The first error most people make when marketing on social media is thinking they need to be everywhere.
“We should make a Facebook profile, a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a Pinterest account, a YouTube account, a Vimeo account…”.
Now, are each one of these platforms great platforms?
Do each one of these platforms have millions of potential people that you can reach?
But the two questions you need to ask yourself before you go running in every direction are:
- Do I have the resources to be effective on all of those platforms simultaneously?
- Are the customers that I’m looking for even on all those platforms to begin with?
After you ask yourselves these 2 questions, you need to follow these 5 keys to doing social media marketing the right way:
1. Know Your Audience
When it comes to any sort of marketing, law number one is always to know your audience.
Let’s say you want to start a lawn care company in Austin, Texas.
You want to target nearby suburbs and people in the area that need a lawn care service.
It wouldn’t make very much sense then for you to go print a couple thousand fliers and ship them off to the suburbs of Chicago, right?
But here’s the thing. That’s the mistake people make every single day on social media.
Someone with a power tool company says, “Let’s make a Pinterest account.” Little do they know, Pinterest is dominated by women. Are women interested in buying power tools? Not typically. When people buy power tools, do they go shopping on Pinterest? Probably not. So then why make a Pinterest account?
Why waste resources, time, effort, or part of your budget on a platform where the return on your investment is so minimal, if anything at all?
The answer is: Don’t.
Know your audience. Know where they frequent, know where they spend their time, and go there.
2. The 80/20 Rule
While companies have flocked to social media and Facebook has opened the door for paid advertising opportunities, the reality is that social media is first and foremost about being social.
People don’t use social media because they like seeing ads.
They like engaging with other people and being entertained, and tolerate the ads in the process.
When you’re marketing your product, company, or service, it’s important to follow the 80/20 rule:
¥ 80% of your content should be giving some sort of value—whether that’s knowledge, entertainment, creative content, etc.
¥ 20% of your content should be promotional.
The brands that follow this, win. The brands that don’t, lose.
3. Engagement Is Key
Once you’ve started to build momentum on social media, the roller coaster requires constant attention.
If you stop posting for a week, people will be less likely to trust the consistency of your content. If you don’t respond to every comment, you won’t grow as fast.
If you aren’t constantly engaging with users, answering questions, starting conversations, and being part of the community, then you are missing out on the biggest aspect of social media.
It’s like going on a date. If the person on the other end of the table just talked about themselves all night, you’d get pretty bored. The same goes for social media.
If you just post, post, post, but never do any listening, then the relationship is out of balance.
The single most effective way to grow any social media account is to collaborate on content with other people who have audiences for themselves.
Meet up, work on a project together, take a few pictures, make a vlog, shout each other out and post the content to your pages.
You are now tapping into their audience and they are tapping into your audience.
This is how you grow, and you grow fast.
5. Professional Content
At the end of the day, the videos recorded on a cell phone that go viral are one in a million.
If you want people to follow, engage, and ultimately buy from your social media pages, then you need to be putting out high quality, professional-grade content.
It’s not difficult to get your hands on a DSLR camera and have a friend point and click.
That’s what makes the Internet so lucrative.
You have full control over what people see and don’t see. So take the time to make your content high quality and extremely engaging, and watch how quickly you begin to build an audience.
Leonard has been recognized as a Top Writer in Marketing, Business Strategy, Startup Strategy and Business Advice on Quora, an Alexa ranked top 200 global website with a focus on sharing knowledge and advice.