Social media marketing is much like baseball. While you are eager to score a home run, don’t stop running the singles. Your Facebook page and your Twitter handle are not going to get a million followers overnight unless you have the wicked brilliance of Charlie Sheen, so be prepared to build your follower base steadily. Here is how you do it.
- Make an editorial calendar and stick to it religiously. The golden rule of social media marketing is 30-60-10. According to this guideline, 30% of your content should be your own content, 60% curated content and 10% promotional content. Depending on your patience and feedback from your followers, you may choose to alter this proportion. By following this routine, you will slowly build a fan base that will appreciate your content and also share your messages, thereby spreading your brand within your target communities.
- Make friends with influencers. Mention them, retweet them, like them and favorite them. Ask them to write for your blog. Keep them updated (without being intrusive) on how you are progressing. One day they will recognize you as a valuable resource for their followers and hopefully advocate you. This could possibly be your home run!
- Don’t lose opportunities for being shared. Whether it is on your website or your blog, give your audience the opportunity to share your thoughts. Position your “like” and “share” buttons strategically, and be sweet about asking them to share. Simplify the process with tools such as ClickToTweet. Be optimized for sharing (also called social media optimization or SMO) by using appropriate tags on your website.
- Create compelling content. The more original and useful your content is, the better likelihood it has of being shared. Conduct some original research that might be useful to your merchants. Address their most aggravating pain points. Sometimes, be completely creative about it and give them a laugh.
If there is one rule to customer awareness, it is to go where they are.
Clearly outline your target merchants, research the social channels they frequent, and interact with them regularly and selflessly. This will build you a customer base and an influencer network which will help your customer acquisition efforts in the long run. Invest in original content and creative perspectives. Most importantly take your singles while you wait for that home run.