Forgive me father for I have sinned… It’s been 2 years since my last confession.
When I first began using social media (facebook to be precise), It was all just a big game. All my friends were using it and I wasn’t going to be the odd one out.
As I was starting up an events business on the side, I saw this as a great tool to help with promotions and marketing.
I’m sure you are familiar with the egotistical Social Media maniac collecting followers and friends in order to have bragging rights every time they collect another thousand?
My best friend and I were constantly competing for who had the most friends. “1000, I’m killing it” he would say, to which I would respond by inviting another 50 people I had never met.
Monday mornings spent scanning through friend’s photo albums ensuring I was tagged in all of the best photo fun from the weekend and un-tagging the ones showcasing my alleged ‘less attractive angle’
The facebook craze totally consumed me and I began using it to promote my events, as well as family & friends businesses. That was me; little did I know that connecting, following or befriending just anyone diluted my influence among those I actually knew in my network.
I was quickly becoming a social media marketer … I just didn’t know it at the time.
I had little discipline and lacked experience as a social media marketer I was like a wild horse that needed to be tamed.
Soon reality hit – I was at heavy risk of ruining not only my own reputation but also those of the brands and businesses I was trying to support in the first place.
You see, I got caught up in the excitement of having the ability to broadcast my ideas, my preference and recommendations amongst all these people. Yet I wasted it – on scummy viral videos and the like.
What I learnt was broadcast marketing is the opposite of what social media is all about. The real motivation for any social media marketing is connection: You should be wanting to connect with like-minded people that want to get know your brand, can help your brand and of course those that already buy your brand. You want to add to the conversation, and not come across as desperate, spammy or a waste of time.
So here is my lesson. Sit down. Digest this:
IF YOU DEVELOP A BAD REPUTATION IN THESE COMMUNITIES, YOU WILL NEVER SHAKE IT OFF
Ensure your content is dependable, exciting, and instructive – & naturally people will follow.
Balance is key: Avoid becoming like I once was. Choose a schedule and stay the course for at least a few months. As you find success, you can slowly enhance your social networking activity.
4 basic tips to balancing out your social media
1. Be consistent – This includes your bio page, your profile pic, and your tone of voice. The social networking community is a temperamental, collaborative and unforgiving one.
2. Know your brand – Make sure you’re updating your social networks on news and events that you want to be known for.
3. Know your audience – Think about how the image you want to present sits in with the audience. Get to know them and speak their language.
4. Humanize – the most important lesson is to just be YOU. Respond to both good and bad comments. Show that you are listening, empathetic and constantly improving.
When to do all of this?
Weekdays: Breakfast & dinner
Don’t overdo it: 2 x per day is enough to keep your audience engaged but not suffocated
- Check fan page: respond to questions & comments, positive & negative. (facebook/renren,/kaixin)
- Offer advice, apologize if necessary, ask questions or comment on current events
- Check Twitter/Weibo: Respond when necessary. Follow @’s that are relative.
- Share relevant content from all over the web – give value to your peeps
Weekends: depends on availability (2 hours minimum)
- Use this time for reflection, research and content
- Respond to urgent inquiries or negative feedback.
- Research new social tools and trends
- Plan your week
Remember: At the end of the day – social media marketing is an opportunity for brands to get on the customers playing field so don’t get smacked out of the park.
Get this right and you will have thousands of new fans and followers. Some, you will even call friends.