Social sites like Twitter and Facebook have been a hot topic for the last couple of years, with various “How To Market” products showing up on the market. The problem is a lot of the marketers who have tried these sites wind up giving up because they don’t get very good results.
Does this mean marketing on social media is a waste of time? Not exactly. It simply means that you need to approach them effectively.
The reason a lot of marketers aren’t happy with their results is because they approach social media as a way to broadcast their message to a bunch of people at once.
They follow scores of people on Twitter and add everyone they can find as a friend on Facebook. Then they start sending updates with links to their latest blog posts, product offers, affiliate offers and everything else they want those people to click on.
But they never take any time to develop a relationship with those people, so they wind up being just one more blip in a stream of noise that most of their followers never read. And worse, if their followers are doing the same thing it just becomes a vicious circle, with a bunch of people yelling into a vacuum.
The proper way to treat social media is as a long-term relationship builder. Instead of just pumping out one self-serving update after another, take the time to actually interact. Reply to other people’s updates, ask them questions and get to know people a bit.
Share stuff that has value even if it doesn’t benefit you in any way. This is what you would do in the real world, and social media is really no different.
Once those relationships have started to form, your followers will be a lot more likely to click on links that do benefit you, since you’ve already proven that you provide a lot of value in what you share.
Naturally, it’s a given that you should also provide a lot of value in any offers you make to your network of followers. If not, you’re only going to manage to get them to click once or twice before they tune you out.
Spend some time building relationships before you start selling yourself and you’ll find that social media becomes a much more effective marketing tool.