It's not uncommon to encounter broad sweeping statements like “social media marketing is great for business,” or “social media is the future of online marketing.” However, while we're subjected to the watered down rants of pundits who praise the perks of building huge followings on sites like Facebook and Twitter, many times we never really get to the real meat of the matter, which is how to do well with social media marketing (SMM).
Any company can set up a few social networking accounts and get started with SMM in a single day, but it can take months to years to become proficient at persuading an online crowd for the benefit of a particular brand or business.
Running comparative analysis tests and studying consumer and social psychology can help build experience over time, but prior to that it is imperative to become familiar with the basic fundamentals and components of a strong and well-diversified social media marketing campaign. In the following paragraphs we'll reveal four key principles that every marketer should become familiar with on their road to social media success:
1. Blogging is the Backbone of Content Marketing
At the core of every piece of media is the content – the dialogue, the written subject matter that separates a wordless picture or video from something that carries intriguing or useful value. Behind the fancy infographics, instructional videos, promotions, and advertisements are the content strategists of the marketing world. As a result, every company should maintain an entertaining and informative blog that touches topics relevant to the niche.
This blog content can then be linked to from social networking accounts to funnel traffic from the social networks to your company's blog. Be sure to integrate share and like buttons into your company's blog to build a stronger two-way link between your social profiles and the company blog.
2. Friends, Fans, and Followers are the Leaves on Your Campaign's Tree
Here's a good analogy to help you understand the anatomy of a healthy SMM campaign: Your social marketing effort is like a tree. The content, media, and overall interest you create and share can be seen as nutrients, water, and sunlight that keep your tree growing. Each new follower or friend is like a new leaf on a branch, helping the company's social tree take in and utilize even more sunlight and water, which of course helps the tree grow further.
Alternately, a tree with no leaves produces no fruits and eventually will wither away into nothingness. Therefore, fuelling your campaign with adequate nutrients (content and media) is the best way to generate more leaves (friends and followers).
3. Informative Media Will Always Attract Shares and Likes
It's true, people love humour and they love silly entertainment, which is why memes always do a great job of going viral. However, when it comes to generating traffic with a specific business purpose in mind, attracting hordes untargeted web surfers isn't a great strategy.
Thus, instead of using gimmicks, comedy, and meaningless gossip to attract attention, try providing informative content that your targeted audience will see as useful or shareworthy. Ideal results are achieved when a company designates themselves as a resource in a particular field, rather than serving as yet another meme machine.
4. An Active Social Network and Forum Presence Generates Traffic and Loyalty
Forums and social networks are the digital communities of the internet, connecting like-minded people and providing excellent venues of sharing ideas and content. When people see the members of a company actively participating in forum discussions and social network dialogue, a sense of trust is instilled, and it is the kind of trust that can't be bought with any other form of advertisements.
A dozen radio and television ads cannot produce as much trust as an immediate response to a question or an offer to compensate a disgruntled customer directly via their social networking account. Continually interacting with fans, followers, and customers shows that your business is upstanding, providing an unbeatable form of customer service that integrates with the social services people are already using in their day-to-day lives (i.e. – Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Every campaign requires a custom effort, so it is not surprising to see many marketers taking unique approaches to the challenges that come with social media marketing. Still, learning from each other is by far the best way to expedite the experience gaining process. So, if you have any awesome principles that you use to generate success with social media, we would love to hear about it in the comments section below.