Don’t Let Social Media Drive You—Learn How To Drive Social Media
There’s a growing voice out there on the Internet that seems to be screaming “social media marketing now!” at the top of its lungs, sending business after business reeling headfirst into the online world of social media marketing. The problem with this is that many people take the same approach to social media as they do with their regular marketing strategies, meaning there’s a whole lot of incompetence floating around out there. And with more and more people jumping in without looking, the sea of unexceptional content online makes it hard for your business to stand out.
So, here are three simple ways that you can make social media work for you, allowing you to work smarter, not harder.
Tip # 1: Find Your Niche and Dig Into It
The Internet is awash with industries that don’t have a clear mission statement, let alone something deeper that really lets their customers know what they stand for. They have a skeleton of an idea of who they are but without any flesh and substance, they quickly sink to the bottom of the internet ocean along with all of the other indistinguishable companies out there.
What makes you stand out from your competitors? Who is your target audience? How do I know this product/service is for me? Why do I need you in my life?
These four questions need to be answered immediately without having to ask when potential customers see your brand on social media. Don’t be afraid to really come out and tell people what you’re about, to really define your company.
Once you do this, you can begin to build your fan base on people who think alike, sharing your company’s views, ideals and interests.
Tip #2: Define Who You Aren’t
The social media world is awash with companies who are probably already following that first tip, so now that you are too, what’s going to bring you to the top of the next heap? Well, this is where you define who you aren’t: your competition. Don’t be afraid to throw a few elbows here; this is the Internet, people like a strong position as it allows them to rally behind it.
You’ve probably seen commercials with taste tests for soda, or the one with the Pepsi and Coca-Cola delivery guys drinking a soda, depicting one as lazy or secretly drinking the “enemy” company’s soft drink. It’s clear to consumers which product they are choosing over, not just which product they are choosing. This helps to build your brand recognition by reinforcing that even if they’ve never tried your product or service, when given the choice between yours and your “enemy’s,” the choice is clear every time: yours.
You see the same thing with Apple, whose enemies aren’t only IBM or Samsung, but non-innovation. The enemy of television?Exercise.Of exercise equipment?Junk food. Make your company’s position stand firm and you’ll stand out head and shoulders above the rest.
Tip #3: Focus Where It Counts
Another reason people tend to get lost in the world of social media marketing is because everything is so new and there’s so much to learn and do, it can all become overwhelming. A lot of the people I talk to remind me of chickens running around with their heads cut off, just plugging every available ounce of energy into each outlet, exhausting themselves. And then, when there are no results, the end picture is often full of rage and early exits from the social media landscape.
The fix?Slow down…do less with what you have. Stand back and take a quick assessment of what isn’t working for you. Perhaps your website doesn’t have that many hits because it needs to be optimized or you need better bloggers. Maybe your email marketing doesn’t get a lot response; start in these areas. They are proven money makers.
Next, look at what is working for you. What is giving you the highest return on investment, sometimes surprisingly? Are you getting a lot of Facebook likes and thus traffic to your site? Spend a little time there building up a report with your Facebook fans. Perhaps Twitter?
Find out what’s working for you and stay on top of it. You don’t need to have a million social media outlets, just one or two that work well. Simply make sure that you’re standing out in these areas and plug away; don’t go crazy!
Overall, you want to create a great experience for your customers so think like one. When you do, you’ll be working smarter, not harder.