Seven irrefutable laws of social media marketing

Friday, September 30, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 40

Seemingly every brand has a presence on at least one social platform these days. Very few, however, are successfully converting that resource investment into engaged, loyal customers.

What’s the secret of those realizing customer conversion? They are following these laws of social-media marketing.

Targeting: Given the dozens of major social platforms vying for your attention, it’s easy to lose focus and spread your attention across too many channels.

Instead, select one channel where your prospects and customers spend the majority of their time and ideally where your competitors aren’t strong. Take command of that channel before moving on to another.

Relationships: A relationship is only as strong as what you put into it. Likewise, in social media, you must give more than you get.

Give away original content that is relevant to your followers. Write about what’s important to them. How do you know what’s on their minds? You listen.

Listening: Social media is intended to be social, which means communication must be two-way. Effective two-way communication requires listening to your followers, interacting with them about their interests and responding to their needs, versus always pushing your own agenda.

Quality: Quality over quantity matters most, both in regard to your content and number of followers. Resist the temptation to follow a user on Twitter just because they have thousands of followers and are likely to follow you back.

Instead, focus on followers that align with your brand’s target market and are likely to find your content interesting.

Influence: Recognize there are a few social-media influencers with the potential to inspire large numbers of your targeted customers to consider your brand. Develop a thoughtful, patient relationship-building strategy that builds trust and brand advocacy.

Reciprocity: If someone engages with you on social, always take the time to send a thoughtful reply or engage with his or her content in some way.

You build a quality following one relationship at a time, and your followers are watching to see if you’re self-serving.

Being present: Avoid assaulting your followers with too many posts on the day you happen to have time for social media and then going dark on your busy days.

Content scheduling tools allow you to have a more consistent voice, but in fact, you should be on social media listening to your followers every day.

Striking gold with your social-media strategy requires patience. That’s why there are no silver bullets here.

Bypassing these laws accounts for the lion’s share of wasted social effort by companies large and small. Put in consistent, planned effort, and you will reap the rewards.

Lori Turner-Wilson, CEO and founder of RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.