Are you Frustrated with Your Social Media Marketing?

 

Frustrated with Social Media“Frustration” – a word frequently used to describe companies new to social media and those who have been involved in social media but have yet to enjoy a return.

The problem is two-fold. First, establishing a social media presence takes time and continued effort. You have to be consistent in your involvement with the social media medium and remember that returns will not be overnight. Second, you have to make sure that you are using social media in a way that makes sense for your business.

If you are not sure, ask yourself these simple questions:

Are you using the right platform?

First, remember that there are a variety of social media platforms for you to consider – most notably Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Further, within these platforms, there exist variations on the theme. For example, in Facebook, you can have a “Page,” a “Group,” or a “Community.” Each variation has its own set of tools, purposes, and capabilities. In addition, you may decide to participate in several social media platforms at the same time.

For example, if you have a fitness center or weight loss product , you may want to use your YouTube channel to publish videos on how to perform certain exercises or tapings of classes you offer there while using Facebook to build a sense of community through candid photos, listings of hours, available classes, and upcoming events.

Have you scrapped past attempts?

However, you also need to remember that whatever you take on has to be maintained and updated regularly. This can take up valuable time and people resources. While it can certainly be worth it in the long run, remember that consistency is key. If you do not think you will be able to maintain various platforms (or you have already started and stopped using a platform) be sure to erase or delete those accounts. Otherwise, you stand the risk of eroding your brand value when a customer (current or potential) stumbles across your forgotten Bebo account. Instead, make sure that what you have is the best it can be and do away with anything that you are not actively using.

Are you providing the type of information and interaction that your audience wants?

Ask yourself what it is that your audience would want to read, not what you want to tell them. Providing discounts or having giveaways can be useful, but you have to have more substance than that. Consider posting facts about your company, the brand, or its products. Think of the tidbits of information you encounter everyday that make you stop and say, “Really?” Examples include fun facts about how long you have been in business, what happens “behind the scenes”, why your business operates as it does (e.g. why Yoga class was cancelled on Tuesdays, why you do not serve poppyseed bagels, why you buy local, why legal documents are presented in blue card stock), etc.

Are you listening to your audience?

Likewise, are you listening to your audience? When they make a post, do you respond? Do you stay on top of when your company is mentioned on other sites, blogs, social media, etc., and make relevant comments to that affect (on that site and yours)? Remember that social media has developed because of the continued interaction it affords. Its purpose is not to simply broadcast, but rather give people a voice in things they would otherwise not be privy to.

Do you allow them a voice?

Similarly, make sure that you give your audience a voice. Ask open-ended questions, run surveys and polls, include them in new product decisions, etc. – the more things like this you do, the more valued your audience will feel. Remember that interaction is a large part of a successful social media campaign. If miss out on this, you may already be out of the game.

Social Media can be a key part of growing your business and brand to attract local consumers.

Local Internet Marketing isn’t just about having a website, it includes being findable in multiple places when local consumers are looking for your product or service.   A Local Internet Marketing Consultant can help you determine the best route for your online marketing plan.

4 Ways to Create Value Through Social Media

One of my pet peeves is people who leave comments on content or share share content with comments that show that they didn’t read the article. I had a situation a couple of days ago where I saw an article posted by someone who I used to respect. I read the title and his comment and then read the article. The first paragraph proved that he had not read the article and was commenting solely on the title which showed me he has no respect for his audience.

I think this happens for many reasons. In today’s market far too many people are trying to put themselves out there as experts. Most of these self proclaimed experts have been told that they need to leave comments and add value. But that takes too much effort so they leave short, no value,  cut and paste comments or comments simply based on headlines. They don’t realize that they are doing more damage to their brand every time they leave a bad comment.

Too many people are seeking shortcuts and much of the training that is available focuses on those shortcuts. The way to earn respect and followers online is to create value. Creating value differs by your audience and who you want to attract. You attract one audience through thought provoking in depth analysis and a different one by sharing the latest funny YouTube video.

Here are my thoughts on creating value more or less in order:

Create unique content that others will want to share

This takes far more work, but it delivers the most long term value. You are seen as the expert because you have proven yourself through your content. Before you say I can’t do that you need to understand that everyone is an expert at something. Trust me you are. But it’s not always what you want to be an expert in. We’ll explore that in more depth in another post.

Add value to others content.

Take short snippets of someone else’s content and add value. With a blog post you could use a trackback. You can add value providing more in depth analysis of the subject, you can extend the article, you provide your opinion, you can even disagree with the original article, but you need to add value and extend the conversation.

This shows you as the expert and is easier than starting from scratch. This is a good way to get started on those mornings that you just can’t get focused on a topic. If you use a trackback you will attract some attention from the original post and may even get the original blogger/author to come over and start a discussion on your blog.

Commenting

Adding value through comments is a great way to get noticed both by the content producer and by their audience. What you want to do is read the post. Find one or two specific things that you can comment on where you can provide unique value. Then I like to scan the comments and see if there is a good comment addressing the same points. If there is I reply to that comment with my thoughts. If there isn’t I leave my own comment.

Do not leave comments like “Great post” or comments that prove that you did not read the post. Also use your name, don’t be “Montana SEO” keyword stuffing your name in comments is spammy and makes you look like an idiot.

This is valuable because it can help you get noticed by the original content producer and their audience. I know people who have built followings simply by being the top commenter on one or two of the big names in their industry.

Sharing on Facebook on other social networking sites

This is good because it provides an opportunity for you to share great content with your audience. When you do it you want to make sure that you add value to the post even if it’s just one or two sentences. “I liked this post because,  I found this part interesting etc…”

Do not share content with comments that prove that you didn’t read it. It proves that either you are an idiot who can’t read or you have no respect for your audience. Either reason is more than enough for someone to quit following you.

If you don’t have time to leave a good comment either don’t share it or at the very least just share it without a comment . There are many times that I read an article and share it without a comment, but I rarely share anything that I haven’t read.

The key component is that you need to add value. While there is some value in being an aggregator of information, if you don’t add value to that content why do people need you?? Reading Chris Brogan and sharing all of his posts does not make you a social media expert.

Seven things you must do if you want to be successful in Social Media Marketing

Seven things you must do

if you want to be successful in Social Media Marketing

1. Control your schedule

Too many people allow themselves to get buried in the fun social aspects of the social media sites and forget that they are there for business. You need to schedule a block of time every day to spend on your social media marketing efforts and stick to that time. Ideally first thing in the morning so you don’t miss it.

2. Limit your number of Social Media Sites

People jump into dozens or hundreds of sites and try to maintain their profiles on all of those sites. It doesn’t work because it takes too much time and dilutes your focus. Stick to the 2-3 sites that provide the most benefit and automate or forget all of the rest.

3. Learn to write…or speak…or do video

Ideally you do all three, but you must produce content on a consistent basis. The more you write the better you will get. The more you hear yourself speaking the better you will get, the more you see yourself on camera the better you will get…trust me. You should read my earlier material or watch some of my videos. Some of those are really bad  🙂

4. Have an easy to remember, consistent username

Ideally your real name, your brand name or your keywords. Some sites like Facebook, frown upon keywords in your username. Use the same username on all of your sites.

5. Develop a thick skin

The more you build your reputation the more likely you are to have someone come after you. Sometimes they do it in the open and to your face most times they do it when they don’t think you’re listening.

Always be listening and respond appropriately without overreacting.

6. Control the searches on your username

The easiest way to do this is to have a blog your name and profiles on a number of the big social media sites.

If you Google Doug McIsaac everything on the first page is from me and there are only a couple of results in the first four pages that aren’t mine.

Obviously this is easier for me than if my name was John Smith, but there are ways to have a unique username without resorting to luckylady73. Your business username shouldn’t be like your Match.com name.

7. Know who you are and what your goals are from social media.

Too many people get online and just spin their wheels because they didn’t start with a plan. If you’re struggling to figure out where to start go read my mentor Simon Ford’s great post called “Who am I? Who am I not? Who do I want to be? What am I doing about it?” http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=136734128482

What other items do you think are MUSTS that I missed?

Social Media Marketing — Are You Ready?

Social Media Marketing
Are You Ready?

Introduction social media marketing. This presentation was for GMG a group of marketing professionals that meets in Billings, MT. I focused on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for this presentation.

View more presentations from dougmcisaac.