Like most people using “social media” I’m constantly amazed by the amount people seeking advice / how to’s and so on. I’m also heavily amazed by the amount of people offering their services to them. While I realise there is always a need to have some advice with new technology / ways of doing things the social media guru stud guy coaching type thing is a bit extreme no ?
So really what you’re wanting to ask is WTF is social media marketing ?
In a nutshell … its spamming the **** out of your friends initially in the hopes things will take off and you’ll get more people following you. This in turn will lead to every “tweet” / Post / Message you make getting read by an ever increasing number of people.
Wow you make it sound so great where do I sign up?
Well like most things I’d first advise you have a website to redriect your “fans” (people that follow / stalk you) to
This will help and who knows a few might even end up book marking your actual site instead of just seeing the off message from you. I’d also recommend you get and RSS feed onto your site. A what now ? .. ( an RSS feed is simply put … a list of the recent posts / activity on your site) People will see updates from you in an RSS reader of their choice if they use one. I actually being quite computer il… er … literate don’t use one. Why … again its down to time and how much time you have at the end of the day. There are so many posts to read things to check and so on it can be a bit overwhelming.
So you’ve got your site .. you’ve got something that you can drag people back onto your site with (RSS feed) .. what do I do next.
Well you pretty much start telling people about what you do. Its social media … can you be social ? .. can you be social online ( its potentially a lot easier to be social online than in real life) and away you go. Follow people you find interesting .. interact with people … let people know whats happening … open up your “company” to the world and interact. O…. K … you say … erm really thats what its all about.
- Interact with people
- People may follow you back if you’ve something interesting to say
- You’ll follow them back
- Connections will be made .. you’ll say hey to them they’ll say hey back
- You’ll update info … people will see it .. some might like it and let their friends know
- Interact Interact Interact ….
So … erm … that sounds simple enough doesn’t it? This is what social media is about … you’ll have people telling you its all about the number of followers you’ve got following you. NO … this is pure BS for example … I could have 10 people following me who are my customers and who might like to see I’m available for work … or I’m interested in doing XYZ … and there’ll be some interaction … or I could have 10000 people trying to sell their services to me .. following me … me following back … cluttering up my stream ( twitter stream … updates from people ) … which is more useful … well to be honest the 10 people you’ll interact with. Of course if you’re huge and can hire a marketing department and get loads of people involved in your twitter account then go for it. If its just you .. then … erm forget about it … follow people have them follow back or not … and let things happen naturally so to speak.
All this said there are a few things you can do to speed up the interest in you / your product or service …
Special offers … ooooh wow 20% off and save now today only .. <-- you like the look of that no ? well why not make a few discounts available for people. What will it cost you ... hopefully not that much .. you've probably got margins worked out on what you earn / profit and so on already ... so factor in what you've got in your marketing budget as well and go from there. So all this been said it sounds pretty simple no ? Well hell it is .. its not rocket science ... its basic human interaction ... if you say hi, people will say hi back. Things not to do:
- Don’t spam … don’t spam your product .. don’t spam messages …
- Don’t direct message people about your products
- Don’t auto message people saying thanks for following
- Forget about the .. you can earn $50,000 a day with my social media tool!!! click here to find out more … type offers. They are BS
- Don’t read posts online and think they are the number one way of doing things … Trial and error should be heavily involved in your process ( We all make mistakes .. I’ve made them others have made them .. we try and move on )
Do realise that all the social media interaction is free BUT its damn expensive …
1 Tweet – 20 – 30 seconds of your time … (thats nothing you say)
.. reading the tweets of others … add on another bit of time …
We’ve 5 minutes gone just there like that … what have we done .. posted one message read a few others tweets.
Lets speed up things … how? … erm … social media is about building up a following .. interaction … respect (respect is import .. if people like you or your product they’ll help you promote it .. if they don’t .. you’ll have pointless twitter accounts RT’ing (Re Tweeting .. sending one your message to people who follow them) .. all your messages .. end result you’ll pick up useless followers
You will come across the odd thing which takes on the Viral nature … you say something clever .. you write something clever and suddenly lots of people are linking to you RT’ing your message ad so on … GREAT … WOO HOO and I’m happy for you .. but generally you can’t force this to happen it just does and if it does congrats and well done
So this ends part I of maybe a one part article .. maybe I’ll write a bit more ( For most people reading its hopefully DUH! material .. for others hopefully its something of an eye opener to the magic that is Social Media) Let me know what you think
(PS: Please note I’ve been really using twitter as my social media tool of example here … similar would apply to facebook and so on)