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5 Golden Rules of Social Media Marketing

Image of golden rules for successful social media marketing

For a successful social media and content marketing strategy, you need to create content that appeal to your audience. Determine what motivates your customers.  Here are 5 golden rules to follow for a successful social media marketing strategy.

1.     Start listening

Image of person listeningThe most important rule for successful social media and content marketing is to create content that appeal to your audience. To run a successful social media marketing campaign, you have to give to get. This means you have to provide content that adds value to your audience, and not yourself.

Social media marketing is not about blasting out marketing material. Social media is personal, about trust and respect. You need to read your target audience’s content and participate in their discussions. This is the best way to learn what’s important to them and get to know them.

You can only create content that will spark conversations once you learn what they talk about. Social media is about adding value to your audience’s lives rather than clutter it with marketing material. You must earn the right to ask for their business.

2.     Keep focused

Image of man concentratingTo keep your target audience engaged, it is better to specialise than being a jack-of-all-trades. Focus on a specific topic, product or service, and provide your audience with highly-focused quality content. Remember that just like you, your audience is also investing their time, energy and money in your social media campaign.

Make sure that you are worth all three to them. The best way to deliver on their investment, is by creating informative video content. Show your audience that you value their time by keeping it short and to the point.  

Quality trumps quantity. Provide quality content to a relevant targeted audience. 1 000 connections reading, sharing and talking about you are much better than 10 000 connections who disappear after a while.

3.     Make conversation

Image of people making conversationDon’t ignore people reaching out to you. The same way you wouldn’t ignore someone talking to you in person, don’t ignore them online. Any successful social media marketing campaign needs good relationships with their audience. Trust is the cornerstone of successful online marketing.

Stay available to your audience. Don’t publish content and disappear. Participate in conversations. Share your audience’s content. Online followers won’t hesitate to replace you if they don’t get response from you – whether it is a lack to engage in comments, or not hearing from you in weeks or months through new posts.

4.     Have a conversion strategy

Image of conversion strategyYou need a solid conversion strategy to build a successful social media community. Know your target market. You have to be visible where your target audience is online – don’t worry about where they’re not active. If your target audience is younger, you should focus on Instagram and Snapchat; over 30 year olds would more likely use Facebook. If you primarily target moms, Pinterest is your best bet.

Focusing on platforms where your audience is more active, will not only result into more followers, but also more conversions. Don’t provide too much value without asking your fans to take action. Ask them to participate. Invite them to sign up for your newsletter or to provide feedback on a service or product.

Posting just for the sake of posting, is a waste of time. A consistent online presence is important, but it must be purposeful as well.

5.     Five step plan

Image of 5 step conversion planYou can rely on this simple five-step plan to build loyal followers over a period of time.

First, you need to establish a posting schedule and stick to it. Routine is essential for success throughout life. Apply this to your social media strategy. Schedule posts ahead of time with pre-determined content. Be consistent.

Second, make your posts interesting. It doesn’t matter who your audience is, you will enjoy greater engagement if you keep your article fresh and interesting. Use catchy captions, use images etc. to keep your post appealing.

Third, post regularly. Six to seven times a week is the magic number. This wil ensure that you will be visible, without “flooding the feed”. Once post per day should be just enough to be manageable.

Fourth, engage with your audience. This is probably the most important for successful social media marketing. Reply to comments, engage in conversations, show your audience you are interested in them. Avoid using one-word comments. Show them real interest – after all, that is what you expect from them.

Fifth, be patient. Building a targeted audience takes time. You can buy a pool of followers, but fake followers will mean nothing to your business. Real followers mean real engagement and money for your business.

If you apply the above to your social media marketing strategy, you should reap success over a period of time. Also, bear in mind that about 20% of your output will yield 80% of your results. In other words, 20 percent of your media platforms should be promotional, and 80 percent should be focussed on adding value to your customers.

Determine what motivates your customers. Focus on this and you will learn how your product or service can help them achieve their goals.

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