Last week, I gave a talk to a networking group on social media marketing.
Without slides and a limited time to cover a HUGE subject, I focused on 10 key things that I’ve learned about social media that I think every small business owner should know.
Here are my 10 things:
1. Social media is social.
It’s about interaction, not broadcasting. This means that you should be having conversations, not just blasting your own promotions all the time (in fact, don’t do that at all.)
Recommended for YouWebcast: Your Viral Voice: How to Create Conversations that Convert to Sales
2. You cannot outsource a relationship.
Be careful if you’re considering outsourcing your social media marketing because you can’t delegate personal connections, and that’s what social media is all about. If you want help with social media, think about having someone else schedule your “content-type” posts (e.g. sharing articles), but deal with replies yourself.
3. It’s not magic.
I’m a social media fan, but it won’t fix all your problems overnight. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint and you have to give it time and sustained (if low level) effort. We are talking months here, not days.
4. Pick your channels.
You don’t have to be on ALL social media platforms (there are hundreds of them.) Start where your customers are and where you have the most fun. It will be easier for you and most effective in marketing terms.
5. Do one thing at a time.
Don’t feel like you have to launch three different social accounts at the same time. Just pick one, get used to that, and then add another. Facebook is often the easiest, because you are probably already using it on a personal level.
6. Vary your posts.
Don’t just post one sort of thing on social media. Mix it up with images, video, text, sharing other people’s links, sharing your own stuff, and having conversations. It will generate more engagement and is less boring for you!
7. You can lead with social but, it doesn’t work on its own.
Social media is only PART of your marketing toolkit. We recommend using social media and email together as a great combination and a way to connect the dots in your marketing efforts to make it work harder for you. However, you also need to think about connecting social media to everything else too (e.g. putting social media links on your website and business cards.)
8. Email is a social medium too.
People share emails and forward them to friends. Encourage your readers to do just that with your emails to extend the reach of your message. The Constant Contact Social Share Bar helps with this.
9. Keep learning.
Social media is moving fast. I’m reading about new things in social media ALL the time. If you’re active on social, you’ll pick things up as changes happen. Don’t panic about that, it will just happen.
10. Let go! You don’t have control.
Many business owners are afraid of social media because they worry about competitors or disgruntled clients saying negative things about them. The truth is that this could happen anyway, so just jump in and relax. Being part of the conversation is always better than being left out.
That’s my 10 things you need to know about social media marketing. Of course, there are more than 10 things to learn, but this list is a pretty good place to start.
What are some of your social media marketing tips? Tell me in the comments.