7 Rare Social Media Marketing Tips You’ve Never Heard

By on March 12, 2013

Social media marketing changes like the wind online, which means that you have to be extra vigilant about launching and running your various campaigns. In the spirit of education, I’m going to give you the 7 absolute BEST pieces of advice I’ve ever heard about social media, over the last few years. This advice helped make SMMU what it is today.

The Countdown To Better Social Media Practices

#1: Social Media Marketing is a Game of Hide and Seek

One of the greatest pieces of advice I was ever given about social media marketing, is that it’s a game of hide and seek. We are programmed to think that if we do our content strategies correctly, we will be rewarded with lots of fans and interactions. That’s just not true. As content competition grows, only 2 things will save you.

The 2 things are – competitor content analysis and consistent content publication. Your competitors are publishing all the time, effectively ‘hiding’ your content so that no-one can find it. To stop this from happening you need to ‘seek’ out their strategies and outdo them! Social media marketing only works well when you publish often. Very often.

#2: It’s Not About Who You Know, But What They Know

Social media marketing experts are always telling people to connect with authorities in their niche. This is great advice – no doubt. What they leave out of course, is that once you have connected with an expert, you need to somehow access their knowledge and use it to further your own business goals. This is much harder than connecting with someone.

So, it’s not who you know, but what they know – that’s what really helps you. Can you get them to write guest posts for your blog? Can you make them an actionable part of your marketing campaigns? If not, then they are useless. The only way to turn an expert into a friend is to give them great content. Share their posts. Become an advocate.

#3: Patience and Platform is Key to Everything

In social media marketing, there are two stumbling blocks that can make or break a new campaign. They are patience, and platform
choice. The social internet moves likes lightening, except when you need it too! That’s why being patient is an essential trait of a successful social media strategist. Wait and see – that should be your testing motto.

As for platform – don’t be put off an idea, just because it didn’t work on your chosen platform. Many small business owners fail to run a successful Facebook competition for example, so they never run another online competition again. What about Twitter? Pinterest? Vine? The madness can be in the platform and not the method, you know.

#4: Choose One Social Platform, and Master It

Bad advice tends to stick to small businesses, which is why you’ll often find empty social pages all over the place. Social media marketing is about building a quality presence on a single platform. Then mastering that platform. Then combining your efforts – and stringing together a few great pages to make an impressive social profile.

It’s not about being on a thousand networks – even the ones you haven’t heard of, in Russia. If you only have time to work properly on one platform, then pick one. Social media is about ROI, not owning empty social real estate. It’s nice that you’re there, but if you can’t convert your social media marketing fans into buyers, there is no point.

#5: Automation Does Not Give You Automated Results

Let’s get something straight – it’s good to automate some of your social media marketing processes. But so many people think that ‘automation’ means ‘leaving your pages alone, to run independently of you.’ This isn’t the case. You still need to check in every day, and respond to people. You can’t automate conversation, you’re not Skynet!

Automation used properly allows you to publish tips and tricks at your leisure, but it is no substitute for quality interaction. Social media marketing has way too many pages and feeds that are automated. This is a two-way conversation, not a microphone.

#6: Content Curation Saves You Time and Money

Social media marketing us all about content. You need to supply your social media pages with high quality content that engages your audience. But how do you do this when you’re a small business owner with limited time and money? By curating content along with your original content. Don’t only be an authority be the most rounded, current news in your niche.

#7: Sometimes It’s Okay To Try Something Spontaneous

You have probably read somewhere that planning always comes before success. We become so obsessed with plans, that we forget that sometimes it’s alright to just try new things. Innovation comes from all sorts of places. It’s great to be a good planner, but don’t also forget to be that social media marketing person who isn’t afraid to take risks.

BONUS! One Piece of Advice You Always Get, and Should IGNORE!

Don’t let your employees use social media! This one single piece of advice has kept small business owners from rapid growth because of social media. Let your employees be advocates for your brand, just lay down some ground rules first. They will help you with the exposure that you need to drive traffic and increase sales.

My hope, is that these seven pieces of social media marketing advice have changed your perspective on certain parts of your own marketing campaigns. Maybe now you can re-evaluate your strategies and integrate something really powerful into your online business plan. After all, good advice is only good if you take it!

Is there a piece of social media marketing advice that you would like to share with the SMMU community?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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