Social Media Marketing Is Like an Onion: It's Got Loads of Layers and Makes You Cry
Social media marketing is becoming ferociously complicated as the number of sites and platforms mushrooms. Choose the wrong site, or create the wrong content, and all your efforts are wasted. So how do you decide which websites to focus on, and which types of content to create? How do you make sure that your campaign is working for you, and is not about to backfire? Like an onion, social media marketing is multi-layered, and can make you cry!
The Social Media Onion
Visualize your social media campaign like an onion that is made up of different layers. Each layer is important, and serves a different purpose. Together they form a well-rounded marketing strategy.
The inner core of your social media campaign is made up of the large, universally popular social media campaigns, such as Twitter.com, Facebook.com and Linkedin.com. These sites are where the majority of your potential customers and followers hang out. Use them to interact with your target audience, and build up a following based on interaction and loyalty.
The middle layers of the onion are the content hosting sites such as Youtube.com, Flickr.com and Slideshare.net. This is where you post articles, upload videos and show off your content. If you are using your own website to host your content, post it on these sites to increase the chances of it being amplified through sharing.
Other sites that allow you to curate and display third-party content also belong in the second layer. Use Pinterest.com and Delicious.com to create relevant and memorable collections of images and articles: Then invite your social media audience to view them. If your content is compelling, its message gets amplified as your contacts share it with their own friends.
The outer layers of your social media onion are the pure-play amplification sites that allow you to get your content in front of whole new audiences. Sites like Stumbleupon.com and Digg.com increase the chances of your content, and accompanying brand message, going viral. To select the most appropriate for your campaign try several, focusing your attention on the sites that generate the most attention.
Onions Make You Cry
Social media marketing is based on building trust and loyalty. To be successful you must provide your audience with useful, engaging content, or entertain them. Once they grow to trust your content, you are in a position to ask for conversions and sales.
Pushing your audience to spend their money too soon will destroy trust and reduce your audience. Nothing makes your followers reach for the "unfriend" button like an inappropriate sales pitch!
Social media marketing allows you to interact directly with your customers. You can gather positive testimonials, answer questions, and make exclusive offers to your followers. The flip side of the coin is that it allows disgruntled or unsatisfied customers to voice their concerns in public. Badly handled customer complaints are a major cause of social media marketing tears.
Never delete complaints on your social media websites. Deletion will anger the customer, and may lead to a more sustained negative campaign. Instead, ask the customer for all the details, and then find out if their complaint is justified. If it is, offer the complainant compensation and an apology. If the complaint is frivolous, say so, and then politely explain why. Never get dragged into tit-for-tat arguments, as it is your and image that suffers.
If you handle complaints in a positive manner it reflects well on your brand and increase customer loyalty. Handle the social media onion with care, or its layers will reduce you to tears!