Social media is eating the world.
Everyone and their dog is on social media.Only very few are making money from it. The ones that do are nailing marketing on social media.
There are rules.
From maximising quality to increasing your online entry points, here are 11 laws to help build a foundation that will serve your customers, your brand and – perhaps most importantly – your bottom line.
1. The Law of Relationships
Social relationships are the basic building blocks of social media marketing.
In any decision you make, your first consideration should be: How will this affect my relationships? Will it strengthen the ones I already have? Build more of them? All the other laws of social media marketing are related to this first law.
2. The Law of Listening
Unlike other media, social media is interactive. This is what really sets social media apart – it’s two-way communication. As such, you should always aim for having dialogues, not monologues.
Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Listen to what your customers are saying.
Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Look into what online content attracts people. Listen to what people are saying about your competitors.
If you sell shoes, what are people saying about shoes in general? Your customers have a dynamic relationship with your product; it changes over time. You can only know how it is evolving if you listen.
This applies to what your customers are saying to you directly and what your customers are saying to other people.
Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.
3. The Law of Focus
Social media marketing is relatively new. In the beginning, there were fewer players on the social media marketing scene and so sometimes brands would try to do everything without strategically considering their options.
But as the marketplace has gotten crowded, a better strategy is to focus. Find a niche. Find your demographic. Find your unique voice. Focus on these things.
It’s better to specialize than to be a jack-of-all-trades. A jack-of-all-trades isn’t an asset when it comes to social media marketing. Rather, figure out your ideal customer and operate accordingly.
A highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy intended to build a strong brand has a better chance for success than a broad strategy that attempts to be all things to all people. Be willing to make use of outside help if you don’t have the skills to operate in a specialist niche by yourself.
4. The Law of Quality
Quality trumps quantity. One quality article will always beat out a hundred terrible articles. It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.
Therefore, spend more time on each article to guarantee a better response. GO deep with your articles – give your followers and online connections information they can’t get anywhere else, the way you would present it.
5. The Law of Compounding
If you publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.
Therefore aim to encourage customers to share content with multiple audiences. The discussion around your content opens new entry points for search engines like Google to find.
Those entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.
6. The Law of Influence
When it comes to social media, you ignore influencers at your own peril.
Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them. Check if they have any guest posting opportunities promoting their content.
If you get on their radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information, they might share your content with their own followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience. This way of piggybacking on influencers can fast track your growth and success on social media.
7. The Law of Value
Too many companies believe that value is exclusive to their product offering(s). But in fact, their communication should provide value as well.
If you spend all your time on the social Web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. Concentrate not only on promotion but on improving the value of whatever you’re offering. This is ultimately what gets people to convert.
You must add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating amazing content and developing relationships with online influencers. In time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
Furthermore, increase what people get back for their time. This can be anything from discounts to free eBooks.
8. The Law of Acknowledgment
You wouldn’t ignore someone who reaches out to you in person so don’t ignore them online. Build relationships by acknowledging contributions from your social media connections.
Building relationships are one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.
Even a simple ‘thank you’ for sharing one of your posts goes a long way in strengthening that relationship. If you can encourage customers to comment more often, you’re going to create a snowball effect where other people will want to get in on the action as well.
9. The Law of Accessibility
As we established before, one of the essential aspects of social media is its interactivity. It makes everyone a contributor. So if you act like a traditional publisher and just broadcast your message, you are missing out.
Don’t publish your content and then disappear. The all too famous saying “Actions speak louder than words” is very applicable in this instance. Make it obvious you’re always available. That means you need to consistently publish content and participate in conversations. Followers online can be fickle and they won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for weeks or months.
Therefore, when someone posts a comment or sends you a message, aim to reply within 24 hours.
10. The Law of Reciprocity
You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. So, a portion of the time you spend on social media should be focused on sharing, talking about content published by others and commenting. Don’t be afraid to take the first step either.
By consistently sharing other people’s content, you’ll be laying the foundation for a strong relationship. It won’t always lead to something for you, but you’ll establish good habits and one day someone will do the same for your content.
11. The Law of Patience
This is a law that applies to most things in life, and yet people often don’t think it should apply to social media marketing.
Social media and content marketing success doesn’t happen overnight. A lot of brands don’t seem to understand this. It’s not strange to see a brand put their all into social media marketing for a few weeks, before giving up because they didn’t reach “stardom”.
You must be patient and consistent if you’re going to get the results you’re searching for. Online relationships, just like physical relationships, take time and a lot of effort. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s far more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long haul to achieve results.
Remember that social media marketing is a long game.
It’s about constantly meeting your target audience’s expectations. If you can do this, you’ll soon start to see visible results. Track your results via Google analytics as you go along so you can make tweaks to your strategy along the way.
Do you know any other social marketing laws that works for you? Share with us in the Starta Facebook Group.
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