7 Principles for Social Media Success.
By Laurel Lindsay
Thursday, 6th June 2013

It’s 2013, and do you know where your target market is? Social media provides vast opportunities for connecting with your target market.

However, the fast pace and info overload can make it challenging to carve out a distinct methodology for success.

It’s hard to cut through the social media noise overload and get down to marketing basics. If you’re looking to do that, here are some very clear principles for using social media tools to engage and grow relationships:

1. Thou shalt obey the 80/20 rule. Make 80% of your posts about your audience, promote them, educate them, entertain them, poll them etc. When you have done so effectively, they will embrace the shameless self-promotion you’re doing the other 20% of the time.

2. Thou shalt be strategic: Using the info below, or one similar, find out which social media network your target market is present and engaged in.

a. Twitter is used by urban youth
b. Google + is used by college kids and software developers (and smart business owners like you that want to be found online)
c. Facebook is used by everyone " except elitists
d. LinkedIn is like Facebook, but for business. Essential for Business 2 Business companies.
e. Pinterest is where 30 something women spend an obscene amount of time

3. Thou shalt plan thy content.

a. Use a healthy mixture of styles, mediums and sources.
b. Keep in mind your target`s concerns, hobbies, lifestyle
c. Curate a community of like-minded businesses and people to share content from.
d. Share your social media network`s content, status updates etc.
e. Measure your results and tweak accordingly

4. Thou shall be authentic: Let your freak flag fly " Drew Barrymore said it. It’s your wild hair, or love of horses or biting sarcasm. Something about you and your business is distinctive, and believe it or not, is your competitive advantage. What is authentic is audacious and memorable and therefore captures social media market share.

5. Thou shalt encourage dialogue: Ask questions, solicit advice, conduct polls, and offer prizes for best feedback. Cater to the masses and benefit from ad hoc focus groups and market research. Everyone likes being asked as long as they feel heard.

6. Thou shalt reward engagement: Say thank you, offer prizes, feature a fan or follower, feature their business, offer fan or friend only pricing. Make your social media audience feel loved and they will return the favor.

7. Thou shalt be timely: Respond within 24 hours, post semi regularly. Don’t abandon your accounts and return months later. Once a week is minimum, 24 hours is preferable. 3 times a day is optimal. Social media is a 24 hour worldwide conference and every ones is invited. Don’t show up a week late talking about last year’s news.

4Hoteliers Image LibraryFollow these 7 principles to engaging with people on social media and you will go far and do great things.

You don’t have to be perfect at it to start, you will learn as you grow. Follow and friend those you admire and watch what they do. And remember, social media is just a platform to connect with people.

As with real life, simply position yourself to be liked and trusted. Be intelligent, good looking and flattering. Help people. Provide value. With a little patience you’ll see your social media efforts will start to pay off.

Your Turn!

I’d love to hear your questions or challenges " Tell me in the comments below.

And, if you enjoyed this post, please share it!

Laurel Lindsay is a Calgary Internet Marking Consultant & President of The New Media Group Inc. She has over 8 years hands-on Internet Marketing experience.

Laurel is enthusiastic and passionate about helping people live better lives by leveraging the power of the internet.

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