19 Habits of Highly Effective Social Media Marketers

Feb 07, 2011 Comments Off by

1. Listen first, Talk second

Effective use of social media begins with listening to others.  Search for and connect you’re your customers and listen to them.  Join the conversation with them, look for trends and issues  and add value to them.

2. Be relevant

People want to engage with companies and communities that are most relevant to them. Show your personality, but keep your messages on target.

3. Be committed & active

Using social media is about building and nurturing relationships. This takes time and takes commitment from you.  Regularly check the social areas you have established, respond to visitors and fans,  and add fresh content.

4. Use automated tools wisely

You can use  tools such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to automate some of the processes and messaging, but don’t automate yourself out of what can become important conversations.

5. Be authentic – Be You

Over time, you will attract your own followers for whom your messages makes sense and resonates. The more real you are, the more people will figure out if they like you or not. This can be intimidating to start with, so focus on being positive and real – not negative and real. Be the best you you can sincerely be.  Be likable.  Ultimately, people buy from people they like and are like.

6. Be available

Find  the relevant social networks that attract and include the people you want to talk with. Learn to be available as a person. Your company’s brand and products may be anonymous, but the people in the business engaged with social media are not. You may be seen as the soul or spirit of your company.

7. Be easy to connect with

Include links to where people can find you in your social networks on all content you put out in articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, photos, etc.

8. Listen, learn and correct

If someone has a problem with you, your products, other staff members in your business, then it is always best to know about this and try to do something about it. If the problem is real, then apologize and fix the problem if you can, Try to get changes made inside your business so the same problems don’t re-occur.  If the problem wasn’t real but was a case of a misunderstanding or incorrect information, then make sure you get the right information back to the person – and to the wider network as well.

9. Use empathy in advance

You can’t always know how messages are going to be interpreted, but try to think how the person on the other end of the communication will receive it and interpret it. Practice using empathy in advance to consider potential reactions of the recipients.

10. Track your competitors

You can use social media to observe e the behaviours, conversations and offerings of your competitors.  Consider their strategies, their strengths and weaknesses, target markets, customers and even their market shares.

11. Be flexible

Social networks are not always predictable and you and your business need to learn to cope with the unexpected.

12. Be informative

Keep your followers informed about positive changes in the business or with your products. Also provide your point of view on negative things that may be happening in the business. Be careful not to put falsely positive spin on negative events.

13. Focus on Quality

It’s better to put out a small number of high quality high value messages than a large number of messages that appear to be low value spam.  It’s also better to have a smaller number of relevant high quality followers with whom you sincerely engage and interact than it is to have a large number of followers who never bother to read or engage with you. Quality beats Quantity

14. Be careful who you choose

Anyone in your business engaging in social media for your business must be customer focused and know how to write well for your audiences.  Think of this as a critical customer service function, as much as a marketing function. Customer service staff need to be trained in your products and services, and know how to sell and service your customers. This will often include pre-sales research and after-sales service so be thorough in your training of your staff.

15. Create Advocates

Use your customer conversations to turn prospects into customers and then customers into advocates for your business. Ideally, your mission is to create raving fans who will willingly tell their friends and others how great you are.

16. Learn to DIY, then Out-Source

Even if  yours is a large business with lots of spare marketing money, you will always be better off to at least learn the basics of how social media works. Understand the basics, including the new buzz-word jargon and the  flows of information. Learn some of what is possible, then you can knowingly delegate and/or out-source, without being baffled by new jargon and blindly accepting advice from people who may themselves only be relative novices.   (New industries attract a variety of ‘experts’  and you need to be able to choose wisely.  There’s a helpful article here on how to choose a social media consultant.)

17.   Get physical as well

Too many of the online interactions remain just that – communications  by email, Facebook post, Tweet or some other virtual message.  Break the mould by using Skype or even (gasp) the telephone to talk to people with whom who you have connected online.

Better still, arrange to meet them for a coffee and a chat if possible.  Think about doing a ‘drop by’ when you’re in their area and say hello to them – and don’t attempt to sell them anything. This is a relationship building process and getting physical rather than staying virtual will help you stand out – and build relationships faster, deeper and stronger.

18. Social media costs time and money.

All of this will take someone or several people some time and potentially a lot of time.  Accept it.  Or don’t do it.   Decide how and when you will measure your return on investment.

19. Have other marketing strategies too

Remember, using social media is likely to only part of your marketing or business strategy. Leave it out totally and you’ll probably leave out valuable opportunities to build stronger business relationships as well as get great feedback on your business.  Smart marketing strategies include using social media, but you would not want to just  rely on your social media activities to miraculously produce new customers.

What else can you suggest?

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