Whenever I have a new client, I always get asked the same question over and over. This question is “what are the steps that our company should follow to execute a successful social media campaign? ”. While each business should approach social media from a different angle, there are definitely some characteristics that appear in all successful social media marketing campaigns. I would not put exact rules to it, but at least provide you with easy to follow steps to build up your audience across all the social media platforms that you intend to make use of. If you want to incorporate social media as a part of your overall marketing strategy (you should by the way), then here are 7 steps to do so:
1- Content is still king:
I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about the fact that you don’t need to produce any content when it comes to using social media marketing. I don’t know where this misconception came from, but I’m sure it’s from lazy people! It’s true that you can maintain your social media presence by posting other people’s content, but it’s just maintaining (you can’t grow up your presence without producing quality content). I truly believe that the key to social media success begins from your blog, because the engagement you get from a loyal reader is worth way more than a fan who just stumbled upon your content.
2- Treat people like you want them to treat you:
There were times when a person could literally conduct a very successful business behind the shadows without even interacting with customers. I say that this age is gone without return. If you want people to interact with you, then you should interact with them as a real person and not a shadowy avatar. I don’t necessarily mean by that using your personal profiles (although I recommend it), I’m also referring to making people believe that they are dealing with a real person instead of a company marketer who’s just trying to get them open their wallets. You need to like, follow, comment, respond, interact…etc in order for you to be able to build a solid following.
3- Get in the zone:
They say that in order to build an audience fast, you need to influence influencers first. I mean by that making rock stars in your niche appreciate what you’re doing. I know that many of you wonder of the right way to garb influencer’s attention, but it will definitely be “great content”. If you want people to treat you as an expert, you need to learn to treat yourself as one. I’m sure that it’s not the first time you hear that a person got tons of traffic to their website just because a high profile liked or retweeted their post. For those of you who think that producing high quality content is difficult, I say that if you are genuinely trying to help people, then you’ll get your following no matter what your expertise level is.
4- Remember it’s not about you:
I know that many people would disagree with me on the fact that although you’re talking to people as a person, you shouldn’t make it about you. However, I have an evidence that you can build friends with this method by you’ll never be able to build a following. Making everything about you is only going to push people away. Instead, you should focus on helping them without forgetting the personal side that people like. If you want to make things work for you, you need to find a sweet spot between your personal side and your marketer side without abusing anyone of them.
Once you have a good following, you need to move things to the next level by incorporating different marketing strategies. One way of doing that is by conducting contests as they are proven to skyrocket your followers numbers, visibility and engagement (see How Zillow.com Went From 22,000 Facebook Likes to 100,000 Facebook Likes in 8 Days) . The other great way of doing this is by using PPC (pay-per-click). Facebook ads are probably the best and fastest way to building a targeted following fast, but that’s only if you can afford it (it depends on the market you’re targeting). The key to Facebook ads in my experience is to test various versions of your ad until you find the one that performs best (minor details matter in this).
6- Don’t buy following:
We tested buying following several times with some of our clients, but it never worked. It’s true that it’s good for social proof when you have a gazillion of fans, but almost no one of them will ever be of value to you. There are many services out there that promise of real targeted human following, but no one of them will be able to deliver what you want. As you know, with new media coming in, there are always abusers that try to manipulate things to their advantage to make a quick profit. I say if you want to build a real business and not a temporary trend, then you definitely should stay away from these practices. I like to compare it to when people pretended that they cracked the Google algorithm and they can get you fast ranking without you doing any hard work (but look at their businesses now after the Panda update). What I recommend though when spending money to get followers, is to try PPC as mentioned above, because it’s the most effective paid method to get real following as you don’t make people click that like button, you only present what you can do for them, and it’s up to them to decide if they want to make use of your help or not.
7- Track, track and track:
The most important factor to any successful social media marketing campaign is definitely tracking the progress and results you’re making. Monitoring you following, conversions, interaction…etc is your only way to measuring your success throughout all the social media platforms. Calculating your ROI is also crucial to determine if your current strategies are working or they need to be modified or changed.
I know there are probably many other factors that determine your social media success, but I’m pretty sure that if you follow these, you’re going to build high quality profiles across all the platforms and by that building a real business which you can rely on in the future no matter what changes hit the web.