Social media is not a joke! Like all effective business tools, it should be taken seriously and not ignored.
I often see people celebrating the number of likes they’ve received or a multitude of new followers. According to their locker room metrics, they’re quite a hit, and they tend to brag about it. I see people writing deceptive headlines in order to lure new readers in to click their links. I see people abuse Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by shamelessly advertising products and services. It gets to be a bit much. These people contribute nothing except a growing sense of distrust and an unhealthy dose of cynicism among consumers.
Social media is not a traffic honey pot! There are better, more ethical ways of driving traffic to your site. Rather than being annoying with a bad long term business strategy, we need to do things the right way to get a better response over time. I’ve found some things in particular that are really important when marketing through social media.
First of all, social media is about offering value. We feel that if we place an add, millions of people on Facebook and Twitter will see it, click it, and the ad will generate money. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. People want something exceptionally impressive and interesting that they can’t help but share or tweet. Instead of placing misleading blog links, how about offering some free professional advice on something that’s within your area of expertise? This will help you build an online reputation and credibility.
Social media isn’t about algorithms; it’s about people. I see people trying to figure out the algorithms of social media platforms in order to manipulate it, and some actually do find a loophole. Unfortunately for them, it only works for a little while. Algorithms are constantly changing, and an out-of-date algorithm will only harm your business. It’s simply not a sustainable approach. Social media should be about generating shareable information that can help people in one way or another.
Social media is about forging relationships. Lots of bloggers and business owners become jealous when they see the amount of followers other businesses have. It can be easy to become obsessed with numbers. What I’ve learned so far is to invest in and strengthen the relationship between you and the market. Sure, numbers are important, but a following should be comprised of real people who are genuine followers.
The true measure of influence when it comes to social media is in the strength and quality of relationships. Social media should never be automated. We should become a key figure in our niche rather than just pumping out more tweets and blog posts. We need to listen to our audience and the unique challenges that they face in order to build a better brand. Putting in the time and effort needed to build our brand is what our business depends on. There is no “easy button” in online business.