I’ve been doing social media marketing since 2007 (I started out on Myspace) and for the last seven years I’ve trained hundreds of businesses on social media marketing. One of most common questions that I get asked is how I stay up-to-date on it all and how we constantly adapt to social media changes.
The reality is that the tactics change (for example Facebook rearranges Pages all the time), but the strategies and things that really work have been pretty consistent since I got started.
Here are seven pieces of social media advice that I wrote about in 2007 that are just as relevant today:
1. If You Want People to Pay Attention to You, Pay Attention to Them.
When I wrote Visual Social Media Marketing last year I interviewed businesses that were successful on Instagram and Pinterest. When I asked them how they got people to pay attention to them they said the same thing. They followed other people, liked their content and commented on it, and over time, people paid attention to them.
2. Even With Better Tools, Be Careful What You Automate.
Even early on when Twitter hit the scene, people were looking to automate everything from responses to direct messages to everything in between. Many people realized that automation is pretty annoying. If I follow you and the first thing I get is an automated “Thanks for following, please check out my Facebook page here” I’m already turned off. Automatically replying to people doesn’t generally add value and annoys people. It amazes me how many people still do it.
3. You Have to Post Stuff That People Actually Care About.
When I prepare for social media training classes I usually research the social networks of the client or industry. It still amazes me how many Facebook accounts are full of boring “Look at Me” content. Nobody is inherently interested in your business – talk about what they are passionate about related to your business.
4. People Will Be Annoyed If You Encroach on Their Personal Space With Your Spammy Messages.
When I got started in social media I was working for a photography website and I wanted to get bloggers to use our site. So I found photo blogs and left comments like “Hey Great Photos! You should really consider putting them on our site!” I immediately got tons of angry messages. Today, my LinkedIn inbox looks pretty much like this: “Krista – Thanks for connecting. Let me try to sell you on the crap that I do with this lengthy email when we don’t even know each other yet.” (I hope you can sense the sarcasm).
5. You Really Do Need a Plan.
The eight steps to building a social media plan that my books are based on (including the textbook I wrote) was something that I created six years ago. It is still just as relevant. You need to start with what you want to achieve not start by doing stuff. Be clear on your purpose and you’ll be more successful. As you continue to more clearly define your objectives and understand the opportunities you’ll find that you can continue to improve your results.
6. Fish Where the Fish Are.
You don’t need to be on every social network – especially if your customers aren’t there. Don’t succumb to “shiny object syndrome” and jump onto each hot social network before it has even had a chance to develop and evolve. Know your customers and be where they are. When my customers were on Myspace, I was reaching them there. As they shifted to Facebook, we shifted to Facebook.
7. You Aren’t in the Business of Being Popular on the Internet.
Even in the early days, people got hung up on how many followers they had and social media was somewhat of a popularity contest. People quickly realized that just because you had a lot of people following or liking you it didn’t mean that they were paying attention, or that you were getting results. Today we still obsess over collecting fans and measuring likes, when we really need to step back and focus on business results.
Do you have any social media advice to share?
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