Social media, can be defined as “interactive platforms which individuals and communities create and share user-generated content”. It is a form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. It primarily covers activities involving social sharing of content, videos, and images for marketing purposes. Some say that social media is a very powerful thing, but like any powerful thing it can wreak havoc if misused or misdirected.Social media can be confusing and overwhelming. At the same time, there is a lot of pressure for people to embrace social media and engage with donors, volunteers, and supporters using tools like Facebook, Google +, and Twitter. We are all aware that social media is one of the best practices nowadays not only in promoting your own interest but also in getting feedback or interaction from people. This is also considered as the fastest and easiest way of interaction. However, there are some things that we need to consider in creating our image on World Wide Web.
Here are the 5 simple commandments that every social media fanatic should consider:
Commandment #1: Honesty is the best policy.
In order to achieve this goal, first you have to know your values and have a vision – otherwise you will get lost and feel more frustration than prior to joining. It can be very time consuming also so you need patience and be persistent.
If you think that you can fool your audience, they will feel it sooner or later and leave. There are no workarounds and you have to know yourself and prepare well before starting to interact with people. Hire a coach and push your own limits to see where your weaknesses and strengths are. You might be challenged and it’s better to have done it alone in a secure environment with a coach and not in a public space. No one likes to be fooled or be misled, so don’t bother doing it in the first place. The feeling is very much rewarding if you’re getting so many interactions from your honest post.
Commandment #2: Vaguebooking: Don’t do that!
Going back early 2000, email blasting was very rampant. Merchants and business individuals were trying to catch their audiences’ attention by sending bulk marketing emails. It’s a nice marketing tactic but majority of recipients find it annoying and disturbing. So if you don’t want to have a place in your prospects’ spam folders, internalize your content. Think and think and think…If you have very creative content on your webpage, your audience will be the ones to market it for you.
There’s a big world in the internet, why not maximize it and try to find promotional techniques or practices from other companies to get users to interact with you. Copying someone’s promotional strategy is never bad, but try doing it your own way. Giving trials or free services are just part of those effective marketing tactics nowadays. Try to identify the needs of your audience. Or give a simple reward to those people who “Like” your Facebook page or to those who follow you on twitter. Remember, word of mouth advertising is still the best form of marketing or promotion. So, pamper your audience with generosity and let them spread the good news to others.
Commandment #3: Never underestimate the Power of the Internet!
We can find everything that we’re looking for over the internet but we also can’t deny the fact that the internet is never a safe place to deal with. Implement strategies to secure your products while you’re promoting it, against as the internet is rife with piracy, theft and illegal sharing. If you’ve feel that your product has been threatened by the impartiality of the internet, then find an alternative approach.
In some cases, the vulnerability of internet is of great advantage. The music industry is one of the best examples that manifested a great benefit in using the worldwide web. Labels and musicians are able to limit the money spent on marketing by distributing music free as promotional tools. Free music can be used to find new fans and as leverage for followers on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The Internet is a communications medium, and actually functions more like a radio station than a large store.
See where you can adapt your business to fit to this new model. Is there a way you can make money by offering a free service? Think about it: Facebook, Yahoo, Google, YouTube, and Pandora are considered as the biggest companies online offering FREE SERVICE.
Commandment #4: Do not rely your answers to Social Media
One thing that any social media web community needs is members. Members are the commodity of social media websites. The more members, the more value–not just to the site owners, but to the community itself. Also, without enough people a community will not be self-correcting. That is why social media is considered as the great and only tool for business. It is widely used in advertising someone’s business and bringing their products closer to their audience. But it works best in concert with other efforts. Consumers will get tired of your products and services if you simply keep promoting the same ones. Think of something unique every now and then. Be on the lookout for new strategies that will keep your fire burning. It’s useful to monitor overall trends. Never wait for an emergency to nail down your social media sites.
Commandment #5: Always focus on what’s best for you, just study the newbies
Nothing is constant in the world of technology. New trends will be discovered as new practices are being developed. But it works differently on social media. Your success on social media depends on your effective practices. It doesn’t mean that there’s no room for new discoveries. We can adapt the new sensation but never forget the ones that work best for your business.
The use of social media tools is a powerful channel to reach target audiences with strategic, effective and user-centric interventions. Without well-produced, engaging content with a clear call to action, any and all tactics you employ will most likely fail. This tried-and-true trio of power is just as important in social media as it is anywhere else. Make sure your content is relevant and be clear about what you want your audience to do after consuming your content or engaging with your brand.
At the end of the day, if you are not providing some sort of value to your prospects and customers, you are not doing your job. Here is an easy test: put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and ask if you find what you are offering of any value – from their perspective. If not, kill it and start over. Trial and error is the key.