Recently I came across a blog post written by Chris Reimer from Rizzo Tees. He’s a local social media marketing professional that has followed best practices and achieved social media success. His @RizzoTees Twitter account now has over 54,000 followers (last I checked). The blog post on his Rizzo Tees Blog talked about something that every small business owner active within social media struggles with - Dear Small Business Owner: Social Media Does Not Generate Overnight Success. A rather intriguing piece of material that outlines the mistakes most small business owners make when searching for success in social media.
In Chris’s blog post he talks about the advantages and disadvantages that small business owners have versus Big Bucket Inc. Something that makes social media success a bit challenging especially when you’re up against giants. In addition to his argument he points out some tips on the turnaround time for social media success. Perhaps a crucial piece of information that small business owners and social media marketers need to revisit carefully. When it comes to using social media and seeking ROI or measurement – Patience is a virtue. I say this with a strong emphasis on “virtue”.
Carving a Path Into Social Media Success
Before even starting out with social media you need to create a social media marketing plan for your business. It’s really your best option to ensure efficiency and focus on the prize at hand. To many social media translates to exposure on every single possible social media network there is out there. Your social media marketing plan should consist of identifying certain social network which are effective and work for your business model. Typically this consists of Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIN just to name a few. Reason for that is because these three simply have the largest audience of users and are most effective when it comes to engagement.
Carving a path into social media success will take you some time, perhaps some headache, and probably lots of coffee. Here are a few tips that should get you started in building your brand and user base.
- Content - no mater which social network you have a presence on remember that “Content Is King”. Social media users access platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIN to tap into a resource of information. Typically this content relates to the user’s interest or industry that they specialize in some way or another. Providing valuable information to your fans or followers helps establish you as a thought leader and influential resource in a specific field of expertise. It’s one of the main reasons why bloggers blog around the clock – thought leadership.
- Conversation - this is probably one of most favorite strategies of all. Social media revolves around conversation with others. It’s much like customer service in a way sort to speak. I’ve seen far too many automated Twitter accounts and Facebook pages that continuously push content with no personality behind it. In order to achieve social media success there must be communication and conversing between you and your audience. Social media users want to know more about the individual behind the Twitter handle or Facebook fan page. It pertains to social network at its finest. People will want to do business with you if you’re liked, personable, and approachable.
- Brand - it’s important that you keep a close eye on your brand reputation. When starting out be cautious about the people you follow and be selective. As you build your network of followers on Twitter or fans on Facebook remain conscious about your audience. Being responsive and engaging says a lot about your brand from a user’s perspective. Address both positive and negative responses in a careful manner without sounding rude. Be respectful of others and treat them kindly and professionally. Surround yourself with other brands and influential contributors to make yourself heard and be acknowledged.
- ReTweeting/Liking - when engaging on Twitter and Facebook it’s recommended that you retweet other influential users or like pages of strong brands. This type of strategy will provide visibility and show interest to others. If you find related content to your industry or something of pure interest share it with your network. Such act will show appreciation and help establish contact.
- Blogging - in addition to providing authoritative content from the web you need to form your own voice. Most influential social media marketers are involved in heavy blogging which provide fresh and unique information. Establishing and creating a blog presence of your own will help you get established as an influential figure within your industry.
The moral of the story here is that social media success takes time. In Chris Reimer’s case it has taken him over a year to establish a reputable brand and build a strong online network of followers. Engagement, conversation, and monitoring are three of the strongest points to remember. Be personable and establish trust with others.