Last week I hosted a webinar for an MLM company to help clients begin using social media for marketing. After the Q&A portion of the webinar I got to thinking about how social media and marketing don't go together. It should really be known as social media and public relations. I get the feeling that most people see marketing as an active way of finding an audience and sending them their message. But to me, social media is a passive way (aside from SEO) of sending your message and allowing your audience to find it.
That being said, here are a few points I covered about "sending" messages via social media. I like to think of it as a good starting point for corporate social media etiquette:
Is social media a great way to market to your audience? Yes. Should you accost them with marketing messages/strategies? No. Well, not all the time. The point of being real is just that- engage your audience in a conversation. Ask and answer questions, learn about what's important to them and every now & then toss out a message. It will be better received after building audience trust rather than acting as an internet billboard for your product/service.
Think of value in terms of your everyday conversations: you're either listening or waiting for your turn to speak. Be the listener and respond by adding value to the conversation. You've already worked on being real and building trust so now add to that trust by offering your expert knowledge. You want to be the first place your audience goes when not only wanting answers but also information.
Be present in the conversation. Remember, listening or waiting to speak? Listening is great but if you're not around to respond in a timely manner then you're ruining all your hard work. Too many people think they don't have enough time for social media. These are the same people that think they need a hand in all areas of social media. Narrow your focus, learn where your audience is going to share & receive messages and make those social outlets your new home base.
Give Praise.This is where most people get lost. Why would you want to praise others when your goal is to build and keep your audience? Because you're being real, remember? If you find a piece of information that your audience would like to hear about share it. Give praise to others that are adding value to your niche. It's another way to start more conversations, add value and build audience trust.
Not everyone is going to want to read an informational article or even a 140 character status update. Present content with images, video, audio... the possibilities are endless and originality makes for a more meaningful conversation.