How Your Business Can Succeed with Social Media in 2018

Online marketing strategies are always growing, fading out or evolving. If you’re using last year’s strategies, you won’t execute as successful of a digital marketing campaign as you could have. Like any other technology, SEO, content marketing, and social media strategies need to be constantly updated and refined.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the best social media strategies for business owners, as well as a few strategies that should be avoided.

Don’t Copy and Paste Cookie-Cutter Pitches to Leads

Ok let's just get this out of the way now.

People can tell when your pitch, offer or proposition is an impersonal message that’s been copied and pasted.

Copy and pasted pitches make you appear insincere and untrustworthy too, as though you didn’t care enough about the recipient enough to take the time to actually write a personal message. This is a big no-no, and is the equivalent of social media spam.

One reason why these types of copied and pasted messages are so distasteful is because they give the impression they were written by a robot. I wasn’t being metaphorical either; they really do look like a modern marketing robot wrote them. AI technology has grown by leaps and bounds to the point chatbots have become a viable and useful tool to add to most websites.

But some marketing bots work by automatically blasting out nearly identical messages to large lists of email addresses or social media accounts. Despite spam filters and social media platforms’ security efforts, I imagine you’ve run across at least a handful of times. The script the bots use may fill in a blank with the users name or enter unique location data that was mined from their social media profile, but more or less, the message is the exact same.

So remember, don't use a 'fill-in-the-blank' script. After all, your marketing endeavors aren't a game of Mad Libs!

Don’t Follow Accounts as a Means to Gain Followers

Gimmicks and corner cutting marketing may work in the short term, but in the long term, they never play out favorably (take the content spinning tactics, for example).

One modern tactic you may have heard about is following other entities, even if you have no genuine interest in it, to gain followers. How does this tactic increase your following, you ask?

For various reasons, users will often follow an account, especially on Twitter, that has just followed them. The results is a mess of low quality leads who have little to no interest in your product or service. Instead, they’re more concerned with vanity metrics and how big they look on social media.

One reason to not engage in this tactic is because it is so incredibly transparent, and can even make your social media account look fake.

Genuine organically grown accounts typically far fewer accounts compared to the number of followers. If you see an account that’s following 300,000 accounts, but only has 100,000 followers, it looks like the work of bot.

Faking Interest Is Forbidden

Some bots are good, but many are bad, especially if they were designed to generate a facade of fake interest. Insincerity never adds to your business on social media; instead, it only detracts from your business.

For these reasons, I would steer clear of social media tools designed to automate engagement by liking, sharing, and even commenting (usually generic and vague expressions) on your pages or any external businesses you follow.

If you (or someone on your team) haven’t personally read the content, it’s downright dangerous to put your seal of approval on it by sharing!

Yet again, I want to make a clear distinction that I’m not against the use of bots altogether, because some are undoubtedly helpful, such as chatbots. But these types of auto-responding bots are little more than a way to try to game social media platforms, instead of rolling up your sleeves and applying a little elbow grease to your marketing campaign.

Actively engage with other businesses and people within your social media circle in person.

Truthfully, it does take a lot of time and energy, but the results might be worth it. If you don’t personally have the time, then it’s worth considering reaching out to a professional to handle your online presence so you can focus on your business.

Optimize Social Media Buttons

By now, the vast majority of website administrators have figured out that adding social media buttons to a blog helps users share content, and results in more visitors. But are your social media plugins optimized? It may be tempting to include a share button for every social media platform under the sun, including ones that aren’t the mainstream big dogs in the industry (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on).

But adding too many can be counter productive, makes your pages look cluttered, and traps your users in a swamp of indecision. Behavioral studies have shown that having fewer choices is generally more conducive to action taking, so I’d recommend pruning unnecessary social media buttons from your plugin.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to place social media buttons near the top of the page.

That may seem counter-intuitive, but realize that many users won’t read all the way to the end of your content. These days, users have short attention spans, and some may have only clicked on your link for visual content like high quality images. By placing social media share buttons near the top, even skimmers and bouncers will have a chance to share your content before they leave.

Keep Up with Social Media News

You want everyone to think you're the smartest and most up to date person at the local Chamber meeting, right? Consider subscribing to podcasts that go through the latest updates and changes. Each week I do a podcast on just this with my friend Andrew McCauley. The podcast, called DigiKnow? is a (usually) weekly show all about those changes and updates. I'd love for you to have a listen!

Social Media Can Work for Your Business if You Do it Right

Instead of seeing social media as a way to trick visitors or a way to game social media platforms for successful marketing campaigns, look at them as a way to build relationships with real people. If your goal really is to help a person with your personal mission, product, or service, you’ll appear genuine and forthcoming.

And social media users will tell others about their experiences.

Otherwise, faking interest can erode your following by making you appear dishonest, and engaging in unreliable schemes to cut corners could make your account appear to be administered by a bot.

And last but not least, remember to personalize messages to leads and people you’re networking with on social media. Being genuine and thoughtful are crucial to building real relationships.

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