There are so many factors, elements and activity that are required to conduct an effective social media marketing program. When I consult or speak about social media, I often try to boil things down to simple components that help people understand this new and rapidly changing medium we call social media.
Imagine that we are back in science class. (I know it sucks, but bare with me here) Let’s imagine that we have a large beaker set upon a slow, constant flame. In it we begin placing all of the components of an effective social media program. Content, engagement, the different platforms, strategy and so on. Once all those “elements” have been poured into the beaker we then cover it and connect two tubes through the lid, allowing the substance to condense and extrude the two basic elements from the solution. We would end up with just two things…
Now that our little chemistry experiment has resulted in some data, let’s break these down with some detail. A good understanding of the most basic elements of social media marketing is crucial to your success.
Value: Providing value in social media is core to effectiveness. I always define it as providing selfless, relevant value to your target market. This can materialize many ways, including; sharing relevant content your audience will deem valuable -or- helping others regardless of cost or time requirements. Selfless value requires thinking of others and not yourself or your brand. It means you understand it is about relationships and not about you or what you do.
Take the time and effort to ask yourself, what selfless value are we providing our social community. Make this concept the core of what you do and you will reap significant benefits.
Human: We call this social media, right? Can a logo be social? Can a company name have a conversation? Can you talk to a building? Keep in mind that we are human beings. Humans connect and build relationships with other humans. Making yourself approachable within social media by sharing YOU is imperative.
What do I mean sharing you? I mean, be real not a robot. Incorporate your personality, your life and your non-business interests into your social media marketing. We know that people hang around people like them, relate to people like them and most importantly, do business with people they feel they know and like. Having an overly stuffy, professional or impersonal communication style within the social graph prevents your target marketing from making a human connection with you and your brand.
Whether your social media marketing involves Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or any number of other platforms, incorporate value and the human element into your efforts. If you are an individual marketer or a large brand, be sure to remember it’s not about YOU, but your audience. Being approachable at the human level is a must!