Get UNSTUCK With 5 Tips to Win At Social Media Marketing

Traditional Marketing mediums are becoming obsolete…we all know this (or at least you should).

Social Marketing is taking over the world, but it’s happening right under our noses without the vast majority even realizing what’s going on. Some brands are getting it right and jumping onboard, but most will be late to the party.

The reason most will miss this golden opportunity is because Social Marketing is a “patient man’s” game; a game that conflicts with traditional business paradigms, culture, and behaviors. Many give up too soon to reap the rewards because it’s time consuming to create and curate relevant content, and it conflicts with our innate desire for instant gratification.

There is a tremendous upside to Social Marketing, which is the simple fact that you can win at this game without having a huge marketing budget, however the one bank that you will have to withdraw from is your time and creative energy.

Here are some tips to win at the game:

1. Leverage Original Content — We all know this, but it’s interesting to see how many of us fail to execute. The short of it is, because it simply takes hard work. Creating original content, whether it be in the form of a blog post, YouTube channel, meme, or info-graphic, is time consuming. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that sharing someone else’s original content is enough to win at this game. By simply sharing other’s original content, you are striping yourself of the opportunity to showcase your talent, knowledge, and expertise in your niche.

In your effort to create original content, always think of ways to add value to your customers. Again, simple in theory, but many of us fail to do it right. One example of perfect execution comes from a gentleman I came across on Instagram who calls himself @flavorgod. @flavorgod sells fresh food seasonings that he creates himself, which isn’t particularly exciting….until you see his Instagram account.

@flavorgod makes us salivate with his meticulously crafted posts that appeal to our most primitive desires — our appetites. He realizes that we eat with all of our senses, and considering that fact, he ensures all of his photos are aesthetically pleasing, before caking on the next layer of value — recipes! Personally, I can look at #foodporn all day, but if you take the additional time and effort to teach me how to whip these epic meals myself…you’ve won me over and I’M ALL IN! I salute you @flavorgod.

Questions to ask before creating “share-worthy” content:

  • Is it interesting to my target audience? (Doesn’t have to relate to your business as long as it’s interesting to your target audience)
  • Is it funny? (Also doesn’t have to relate to your business, as long as the humor is appropriately appealing to your target audience.
  • Is it beautiful? (Especially for Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram)
  • Is it relevant to what I am trying to sell? (Valuable information that ties directly to your field) — i.e. recipes from the @flavorgod example
  • Does it appeal to human emotions (Tug at the heart) — i.e. Humans of New York Blog.

2. Do NOT Expect Anything In Return — Find joy in creating the content itself. Make it a hobby, and adopt the mindset that you are doing it because you love your field, love your business, or love the topic you are creating content around. If you expect a sale or new client after every post you push out, you will loose steam quickly and will never be consistent. Ironically, the only way to win at this game is CONSISTENCY.

3. Spend Some Money to Get Your Content Seen — When someone walks in to your store, do you bluntly ask them to buy something? I’m sure you don’t (although this has happened to me at an Asian market before). You first, build rapport, and provide value by answering any questions they may have, or giving them your professional opinion when it’s warranted. Social Marketing is not any different. Think of your Social Media page as your storefront. Welcome them in, allow them to browse, and make sure that the storefront is fully stocked with value (in this case, the value is CONTENT).

Many businesses make the grave mistake of only investing money in Facebook ads that sell things.. No..no..NO! Spend that money on promoting a post that adds value to your target audience. If the content is truly valuable to them, they WILL like (or follow) your page, thus setting the stage for future sales after you have gained their trust, and established yourself as an expert (or thought leader) in their eyes. A Facebook “like” or a Twitter follow is immeasurably more valuable then a one-time glance. The one-time glance will provide you with only one impression, in contrast to the endless impressions that result from someone liking or following your page.

This is a perfect example of promoting “value add” content to drive traffic to your page, rather than trying to sell something by promoting a coupon.

4. Pay Attention to Social Media Trends, Internet Slang, Viral Videos, and Trending Topics (hashtags) — As adults, it’s easy for us to dismiss these trends as childish, unprofessional, or idiotic; and although many of them are, don’t fight the culture of the internet if you are trying to establish your presence there. This is hard for many of us to do because the playful nature of the Internet clashes with our paradigm of business “professionalism” that has been engrained in us for as long as we can remember (see my previous post- “OWN Your Brand — Be Offensive”).

Want instant credibility with the coveted Millennial demographic? Get playful, plain and simple. Speaking as one myself, we want brands that engage in our sometimes-idiotic antics, not stick their noses up at them. Point. Blank. Period.

A beautiful example of execution that we all remember is the ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge.” How cool was it to witness some of today’s business titans partake in these antics? The reason why we celebrated this is because it showed how “human” they were, and gave us another connecting point with the individual and the brand they represented. If brands continued to participate in Internet trends, I am confident they will be rewarded in the grand scheme.

5. Don’t Over #Hashtag — Why ? Because it’s obnoxious, and people will hate you for it. Simple.