Need a Little HELP with Social Media Marketing?
This is another guest blog post from my great friend, SmallBizLady, Melinda Emerson.
When it comes to social media marketing, who couldn’t do with a little assistance? We’re all looking for those tips and tricks that will give us an edge over our competitors. If you are trying to figure out how to connect with potential customers “HELP” is easier than you’d imagine.
By doing the following four things, you can successfully brand yourself on social media and become the go-to person in your field:
- Help others
- Engage authentically
- Listen first
- Promote yourself carefully
Let’s dive into each to see how you can use these strategies effectively.
- Help Others
While, yes, you want to find customers through social media, you can’t approach the medium selfishly. Just like you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) run around a networking event shoving your business card in everyone’s hand and telling them about your latest promotion, you shouldn’t make yourself the center of your efforts on social media.
Instead, find ways to be valuable to others. You’ve got answers to their questions about your industry. Share your advice when it’s sought, and post links to content (both yours and others’) that may help your followers.
- Engage Authentically
There’s nothing I dislike more than following someone on Twitter and getting an automated reply saying, “Thanks for following me! Check out my new book!” There’s nothing sincere about these auto follows, and I’d rather hear nothing than get self-promotional drivel.
I have people I’ve met through social media that I’ve become close to, though I’ve never met them in person. That’s because the relationships are real, even if they’re digital. We joke, share links, and have meaningful conversations. That’s your goal. Give people a reason to follow you by being interested in them first.
- Listen First
It’s challenging for many of us, but sometimes holding back and letting others speak first nets us better results than if we jump first into the conversation. You might find out, for example, that someone needs advice about something unrelated to your business. By providing suggestions, you build trust with that person. Do you think you would have had the same results if you had jumped in and started talking about your company?
- Promote Yourself Carefully
There is a time and a place for self-promotion on social media. It’s not meant for every update, so choose your promotions carefully. I use a rule of thumb, I share at a 4:1 ratio. I share four helpful posts before I promote my own content. For example, if you have published a new book, you certainly can promote it, but don’t make it the focus of every update. Find smarter ways to get people’s attention, like including quotes or statistics from the book that will pull people in. That works better than simply screaming “BUY MY BOOK!”
People pay attention to how you use social media and how you interact with others. Plowing through a conversation, pushing people to click your links, and ignoring the needs of others will get you ignored and unfollowed. Instead, be a good Samaritan and digital citizen with a little HELP.
About the author
Melinda F. Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. Forbes magazine named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She is the author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, 2nd Edition.