Social media marketing is an art that can be mastered only when approached in a disciplined fashion. Similar to every other form of art, it has fundamentals that should be given special attention. These fundamentals are the ground rules that must be adhered to in order to excel in this art.
I would like to refer to these fundamentals as the Ten Commandments, and they are as follows:
1.Thou shalt have patience
Mastering the art of patience, I’d say, is very essential to master the art of social media marketing. Success in social media campaigns is not something that you get to see overnight. You must shout out to make your presence known, but do not expect to be noticed immediately. Keep shouting till others notice your presence. Stay positive, and do not get discouraged if your first few posts haven’t been successful in creating the buzz that you had been expecting.
2.Thou shalt be focused
Set proper goals for your social media marketing campaigns, and focus on them. Without a clear path set before you, it is impossible to go on a journey in this virtual world. If you believe that social media is the cheapest mode of marketing, then you are completely wrong. According to Charlene Li, “Social media isn’t inexpensive, it’s different expensive.” In fact, this is a more critical and complicated mode of marketing, because you come so close to your audience that they can either pat you on your shoulder or slap you on your face. Now all this depends on how you carry yourself in the social space. You cannot carry yourself in a dignified manner if you market in a random manner ignoring your goals.
3.Thou shalt be an observer
Social media is not a one way channel where you keep doing all the talking and expect everyone to listen. Once you are done with the talking, sit back and listen to what your audience have to say. Spend time on observing the reaction of your audience. This is very important because your next move depends on how your audience respond. Audience can be segmented based on their response to various posts. Based on the details of segmentation, your posts can target them.
4.Thou shalt keep thy audience engaged
Keep reminding your audience continuously that you exist. If you fail to do this, you’ll be forgotten. Have live discussions online by posting questions that would draw opinions and suggestions from various people around the globe. Make your social media handle as interesting as possible to your audience. The more interesting your social media activities are, the more your audience will promote you. So, in a way, keeping your audience engaged will also help in spreading the word about you.
5.Thou shalt respond on time
Social media waits for no one. When someone reaches out to you, ensure that you respond on time, because if you don’t, your competitor will. Competitors watch your social media activities closely at all times. You must be careful not to let them snatch and fly away with your followers. When someone shows interest in what you are doing, respect their interest and revert back to them at the earliest. If you do this, your follower will continue to cling to you, but if you don’t, he might jump to someone else who respects his interest and does the needful.
6.Thou shalt have quality, not quantity
Remember, you are not the only one existing here. So be selective of what you show your audience. Pestering your audience with too many posts is a strict NO. Only share posts that your audience can relate to, or else they might ignore your posts. Your audience will not be interested if you simply blah, blah, and blah about whatever you do. They’d rather be more interested in the big story. So pick the best out of your stock and show that to the world. Ultimately, you are what you share, and your brand image is built on how you project yourself, so project yourself in the best possible way and stay as simple as possible.
7.Thou shalt not imitate thy competitor
Do not set foot in the social media marketing space just because your competitor is already there. The concept of “something is better than nothing” does not apply to social media marketing. It is better to have nothing than just something for the sake of it. Your competitor’s goals will be completely different from that of yours, so if you try to imitate their strategy, it might end up as a total failure. Instead, create your own style to reach out to your audience.
8.Thou shalt build relationships, not followers
Do not waste your time and money on increasing the follower count of your social media handles in an attempt to look more popular. It is better to have 100 strong relationships than to have 1000 inactive followers. Always try to strike a chord with your followers and present yourself as someone who cares for their needs and not as someone who’s desperate to sell their goods. This is the only way by which a strong bond can be created between you and your followers.
9.Thou shalt be ethical
Freedom and social media are synonymous. Social media is a platform where everyone is free to do the talking. You are given complete freedom to market yourself in any way possible, but never take advantage of this and attempt to deceive your audience with false reports and misrepresentations, because they will eventually backfire. Always avoid criticising your competitors and highlighting their shortfalls, but instead, show others how different you are from the rest. You must ensure that you make the best use of your freedom and get the maximum possible result, ethically.
10.Thou shalt look back and evaluate
As you go on your social media journey, you ought to look back from time to time and evaluate your past activities. A regular assessment will give you a clear picture of how you have been performing so far. It is also a stage where you get to identify areas that require improvement. This is very critical to your survival in the world of social media. Whenever something does not proceed as expected, go back to the drawing board and reorganize your strategic plan.
The bottom line is to stay simple and honest.