April 25, 2016
Updated January 2020
Ever wonder what separates successful social media marketers from those that struggle? Or why one business will succeed on social media while another staggers along?
The answer isn’t as complicated as you might think. Those that achieve exponential growth commit to daily activities, habits, and strategies.
These critical elements shape and form their future. And the good news? You can use the same ingredients in your social media marketing.
In this article, I share seven quick action steps you can take today. Each one has been time-tested and proven to make a difference.
Read on to learn how you can add these ideas to your marketing mix to encourage social media success.
If I were to ask you why you’re using social media, would you know the answer?
Have you taken the time to define how social media will support your marketing goals?
Until you know what you’re looking to achieve, social media will feel hard. And worse than that, success will appear elusive.
Not sure where to get started? Here’s how to find your WHY and use it as a differentiating factor.
Begin by answering these eight questions.
Unpacking your responses to each of these questions will bring clarity. Rather than random acts of social sharing, you come to the table with a fresh perspective.
You know what you want and why you want it, just like Steve Gutzler. Steve is a business coach who works with top leaders, inspiring greatness through emotional intelligence.
Across Steve's social networks, it's easy to see how social media supports his vision. The consistent use, topic focus, and community building keeps his audience engaged.
Since social media's early days, it's been evident that we (as a community) need to reign ourselves in.
How often have you seen a verbal vomit episode online? One that spiraled into a debilitating - possibly tragic - outcome?
I'm sure many come to mind. While some bounce back, others find their career left in ruins.
The key is to know your boundaries.
Identify where you draw the line and what conversations you're willing to engage in. And more importantly, which ones you'll avoid.
This becomes a roadmap to social media engagement. It makes hopping into conversations and monitoring the ones that matter most to your business easy.
Now stay in appropriate conversations. Don't deviate.
It's like learning how to use crayons as a kid. Coloring books kept us within the lines. We knew our limits.
Knowing your boundaries on social media will keep your business safe and in the "verbal vomit" free zone.
Are you connected to me across social media? You'll see this in action. Me being me. Both as a brand and a person.
You might think I’m a born extrovert, but you’d be wrong.
Don't get me wrong. I enjoy a good party and love being among friends. I also appreciate moments spent surrounded by a community, audience or group of peers.
And yet, I’m not the life of the party. I'm the girl who retreats back to her hotel room to decompress and gain a little peace and quiet.
But, given the fact that my DISC profile is an off the charts D and I, I can also be somewhat of an enigma.
My D has been the driving force behind each success within my life. It allows me to step out in faith, believing that my strong sense of “what’s right for me” will also be my best guide.
Meanwhile, my "I" pushes me out in front of a crowd. Giving me the courage and strength to attempt anything once.
Have you determined what makes your business unique? You need to find that one thing you do better than anything else.
Steve Maraboli said in his book "Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience,"
“There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.”
- Steve Maraboli
I couldn't agree more.
Ready to embrace your one thing? It’s not as tough as you think.
Are you clearly articulating what sets your business apart from your competition? Is this spelled out in your social media branding?
If not, you’re walking a dangerous line.
Heard of a tactic called “me-too marketing?” I'm sure you've seen it. It's on display across social media everywhere you look.
It's a term that means you look at your competition and say, "Hey, I like what you're doing. I can do that too."
But instead of using that knowledge to create differentiation, you mimic every aspect. Right down to a revised version of their logo.
Why, oh why would you do that? Blaze your own trail. Be unique.
See how busy social media is? If your branding is cookie-cutter at best, you're going to have a hard time standing out.
From your colors to the font you use, create a consistent look and feel.
Strong branding equals an instant connection with your audience.
Coca-Cola, one of the most well-established companies around, has created an unforgettable brand.
And it’s no surprise. Their content is captivating, consistent, and unique in tone and voice.
Tony Gwynn, Hall of Fame Baseball player said,
"The minute you’re satisfied with where you are, you aren’t there anymore."
And so it is with social media marketing.
Just when you think you know what success looks like, change comes along and sweeps you off your feet.
If you’ve struggled to build momentum, it's time to define what success looks like to your company.
What drives your social media decisions? Have you nailed it down?
The sooner you do, the quicker you stop wasting time on social media.
Are you posting without a plan?
Is your content an afterthought and your social media strategy non-existent?
If this sounds like you, you need to get aligned with your marketing goals.
With a plan in place, you post on purpose instead of randomly rushing to push something out.
You also roll your social goals up into your company goals. This leaves no doubt in your mind how social supports growth.
Before you begin to create your social media marketing strategy, it's time to brainstorm.
Answer the questions below. I've given you examples to see how simple it can be to clearly spell out how social media (organic and paid) can help you achieve your business goals.
Once you have the answers, you'll begin to weave social into your big vision.
Once you know what you're looking to achieve and you're measuring results, it's time to review.
Use the data you've accumulated to calculate and estimate how you're going to improve your social media marketing.
This is critical if you're looking to continuously improve. It also requires that you take a look at previous goals.
Were they attained? If so, it's time to crank them up. Set bigger and bolder goals.
And always look to your analytics. See what content resonated with your audience and what flopped.
Adjust your strategy and your content when appropriate to keep your social media content fresh and your information relevant.
There are many ways to market your business with social media.
There are also a multitude of ways to kill your momentum and drive results into the ground.
But that doesn't mean using social media effectively has to be hard.
In fact, knowing how to best use it to market your business will give you a big leg up.
You see, your competition is still flailing around trying to put a plan in place.
Take the time today to determine what success looks like to you and how you'll get there effortlessly.