatar. Try and make the most of every industry event: Meet as many people as you can!
Running a social marketing campaign doesn’t require any tricks, just some solid advice. The tips above will help you grow a strong social presence over time, which promoting your brand. The sooner you get started, the better!
Do you have any advice on how to build a social marketing campaign in 2015? Any predictions on trends in the coming months? We would love to hear them, so leave them in the comments!
“Let’s get to basics” series:
- How Can Social Media Help Your Business?
- How To Build An Email List
- How to Identify Plagiarism
- More to come!