Social media marketing strategy involves more than Tweeting a link and raking in the money, as more businesses discover every day. DIY marketing is cost effective, but there’s a major learning curve.
It turns out that social media strategy actually requires some, well, strategizing.
Just like every other kind of marketing ever, the world of social networking is packed with gimmicks, questionable techniques that are supposed to yield immediate and spectacular results, and as many opinions as there are people.
Your company’s overall marketing plan will be just as individual as you are.
There’s one thing that is ultimately at the center of every successful social media campaign.
The Gold Standard of Social Media: Value
No matter what you do with social media marketing, the truth is this:
Nobody visits your social profiles or website for your benefit.
Every single person that ever clicks your links, looks at your website, or scrolls through your Twitter feed is doing it because they’re getting something they want.
That’s not a bad thing.
When you understand that basic principle, that people are looking at your content for their own benefit, you can market more effectively than 9 out of 10 businesses on social media.
What Is Value?
The concept of value is simple:
Adding value is giving away something for free that, under other circumstances, people would willingly pay for.
The most common examples are things like
- Actionable (usable) information
- Access to a community
Obviously, people pay for entertainment. It’s estimated that the average American spends about $2,800 on various forms of entertainment every year.
People also pay for useful information. That’s pretty much the foundation for colleges.
Paying for access to a community might not be as obvious, but think about things like dating websites, exclusive social clubs, and gated neighborhood communities.
Being inspired, too, can have a premium price tag. Just imagine all the money spent on motivational speakers.
You’re free to get creative.
Create content that people want to see, and they’ll come looking for you.
Why Does Value Matter?
It makes sense that people will want access to that stuff you’re giving away for free, but that’s not the whole picture.
Packing your social strategy with value is great for building an engaged audience.
But it’s also good for your bottom line.
The only way a social media marketing strategy can be successful is if there’s some kind of value for the people who are exposed to your social content. If it’s not worth their time, they won’t interact with you at all.
On top of that, the more value you give away for free, the more your potential customers will voluntarily come back and look at your marketing.
More value creates trust and positive relationships.
As people trust you and like you, they’re more inclined to shop from you, and they’re likely to become fiercely loyal customers.
If you give away enough value, those people feel a subconscious sense of obligation towards you and your company. They feel like it’s their duty to buy from you.
The same effect happens in gas stations:
Have you ever stopped to use a gas station bathroom and bought something you didn’t want because you felt obligated?
That’s value in action!
Make Your Social Strategy More Valuable
Now you know the concept.
Here’s how to do it:
What’s valuable to one person isn’t necessarily valuable to another.
To put it another way, you might be able to give away free lifetime internet access, but in a traditional Amish community, nobody is going to care.
There’s no such thing as a marketing strategy or product that works for everyone.
Everyone is not your audience.
The first step you must take to increase the value of your social media marketing strategy is to determine who is in your audience.Value is personal.
In order to create content that people want to see, it really helps to have a good idea of who those people are.
Market research is a more advanced topic, so we won’t cover it in this blog post, but understand that research is vital to any successful marketing campaign.
Social media may be inexpensive, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Treat your social campaigns with the same level of respect and dedication that you’d devote to any of the more expensive traditional marketing channels.
Once you’ve identified your audience, figure out to what kinds of content they respond.
Not everyone is looking for a how-to guide, yet some people are only looking for organized, actionable education.
You can find what’s already working by browsing similar social media pages, blogs, and online communities where your audience gathers.
Copying other brand strategies isn’t necessarily the best strategy…
But you can absolutely learn from what’s working for other people.
All that’s left then is to start creating content and tracking results to see what works.
Ultimately, your audience is your audience.
It’s not exactly like any other group or community in the world.
Pay attention to results, feedback, and your key metrics, and adjust your social media marketing strategy as you go.
Value is the gold standard.
Headline: The Social Media Gold Standard – Value