What It Takes To Be A ‘Great’ Social Media Marketer – 10 Specific Tips

Social media can be a great marketing tool. If you know how to use it, that is.

Far too many businesses make the mistake of thinking a social media profile alone will generate success, not realising that it takes a lot of hard work to make any kind of profit out of social media.

The key to success through social media is to employ the services of a GREAT social media marketer. This doesn’t mean throwing a bunch of cash at a third-party ‘expert,’ although you can do that. Social media marketing is something that can be learned – not necessarily taught, but certainly learned.

To give you an idea of how, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things that can make a good marketer into a great marketer.


If you want to be a GREAT social media marketer, you’ll need to:


1. Have a Plan

First and foremost, if you don’t have a plan you don’t have a chance.

A well-formed social media strategy will set out the goals and targets your campaign is expected to meet, as well as formulate a process and schedule for analysing and tweaking these. Without this type of organisation you run the risk of blindly lurching from one social media site to another without any real understanding of what it is you’re doing. That could spell disaster.


2. Be Creative

Social media is about having fun. If your business doesn’t identify this from the off, it will face a long and rocky road that will likely end without success.

When it comes to sharing content, make sure you post interesting, innovative content that is of worth. Boring content is worthless. Rehashed content won’t make a splash. Irrelevant content will likely be skipped without the batting of an eyelid.

You need to bring something new to the table. If you’re going to run a competition, do something a little different. If you’re writing a status update, make it fun. If you’re advertising your latest product, do it in a way we haven’t seen before.


3. Forget the Hard Sell

Social media marketing is in no way the same as traditional marketing. People login to their social media sites to have fun, not to be bombarded with advertisements. If you don’t heed this, you’ll find yourself pushing your product to exactly nobody.

Keep the self-promotion and advertising to a minimum. Instead, try focusing on creating engagement (see below). If you pay an interest in your followers and fans, you’re more likely to get something back in return.


4. Stop Chasing Numbers

A successful social media campaign isn’t about how many fans and followers you have; it’s about how many good followers you have.

In what is truly a case of quality over quantity, you need to reach out to the right kind of people on social media. 1,000 fans that actively follow you and are interested in your product or services is far superior to 100,000 fans that actually couldn’t care less about who you are or what you offer.

Use the search function on social media sites to reel in those users that meet the demographic you’re looking to reach out to. Check who follows your competitors and see if you can convert them to a fan. Try reaching out to friends of your fans to see if they might be interested in what you have to offer.


5. Recognise the Importance of Engagement

Regardless of how many followers or fans you have, your social media campaign will only succeed if you take the time to engage with them.

There are plenty of companies out there that have spent the last few years simply collecting ‘likes’ and followers only to forget about these people when they come calling. Don’t make this mistake.

If a follower asks you a question, respond. Be sure to respond in a timely manner too. If you use an open-ended question in a Tweet or status update, make sure you read and respond to those that are gracious enough to offer an answer. If somebody likes the picture you’ve shared, thank them.

Whatever engagement is generated, be sure it turns into a two-way conversation. People remember companies that make an effort.


6. Listen To Your Fans and Followers

Following on from the above, be sure to listen to what your fans and followers have to say.

Social media is a great sounding board for marketers wishing to know what people think of their company, products and services. It’s a solid market research tool that, when used correctly, could save you a lot of money the next time you wish to trial a new product.

Ask your fans what they think and then listen to what they have to say. Be prepared for this to be an extended conversation too. One question won’t necessarily cut it. Also, respond to any feedback you receive, both positive and negative. If a customer gets a response when they provide an opinion, they’re far more likely to be left with a positive impression, especially if any problem they have is sorted quickly.


7. Have a Nose For What’s Hot and What’s Not

Social media and the internet in general are very fickle places to conduct business. New websites pop up daily and fall by the wayside just as quick. The strongest social media site can quickly become a fading fad. Having a nose for which trends are going to prove fruitful is one of the key skills honed by any great social media marketer.

While Facebook and Twitter currently rule the roost, the emergence of the likes of Pinterest, Vine and Instagram could see a change in the social media hierarchy. That means you need to get in at the ground level ahead of time. Of course, they could also turn out to be duds. Hedging your bets might not be a bad idea then.

Being able to differentiate between what’s hot and what’s not stretches beyond just the sites you use. A great social media marketer can sense which type of content is going to be hot, or which to avoid. Shared pictures might be a hit this week but next month could see videos take over.


8. Be Patient

Social media can be intolerably slow, at least in terms of results. That means if you want to be a great marketer you need to be patient.

There are no set blueprints for what works in social media. Furthermore, what works for one company or industry might not work for another. That means there’s a tonne of trial work involved so you could spend weeks working on something that proves fruitless in the long term. Likewise, you could chance upon something that proves successful.

Either way, you’ll need to be patient and tolerant if you’re to become a great marketer.


9. Be Honest

Nobody wants to be lied to. That’s a simple truth that spans every aspect of daily life. So make you keep this in mind when you work on your social media campaign.

If you’re honest and sincere online, you’ll create a better relationship with your fans and followers. They’ll be more inclined to have faith in your product / company if they believe what you say.


10. Know When To Step Away From Social Media

While some will be all too happy to tell you social media is not the last word in marketing, this simply isn’t the case and if you really want to achieve success, you need to know when enough is enough.

Businesses that have successfully leveraged social media to improve their bottom line know that you still need to interact with customers away from social media. Telephone calls and emails to customers are still warranted. Traditional media advertising can still be beneficial. A well-appointed company website is still gold.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that creating a social media profile for your business is the only thing you need to do to succeed. It really isn’t.


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