How To Thrive In Social Media Marketing In Spite Of Facebook

Social Media Marketing

There has been widespread panic among Social Media Marketers after the apocalyptic Facebook algorithm change announced on January 11th. Some are putting a good face on it, claiming it’s an opportunity to shine rather than shiver.

Social Media Marketing

But how exactly do you thrive in Social Media marketing in spite of the constant vagaries of Facebook, or Google, for that matter?

First let me reassure you: it is possible.  There was a world before Facebook and there will be long after Facebook is a quaint and distant memory.  People will market what they sell and others will buy. Just as it has been for millennia.  That’s not to say that you don’t need to keep up with what’s happening in social media and digital marketing.  It just means that you have to hedge your bets and not make one platform your main support.  Just like having a single client is a dicey proposition, so is relying on only one way to get in front of your target audience.

Although the vehicles we use to get in front of our customers and prospects can – and should – vary, the principles of good, sustainable marketing haven’t changed.they’ve just become easier to implement.

The key to successful Social Media Marketing is build trust relationships with customers and prospects. No matter which platform you use there are a few basic guidelines:

  • be useful: provide information and resources that position you as a valued advisor to whom your audience will look for reliable guidance
  • be interesting: being boring is the quickest way to become irrelevant
  • be consistent: stay in front of your audience frequently and at consistent intervals. Top of the mind awareness only happens when you are in front of people often enough to be remembered.

Create a comprehensive marketing plan for the year, breaking it into quarters and then into months.  Make use of social media platforms in conjunction with other mediums such as:

  • email
  • email newsletters
  • blogging
  • podcasts

Create an inter-dependency between each of your marketing channels.  In other words, use each channel to drive traffic to your other channels as well as to your main sales funnel.  For instance, your email newsletter should include links to your Facebook Page, Twitter profile, blog, podcasts etc and visa versa.  Important content should be accessible from each of these platforms. As an example: you create an educational ‘how to’ article on your blog. Put links to the article in an email newsletter, Facebook post, Tweet, Instagram and mention it in your podcast.  Your podcast, by the way, could be that same article narrated by you.  This approach not only increases your reach, but also allows your audience to engage with you in the way that suits them best.

The real beauty of social media is that it allows you to speak with your audience as opposed to speaking ‘to’ your audience. It allows you to encourage input from the people who are using your product or who want to use your product.  This gives you valuable feedback and allows you to keep your finger on the pulse of your market so that you can tweak and adjust your offerings.  The difficulty comes in when your social media posts aren’t getting in front of your audience at all.  I’ll discuss this in an upcoming article.

In the meantime, start thinking about considering a more rounded online marketing approach that is less susceptible to the vagaries of the individual platforms.  Spread the risk by using multiple platforms effectively by tailoring your posts to the type of audience that uses that platform.

Of prime importance is building a properly subscribed email list with whom you can communicate on a regular basis.  I’ll discuss how to do this in an upcoming article as well.

Consider using paid advertising.  It’s not what I would have wanted to advocate up until now, but, most of the social media platforms – with Facebook being a prime example – are moving towards pushing businesses to pay for exposure in order to monetize the platform for higher profits. I would warn you, however, to build your online marketing infrastructure solidly before venturing into the world of paid advertising. It’s no good paying for exposure that you cannot benefit from because your infrastructure isn’t geared to capture attention and funnel new interest into a relationship building mechanism.