5 Priorities Every Social Media Program Should Have

I want to start this post with a little bit of clarity by defining the term “Priority”. Webster’s say’s it is something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives. One thing I have learned in life is that no matter what comes out of your mouth, your actions will always follow your true priorities. You can say this or that are a priority, but if your actions show something else, you have a problem.

social media prioritiesOne reason that many newcomers to social media marketing lack priorities is not because of laziness or lack of desire, it is simply lack of knowledge – the understanding of what tasks actually need to have priority in their day.

Often times businesses struggle with not only understanding all the in’s and out’s of social media marketing, but more importantly where they should prioritize their time and efforts. This often results in new social media marketers over pitching what they do, or worse, giving up and abandoning their social media efforts. Let’s avoid both by listing the top five priorities your social media marketing efforts should focus on each day.

These are in no particular order of importance, however all of them should be given priority and attention daily.

1) Value – Provide value to your target audience.

Your daily focus should be to deliver selfless value to your target market. How can your social media marketing provide value to your audience? Answer that question without regard to what you do, what you sell, or the industry you are in. Answer and execute that question correctly and you will see huge results!

2) Content – Have enough content and the RIGHT content.

Think of social media as a freeway. All of the cars on the freeway are content, posts and articles. You have to have enough content on the road everyday that is relevant, valuable and interesting to your target audience. You need to make sure that whenever one of your fans, friends or followers step up to the side of the freeway throughout the day, they see one of your cars go by.

3) Be Human – People build relationships with other People.

A big mistake a lot of new social media marketers make is trying to mimic the big brands. For the most part, big brands SUCK at social media. They do not do it right and for many, they don’t have to. They have spent billions on branding and marketing well ahead of the social media boom, therefore it is just another channel. Everyone else needs to do it right if they want results!

You have to humanize your social media accounts. Most people connect and build relationships with other people. Can you really have a relationship with a logo of a company you don’t even know? Of course not. Be human and approachable.

4) Respond/Engage - Social media marketing is social.

You must make it a priority to respond to mentions, shares and comments immediately. When someone shares a post or mentions you in social media, they are available and active at that moment. You need to respond quickly in order to foster a conversation that leads to relationship. Waiting for once a day or an hour later is just too late. They have moved on, logged out or even lost interest. If you aren’t utilizing mobile apps to ensure you can consistently do this, it is not a priority to you.

You also need to have a priority of commenting, sharing and mentioning your target audience frequently. Relationships are two ways. Seek opportunity to benefit your prospects by sharing their content, engaging them in conversation or simply commenting on something they post.

5) Community – Build one.

Your social media marketing must have a priority focused on building a loyal community. That community must be large enough to be effective. Find your target audience and follow/friend them. Build it and they will come does not work in social media.

As you can see, social media is highly involved. Understanding the priorities you need to have on a daily basis is the difference between being IN social media and having an effective social media marketing program for your business.

What is your biggest priority in social media? Please leave a comment below!
 

How to Build Powerful Social Media Connections

Have you ever wondered how some people have so much influence online? Or maybe you’re just wondering how you can get influencers to share your social media campaign? You need to work on your social media connections.

social media connectionsFor those of you who are new to social media, you might not fully understand the power of a social media connection. When I say “connection”, I don’t mean a simple fan or follower – I mean a relationship that has been nurtured from hours of conversation both online and offline. Having 2,000 followers on Twitter is one thing, but how much time have you actually taken to get to know your followers better?

A lot of us tend to fall into routine engagement in the social space. I have to admit, I tend to fall into routine engagement myself from time to time when I’m really busy. What I mean about routine engagement is this: Someone tweets out your link, so you thank him/her. In return, you tweet out that person’s link, so they thank you. And this cycle keeps going on and on.

Can you see how this relationship will take you nowhere? Engagement is happening, but there’s no real conversation taking part. So how can you change this routine engagement into something more? Here are a few tips that could help you turn a simple follower into a real, powerful connection:

Ask questions

In addition to thanking people for sharing your content, ask them questions. Ask how their day is going. Ask what they thought about your article (this is also a good way to force people to ACTUALLY read your content). Ask them something that is related to their twitter bio. People like to be asked questions.

Comment on people’s content

After you’re done sharing someone else’s content, bring up a point that you liked (or didn’t like) about the article. It’s a good way to lead into questions and conversation. People will appreciate the honesty, and it will show them that you actually read their content!

Take the conversation outside of Social Media

I would say the best way to strengthen a social media connection is to take the conversation outside of social media – either on email, Skype/phone, or face-to-face. If you take this step, your connection suddenly becomes real. It’s a lot easier to find out information about each other when you’re not limited to 140 characters.

Don’t abandon the relationship

Once your relationship has built up to a point that you both are willing to help each other out, make sure you don’t stop nurturing that relationship. Once you’ve asked the person for a favour, don’t abandon the relationship. That person will suddenly feel used. If you ever try to re-kindle the relationship at some further point, they’ll be very reluctant to work with you again. Make sure you keep in touch!

 

If you’re wondering how to get influencers involved in your campaigns, how to leverage followers to help you get a job, or even to convert one of your fans into a customer, practice this advice. Some of the people that have the most influence over their networks make sure they nurture follower relationships. Building relationships through social media can prove to be very useful and valuable, as long as you approach it in the right way. SteamFeed.com was born because of some of the relationships DJ and I had nurtured through our social networks. Anyone can do it, it just needs time. Don’t rush it.

What advice would you give to someone trying to build their social media connections? Please leave a comment below.

We Need To Talk About Our Relationship

Engagement is a big buzzword in social media right now. It is a very important part of using social media. Many people, myself included, have written about engagement. This post is not about engagement. This post is about relationships.

The Step Beyond Engagement

The question is, how do you go about forming those relationships? Relationship building is not just strategy alone, it is a combination of strategy along with engagement, time, effort, personality and serendipity. Building relationships online is just like how you build relationships in the offline space. Let’s start with the, admittedly cliché reference …but it works

social media relationship cocktail partyThe Cocktail Party

You do not expect to walk into a cocktail party and expect to come out with a new “bestie”, but walking in is the first step to becoming introduced to new people. Think of social media as a giant party organized into rooms. You can choose to go into the Twitter room, Facebook room, Google+ room, and so on. Each “room” can be divided into smaller groups to focus on a different interest.

Find Your Group

Get to know people in your chosen room who have similar interests to you and what you do, and start by connecting with them. Once you start building these communities, to get to know people by using that good old Magic E word, engagement. Get involved in Twitter chats, Facebook groups and even offline events with people from your social media “room”.  The more you connect with this group of people and grow and evolve you’ll find natural relationships growing with a few people. The conversations get more comfortable and go beyond the normal social media small talk.

It’s Who You Know

A great way to grow communities and nurture your relationships is to introduce people, but not just a bulk mention or tag. A Follow Friday mention on Twitter is not relationship building. It is however, a way to introduce people to others. But tell people why. Bring people into a conversation you are having that you think they would be a great contribution to. Invite a new social media acquaintance to  an offline event you think they would enjoy. Introduce two people you think should meet, in whatever channel you choose.

Make New Friends

Some of the people I am closest to across the social channels are people who have been introduced to me by another person I have a great relationship with online. We get to know each others’ personalities, likes and quirks when we form those relationships.  When you are at that social party, find those two friends that both share an interest in a charitable cause,  or Dr Who, or funny hashtags – whatever that thing is that you can identify will bring them together.

Help Me, Help You

These relationships that form across social media, as with offline relationships, will form a natural want and need to help one another. I have friends who I send job posts to, friends who I always share what they post, and people whose charities and personal endeavors I help support, not because I expect them to do the same for me (however that does happen) I do those things because it helps out my friends.

These people in your inner circle become your advocates and allies, and you never know where that will take you.

How do you grow relationships across social channels? What else would you add to my list? Please leave a comment below!