8 Ways To Improve Your Social Media Marketing Today

February 25, 2014 | By | Add a Comment

Are you caught up in a constant struggle to manage your social media profiles effectively?

Are you finding it impossible to find new ways of driving your campaigns forward?

Do you sometimes feel like giving up on social media because it is all too fast-paced and constantly changing?

Well, it doesn’t matter how often or how well you participate in social media – there is always room for improvement.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, I am sure these are extremely simple ways that you can quickly and easily improve your social media campaigns.

Here are my top 8 tips for you to start implementing today. They will revitalize your social media marketing approach!

1.      Engage

 This is easily the most under used practice in social media marketing. You should be spending a good chunk of your time talking to new people and building upon existing relationships. Engaging is easily the most effective way of gaining trust and developing loyalty with your audiences, if done effectively.

Social media participation is typically transparent – anything and everything you post in public spaces can be seen by the whole global community (subject to some privacy restrictions). However, do make sure that your interactions and subsequent engagement is based on providing value and being helpful to the other party. You audiences will certainly appreciate it. They will also recognize that there is a real person behind your social profiles and not some robot sending automated messages. The personal touch works each and every time.

2.      Be Valuable

It’s easy to forget that participating in social media activity is a two-way street. In fact, you should be giving much more than receiving.  And you shouldn’t expect instant reciprocation. It is earned only when you have provided sufficient value for someone to feel compelled to act upon it. It is your task to make your offer so compelling, it’s impossible for them to ignore.

A common mistake I see is businesses promoting themselves all the time. Don’t get me wrong, an important business update can be key. But most of the time, it’s Tweets or Facebook messages along the lines of “We provide this <insert> service. Get in touch today on <insert>”. It’s a call to action of sorts, but not a compelling one, and worse still, audiences get bored with these messages if that’s all they are seeing. How valuable do you think this is to the average follower? I would lean towards less than zero – it can actually do more damage than good because people will see your huge lack of creativity and willingness to engage with them to discover what their needs actually are (see tip #1).

3.      Build Credibility

When you are first starting out in social media marketing, it is very hard to get noticed. Your credibility starts low because you haven’t established yourself within these social spaces. But give it time. Be patient and above all, be frequently present. By consistently participating and adding value to conversations your audiences are participating in, you will slowly gain credibility and people will start to take notice. This isn’t a quick-win tip!

Building credibility demonstrates that you practice what you preach. It amuses me when I see web design companies whose own website is poor, or graphic designers who fail to create their own bespoke social branding.

By positioning yourself as a highly credible go-to person, you will establish yourself as an authority in your field, as someone who can influence perceptions or behaviors.

4.      Stay Relevant

Maintaining a disciplined approach and creating a routine will guard against social media taking over your life. It also allows you to remain constantly active within your online spaces. It’s best to manage your activities in batches and turn on your notification settings so that you can respond quickly to important updates, as they arise. Timeliness is a real strength in social media marketing.

If you take long breaks out from your social media profiles, then your readers will soon lose interest in your and someone else will capture their attention. It’s very difficult to retain loyal readers when you don’t post anything for a sustained period of time. The mantra of “you have to be in it to win it” is never truer!

Always remember to stay on topic too. Stick to your objectives and remind yourself why you are participating in social media in the first place. If you are active within a niche, stay relevant by keeping your content and posts related to your audience’s interests.

5.      Set Goals and Understand Objectives

Social media marketing should always be aligned with your business goals and objectives. Your business profiles shouldn’t be used to waste time by gossiping or posting random content that you find interesting. Keep your campaign objectives at the forefront of your mind before creating your content calendars and engaging with your audiences.

Try setting daily, weekly and monthly goals for your social media campaigns. After each period, try and beat your past performance so that you are continuously improving. This is also an efficient way of measuring and reporting on your progress.

Think about the long term picture. What is it you want to achieve? Without knowing what you want to achieve in social media marketing, you will likely never get there.

6.      Be Strategic

Undertaking sufficient research and planning should allow you to formulate clear actions that meet your proposed objectives. Be being clear on how you will execute your plan and at what key points you might need to adjust your actions. By doing this, you will have created a framework that will maintain focus and energy.

If you remain strategic in your social media efforts, then chances are you will cut out the wasteful and time-consuming tasks that contain little value and focus on the best ROI activities. Remember that strategy is largely about knowing where you want to be at the end of a journey, understanding all that could inhibit that journey, and executing the means of getting there. It will pay dividends to stop and think about something before jumping in and doing it badly!

7.    Analyse

Everything in marketing that consumes investment should be measured and analysed. That includes your time input. Business owners often fail to consider the time implications of effective social media marketing and instead focus on the more tangible inputs, like money.

Think about how much your time is worth and then analyse whether a particular “luxury” action will create more value than the value you’ve placed on your time. If it doesn’t, then your time could probably be better spent elsewhere. HOW you spend your time is of vital importance if you are to hit those goals you’ve set yourself. Sometimes, this way of thinking allows you to cut back on, or eliminate completely, some tasks that are not really necessary and have just been eating away at your time all along.

Analyzing all your marketing metrics will provide you with a solid foundation from which to draw conclusions. It will allow you to make informed decisions on how to improve your campaigns and will ensure you are continuously adjusting to the dynamic digital landscape in social media marketing.

8.    KISS

Keep It Simple Stupid.

Don’t over complicate things and try to get too fancy with your campaigns. You will frequently find that the most obvious method is also the most effective.

Of course, you should exercise your creativity and innovate wherever possible, but tone it down in areas that are tried, tested and already providing great results.

Some of these tips might seem obvious, but it’s astonishing how often people overlook the things that sit right under their nose. Sometimes, we all just need to go back to social media marketing 101 and relearn the basic fundamentals.

Try focusing more energy on these simple practices and you will soon see your social media efforts improving.

Is there one tip that you especially under practice?

What would you add to this list?

 


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Category: Social Media

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson()


Stuart is a freelance social and digital marketer from London, UK.
Stuart blogs at StuartJDavidson.com, where he
shares his marketing experiences working with over 50 businesses.
You can catch his free eBook
“How to Win in Social Media”
from his blog or
freelance website.


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