To make the most of your social media marketing, you need to have a plan. Social media is about having an ongoing conversation with your customers, not droning on about your business while they ignore you. You have to put in the time to cultivate your existing customers and attract new ones. Yes, this will take a little more time and thought, but that’s why it works. If you “set it and forget it,” you are wasting your time. Guaranteed.
So, to get the most of out your time, here are few things to do:
Understand each channel. Should you jump on the Pinterest bandwagon? Should you be on Google+? Are your customers on these channels? You have to know what you want to do on each channel and also understand what that channel lets you do. The only way to know if it will work for you is by doing a short term pilot. You need to be where customers are and where they are talking to each other. And no amount of emarketer, infographic research will tell you if it will work for you. Jump in and test it. That’s the only way to know if you should keep investing your time.
Contribute and add value. Once you get a feel for the channels where your customers are, join them in the conversation. The best thing to do is to act as a person representing your brand, not a logo. People will respect that since they’ll know there’s an actual person behind the logo. But more than anything, add value. If they have questions, participate.
Aim to educate, not spam. Once you’ve started participating and found opportunities to add further value, create content that addresses those opportunities.
Advocate and enroll. You will find that there are people who are passionate advocates about a specific topic. Maybe you already have content that addresses those topics. If you don’t create content to pull those passionate people towards you. Show you are as passionate as they are. This is the beginning of creating advocacy. No one will follow you if you’re not advocating.