We’ve recently been working with companies that get a lot of social media attention. Because there are many people involved and some were relatively new to the social scene I had decided to put together a list – really more of a framework if I think about it – of best practices for success in social media marketing.
OK. Ready? Here it goes…
1. Always respond. To the good and the bad. Let your audience know that you’re there with them. Let them feel like they have a direct line to the show hosts.
2. Listen Intently. This is a huge mistake most people make. They want to push their own agenda and it doesn’t work. This audience is the key to success, and they’re telling you exactly what they want. “Give the people what they want!”
3. Be consistent. So many who have failed did so because they didn’t adhere to this rule. Update consistently and produce fresh content on a schedule. People come back when they know they could be missing something. Humans are creatures of habit. Help your audience create a habit out of you.
4. Content is King. Today, he/she who has the gold does not make the rules. They simply have more money to create more content! Status updates, photos, blog posts, events, episodes, shout outs, discussion boards, press releases and articles (like how to guides). All of it is content, and you should always be adding more.
5. Create Value in Everything. This especially applies to rules two and four. Always be sure what you’re posting has some type of appeal to your audience. Find out what they want and tailor your content accordingly. When people find value in what you’re saying they post comments, share it and make it viral, and that’s the goal!
6. Make it special. Create incentives for people to join your network and tune into the shows. Make them feel like they’re a part of something exclusive and fun, even though anyone can join.
7. Stand out. The average Facebook user is connected to 80 fan pages, and Facebook has over 30 billion pieces of new content posted EACH MONTH. You’re competing for attention, how are you going to get it?
8. Create Evangelists. Get your audience to promote your brand. Truly understanding your audience will allow you to appeal to them so well that they will take ownership of your brand (think Apple fans) and sell your brand for you. Nothing sells products faster than your own customers (through comments, testimonies, sharing content, etc.)
9. Measure results. Look at your inputs and correlate them with the outputs. In other words, see if what you’re doing is working, and identify which things generate the biggest buzz.
10. Have (a lot) of fun and love what you do. It may not always be smooth sailing, but when you’re audience sees the genuine passion for what you’re doing you can be sure they’ll listen up.