Social media can work wonders for your business. With literally billions of users checking in on social platforms every day, the possible reach is virtually endless. It goes far beyond any other marketing medium we’ve known.
Navigating social media can be a bit like traveling through the wild west. Much of what happens is in the hands of the people. Things can be chaotic, and there are plenty of unwritten rules that can either help you get ahead or hinder your progress. And much like in the wild west, those who understand the rules and use them to their advantage tend to thrive, rather than just survive.
Things may change slightly as you move from one platform to another, but there are some rules that will apply everywhere. If you keep these guidelines in mind as you make your way across the social media landscape, you’ll be able to stake your claim and build an unbeatable reputation.
The Rule Of Reciprocity
Social media is a world of give and take. If you want people to share your content, you’re going to need to share other people’s content too. In fact, there is a widely held belief that 80% of things you share on social media should be content from outside sources and only 20% (or less) your own.
The Rule Of Audience Interaction
You can’t publish content and then vanish. Your audience expects answers to their questions and thanks for their comments. If you become known as a hit and run artist, your audience will find someone else to follow, and they’ll do it quickly.
The Rule Of Acknowledgment
People think of talking through social media as if they are standing in the same room together. When someone speaks to you, you must acknowledge them, or be seen as obscenely rude. You wouldn’t ignore someone standing in front of you saying hello, would you? Don’t do it here either.
The Rule Of Real Value
You can not survive by providing nothing but a stream of sales copy. Your audience wants real value, and you must give it to them. Certainly, promoting your products or services is the ultimate goal, but you have to give your viewers something that educates, helps, or entertains them. If you don’t, they won’t stick around for long.
The Rule Of Quality Over Quantity
In the world of social media, quality always trumps quantity. It is better to have 1000 followers who interact and engage regularly than 10,000 who never speak to you and exist solely as a number.
On the other side of the coin, putting out 1 really good, high quality article that is relevant to your audience once every 2 weeks is better than spitting out a daily stream of low quality filler that doesn’t really help anyone.
The Rule Of Specialization
Social media users tend to gravitate to sources they consider to be an authority in their field. You want to be known for doing one thing and doing it well. The audience wants to know that you are knowledgeable in your field and, most importantly, that the knowledge you are sharing with them is worthy of their trust.
The Rule Of Listening
Remember that it’s called social media for a reason. It’s not all about you. One of the best ways to figure out what your next step should be is to simply sit back and listen to the conversations going on around you.
Listen to what your audience is saying. Understand their needs and their desires, their likes and dislikes, and the roadmap to your future will unfold in front of you. People are willing to tell you everything you need to know. You just need to listen.
Following The Rules Brings Success
The main takeaway from all of this is just to remember the “social” in social media. It is all about interaction and education. Social media is like a party, a conference and a seminar all rolled into one, with unlimited space for guests.
If you can develop and nurture real relationships, providing your guests with interesting and educational entertainment, you’ll win their trust and their loyalty. In the end, that is what will make them want to work with you, or buy from you, and keep coming back for more.
How is social media working for you and your business? Do you need help planning out a strategy or even managing your existing presence? Get in touch today and we’ll be happy to show you how we can help you reach new levels of social media success.