Social Media Today is our new category for all things social media marketing for both blogs and businesses. Using Social Media for Business of any kind is tricky for the novice. Our goal with these article guides is to help you negotiate social media today.
Social Media Today – The Basics of Social Media 101
The first thing one has to do in order to succeed in social media marketing, be it for a blog, or business. Would be to understand that social media is selfish as hell. You heard me, it’s a place full of EGO, Bravado, one-ups-manship, and other selfish behavior.
We play a game that makes us feel superior, tout the things we want social approval of including our dinner choices, and we want people to read, like, and comment our every post.
At the same time, the average human has been turned tone deaf to anything that looks or smells like an advertisement. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on ad blocking and demand it in our browsers.
The UK recently passed a law requiring people to be made known if a cookie for ad tracking is being used on a site and major ad networks now have opt-out mechanisms in place. In short, you better hear me but I don’t give a crap about your business.
That’s why content marketing is going for such a premium these days and why native ads are becoming the most effective medium on the planet to get in front of customers.
Social Media Today – Content Marketing
Unlike the advertorials of yesterday, and I mean like 3-4 years ago your content must be smart in a social media world that will eat anything that resembles an advertisement alive. You can’t just slip in and promote product A and Product B you have to serve a need from a very selfish client.
See the person reading your content is usually there for only 1-2 things.
The first is information about your company, the second is research on your product, not an advertisement but instead an in-depth story of how it came about, what needs it solves, and why your brand is better and more reliable than your competition. They will also be visiting the competition’s website and reading their story as well as the sites of dozens of blogs and consumer guides to see if either of you is lying.
You can’t Yelp away a bad review because they stack up. A bad review from one blogger can lead to 10 others who never even tested your product, service, or opportunity to also write biased reviews. In some cases, your competition is even paying a blogger to share a review that cast your product in a negative light compared to theirs so you have to be social and in a big way.
Social Media Today – Get in front of Bad Press
If you find a flaw or have a recall the old way was to keep it secret and just tell those who needed a fix. Now those people will hit Facebook and Twitter and millions will be known in minutes and you will never have control of the information coming out.
It’s a press leak that turns the average soccer mom into Dan Rather or Barbara Walters. Don’t let social media control the conversation make sure it appears first from your blogs and press releases, and all importantly tell them through social media.
People see people as people and know we all can make a mistake but if the smell a cover-up that means your company is either trying to hide something or has something worth hiding they are ready to ignore.
Be sure to gain friends on popular blogs in your niche and have them on standby to help crisis control and share your story. These brand ambassadors can help in good times as well as bad.
Social Media Today – Getting Your Point Across
There is a lot of garbage thought on social media that if you throw your hat in the ring it is enough to have a presence alone to grow a company, blog, or business opportunity.
The fact is you need a ton of behind the screen work in social media today or you will fall flat on your face. Your publicist is often least qualified to handle a snafu and damned sure not get out in front of the things you need to be the first mover on.
Your marketing team needs at least 1 experienced professional social media marketer on it and that’s if you are a green and growing company. Or at least one that wishes to grow.
What if you are just a blog or startup with one person bootstrapping the whole project?
[self-serving newsletter plug ahead] Well that’s where we come in and the millions of other blogs and websites on social media. If you click on our subscribe button to the right you will get more of our content and training in social media, as well as affiliate marketing. Now back to the post:
You can’t wear all the hats of a business without the training. In the case of your social media work, you need to know what should be said, who to, when, and where. You need a Press Release you either write it or outsource one. Need distribution? How about that network you are building? You have known the legion of followers? OH, SHIT!!! I have no followers.
Social Media Today – Getting Followers
The first step in getting a social following is to have a central place for your content on your website. We call this a blog and it can even be used in conjunction with a discussion forum, but a BLOG is a must for business in 2018. If your blog is your business you are doing AWESOME!
Next, you will need a few social profiles. In a future post we will go over individual networks and how to use them but for social media today we will use Twitter as an example. I would use Facebook but that’s a special puppy and so is Google Plus because what you say there really is different from summing your business up in under 200 characters.
You will need a newsletter as well on your blog to maintain relationships and ensure your most interested readers get the newest content as soon as possible. For that, I recommend Rocket Responder.
Social Media Today – Understanding social flow.
You have a blog and it has a newsletter and you have heard of a site called Twitter. You head over and create an account, taking time to put in all your company details, and choosing a header image that is about your business and either a company logo or your face to be the avatar.
You even post your first tweet or two or twenty. You might even notice there are other people on the site and they talk in #hashtag and seem to say @soandso when talking. The language is STRANGE to say the least and nobody is following you.
Social media even on Twitter is a give and get scenario.
You have to honor the Gods of social and they, in turn, will bestow clout on you. In short, connect with a few of your competitors and industry experts sure, but look for BLOGGERS in your niche and follow them.
Then follow some people who are active in tweeting to them or retweeting (sharing) their content. Many of them will follow you back or add you to a list of people to watch for a new post.
This should start to build a few followers so now you have to engage these followers to get them to engage you and attract more followers in doing so. On the Affiliate 3 Percent Twitter profile I used the following tactics to add over 250 followers in 3 days.
- Follow industry leaders. Two use tweet to @leader these people looking for a possible shout out. Usually done if you stroke their ego and ask them a few good questions so they can show how smart they are.
- I followed back all initial followers gained and looked at them through a fine tooth for bloggers and social media thought leaders. I also tweeted to those people with questions or to say thanks for the follow.
- I added hashtags to my tweets and to my profile bio that instantly created hyperlinked keywords. A Hashtag looks like #KEYWORD.
So now you have some followers you can share the content on your blog with them. Invite them to read your latest articles and join your newsletter. Add social media profile buttons to your blog and website so people can find you on your social profiles from your blog and website.
The whole deal should look like a circle on a piece of paper. Social to blog to newsletter, newsletter, and blog back to social. Social conversations should be a two-way street that you drive down first. Reach out to be reached out to, and give value at every step.
Social Media Today Summary
Using social media today is a vital part of doing business. It helps you distribute information, start a conversation, control how that conversation looks for your business. Done right it even builds a massive list of potential new customers waiting for the right information to make them choose your company. Where you can it can be outsourced to bloggers and brand ambassadors, but even if it is just you wear that hat.
In a future post, we will cover structuring your content, cover who should use and how to use each major social media network. And we will look to help you create native advertising campaigns that convert using content instead of blatant ads. What’s in social media today? Your business should be.