Since we’re in the midst of a series on Making the Most of Social Media and today is Halloween, I’m going to share some tricks on how to turn social content marketing troubles into treats.
How to get started with social media
Trouble – The trouble with social media is that when you first start using it, no one listens. And, honestly, no one really cares.
Trick – Write your posts and updates for the few you know who will listen. Friends, family, customers – find out what they want to hear. Make a list of blog post ideas. Then create content about that. And create more. And more. No matter what.
Keep asking for input (or do market research for topic ideas) and keep creating content. Try presenting the content in a variety of ways – images (like Pinterest), video (YouTube), microblogging (Twitter) – see what works best, but no matter what, keep publishing on the networks that fit in best with your industry.
Where should you publish content? Start where your audience is. If they prefer Pinterest, be there. If they hang out on Google+, be there. Just don’t give up.
The treat? It takes time to rise above the noise in social media. But, once you do, you will have built a tribe of loyal followers who can become “brand evangelists” for you and your products & services. Then all your efforts will be worth it!
So, you’ve attracted a few followers – now what?
Trouble – Now that you’ve gained a small following, what should you do to nurture those followers and keep their interest in you and your business?
Trick – Think about who is following you. What are they like? What do they like to do? What are their dreams? Their dreads? Make a list (write it, don’t just think it) of at least 10 of their biggest dreads, then brainstorm a list of solutions to those challenges they are facing. Now, create social media content that presents those solutions to your audience.
Treat – Your audience will first of all keep coming back to consume your content because you’re directly providing the answers they are seeking. Plus, they’ll share your content throughout their social networks to their friends, who are likely facing similar problems. This will help grow your audience, plus you will have developed the most necessary component a marketer needs before you can really start marketing — trust.
Is social media worth the effort?
Trouble – Many bloggers and marketers use social media haphazardly. They don’t measure their results, and therefore have no clue whether or not all their work is working.
Trick – Set a goal for what you hope to accomplish with your social media efforts. Do you want to add X number of people download your giveaway and join your email list? Increase your sales by X percent? The goal shouldn’t be to increase your followers. Having a large following with no results doesn’t have a pay off for your time and effort. Set a goal that focuses on how to capitalize on the work you’ve put into growing your tribe. Spend at least 20 minutes putting your social media goal into writing.
Treat – When you set a goal and measure your progress, you’ll know whether or not what you’re doing is working. Plus, as you provide great content to your followers (you’re helping them solve their biggest problems, remember?), then they will be more likely to convert from leads to customers.
You’ve been at this social media thing a while now and you’re wondering what you’re doing wrong.
Trouble – You’ve gathered a following a set a goal, but can’t get any conversions.
Trick – Content. Yep, content. It’s really the trick to solve almost all of your problems. No one’s buying your product? Create content that focuses on how your product benefits your leads. Create content that educates your audience about your industry so they’ll understand how your products and services can help them.
Make your content remarkable. In other words, make it so compelling, so relevant, so useful to your audience that they’ll be excited to share it with their friends. Use compelling content. Address hot topics. Connect it to current events. Research the type of content your target market is already sharing (Hint: Hang out and participate in their social media communities) and create similar content.
How do you continue to grow your brand using social media?
Trouble – You’ve gained a little success and want to scale it up.
Trick – Keep on communicating with your community. Go where they are. Talk like they talk. Share what they need. Here are the three basic rules of success for social media: Join. Lurk. Share.
Treat – As you join in communities where your target audience hangs out and lurk around, learning more about their dreams and dreads, then you’ll be able to contribute more by sharing content with them. The treat here is that they will get to know you. They will begin to like you. And they will grow to trust you. Then (and only then) will you be able to market products and services to them that will help them even further.
If you’re only in this to market products and services and not to help your audience, you’re in the wrong business. The point (and success) of social content marketing is to help others by providing useful content through the means of social networks. Give away quality, helpful content for free, and that will enable you to sell more helpful, quality content later – after you’ve built a relationship.
Don’t trick people into buying your stuff – treat them to quality content that will help them. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with the treat of growing a successful business.