5 Real Ways To Leverage Social Media -- 'Likes' Are Not Profit

May 7 2014, 3:46pm CDT | by

Facebook likes!  Twitter followers!  Instagram pins!

The marketing buzzwords of the past few years have been all about social media.  If you haven’t picked up on the craze by now, you’ve been living under a rock.  A rock with no wi-fi.

Everyone is scrambling to get on the social media bandwagon.  Huge corporations and small mom & pop outfits now have Facebook profiles; the easiest way to get your lost luggage back from the airline is via twitter.  It’s a mad rush to find and exploit the most profitable social media platforms.

And like most gold rushes, the people who are really going to get rich are the ones selling pickaxes and bacon.  Sure, a few will strike the mother lode, but the real winners here are the platforms themselves (along with the people who market to the platforms for all of those corporations and small businesses).

I’m not saying that social media is worthless.  Far from it!  But what I’m really saying is that the heart of marketing will always remain the same, no matter what the mechanism is.  It’s still all about connection.

These are the 5 simple guidelines I use to keep myself on track:

  •  Speak to the person, not the machine

Marketing is about connecting with the people who are, or will become, your customers.  This hasn’t changed since the first sales letter was written in cuneiform on a clay tablet in Babylon.

Because behind each of those profiles, handles, and screen names is a real, live human being with the same wants, needs, passions, and desires as any human from 10, 20, or 100 years ago.  Your job is to connect with them, show them that they can trust you, and then make their life better in a way that results in profit for your company.  If you’re not doing that, you’re wasting your time.

  •  Listen as much as you speak

The great strength of social media is in its interactivity.  Unlike TV ads, print media, email campaigns, and landing pages, on social media your customer has the chance to talk back to you.  Use this to your advantage—if someone tweets a question to you, tweet back!

The last thing people want is another robotic social media steamroller that spits out scientifically designed cat memes and fill-in-the-blank surveys.  Be flexible and show your audience that you’re listening.

  •  Give first

If the first thing you post to your twitter account is a link to your sales page, customers will block you faster than you can say “conversion.”  Your primary sales efforts probably shouldn’t happen via social media—it’s primarily a trust-building platform.  If you do decide to sell, make sure no more than 10% of your content is promotional.

  •  Pick the right platform

Where do your customers live online?  Are they fashionistas posting religiously to Instagram?  Are they indie musicians obsessed with SoundCloud?  Or are they foodies with a voracious, vivacious Facebook group?  Don’t spread yourself thin trying to cover all the bases; focus your efforts where your customers are.

  •  Limit your time

 This one is the most important.  It’s easy to fall down the social media rabbit hole and wake up six hours later.  Don’t go there—block out an hour each day for social media, and leave it at that.  If your internet work is getting in the way of your real-world work, it’s time to step back and re-examine.

Social media can be a powerful platform when you build and maintain it well.  Remember, likes are not profits.  Focus on building relationships and watch your profits grow.

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Global entrepreneurship summit boost for SMEs
Marrakech, Nov 22 (IANS) Nine agreements were signed between the Moroccan General Confederation of Enterprises (CGEM) and several small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as between major Moroccan banks and start-ups at the 5th Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2014) held in Morocco.
 
 
NASA's flying saucer among 'Best of What's New'
Washington, Nov 22 (IANS) NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), a spacecraft that aims to facilitate the safe landing of future Mars missions, has earned a place in the the Popular Science magazine's "Best Of What's New" list.
 
 
Indian helping to light up Gambia (Diaspora Feature)
Banjul (Gambia), Nov 22 (IANS) Like many Indians who are proving to be philanthropists around Africa, Ram Mohan has set up a social business called Comafrique Intelizon Initiative and has embarked on the replacement of candles in villages in the Gambia with solar lights from India.
 
 
Leopards in human areas not conflict animals: Study
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Leopards in human areas are not always "stray" or "conflict" animals but residents with strategies to thrive in human dominated areas, says the first GPS-based study of leopards in India.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Amazon Black Friday: Samsung UN32H5203 Black Friday TV Deal is Best Seller on Amazon
Amazon begun to take pre-orders on 15 Samsung TV Black Friday 2014 TV deals. All deals are the at the lowest advertised prices in Black Friday ads. All Samsung Black Friday deals seem to be controlled by Samsung. Amazon...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Evangeline Lilly appreciated new Hobbit role
Evangeline Lilly found it ''liberating'' playing a new character in 'The Hobbit' movies. The former 'Lost' actress joined the cast as Tauriel in second movie 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' and though she was...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Indian smuggler shot by Nepal police
Kathmandu, Nov 22 (IANS) Nepal Police shot dead an Indian national along the Nepal-India border while he was smuggling weapons from India. The incident took place Saturday afternoon in Bishnupura village of Rupandhei...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Battle with IS militants continues in Iraq
Baghdad, Nov 22 (IANS) Iraqi security forces launched a major offensive against Islamic State (IS) militants in the western province of Anbar Saturday, even as fighting continued in the province of Salahudin, a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Global entrepreneurship summit boost for SMEs
Marrakech, Nov 22 (IANS) Nine agreements were signed between the Moroccan General Confederation of Enterprises (CGEM) and several small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as well as between major Moroccan banks and start-...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Five killed in Indonesia landslides
Jakarta, Nov 22 (IANS) At least five people were killed and many houses damaged in landslides in Indonesia's North Sumatra Saturday, an official said here. Heavy downpour caused the landslides in Sibio Bio village of...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Al-Shabaab claims responsibility for Kenya bus attack
Nairobi, Nov 22 (IANS) Somalia-based militant group Al-Shabaab Saturday claimed responsibility for the killing of 28 bus passengers in Kenya. Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said the dawn attack on the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Force India cars to start 13th, 14th at Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, Nov 22 (IANS) Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg will start 13th and 14th at the season ending Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be held at the Yas Marina Circuit here Sunday. In Saturday'...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Chandhok finishes 6th in Putrajaya ePrix
Putrajaya (Malaysia), Nov 22 (IANS) India's Karun Chandhok, driving for Mahindra Racing, eventually finished sixth to bring home eight points despite racing for a podium spot for most of the Formula E Putrajaya ePrix...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Australia replace Sandhu with Conway in team facing India
Melbourne, Nov 22 (IANS) New South Wales (NSW) fast bowler Harry Conway replaced bowler Gurinder Sandhu in the CA XI squad in the first tour match against India as the Indian-origin player was selected for the NSW...
Read more on Sport Balla