Most businesses don’t understand how social media marketing works.
Businesses know they need it, they know they should be doing it, but when it comes to actually putting a campaign together they don’t know where to start.
The reason why I’m telling you this is to let you know that you’re working with exactly the same level of expertise as most other businesses.
If they can make it work, so can you!
Hopefully you’re slightly less overwhelmed now. Social media marketing really is tough, and it can be overwhelming, so sometimes you just need to step back and take a fresh look at everything.
I want you to spend less time being overwhelmed by social media and more time getting results from it. In this post I’m going to break down social media marketing in a way that makes it seem a lot less scary and way more approachable.
Get Back To The Basics
If you’re getting overwhelmed by using social media for business just take a breath and remember what it was originally intended for.
Social media was meant for people with common interests getting together in online communities to share ideas and information. That’s it.
It was never meant as an advertising platform or a sales tool. It can drive sales, but if you’re approaching social media with the sole intention of selling to people then you’re going to end up with negative results.
Remember That Results Don’t Happen Overnight
People do business with other people who they know, like and trust. Those kinds of relationships take time to build. When you join a new online community people don’t know anything about you.
It takes time and consistent engagement to become familiar to these people. Some of the best tactics to becoming a trusted expert in your online community include:
- Talking to people
- Asking questions
- Solving problems
What do all of these things have in common? They all provide value to your audience. Notice how I didn’t include selling or advertising in that list.
A lot less people will buy from you if they don’t know you. Start with fixing this problem first.
Spend Your Time With The Right Online Communities
Start building relationships with the right people by going to where they hang out and joining in the conversation.
For example, if you’re using social media for your real estate business, you could talk to groups of first-time home buyers. Answer questions, provide expert advice, link them to some blog articles you’ve written.
Take advantage of Facebook and LinkedIn groups. If Twitter is more your thing, follow hashtags and participate in Twitter chats. Eventually you will become more known and trusted.
Putting It Into Practice
Sticking with the real estate example that I just used, here is a sample blueprint to follow when engaging new audiences online.
Connect with the right audience.
Knowing your audience is half the battle. Your audience is basically any group of people that your business stands to benefit from associating with.
Following the real estate example, audiences could include home buyers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, insurance companies etc.
Monitor discussions that your audience is having and listen for an opportunity to join in. For example, if they are discussing when is the best time to buy a house then your ears should be perking up. Discussions about mortgages, insurance rates or anything like that those would also apply to the real estate business.
A great way to get your audience’s attention is to add value to the conversation. Using the real estate example once again, you could educate them on how to shop around for the best insurance rates. Provide them with some mortgage advice. Explain when is the best time to buy a house. Show them some listings that suit their needs.
Invite them to ask questions. If you can make their experience as a customer easy and enjoyable while being more attentive than the competition you can bet you’ll stand out. Soon they’ll be recommending you to others.
Social Media Is Just Networking
When you really break it down, social media is just an online networking event that never ends. Social media is a new technology, but the principals of networking have been around forever.
At networking events professionals get together to share ideas and information about their business. With each meeting you get to know each other a bit more. When one of you is ready to buy what the other is selling you’ll know who to go to.
Just as networking takes time so does social media marketing. Don’t feel overwhelmed if you’re not getting the results you need right away. Invest the time, have patience and results will come.
If you’re reading this blog you already have a huge advantage over your competitors because now you know how to use social media the way it’s meant to be used!
What’s overwhelming you right now in terms of social media? I would love to know so I can offer some help. Tell me in the comments section!