Recently there is an enormous amount of social media marketing advice floating around the blogosphere. Much of it is repetitive, much is obsolete, much is quite useless for most business owners. It’s simply social media marketing confusion.
Stop it, stop reading all that.
Creative Commons image: Campfire of confusion by circulating.
Focus inward instead and follow social media marketing best practices that are by now fool proof. Check out these 24 No Frills SMM Tips instead:
These tips might be known to you already if you read the right social media marketing resources but they can’t be repeated often enough:
- Listen first before you speak
- Focus on quality of conversation not sheer numbers
- Give first to get back
- Do not speak at people speak with people
- Do not automate, behave like real people do
- Do not enter social media for the SEO value (only), treat SEO as a side effect
Some things do not work like in SEO, they rather work like with old media e.g. print publishing or TV, others are both new to SEO and traditional marketing:
- You can’t measure social media ROI in exact numbers, the branding, trust and awareness effect is not measurable objectively.
- Abandon first wave SEO social media tactics like link baits if you’re into long term business effects on social media, create relationships instead
- Social media is not Digg, Twitter and Facebook. it’s these sites but also a plethora of other more targeted sites. Choose only a handful of them and engage. Most probably Digg is wrong for you anyways.
- Differentiate between social news (Digg), social bookmarking (Delicious), social browsing/discovery (StumbelUpon), Q&A (Yahoo Answers) and social networking (Twitter). Bloggers still try to tell me that Digg or StumbleUpon are social bookmarking.
- Focus on niche social sites! There are social sites for every niche by now.
- Connect with your audience via LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or MySpace etc. depending on what your business is about. My impression is that LinkedIn is best for serious business relations, Twitter more casual, Facebook great for non profits and MySpace for music and lifestyle.
So what can you do when you start in social media?
- Do not act like in real marketing: Expecting people to click, buy etc. From the business point of view social media marketing is a mix of marketing, PR, SEO and CRM
- Choose your sites and communities first, do it wisely asking yourself: Will this site exist one year from now? Are the people who are interested in my business already there? Am I allowed to act as a business there (on many sites, like Digg, StumbleUpon etc. you are not) etc.?
- Contribute a while and learn to use the sites and tools you have chosen.
- Track mentions of your name, brand etc. react and answer questions. Add non-salesy resources your self.
- Be grateful to those that refer to your brand, even when negative (remember any publicity is good publicity)
- Do not rely on external services they can ban you, disappear any day or just lose their value for you. Socialize on several services with the same people as a backup. Create consistent user names and avatars in order to achieve that.
Where’s the value for you in all that? Is it only time and money investment? People will spread your message. Your products and services will be promoted by other people. You too can the Apple of your niche. So stop that.
- Stop submitting to “hundred of social bookmarking sites”. Submit to 5 of them if at all.
- Stop forcing your message upon people, let people ask you for the message.
- Stop Link-baiting for short term benefits, create long term trustworthy resources.
- Stop faking it, start making it.
- Stop treating social media marketing like one to many top down marketing channel.
- Stop entering social media from the outside become part of it on the same level or die.
Isn’t it more than just that? Of course social media marketing or SEO 2.0 as I prefer to call it is not that simple but this is a solid foundation. Read on, SEOptimise will bring you more of it. Do you dis/agree with these 24 No Frills SMM Tips? Want to add more, please do so in a comment!