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10 Things You Need to Know About Using Social Media
Posted on July 21st 2014
Google 'Social Media Tips' and you'll get at least 518,000,000 results.
Seriously. Go google it.
Every person who works in social media, content marketing, digital marketing, whatever you want to call it, has published their version of top social media tips. I did a few years back. As we get more seasoned in social media, our opinions change in regards of what we suggest. Of course platform changes have a lot to do with that as well.
After doing social marketing for the past three years, I wanted to write an updated version of what I think are the top social media tips any business can take and use to be successful online. Reading my older post (linked above) made me chuckle a little bit. For instance I suggest using LinkedIn's Answers section. That got the axe from them a while back. The worst was advising people to send a DM to new Twitter followers to welcome them. **SHIVERS** I cannot stand Twitter DMs. Of course, that was 2012 and in the world of social media, was ages ago.
What do I suggest now? That's below. However first, things change so rapidly that this list could change in a matter of mere weeks, but hopefully not. Sometimes it's a lot to keep up with. That being said, here are my updated top social media tips...
1. Don't rely on just one platform.
It goes without saying now that you can no longer rely just on Facebook. Find out where else your community is online and go there.
2. Get creative.
Successful content today always includes great graphics. Fortunately there are some great free and low-cost options to really make your content pop. PicMonkey is a favorite of many, but right now the hot program to use is Canva (read more about Canva here).
Duh, right? You would be surprised how many businesses still don't get it. They use social media as a means of broadcasting, not engaging. THOSE are the ones that will never truly be successful online.
4. Think outside the box.
With so many businesses fighting for consumer's attention online, you need to make yourself stand-out. Thinking outside the box and getting creative will get people's attention, in a good way, not in the let's-publish-a-crazy-inappropriate-video way.
5. Google Plus is not dead - there is still value.
Okay, that's more of an opinion that a tip. There has been talk that Google Plus is dying and is no longer a viable platform to use. Yeah and Elvis Presley is still alive somewhere in the Bahamas. Google Plus is still thriving for those who use it. I love it and I have a community there. I know many businesses who are still using it effectively and getting results. So don't believe everything you read on the internet ;)
6. If you blog, look for ways to distribute your content.
Content is what drives social media marketing. If you choose to blog (and I think you should), you have to have ways to push that content out. You can publish it and hope someone stumbles upon it but that won't get you far. You need to have social sharing links and share it yourself on social media. There are other ways to distribute it as well - contribute to sites like Social Media Today or Business 2 Community or Alltop. Join Triberr and get active in tribes to share your content.
7. Value quality over quantity.
This applies to content as well as the size of your community. Just because you have over 100k Twitter followers does not mean a thing unless it's 100k active people consistently retweeting your content. One hundred dedicated fans can do so much more than 1,000 fans who really don't do much. Big numbers do not always mean quality. When you are using social media, the quality of everything is SO much more important than quantity. You need to put a lot of thought and energy into the content you push out or how you grow your community - the world is watching.
Looking for opinions? Want to know who is using what? Go ask your community! I love crowdsourcing. It's the best means of getting a look into what your community wants/needs.
9. Manage your time efficiently.
Social media is a time suck. There, I said it. You can get lost in Pinterest for hours. You can get wrapped up in drama on Facebook or Twitter. Honestly, if you are working in social media or using it for your business, you need to closely guard your time. You need to spend time doing your business, not playing on social media all afternoon. Set a timer. Schedule a time to use it to market your business. Effectively using social media involved careful time management.
10. Remember WHY you are using social media in the first place.
This is THE most important tip I can give. If you have no clue why you are using social media, then just stop. I'm serious. You have to have a reason, or purpose, as to why you are using it. Once you figure that out, then everything you do needs to derive from or point to that. This is your ultimate goal for using social media for your business.
So there you have it! Those are my updated tips. What would you add to it?