There are rules for social media success because the world of social media can be very complicated; this is because it is constantly evolving and many businesses find it challenging and hard to keep up with. It’s because of this changing complexity that so many businesses and individuals have failed to figure out a social media strategy that works.
Simply put, if you want to develop a successful social media strategy then you must have a real understanding of the concept of social media. Too many established businesses or individuals who are starting a business, may have the understanding that social media will provide free exposure, what they fail to do is carefully develop a plan around the message they wish to convey; the very first thing they would have done if they were developing an expensive ad campaign.
Back in 2010, the Nielsen Company in a joint study with Facebook reported that ad recall, purchase intent and brand awareness, were the benchmarks used by business for their social media campaigns. The bottom line of this study - social media has generated more productive results than traditional marketing campaigns.
To illustrate how to be successful with social media, the analogy of dating is often used; you need to court your network, it's important to meet their needs by listening, nurturing and communicating effectively.
No matter what kind of social media user you are, whether you're an individual just starting a home business, an established traditional brick-and-mortar business or a nonprofit, there are certain guidelines - rules that you should follow if you want to tap into the power of the networks to grow your business by acquiring new clients, increasing sales and your brand awareness.
Some of the Rules for Social Media Success
Social media is not about selling, it's about building relationships. Though there are some notable exceptions, any attempt to overtly sell a product or service will most often damage your online presence. People no longer have to put up with pushy salesmen or feel uncomfortable about saying “no,” all they have to do now is click the "un-follow" button. An example of this is the common social faux pas of using an automated response when thanking individuals who decided to follow you on any of the social media sites.
Content is still king even in social media. Social media is not a place to get tricky or use the old bait and switch to get people to your marvelously written sales page. Do this and you will be a social outcast very quickly. Whatever content you post should be relevant and to the point, it should be carefully written and, if you're smart, always politically correct. But mostly you want to be authentic – authenticity always shines through.
Be social - you should update consistently and frequently. Any successful social media campaign will be an integral part of your businesses online presence. You should consider your campaign to be an ongoing long-term effort. Social media managers generally considered best for posting updates to be published daily, however, more than a few times a day.
Know your audience and their desires. Just as with a website or a blog create your content and message around your area of expertise and the benefits that you have the offer. You cannot be all things to all people and you should not try to be. So if your product is a business building course, don't build your social content around meditation.
Your social media profiles are important. Most viewed page in a social media platform is the profile page. Many businesses simply ignore this aspect in their social media marketing. All elements of your social media platform, just like your web 2.0 platform, need to be consistent with your image and brand; this includes your background, images and messages.
Keep your social media platform pointed in the right direction. All the pages of your blog or website must include all the "like, tweet, follow, Pin-nit," etc. buttons which must be connected to all your social media streams.
A business must have a dedicated social media expert. This means that if you are a large business you have a staff of individuals who are qualified to work independently as social media experts. This means that if you're a medium-size business that you have a least one employee who is a social media expert, even if they have other tasks. And finally, this means if you're an individual, who’s starting a home business and want to become successful, then you need to become, if not an expert, well-versed in social media.
Focus on the relationship not on the numbers. There is greater value (ultimately translates to monetary value) in a small network that has regular active social interaction. The size of the network and the number of followers does not always translate into performance. Success is directly proportional to active participation.
If you keep these rules for social media success in mind, whether it's a multinational or you're just an individual wanting to start a successful home business, then the success of your business is more likely to become a reality.
To your success,
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