Someone recently asked me to give them the top few tips I could think of about Social Media Marketing. Here's the first 5 things that came to mind.
- Conversation is not a buzzword They call it a 'conversation' - the meaning is literal - not figurative. Someone speaks, you listen, and you respond appropriately. You try to add value to the dialogue not shout your message. The most common mistakes people make in social media are the same mistakes they make at a dinner party. They don't listen. They don't add value. They don't have something interesting to say. They are not authentic. They are not humble. They don't listen and learn because they are too busy talking.
- Have something worth saying and say it with Authenticity. Talking about your product only gets you so far. You need a point of view. What is the underlying philosophy that makes you wake up in the morning? What drives you? Why do you make the decisions you make? They want to know how the sausage is made just as much as they want to have a BBQ with it.
- Build something worth talking about and get out of the way The best thing you can say is nothing at all. Instead ship something worth talking about and have others do the talking for you. That means you need to listen to what your customers want, build something they will love and facilitate their interaction between each other. Do not fear negative feedback - you can not control your message or your brand - you can only discover, engage and learn. If and when you do, you will turn critics into brand/product evangelists.
- Don't build a social network "Having a social networking strategy for marketing is like having a muscle strategy for smiling" - Tony Hsieh, Zappos. You don't need to build a social network to have a social media strategy. In fact that's a bad move. The conversation is already happening on existing social tools - you just need to search for it and jump in (carefully).
- Time and ROI If you don't think you have the time or can't work out the ROI then you don't understand business. Business is about people. It's about relationships. It's about creating value for others. Social Media is not something your marketing department should do. It's something your whole company should do. Just like they all answer the phone and send email, they also need to exist in the global conversation about your products and services. Get involved. Find the time. The return on your investment will be nothing short of staying relevant as the world changes around you.
What are your top 5 Social Media Marketing 'tips'?