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Doing Social Media Right as a Marketer

Managing a social media presence is not the same for marketers as for teenage digital natives. Selfies are pretty much out, for one thing, but so is the self-absorption that seems to dominate a lot of personal social media activity. Here are some ideas for getting the most from your social media marketing efforts: 

Be Human

Social media is perhaps the most human of all the marketing activities we might undertake. (All sales and marketing should be human, even B2B, but that’s another story.) While I wouldn’t necessarily go so far as to “let your freak flags fly,” your social media account should have a consistent personality and voice that matches the brand you’ve already staked out. Or would like to stake out – there’s nothing wrong with being aspirational, as long as your audience is willing to follow along.

Listen

The louts who walk into a cocktail party, stand in the center of the room and start talking louder than anyone else may think they’re the life of the party, but even the wallflowers know they’re not. Don’t be a lout. 

Before you try to work the social media room, get the lay of the land. Find your tribe and audience, introduce yourself slowly, and ask good questions. Engage with and share others’ content. Then begin contributing content of your own. 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once you’ve solved the riddle of one social media channel, you’ve solved them all. They’re different and you’ll have to repeat most of these same steps for each new channel you tackle. 

Learn

Or, really, “Listen, Part II.” You’ll learn different things from colleagues, competitors, prospects and clients, but all have something to offer. Be open to their messages and, particularly for prospects and clients, be sure to respond quickly and respectfully, even to disrespectful messages. 

Inform

This one should go without saying – if you aren’t offering value, you aren’t going to gain an audience. It’s just that simple. Finding a way to stand out from the crowd may require a bit of pizazz, but the core of your message had better address the needs of your audience, or they won’t be back a second time. 

Relevance matters, of course, but so does perspective. Content needs to be about the audience and its problems, not you and your solutions. You certainly want to make it clear that you and your firm have experience and expertise, but you should demonstrate it through the help you provide, not by talking about your experience and expertise. That’s not to say that you should never post purely promotional content. You should, but perhaps just once for every four informational posts. 

Entertain

Social media content is not an SEC filing. Don’t let your lawyers write it. Or your accountants. No need for the copy/visuals equivalent of the clown and the seltzer bottle or Gallagher and his watermelons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxls1KnKCA4, but you should certainly strive to make whatever topic you’re talking about fun and interesting –especially if you work in what might be considered by some to be a “boring” industry. Chances are, few of your competitors are presenting themselves in a fun way, so you have a real opportunity to stand out. 

Listen

Not a typo. Listening deserves two mentions because listening to your audience and giving them what they want requires more than just listening to what they say to you, your competitors, and one another. 

It requires tracking performance metrics and understanding what content resonates with them. It means watching your hashtag use and finding the right balance. (Don’t overdo it!) And it means research offline, as well. 

Social media channels are not the only places your prospects are gathering and not the only places you can learn more about how best to connect with them. 

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Andrew Schulkind

Since 1996, Andrew Schulkind has asked clients one simple question: what does digital marketing success look like, and how can marketing progress be measured? A veteran content marketer, web developer, and digital strategist, Andrew founded Andigo New Media to help firms find a more strategic and productive mix of tools that genuinely support online brand goals over time. With a passion for true collaboration and meaningful consensus, his work touches social media, search-engine optimization, and email marketing, among other components. He views is primary goal as encouraging engagement. Getting an audience involved in your story requires solid information architecture, a great user experience, and compelling content. A dash of common sense doesn’t hurt, either. Andrew has presented at Social Media Week NY and WordCampNYC, among other events, on content marketing and web-development topics. His technology writing appears on the Andigo blog, in a monthly column on Biznology.com, and for print and online publications like The New York Enterprise Report, Social Media Today, and GSG Worldwide’s publications LinkedIn & Business, Facebook & Business, and Tweeting & Business. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He engages in a range of community volunteer work and is an avid fly fisherman and cyclist. He also loves collecting meaningless trivia. (Did you know the Lone Ranger made his mask from the cloth of his brother's vest after his brother was killed by "the bad guys?")

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  1. Avatar Rachel Kieran

    Major social marketers mistakes are they just look for promoting their own business instead of going as a normal person. Major aspect of social media growth is people genuine interest on interacting on the platforms and when you just come to promote your stuff, people would hear you first time and probably second time too but nobody is so free that he/she keeps on listening to what you have to offer. “Value is Must”

  2. Avatar Amith

    Hi! Andrew Schulkind
    Thanks so much I always learn something new from these tutorials

  3. Avatar Sara

    G+ or Google+ is pretty much dead. But Google My Business is definitely steadily growing as an important “social media” channel. It is very dominantly displayed in Google search results.

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