On social media there are quite some marketers that rush to provide a solution to problems that exist in the now. They sometimes end up succeeding, social media marketing can be used for short-term purposes (for instance some forms of direct marketing, traffic building and even lead gen).
However, social media marketing, just like all forms of marketing, is mainly about long-term relationships: building relevant interactions with prospects and customers that lead to a two-way increase of value and loyalty. In fact, this is one of the reasons I don’t like the term “social media marketing”: it’s too much about the media and it covers too much: building traffic through social bookmarking has nothing to do with a cross-channel relationship marketing strategy where social media play a role and relationships are key. For short-term thinkers and instant entrepreneurs, the downside of a quick gain approach, is the quick fall-off that comes with short-term income. Social media marketing isn’t about short-term quick wins, of course if your business wants to use social media in a professional way. It is about long-term strategies and relationships with people. Again I have to add: all marketing is about people. Just as income-focused companies wave around hockey-stick-shaped graphs during funding presentations, the short-term wave of online marketers experienced the opposite earnings trend: a quick and massive flow, followed by an equally quick stop. Social media marketing gives businesses the opportunity to create long-term valuable connections, relationships and of course earnings.
Here are some tips:
Blog, tweet and listen consistently
The most important factor in social media success is not frequency. It is not exclusivity either. Amazingly, it is not even your personal authority or experience. While people often shoot for milestones in social media, it is rare that their priorities are focused on the most important factor: consistency. That means those ten-post-per-week streams are valueless when they are separated by months without a single post. When blogging or engaging in other social forms of communications, you create expectations and habits among the people who have decided to “follow” you. So, consistency is an important factor. The same goes for your listening and communication: be consistent and available.
Always focus on value for your social connections (followers, fans, etc.)
There are hundreds of “thin” blogs out there: writing that lacks any real value, designed with the sole purpose of promoting, influencing, or selling. Blogging success does not necessarily come with offering the best information, but with providing value for your readers. Write content that is highly valuable to your audience and you will be rewarded with long-term relationships and a loyal readership.
Create long-term social media contacts and connections
In 2005, MySpace was the hottest property on the internet. Celebrities and would-be online authorities flocked to the service, hoping to get the most from it in the shortest amount of time. As with any other overnight success, MySpace quickly fell from grace, largely due to the incredible amount of short-term incentives that powered it. Do not be a MySpace strategist. Think long-term with your social media relationships, and prioritize truly valuable relationships over number-boosting “friends” and “connections.”
Focus on value, not frequency
The most important blogs on the internet do not update all that often. The most valuable Twitter accounts, similarly, do not update all that often. Even the most important “social media” presences do not update that frequently. Why? Because focusing on frequency can come with a sacrifice in pure quality. When your entire presence – your influence, and your value – is built around being there all the time, you are eventually going to be ignored. Focus on delivering an experience that is valuable, human and/or personal every time. Of course this does not many you cannot update often (it’s what we try to do on this blog), just try to keep the value…consistent and…valuable enough. And thus ultimately turn social media connections into relationships. What do you think?