Building a Positive Brand Online with Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing is one of those funny things where it can have both positive and negative effects on culture and individuals. A medium designed to connect us all can sometimes leave us feeling more disconnected than ever.
Social Media Marketing is a tool, and as such, can be used incorrectly to sometimes create drastic results. Like the ladder not placed properly that fails and falls, or the hammer that is not aimed precisely and hits a finger rather than the intended target.
Social Media Marketing as a tool should be treated with the same respect you would treat any tool in your toolshed to avoid negative consequences.
So how can you utilize Social Media in a positive way to build refreshing, rewarding, and empowering relationships both online and off – especially for your business? Social Media Marketing can be used to highlight and encourage genuine relationships in real life, it should not be used to fabricate and manipulate false relationships as a way to avoid real life.
Here are 10 ways that you can keep Social Media Marketing in the positive zone, and completely avoid the tragic consequences of a tool not used properly.
Social Media Success Tips
1. Social Media Marketing is SOCIAL – keep it that way.
This is pretty obvious, but such a simple concept is often missed by many. Social graces and etiquette apply to Social Media Marketing as they would in real life. A good rule of thumb before you do ANYTHING on social media is: Would I do this in person? Check-in with yourself constantly, and use this simple rule to stay within the normal cultural graces when engaging and ‘socializing’ online. Manners work in real life, they work here too.
2. Be Real
People want to connect with other people. So be REAL. Be yourself, share your passions, share your values share what drives you. Being authentic creates warm and rewarding relationships in real life, so it will also have this effect online.
3. Toss the Toxic
Toxic people exist everywhere, either on or offline. If you encounter someone negative who displays high levels of aggression and targets you online then there is a simple solution – DELETE – Unfollow, block, report. Social Media is under your control, and as with real life, you have the option to walk away from situations that are draining, toxic and unhealthy. Halt the Haters.
4. Don’t whine, complain, or be a toxic person yourself
I’ll say it again – social media is SOCIAL. How many times have you gone to a party and just whined and complained all night about how your cat peed on your couch, or that you can’t stand your boyfriend’s behavior? If you have, I doubt you were the life of the party. Life can be rough, we get it. But keep your venting private, and for close friends or family. Social Media is a VERY public forum. So if you wouldn’t write a speech about your daily ‘disgruntles’ and share them with a crowd, then the same would apply online – keep whining off the very public forum of Social Media Marketing.
5. Do NOT SELL!
This is one of the biggest issues of Social Media today. All businesses need a Social Media Marketing strategy these days, but many don’t realize the damage they do by spamming their followers and always selling, selling, selling. Nobody likes the used car salesman for a reason. It’s tedious, obnoxious, and narcissistically self-focused. You need to sell as a business, I get that. But sell-by building positive relationships, not by forcing your product or service down your follower’s throats.
6. Be a leader
This is especially important if you are utilizing social media marketing for business. Be a positive, empowering, and encouraging voice to your followers. Provide snippets of your wisdom. Share things you have learned. Mentor and guide simply to ‘give back’ without wanting anything in return. This is a beautiful act in real life, it is online as well. Be a good person. This will build your credibility online and provide you with fantastic ‘social proof’ for your services or product. Social Media Marketing as a tactic is primarily to build credibility, so make that your focus rather than forcing it to bring you in lots of leads – you will lose the purpose of this tool if you do.
7. Don’t be lazy
Don’t post just to post. There is no point to it. Have a reason behind every communication you make. Always ask one question before you post – “Why?” Your answer is what your post is about.
8. Be a ‘giver’
Social Media Marketing has the danger of creating narcissistic self-centered people when the focus is only on me, me ME! In the real world, this wouldn’t fly, so it won’t be online either. Give back. Support others, follow others, comment on articles that move you, and like FB posts that interest you. Be someone who listens as well as talks. Social Media can give you a false sense of ‘spotlight’ because you don’t HAVE to listen to anyone. But, you’ll get far more out of it if you do and people will want to hear what you say if you listen to them. Engage with others, don’t dictate.
9. Have FUN!
A little rule I like to bring into ALL my social media accounts either for my own business or with clients’ campaigns. Have FUN! For Pete sake! Enjoy the interaction and engagement, be creative, be bold and be innovative. Stand out from the crowd by being that sparkling shiny thing that just draws attention in. Be attractive, not reactive.
10. Make it your own
Follow some simple guidelines on etiquette and positive usage – but make social media your own. This is YOUR story, tell it. Don’t compare yourself to others, don’t try to copy or emulate. Just be who you are.
Follow these basic rules and you will find social media will be a positive experience for you. Always check in with yourself. If you begin to feel drained, disconnected, and obsessively checking your accounts then take some time off. In real life we aren’t in party mode 24/7 – so the same applies to social media. Take a Break. What you put into it, is what you will get out of it. So be positive, healthy, and balanced, and social media will mirror that right back to you.
If you want to create a powerful online community, check out this article Creating, Building And Managing a Successful Online Community For Business for further tips.
And, when you are ready, getting a professional to help you craft a powerful Social Media Marketing Strategy that is in alignment with your business goals, your brand, and your vision can elevate your business to the next level. Connect with us today if you’d like to explore further with our skilled experts.