Social Media Survival Tips
Social media has come a long way since the launch of Myspace in 2003. From Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest, social media sites are continuously evolving, attracting more users and offering greater capabilities. Recent studies indicate that online users spend nearly 23% of their time on social media and blogging sites. That’s more than e-mail (7.6%), search (4%) and online gaming (9.8%) combined. It’s no wonder why social media has made it’s way into the marketing mix. For many businesses entering the social media game can seem like a daunting task. Whether you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or just trying to refine your strategy, read below for a few social media survival tips, intended to help you keep you’re brand afloat.
If you plan on using your social media channels to blast out pre-packaged marketing messages, don’t expect stellar results. Your audience will see right through you. Today, more than ever, consumers understand that they have a choice. The time and money that they invest in a brand is similar to casting a vote. Consumers support brands they trust. They support brands that they believe in. This is why authenticity is so important. Focus on topics that are meaningful to your brand, communicate in a casual voice, avoid overly promotional copy and most importantly remember to tailor your messages to your audience.
Remember, Patience is a Virtue:
I can’t tell you how many times people come to me and say, “I want 20,000 Facebook Fans by the end of the month. Where do we start?” It’s true, there are companies out there that offer brands the ability to purchase Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers. Would I recommend them? Generally, the answer is no. If you have 20,000 Facebook Fans, but only 900 of them have a genuine interest in your brand, the remaining 19,100 aren’t going to do a whole lot for you. Building a valuable social media community takes time. Be patient. Focus on communicating the right messages, tailor to your audience and let your fan base grow organically. If you’re lucky not only will you acquire 20,000 Facebook Fans, you’ll also build a fan base that is truly interested in your business, your products and your people.
Minimize the Clutter:
From twitter feeds to online advertisements to news articles, in this fast paced world content overload is inevitable. Consumers have a hard enough time filtering through their e-mail accounts and text messages, when they take a break to visit their favorite social media sites the last thing they want to have to do is find the relevant content. It should already be there for them. As a business do your audience a favor and help minimize the clutter. Keep your social media communications short and focused, concentrating on topics that are directly relevant to both your brand and your online community. In doing so you’re more likely to keep those 20,000 Facebook Fans that you worked so hard to get.
Embrace Two-Way Communication:
Social media is more than another marketing vehicle; it’s a powerful tool that allows you to engage with your community. Beyond posting frequent and relevant content, be sure that you are using your social networks to communicate directly with customers and/or business partners. Respond to inquiries quickly and enable messaging on your Facebook Fan Page so that users can reach out to you directly. Also, don’t forget to give your fans a digital high five once in a while, thanking them for their support and contributions to your business.
Never Stop Improving:
From Facebook Insights to third party solutions, like Simply Measured, there are a variety of ways that you can measure your social media influence and optimize your strategy. Leverage these tools to better understand your audience and how they interact with your brand. For instance, what is the demographic profile of your social community? Does that agree with your target audience? When is your audience most active? What content do they engage with the most? Knowing these things will help you up your social media game.
If you want to learn more about social media survival or need help defining your online strategy, feel free to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Source Nielsen Social Media Report: Q3 2011