Social media marketing is not social media networking. Most people are familiar with online social networking, but that is only the beginning when it comes to marketing online.
Social media marketing is how you allow potential prospects to find you. Once that happens, you will use social media networking to build relationships with those prospects who may ultimately become customers or join you in your business.
You have to promote yourself in order to build relationships. This means that you need to be preparing your profiles on social networks that you intend to use, where you will reach your target market.
In the beginning this can be just simply creating your profile and building your presence, allowing people to get to know you, as well as what you have to offer. This doesn’t mean that you absolutely must be an expert.
Promoting yourself also does not mean that you must come off as “it’s all about me”. It is about just being yourself. Enhance your profiles and blogs with pictures, videos, favorite quotes and posts about what you enjoy. Allow people to get to know YOU.
You can and should offer something of value, even if it is just entertaining, educational, or enlightening. Don’t start with spamming about your biz-op or product!
Some people may perceive promoting themselves as something which should be reserved to those who are already successful, or good looking. But this is not true.
You are going to attract people to you for being open and forthright, for building trust.Â Some people do not even have a profile picture posted, what’s up with that! Most people are beautiful and exude confidence when they just smile!
The last thing you want to do is appear to be a salesperson, pushing some product or opportunity, for two reasons. First, no one likes to be sold, and you will turn off any prospects when you start off with your pitch. Secondly, you will sound like so many others that do this, that you’ll be completely ignored for being an armature.
If you are interested in marketing using social media, then you want to grow your network in your target market to the extent that it will be possible for potential prospects to find you. Then, once you begin to provide valuable content, they will hopefully return, and even propagate your posts.
But these things take some time, however, given the initial investment in creating that content and building your networks, the payoff will last as long as the market is solvent.
Identify Your Target Market The first thing is to determine your target market. This is crucial to both building your content as well as your network in which you will want to market. It is with that in mind that you will want to select the social networks and groups that you will be participating in.
Different social networks will enable you in many cases to be more targeted toward one audience or demographic. Forums and groups are often very specific niche groups It is in these networks and groups that you must create your online presence. Begin defining your strategy.
Don’t over extend yourself in the beginning. Select only 2 or 3 networks or groups to work with until you are well established and things are going smoothly. Use the targeted keywords in your profile, join related groups and forums, etc.
Create Your Content You will want to be creating some content which will be of value to your target market. This will be your blog or web page that will also lead to your sales funnel, whether that is a retail product, or an exchange of personal information (name, email and phone number) for something of value that you have to offer (a typical of a capture or ’squeeze’ page).
If you have a blog or web page which provides information about your service, make sure that it has content that is Educational, Entertaining, or Enlightening, or all of the above. It should be engaging enough in the onset to maintain your reader’s interest. Update your content by adding new posts at least once or twice a week to keep it up to date (Google will appreciate this and reward your increased SEO with higher rankings, i.e. placement on search results pages).
Some of your content may be from forum posts or articles that you publish in online groups. The content can be re-used or copied to your blog, in its original form or expanded upon. It may even be links to others’ content.
Link Your Content to Your Networking Profiles Build links from your social networking profiles that point to your blog or web page (your central hub). These links could be directly to the sales funnel, but should mostly be to elements of content within your central hub that will provide the type of value that you intend to offer as part of your marketing process. These are the elements that, when syndicated by your network, will increase your SEO and provide value to your target market.
When you have the framework and initial content prepared for your central hub, increase your personal network in to the thousands by connecting with people in that market. Begin by just making initial contacts and eventually making friends.
Utilizing groups is a good way to connect with people in your niche. Connect with other members, comment on their posts , provide good content, and make yourself known. Thank anyone for comments and input on your posts as well. The group members will eventually take notice of you and explore your links if they are interested.
Your Goal is Trust
Only after you have gained the trust of your audience, will they consider doing business with you, or giving you their personal information to receive more of what you have to offer. It begins with personal interaction, and ends with trust.
Trust can be made over time, but broken in short order if you abuse the privilege of someone’s attention. Don’t waste your work accomplished in building your network by spamming people, posting your business proposition on their personal profile page or by filling their inbox with unsolicited product and opportunity information!
Enjoy the benefit of getting to know so many people that you may never have had the chance to know before without the advent of social media and online social networking. The world is continually getting smaller, and we can only enrich one another’s lives by simply knowing each other!
And always remember that you are unique and therefore have much to offer - “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde