Being on Google+ in the early days has given many people insight into what really works when it comes to social marketing.
Google+ is clean… Few people have invited spammers thus far, and it is easy to find and follow the most important people you’ve since lost track of on the other networks.
As we turn another page in social media marketing’s future, it might be a good time to stop and think about how you are using social sites to market yourself. For the past several years we’ve defined our social marketing tasks based upon what the Big 3 (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn) allow us to do within their prevailing “cultures.”
Tactics for better engagement on the Big 3 are all over the place and myriad blog posts and courses exist to help us understand and implement them.
Now when a new, “clean” social network starts, with no API yet for 3rd party applications like Seesmic, and a fairly basic set of things you can do on it, social goes back to the most important basics: sharing info people want and partaking in real conversations on threads related to what your best customers are interested in.
1. Social marketing isn’t just about how many people follow you. It’s also who you follow. If you are a blogger, you follow important leaders in your market for content ideas and networking opportunities to get your blog (or you) noticed. This fact becomes lost at some point when you’ve begun following too many people to keep track of the most important people you need to follow for this purpose.
2. Engagement is everything. Rarely will you see the average marketer calling someone out on a social network. On Facebook and Twitter, you do this by including their username in a post so that they are alerted that you are talking about them or including them in a conversation. On Google+ it’s the same thing. Including people right out of the gate when starting a conversation, especially people with large following, reaps big rewards from time to time.
3. The Two-Way Street. Gary Vaynerchuk says the most important thing about Twitter is listening, not broadcasting. His favorite feature? Search.twitter.com. Being plugged in to your market’s wants and desires is more valuable than assuming them based on research or hearsay from weeks, months, or years ago.
4. Social is a place to discover innovative new ideas. The news and great ideas now break on social platforms first, almost all the time. If you are only broadcasting and not listening, you are missing out on things that will take your social marketing much farther, faster, with greater results for your business. That’s why it is important to isolate the thought leaders and “news breakers” in your market so that you have a clear channel direct from the sources of innovation and ideas.
5. If you question the value of your social marketing, stop and watch people who seem to have no problem getting attention. They are doing something you are not. What is it? How can you mimic their social media marketing moves?
Social media marketing is a deep, rich process of give and take, and genuineness. Marketers cannot hide behind big headlines, logos, or fancy copy in social media. Be real or go home is the mantra.
The marketer who truly believes social media marketing is only for light banter and merely broadcasting business opportunities or product announcements is someone who fails miserably and consistently to grow their business using social.
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