As I worked on building my Twitter following this past week I realized that there are many who could benefit from a little social media education.
Yesterday I came across the all too common “social media spammer” who does nothing but shove links in your face and beg for a click.
How did I come to the realization that this person was not in alignment with the spirit of social media?
I looked at this person’s twitter home page and saw that this person had tweeted at least 20+ tweeps this tweet:
“if you like this topic, you will love this (link).Â Please digg it.”
(You do NOT want to incorporate this into your social mediaÂ strategy).
Newcomers to social media marketing have this misconception that social media is all about exposing your blog posts, affiliate links, and services page all over Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Twitter, Ning and use third party applications like ping.fm or tweetlater to maximize link exposure so more people click on your link.Â This is totally the incorrect approach to start marketing.
As the web has gotten more and more social, the need for your clients to participate in the process has grown exponentially. Your prospects and clients want to live the marketing process.Â Your role is to engage them in conversations and find out what they truly want so you can give it to them.
As a small business owner investing your time in creating your social media strategy, you will want to make sure you do not resemble the quintessential online spammer and shed some of those marketing 1.0 disserving beliefs and replace them with those that have the spirit of social media at its very core essence.
Social Media Education for the Soul – How To Increase Your Influence
I. Less Talking.Â Less Selling. Less Marketing
Instead do more listening, sharing and participating.
Listen to what your followers are saying and reply.Â Your potential clients are guarded to old marketing pitches.Â Gone are the days when you simply post links to get sales.
Conversations and relationships are social media currency.
When I am on Twitter one of the determining factors in my following someone is noticing if they are an active participants in conversations.Â Are they “retweeting” other peoples tweets?Â Or are they just linking to their blog posts and having a “one way” conversation.Â You want to follow and network with active participants.Â Build rapport with active networkers and you’re expand your outreach.
The more active you become in a community the more those in your network will see you as an authority in your field.Â And when you do promote your service or products, your followers’ defenses are down.Â You’ve build a solid relationship and built up trust.Â That will translate to more sales.
With social media marketing, I use Paretto’s Law as the rule of thumb.Â 80% value 20% self promotion.
II.Â Provide Value to Your Network
I am not referring to putting up a link about a sale you are having either (smile).
Be the expert in your niche market.Â Be that brick and mortar Print Shop that provides tips on creating professional business cards (what images convert best)?
Being a service provider and a servant is at social media’s core. Position yourself as theÂ solution to your target audience’sÂ needs.
If you are a Realtor, share links to local real estate market trend articles.Â Discuss the changes of the real estate landscape.Â Recommend mortgage loan officers and Title insurance agents and services to your network.Â Don’t just post new MRIS listings. Be a resource.Â Be THE go to person.
If you are a Graphic Designer link to other blog posts and provide basic tips on using Photoshop.Â Create a video tutorial on some aspect of graphic design your ideal clients would love to know about.Â The more value you provide, the more you interact, the more you build your brand, your following and your client base.
III.Â Plant Seeds of Encouragement with Your Followers
Do you see anyone excited about a recent accomplishment?Â Congratulate them on their successes (big or small).Â Show your humanness.
Notice that one of the friends in your network is discouraged?Â Send them a quick pick me up note.
Become a blog commenter and leave an inspiring note.
Compliment, motivate and appreciate your network and you will see the small business goodness in return.
IV. Be Genuine. Be Yourself.
As you discover and express more of yourself, the more you distinguish yourself in an overcrowded market from those trying to be someone else. You realness will shine and set you apart as the clear choice to do business with.Â The way you are personally reflects directly on your business.
What’s Working for YOU? Share Your Social Media Education tips and strategies and we’ll enter each commenter in for a drawing to be featured on our upcoming information product.
We appreciate you!
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