Essential Rule That Works In Social Media Marketing

Essential Rule That Works In Social Media Marketing

There are marketing ‘rules’ that work for all social media, and by extension, even for other channels you may be using, like forums, chats, and mailing lists.

Some other rules are platform-specific and they can’t (or it would be quite difficult to) apply to all media you may be using for your marketing efforts.

The 24 ‘rules’ in this guide attempt to collect strategies and mindsets that work across all major social networks, but not every rule will fit perfectly, so you will find a line after every rule stating what networks the rule applies to.

Rule #1. Having A Plan

This is the very basics of any social media strategy: know your niche, know your audience, know what you’re going to use the social network for to reach which goal – then register an account.

It might sound obvious, but often it isn’t. This is the starting point for your social media marketing plan, that you can only structure after you’ve had clear in mind what you want to do and who you want to talk to.

Study your target audience

Who are they? What do they need that isn’t already available elsewhere? How can you improve their life, job or a hobby and make things easier for them? Understand your audience.

So, in a nutshell, the things you need to be clear about before you create a social account are:

  • Your niche
  • Your target audience
  • Your scope
  • Your goals (including expected ROI)

And this is true for all social networks, from the more professional LinkedIn to the fresh and ephemeral SnapChat.

However, given the nature of the SnapChat ecosystem, it’s better to create short-term plans based on events happening in a given week, and then focus on engagement (see #7 in this guide).

Use social media as a gold mine, not a dumping ground for backlinks and free promotion. These platforms exist for dialogue, so don’t just focus on your own voice, but listen, too, to the voices of your followers and other experts using the networks.

Find threads and posts where users are talking about your brand: that’s a good place to start.

 Applies to:

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SnapChat, Twitter

Rule #2. Building Connections

Relationships are the core of any social media marketing effort and you have to spend time talking to people to build a positive presence.

When you nurture connections, you eventually build a network around your name and business.

This works for every social platform and it sums up to:

  • Focusing on building relationships with users in the same niche before trying to generate traffic via promotion
  • Engaging with others on their content before sharing yours
  • Using your expertise to help wherever you see a need or a question

Collaborations are the driving force that helps your network grow. Reach out and get talking with influencers who have the following and interests you are looking for: if you sell make-up, find bloggers and Youtubers who are interested in sponsoring your products or interview you.

But don’t just focus on hitting big influencers in your niche – nurture relationships with small names who carry value and expertise, as well as human qualities, and who are willing to get in touch and collaborate.

Engagement is key on any social platform — the more you engage with your audience and build positive relationships, the more they will be willing to share your content (and not only on one social network).

 Applies to:

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SnapChat, Twitter

Rule #3. Private Messages/Chats

Before you promote your content or send out invitations to your new contacts, use the integrated chat and messaging system the social platform provides and build a personal rapport with your connections (see #1 in this article).

The best approach is to introduce yourself, and then ask about them, not about what you can do for them. The latter might sound like a pitch for services, when you just want to connect at human level and get to know more about your interlocutors.

Show a genuine interest, ask questions.

Earn their trust.

For example, you can share your thoughts about something interesting in their profile or ask what they’ve been working on.

Once the other person develops an interest in you, and starts asking questions on what you do, you can tell them more about your business and spark their interest. Even if they’re not directly interested in your services, they might tell others about you (word of mouth) and grow into fans.

How-to

On LinkedIn, you can use InMail to get in touch with people outside of your network, but be extremely selective of the profile you target for your pitch to avoid your message be mistaken as spam (and be a waste of your time).

Twitter provides private messages (Direct Messages, or DMs) for one-on-one or group conversations, that are no longer subject to the 140 characters limits like tweets – Twitter introduced the change in 2016 and it’s big news for marketing, as you can hold richer conversations (you can add images, GIFs and emojis to your messages) and activate push notifications.

 Applies to:

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

Rule #4. Visual Content

It’s a need of our century, much more than the last – visual content (statistics, infographics, inspirational quotes, etc.) primes over text-only, more abstract material.

Our brain only takes 150 milliseconds to process a symbol and 100 milliseconds more to attach meaning to it (source).

Social media give you an opportunity to add plenty of visual storytelling –  for example, branded Instagram images can potentially go viral and attract a lot of engagement.

Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat are definitely the most visually oriented platforms, but don’t underestimate the power of visuals on all the other major social networks. Twitter, for example, lets you use big images and infographics to lure your followers into clicking on the content link in the tweet where they can read more about the topic (better if you use the same image in the post, too, so it builds continuity).

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