6 Ways To Optimize Your Social Media Campaign That Might Seem Strange To You
When you hop onto Facebook, Twitter, or any other social site, you might have the urge to use it for marketing purposes. Don't worry. It's not evil. However, it is different from traditional marketing and online advertising. Social sites are, well, social. They're a place where individuals come together to share stuff. If you don't know how to interact with the folks on social sites, you're sunk.
You have to take the social media crowd by surprise, and show them that you're not just trying to hock a bunch of junk:
1) Be a real resource, even if you don't make any money on the deal (at least, not right away). By adding value to your tweets and Facebook updates for free, you may not make any money. However, you increase the possibility that other people will share your valuable communication. Also, by helping other people, you are effectively extending your hand out to them and saying that you are a business, but you also sincerely want to help them solve a problem they are having.
If you become known as a "thought leader," then people will link to your social site page. This, in turn, will eventually lead to more people coming to your sites. You see, by mercilessly pitching your products and services, you dramatically decrease your odds of getting any sales at all. It's weird, but it's sort of like when you were dating in high school. The more you push people away, the more they want you. Don't be afraid to push people towards your competitors or other websites similar to yours.
If you're giving away great free information, your best (and future) customers will think "if this is what he gives away for free, whatever he's selling must be fantastic." That's exactly what you want your potential customers to think.
This, by the way, sort of adds to the mysterious appeal of being generous without being a chump. If you can give away enough stuff so that people see you as being helpful, while still holding back something fantastic for people who are willing to pay you, then you have mastered this technique.
2. Reward the most helpful or valuable users. You don't have to start giving away money, or free trials of your products or services, but mentioning people who post valuable comments to your Facebook wall or mentioning valuable fans in a Twitter update will go a long way to show other people that you appreciate the people you interact with. If you appreciate people who are not your customers that much, how much more do you appreciate people who are your customers?
By doing this, you turn potential customers into a community. They're no longer "just customers." They're more like family, and you're never going to take advantage of someone you like and trust. This is exactly the type of relationship most marketers dream of having with their market.
3. Participate in an ongoing conversation. If you never participate in any wall posts or tweets, people might start to wonder if you're a real person. Social media is a two-way street, and here is where things might become a little weird for you. As an Internet marketer, you're used to throwing up a sales page, or putting up an ad on Google Adwords, and just letting customers click their way into your bank account.
That's not going to work with social media. By putting yourself into the middle of a conversation, or by provoking a meaningful conversation between you and your market, you are creating awareness, prolonging your buzz, and you're showing that you are not just images on a screen.
4. Know your audience, and know how to target them. You have to understand what motivates your audience, and what their hot-buttons are. You can't sell to everyone that fogs a mirror. It won't work. Not even giants like Coke and Pepsi capture all of the market. Some people just drink water (and not bottled water, either).
5. Create actual content. There is content that is OK to read, and then there is content that really spreads around the Internet. Figure out what kind of content will really spread like wildfire, and then offer that content to your marketplace. If you can't think of anything unique, then take a hint from your competition. Somewhere on the Internet is a popular guide to something related to your niche. It was popular at one time, but the author lost interest, was bought out (and the new management changed directions with the company), or they decided to move on to another business venture.
Find that content by searching for 404 pages in Google. These pages likely contained content. Drop those pages into the way-back machine and find out what used to be there. It might be a situation where you have to hunt for something good, but once you do find it, you can freshen it up by rewriting it and making it your own. Don't plagiarize, but instead breath new life into it. The older the material, the better, since most people have probably forgotten about "The 1997 guide to __________."
6. Be genuine. Social media is funny like that. The community doesn't like people who are fake. This means that it's not a good idea to position yourself as flawless. Everyone makes mistakes. When you make them, tell people about them. This doesn't mean you shouldn't emphasize your strengths, but you shouldn't pretend to be something you're not, either. If you allow people into your personal world, you also accomplish the goal of exposing yourself. You're a little vulnerable. This can be a good thing, since it shows people just how much of a human being you are. Being human means you're just like the people you're selling to. That's a good thing. People enjoy doing business with people they know and trust, and your marketplace may be more inclined to do business with you if they get the impression that your honest and genuine.