Avoiding religion, politics, the Great Pumpkin, and posting regularly are not enough when it comes to social media marketing. There needs to be a focus on content, and that content needs to focus on the reader, not on you or your company.
The key to having a vital Facebook page is the conversation. You know, the kind that could take place between you and a client or a friend. You say something, they respond, they say something, you respond, vise versa, back and forth, on and on. Hot topics, cool trends, industry specific news – NOT a sales pitch.
Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, says that a common mistake business owners make is trying to use traditional marketing methods and sell or push one way messaging on their Facebook page. Methods like this are basically taking a corporate agenda and pushing that out onto social media, which is as effective as, “throwing water balloons at a porcupine.”
Too many times business owners make their social media messages an extension of some high dollar ad campaign or current promotion. For example, there’s a local business that I “followed” recently, and guess what, the ONLY thing that appears on their wall is snippets from their latest, greatest TV and radio spots. You might find out about their next sale – sure – but after weeks of “check us out” are you even listening anymore? I just want to say, “tell me something – give me something – pay attention to me, don’t just jumping up and down asking me to like you.”
It’s also important to keep references to yourself or your business to a minimum. Believe it or not, there have been studies that have proven if a stream is self referential, the number of followers tends to be lower, and the more un-follows you can get. A good rule of thumb comes from Chris Brogan. He recommends that you adopt the one to 12 rule, meaning that every time you talk about yourself, talk about something else for the next 12 posts or updates.
Bottom line, your social media is not all about you or what you are trying to sell, it is about the follower / consumer. This is a forum where relationships are built and you need to be sure to NOT use it as a direct sales tool. Yes, you can talk about yourself, but keep it to a minimum. And yes, you can talk about what’s happening in your business or practice, but only as it applies.
Social media, like any other marketing agenda, simply needs to have a plan. Once that plan is in place, it is fun, and yes, even profitable in the long run.