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Quick Social Media Basics for the Fast Track

Despite being widely adopted as a valid and important advertising platform there are many business owners, even social media managers, who struggle with getting results from social media marketing and even some who seem to think that this “social media thing” is some new silver bullet solution that just arrived on the scene.

In part this is often because they are expecting results from the platform – and the people using it – that aren’t even possible. In other cases they expect results too soon, to come easily, or automatically – this IS the internet after all right?! Everything is instant now, right?

No. There are no short cuts to awesomeness. Either you must put in the time and effort to make your online presence great, or you’ve got to hire someone else to do it. For you brave souls daring to take hold of your digital destiny and boldly go into the wilds of social media marketing on your own…here are some real quick tips:

Post Well. Post Often.
This does not mean that you need to create an endless flood of clutter, or buy me buy me buy me buy me posts – that is what is called flooding; it can cost you more customers than it will ever gain you. Experts will argue how much is too much and the golden frequency ratio but a good minimum is at least 3 times a day, depending on the network.

Be Relevant. Be Interesting.
This ties into the first tip. Your frequency can increase without danger of becoming background noise if you actually have something worth saying. Do not be a repeating parrot. It’s better to say nothing than to babble. To some extent this might require a little stalking of your followers. See what they are posting, learn what they like, listen to them and most importantly reply to any and all comments.

Engage. Engage. Engage.
What does that even mean? In some ways it’s taking those first two components and putting them together. It also means keeping up on any follower interaction beyond initial comments; also using your profile to do more than just post all the time. Ideally you should be using your page to interact with your audience and other businesses as well as creating killer content.

Know the System.
Until you’ve pressed every button you’ve only just begun to learn. Get in there and push every button until you know what most of them do. Be comfortable in knowing how to like, share, retweet, vote up, and comment – whatever the verb of the particular network you are leveraging may be.

Many people struggling with just knowing what network is best for them and it’s sage advice to recommend playing to your strengths: if you know Facebook best use it, if you’re more comfortable on Pinterest then pin to your hearts content. Generally speaking the systems and tools that work best are the ones you actually USE the most, so make that the larger focus of your efforts rather than worrying what someone tells you the next big hot thing will be.

Bonus Tip: Funnel Your Traffic.
A technique in day to day posting that even some seasoned page admins miss, brought to you by Captain Obvious: When you share a link to someone else’s site, blog, news post, or picture you are essentially GIVING them traffic. Traffic you could be directing to your own profiles or hub website. So make sure that whenever possible to be creating links and sharing things from your website. That doesn’t mean a constant flood of “buy my stuff” – that means that if you have the ability to create quality content on your site do so…and then send as much traffic there as you can. Fact is, if you don’t try to at least link intermediately from your social profiles to your website you’re wasting a lot of your effort. Sure, it’s watered down link juice in some capacity, but it can mean more real human traffic.

If you’re a small business struggling to wrap your head around social media marketing we’d love the opportunity to talk with you and see how we might be able to help. Lastly, for those of you looking to be guru’s (i don’t know why you would) here’s a social media mantra for you to practice:

KNOW your audience.
WORK your niche market.
CREATE engaging content.

Namaste, ya’ll.

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