I can’t get enough of social media marketing! The subject fascinates me and I’ve learned a lot this year via podcasts, books, courses, and of course social media itself! Social media gets me excited and I love to share what I’ve learned.
This post is for all of my small business owner, blogger and real estate agent friends. I hope you find these social media tips helpful.
Let’s get started! If social media is a party … what kind of guest are you?
Imagine your best friend is hosting a party. You’re excited to go, she has an amazing house, she always serves delicious food, it’s going to be a blast. Your friend also invites her childhood buddy Dave, who just happens to be a used car salesman. Dave barges into the party and immediately starts telling you about all the used cars on his lot. Make, model, color, mileage. “I can get you a great deal!” screams Dave. You try to change the conversation to the weather, your favorite TV show, the 5k race you’re training for, anything else, but Dave keeps talking business and trying to sell sell sell. You shoot your best friend, the party host, a dirty look. “Please get this jerk away from me,” you think. “Why did you even invite him?”
Don’t be Dave. Don’t be Dave in real life, but if you’re in business also try to not be Dave on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media platform. People come to social media to socialize. They are there to catch up with friends and family, to share things they love and find interesting, to share what is happening in their lives. Every day social media users are online reading articles, discovering new things, following celebrities they love and causes they care about. Sometimes they are just killing time in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or at the DMV laughing at funny memes.
If Dave spends all of his time being self-promotional at parties, he’s not going to get many more invitations. In the online space, you’re not going to get uninvited to the next party. Instead, you might get unfollowed, unliked, marked as spam, or even worse blocked! Try to stop cluttering up people’s newsfeeds with sales pitches and instead act like you’re attending a party. You are a guest in someone else’s home – they invited you there by liking your business page, or clicking ‘follow.’ Be an engaging, and gracious, guest. Be interesting. Offer value.
What if Dave did respond to your efforts to talk about the 5k race you are planning to run. What if, because Dave is a runner too, he offered you a great tip or piece of advice that will help you in your training? Maybe next time you are in the market for a used car, you’ll remember that helpful guy Dave and give him a call!
If you are a small business owner, or perhaps a real estate agent diving in to the social media space, this is my advice. Think of social media as a party, not a billboard or commercial and follow these guidelines:
People don’t go to parties to talk about work.
If you have a product to sell, don’t post about it constantly. Think about what topics your ideal customer might be interested in and talk about those subjects instead.
If you’re a real estate agent, don’t just post your listings. Post about local events, or share articles about saving money. Share a weekly housekeeping or pet care tip, or perhaps a great resource about preparing for a big move.
If you’re a dentist who is focusing on treating the whole family try sharing healthy kid-friendly recipes, tips for getting toddlers to brush their teeth and articles about how to quit drinking soda.
If you’re a florist, maybe you want to target your most romantic customers with relationship advice, date ideas, and quotes about love. Get creative!
If you are a blogger, you need to stretch beyond posting only your blog posts. Share news articles related to your blog topic. Share the love by mixing in posts written by your favorite bloggers. Create a community on your social media pages by getting to know your readers and encouraging them to get to know each other.
People love to talk about themselves.
Everybody’s favorite topic is themselves. 🙂 So instead of rambling on about yourself, ask questions! Get to know your audience, your clients, your potential customers. The questions don’t even have to be related to your business. Getting people talking is the goal! Ask about their families and their plans for the upcoming weekend. Ask what their current issues and struggles are. If you’re lucky and you’re a good listener, your online fans will tell you exactly what kinds of products, services, or blog posts they most need.
RSVP No…or send someone in your place!
You don’t have to attend every party that exists. Have you ever been invited to an event and you just really don’t want to go? Maybe it sounds boring, or there are just other things you’d rather do with your time. Maybe your schedule is full and you’re exhausted and you don’t have the energy for one more get-together. If you’re doing social media for your business or blog, it’s okay to take it slow and focus on one channel at a time. It’s even better to focus specifically on the social media channel that you actually enjoy using! If you feel overwhelmed, or stretched too thin, you aren’t going to do a great job. Try focusing on one platform at a time for 30 days (or more if you need it). When you have really mastered it, consider adding a new platform.
If you dread doing social media for your business, or you don’t have time, consider hiring someone to help! (check out my hire me page and the amazing resources below).
Social Media Party Queens (and a King)
Two of my absolute favorite resources as I learn more about the world of social media are Kimberly, the namesake of Kimberly Ann Jimenez and Kelly Mirabella of Stellar Media Marketing. They are both amazing party guests and I have received value from each of them over and over again – thank you Kimberly and Kelly! I aspire to have as much knowledge and savvy as these two women! Find their contact information below, and I’ll also add it to my resources page.
An additional resource must is Social Media Examiner. That is your go-to for keeping up with the constant changes and trends in the industry.
I also must mention the best book I have read (so far) on social media – Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen. I reviewed it here, but there is a newer version available. Dave Kerpen is not the Dave I had in mind when writing this article, I’m sure he is fabulous at parties. Find his excellent books at amazon.com and find him online at https://twitter.com/DaveKerpen. He really sparked my interest in social media marketing.
I bet we all know a Dave online, and maybe in person! But I have to ask, are you sometimes guilty of being Dave? 😉