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The Five Golden Rules of Successful Social Media Marketing

Successful Social Media Marketing

While the power and importance of social media may be universally acknowledged and understood, social media marketing remains a surprisingly overlooked and underestimated subject. Even now, the majority of business owners admit that social media marketing is something they either pay very little attention to or have yet to invest a penny in whatsoever. Which technically doesn’t make a great deal of sense – they know it’s there, they understand its power and they want what’s best for their business, so why are they not taking full advantage of it?

Well, research suggests it comes down to two reasons – one being perceived expense and the other the complexities of making social media marketing work. In reality however, not only can social media marketing be one of the most affordable and potentially lucrative strategies available, it’s also comparatively simple. With the help of an experienced marketing company, the way in which long-term marketing strategies can be overhauled and intensified simply with additional social media focus is extraordinary to say the least.

Complex it may appear on the surface, but there are in fact no more than five golden rules that must be followed in order to make the very best of social media for marketing purposes. So for those looking to involve the professionals along with others planning to go it alone, here’s a quick overview of the five most important social media marketing rules:

1 – Listen

Above all else, the single most important rule when it comes to making the most of social media is that of learning how to listen. The biggest mistake any business can make is to begin using social media as something of a one-way communication channel, used primarily or exclusively to proclaim, preach and perpetually push products for pure profit. The purpose of social media is very different to that of a conventional business website. Instead of just telling your audience members how great you are and what you have to offer, social media should be used for generating interest, engagement and conversation. This is all made infinitely easier if you have a comprehensive understanding of what it is your target audience is interested in – hence the importance of listening over everything else.

2 – Established Goals

It’s also important to have a firm and established goal in mind before getting started with any marketing campaign involving social media. The reason being that if your primary goal is to enhance your reputation and encourage word of mouth, your approach will probably be very different than if you were simply looking to maximise sales and conversions. As is the standard rule across every example of marketing, you can’t realistically expect to achieve your goals if you don’t pinpoint them before getting started. Social media can help you achieve almost anything, but you can’t expect to achieve everything at the same time.

3 – Audience Quality

Contrary to popular belief, social media is not an example of a business platform where strength in numbers generally applies. Think about it this way – it’s all well and good to have 250,000 people in your list of followers/contacts, but it’s also completely pointless if only 50 of these people are ever likely to bring any business your way. It’s natural to dive into a social media marketing campaign hoping to build a massive network the likes of which would be completely impossible for any other medium. Nevertheless, it’s so much more valuable to focus on smaller, high quality audiences rather than wasting time and money on those of no value to your business whatsoever.

4 – Patience

Another crucially important rule for successful social media marketing is that of not falling into the trap of expecting things to hit the highest of highs in a matter of days. The dream is of course to go viral and have the world know your name overnight – statistically speaking, you’ve actually got a better chance of winning the lottery. In reality, social media marketing campaigns take time and really cannot be rushed. Nevertheless, they also happen to be the kinds of campaigns which once they hit their stride have the potential to remain incredibly robust, reliable and lucrative long-term.

5 – Content of Value

Last but not least, in-keeping with the previous point with regard to staying away from the hard-sell, it is of the utmost importance to provide your social media audiences with content of real value. The simple fact of the matter is they need a reason to read into your content in the first place, along with plenty of reasons to both come back and to share your content with their own contacts. Audiences use social media as a means by which to access content, conversation and information in general that is of interest and value to them. Which in turn means it’s your job to provide it – if it doesn’t tick all of the important boxes, it has no place being posted on your profile/page.