How to Energize your Social Media Marketing

How to Energize your Social Media Marketing

Are you having trouble getting any activity going with your social media accounts? Not finding them to be particularly productive? Here are some pointers as to how to break through the noise and get some value out of your social media time.

Build Relationships

Your first priority should be building relationships. If you are posting and no one is responding, then you aren’t building relationships now are you? Just think about how you behave at a cocktail party. OK, well that might not work for everyone, but some of you will get that the conversation should be 2-way. You should be talking about 50% of the time and listening 50% of the time.

But how do you get that conversation started online?

Broaden your network

I found that social media really came alive for me when I became an open networker. That means that I will connect, friend or follow anyone who requests it. Okay so I did once decline someone whose entire stream was porn. But in general, if you aren’t a spammer, I’ll connect.

How has that helped? Well, I have thousands of people in my network rather than a few hundred. Now I have people that I haven’t personally met, but they understand the principles of networking which are “I help you and eventually you will help me”. Many of these open networkers are more active in social networks and more productive connections than the people I know in the offline world that aren’t active & open online networkers. Also, as an open networker, people can connect to me without fear of rejection. All are welcome.

It was a bit scary making the transition to open networker at first. I was afraid of spammers and yes, I do get unsolicited communications. Some are valuable, some are not. I sort through and trash the bad ones and act on the good ones.

I’ve had to refrain from sharing information about my family and children that I used to post and share more openly. Not knowing every person who connects to me requires me to be a little more protected of personal information. Other than that, I have found it to be a positive experience and have enjoyed the new friends, colleagues and partners I have made.

So how do I broaden my network?

Join groups and forums with people of similar interests or potential customers. If you are on LinkedIn, join the Open Networkers group and you will get a list weekly of open networkers you can connect with. On Facebook you can ask to connect with anyone you went to high school or college with, anyone in your address book, etc. You can connect to friends of friends. With Twitter there are lots of directories and tools to help you find connections that have similar interests as you or follow people you want to follow or who tweet from a location you want to target.

Be patient

Building relationships takes time. It takes more time online than it does in person. I believe that online is more leveraged and will help you scale your business, but it doesn’t replace the face-to-face contact. When you are first getting started in your business, face-to-face will get you more valuable feedback quickly so you can adjust your messages and style.

When you take your networking online remember it can take 6 months or more to develop a productive network, depending on how much time you attribute to it. Yes, you can get followers quickly, but you will not have a relationship with most of them so they will not immediately buy from you or refer you. They will trust someone a friend referred them to first, or someone they met in person, because it is easier to trust and communicate when you can also assess the non-verbal cues. But, you can only meet so many people in person. It’s easier to get your message spread more widely and to build a bigger list online. Online is where you build leverage and scale.

Provide Content

The best way to get people to connect with you is to provide great content. Content ideas include:

  • Tips
  • Information
  • Blog posts
  • Quotes and inspirations
  • Promos
  • Other people’s content, quotes and inspirations, blog posts, etc.

Engage your audience

The most important piece to energizing your social media networks is to engage them. What does that mean? It means you need to interact with them as you would in a face-to-face conversation. You need to:

  • Respond to comments they make to you
  • Comment on their posts
  • Answer their questions
  • Post your own Questions
  • Compliment others when appropriate
  • Be a person. Share who you are, your quirks and brilliance.

Notice that sending out promotions is only a small part of the content you are able to provide. The more you give the more you will get. Remember to give others a chance to shine and give them credit. People love to be complimented.

This all may sound overwhelming but there are ways to automate some of this and to systematize your processes so you can keep it in line with the time you have allotted. I spend about an hour and half on email and social media each day. I consider the two to be linked as many of my social media accounts shoot me an email when I need to respond to something.

Prioritize you networks

You can’t be super effective at managing 15 social media accounts unless it is your full time job. Feedback shows that most people can only effectively manage 3-5 accounts. The top 3 have become (not in any order):

  1. Facebook which is great if you have a consumer audience,
  2. LinkedIn which is super if you are b2b or looking for tips and support to build your b2c or b2b company, and
  3. Twitter which is great for live streams of information and making connections with people with similar interests (then the relationship often moves to a different forum for more in-depth conversations). It’s great for live event recording, customer service, timely announcements and other time-sensitive information.

There are a myriad of other social media platforms and which ones you choose to focus on should be based on who your target customer is and where they like to hang out.

Remember to bring your own energy to your social media communications. Share your expertise. Share who you are. Be genuine.

I know it’s a bit weird at first when you start communicating with a big black void. But there are people out there and you will be heard. You can be shouting at them, selling them or engaging them into a two-way relationship with you. Which one do you think will be most effective, most productive and most energizing for all parties?

About Debra Zimmer

After 25 years of growing entrepreneurial businesses at companies such as Microsoft, where she attracted 700,000 members into an online community in 18 months and then grew a second one to 250,000 members in 10 months, Debra Zimmer then struck out on her own to grow an online retail store to 6-figures of income and put it on AUTOPILOT for 3 years. With an engineering degree and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Debra is the undisputed expert in helping experts, entrepreneurs and executives to focus their brilliance and magnify their impact using social media and internet marketing tactics.

Comments

  1. Nice blog! This social media marketing article has brilliant vision for a achieving goals.

  2. Really energizing suggestions! What I see in all these suggestions, to follow ethics and understand the basics of a social networks! I see many people use social media only to promote their business, to which I pity them as it is of no use! One should treat these social media’s as a public relation tool and as a customer relations networks!

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jentan Bernardus, Social Media, Dave Anderson , David James, Szezam and others. Szezam said: How to Energize your Social Media Marketing | Best Free Marketing Tips: Not finding them to be particularly produc… http://bit.ly/aK8NkW […]

  4. Bruce says:

    Nice blog! This social media marketing article has brilliant vision for a achieving goals.

Affiliates | Terms of Use | Earnings Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Copyright © 2009-2012 The Expert Marketing Coach. All Rights Reserved.