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Top 5 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Pros

So the holiday season is over, and if you are like me, you are probably wondering how to get your web presence noticed a lot more for the new year. Social media can be one of the easiest ways to do this. I know, you have probably heard that a million times, but what does it actually mean? If you are looking to improve your social media marketing and gain social trust factors within your business niche, it does not have to be a time consuming ordeal. In this post, you'll discover social media strategies the pros use (and some that are used here) to boost their social media marketing. Enjoy!

#1 Research Popular Content From Your Competition

One of the simplest ways to save yourself time when trying to gain an audience, is to see what a particular audience is already becoming engaged in. If a type of content is already popular with your competitors and colleagues, it is logical and reasonable that it will be popular with your audience. Keep in mind, this is not about copying or stealing content, but rather about creating content around a similar subject matter, with a different viewpoint.

The great news is, there are many different free tools that can help you see what is popular with a particular audience. SEMRush allows you to see what keywords bring your competition the most traffic, so you know what keywords you need to target. Wordstream is another great tool, that allows you to dynamically analyze and manage keywords and queries in real time based on traffic and conversions.

To give you another perspective on how to use competitors content, Jeff Bullas wrote a very popular article about 7 Marketing Trends You Shouldn't Ignore. After looking at what was said, I found there were areas that I could provide additional info or another outlook, and published my own article on the subject. Providing something more does not have to be about copying the original info, but more about providing your own views on what was said to provide additional value.

#2 Limit the Amount of Social Platforms You Use

You have probably heard the phrase, "Jack of all trades, master at none." By using a large variety of social platforms, it can be very easy to only use the features that are on the surface of each one, without really delving into the advanced marketing techniques that each offers. I have often seen a business set up a Google Plus account, only to get the benefit of rich snippet authorship (the image that shows up next to your link in Google search results), and not use any of the advanced sharing features to promote the content on their site.

Trying to be a master at all social media platforms can be VERY time consuming, and you may be wasting your efforts on platforms that your audience doesn't use. With limited development time available, you should focus your attention on the social platforms that you KNOW your audience is hanging out on. - John Lee Dumas

To find out where your target audience spends their time, join an online group within those platforms that specifically focus on your niche or industry. If you find members that are active and engage on the topics you want to focus on, there is a very good chance a presence on that platform can greatly benefit your business. Once you find your audience, it's then up to you to engage them.

#3 Grow Your Audience By Giving Away information

Forrester Research found that well over 90% of purchasing decisions begin by going online. Having relevant and quality content greet your visitors when they arrive allows your potential client base to easily see the services/products you offer.

There is a great amount of fear and debate over people not wanting to give away their best content for free. Most are concerned that it may prevent people from taking the next step, and contacting them for service or sales. I completely understand the fear and this thought process, but the idea is completely reasonable. Let me explain why.

When people see the wealth of information you offer, and the high quality of your content, it will make them feel more confident in hiring you for your services. Having great content that actually solves problems for people can position you as an expert in your field, and increase the trust factor of your business before you even ship a product, or schedule the appointment. This can also have a positive effect by helping your site gain Google PageRank by having more people share your content, and create links to your site.

When creating your content, you will want to think about the problems your clients may have, and the ideal way to solve them. This can be achieved and marketed through blog posts, articles, newsfeeds, PR releases (when done correctly), webinars, and videos. Additional benefits include people sharing your content with others, which not only cuts down on the manual labor required by you, but also allows you to reach a much larger audience.

Once your content is shared enough, your reputation as a trusted authority in your field and expert on a certain subject matter will increase. By adding additional content on your website, this will also create additional SEO benefits through relevant, fresh content being shown to the search engines. - Melonie Dodaro of Top Dog Social Media

#4 Know Where Your Customers Spend Their Time

Studies show that internet users spend an average of 16% to 25% of their online time browsing social networks. ComScore did a study on the Digital Future in Focus, and things to look for in social media in the years ahead. This report showed that 90% of all internet users visited a social media networking site in December 2011. The report also reveals that they found 1 out of every 6 online minutes was spent on a social network, which was up over 10% from 2010.

Nielson also did a similar report regarding the State of Social Media, that showed that interent users spend 21.3% of their time on a social media platform, and less time being spent on portal sites like Yahoo, or MSN. You can find out where your competition is getting most of their social traffic by using these free social media tools. - Phil Mershon Social Media Examiner

So what do all those numbers mean? Well, they mean that people spend a great deal of time online, and that when online, a high percentage of that time is spent on a social platform capable of sharing information. Having your information posted in front of where your audience spends their thier time can be a simple way to gain authority in your sector, and get your brand noticed.

#5 Change The Way You Think Of Social Media Sites

The easiest way to change the way you think of social sites, is to think of social media as a platform for free publicity, and a place for distributing your content. The content you create on your site or blog, must discover any problems your consumer may have, and then address those concerns with quality information at the introductory level. The content that is created, must attract a client or ideal prospect, and promote a conversion. No amount of traffic driven to your site by social media means anything, unless a portion of that traffic is converted into a client.

People do not want to be pitched lame sales-driven messages, and have advertisements thrown in their face. They do however, seek out and share content. If that content is fine tuned to your specific audience, and delivers a valuable message time and time again, you will find that this simple approach can work for you night and day. - Brian Clark of Copyblogger

The reason this approach works so well, is that not only do people like to find great information and content, they like to share it as well. By posting your information on social platforms, you are placing it in front of millions of potential people, and giving them an easy outlet in which to share it. This creates the "word-of-mouth" effect so coveted by marketers and businesses.


Posted By David Kley - December 30th, 2013
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