Social Marketing Success – 5 Essential Secrets

Social marketing has the potential to drive huge amounts of highly targeted traffic to your site in a short space of time. However, if you want to make the most of the opportunities provided by social marketing there are certain steps that you must follow. So here are the five more important things to bear in mind when constructing a social marketing campaign.

1. Pimp Your Profile

Most social sites allow you to add a wide range of personal details to your account profile. Now although it may seem like a good idea to add the bare minimum and move on, you should resists this temptation at all costs.

Empty profiles with nothing more than a username and website address suffer from two massive problems. First, they don’t allow other people to decide whether they have anything in common with the owner of the profile and second, they look spammy.

The whole aim of social networking is to build relationships. Within 8 seconds of seeing another person, humans subconsciously decide whether they like that person or not. Subsequently, they focus on looking for clues, such as things that they have in common with the other person, that will justify their initial impression.

The only way to provide other people with these “clues” is to fill your social profiles with as much interesting information as possible. Every piece of information will provide an additional relationship hook and help to paint a more accurate picture of who you are. So spend time making your profile look as good as possible. Add your picture and include details about your interests, favorite music, books, quotes etc.

Let’s face it, how can other people get to know you if you only provide a generic username such as “SuperBob” or “Magicbeans”? People who see an empty profile will move on to look for other people who have taken time to add extra information to their profile.

But don’t turn your profile into a sales pitch. If there is a section that allows you to enter your website address, select one of your sites that is most relevant to the profile that you are creating but don’t go any further. People don’t like to be sold to.

Focus on getting to know people. Build relationships, provide helpful advice and if people are interested in what you have to offer they will find out about it and the sales will follow.

2. Provide Quality Content

One of the main reasons people go online is to find information. So if you provide poor quality, badly written information anyone who sees it will just move on.

You’ll struggle to build relationships, your reputation will suffer and at worst, your input will be regarded as a form of social spam.

So focus on providing top quality information and advice that will provide genuine worth for anyone who reads it. Ideally, your content should be so good that it stands out from the crowd and leave people wanting to read more of your work.

Keep asking yourself, “If I didn’t know any of this, would I want to read it?”. And this advice applies wherever you are adding info to the web. Whether you’re adding info to your site, posts to a forum, comments to a blog or details to a social network, focus on adding value to the internet.

3. Personalize Your Communications

Whenever possible, make sure that your messages are tailored to the people who are receiving them.

So when you send out friend invites to people in the social networks, add a short message. Include their name, show that you have at least looked at their profile. Try to find some common interest that links both of you. Make them feel that you are genuinely interested in them and what they have to offer the social community.

When you reply to forum posts, reply specifically to the points that other people have already made in the thread. The same applies to comments left on other people’s blogs or social network profiles.

When it comes to building rapport, it’s the small details that count. Anything that you can do to show that you are a real person, with real thoughts and feelings will help to build lasting relationships.

4. Remain Consistent

All relationships have to be nurtured and social marketing is no different. There’s no point making a massive effort to build relationships with people in the online community for four days and then disappearing for months. If you want to build a following, develop a reputation as an expert in your subject and maintain your position as a leading member of your online community, it’s vital to spend time using your chosen social networks on a regular basis.

Social marketing is a long term game, where consistent interaction will always be more successful than sporadic bursts of activity.

5. Guide Your Visitors

Once you have developed a reputation and built up a following within a social network, it’s important to move the social marketing process to the next stage.

The ultimate aim is to guide your followers away from the social networks and back to your site where you have more control over the content that you provide and the offer that you make.

There are several ways that you can achieve this transfer without making it look blatant.

If you produce brilliant content, some people will take the trouble to discover who you are and then visit your site.

Another method is to create a two part article. Post the first article on one of the social networks and the second article on your site. At the end of the first article include a link for people to get more information.

Alternatively, some social networking sites allow you to create groups of people based around a specific subject. Once you’ve build up the number of people in your group you can use the communication feature to keep in touch with them and tell them about new content that you’ve added to your website.

Guide people with information and advice, then guide them gently to your site. If you give them top quality info for free, most people won’t object.