Like it or not, the fact of the matter is that social media is here to stay. It’s a fact of life on the Internet and those who understand how to use social media to their advantage are the most likely to make some real money online.
The problem is, most of us haven’t got a clue what it takes to make a killer social media presence and so we end up doing it wrong, which in turn leads us to decide that social media is a waste of time. Here are ten tips to help you get over that hump and make your social media presence truly rock.
1. Remember — It’s Social
The single biggest mistake that I see people making over and over again is thinking that social media can be automated. By its very definition, social media is not something that can be automated. Yes, you can automatically post your content to various social media sites and that can be very helpful.
However, if you don’t go and interact with the people who read your content, then you will never be able to actually make your social media presence into a killer presence. Bottom line — go and talk to your customers. They’re real people, not bots and they want to hear what you have to say. When you do that, you’ll find that they’re much more likely to buy from you.
2. Don’t Stick to Your Own Yard
Another massive mistake that most people make with social media is that they try and stick exclusively to their own walled garden. Heaven forbid that they should actually go out there and find other people’s blogs, other people’s Facebook pages or other people’s tweets to comment on. But that’s really what being on social media is all about — it’s about being social, like I said above.
So seek out lots of other tweeters and Facebookers and Pinterest users who are interested in what you are interested and talk to them. Comment on their tweets, check out their pictures and actually make them aware that you exist. Believe it or not, they are real people too.
3. Don’t Use Spam Bots
I honestly can say that I do not understand what people think they’re accomplishing by using bots to follow and unfollow people on Twitter and then auto spam their affiliate links. Ultimately, what you end up with in these cases is a situation where bots are spamming other bots with affiliate links and nobody is making an sales, but they have 25,658 bots following them so they think they’re successful.
Trust me — anyone who will actually make a purchase from you on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media sites is highly unlikely to follow you or even pay attention to you when all you ever do is post affiliate links for whatever product you want to shovel at them. Even Pinterest users are beginning to ignore the bots and Pinterest is itself beginning to crack down on them. So don’t waste anyone’s time because ultimately, you’ll get no sales and a lot of useless followers.
There are two things that make things go viral online. Either people are shocked and moved to share some piece of information with their friends or they are amused and moved to share some piece of information with their friends.
Now I’m going to assume that you don’t have the ability to come up with some shocking, jaw dropping news that people would want to share with their friends by retweeting it constantly (how many times is President Obama likely to have an open mic goof like he did a few weeks ago?). So your next best bet is to try to be really funny.
The problem is that lots of people are trying to be funny and get people’s attention, so you need to ensure that you do what you can to make sure that what you do really is funny and unexpected.
5. Consider Working with a Pro
I know — nobody wants to spend any money. I keep seeing that from people who think they ought to be able to buy themselves a whole custom written eBook for fifty bucks. The thing is, those who understand what it takes to make money also know that you need to spend money to make money.
Look for a professional copywriter and you could easily spend $10,000 or more for a single sales letter. Why? Because these people know how to bring the bucks in and they know to ensure that their stuff will make many times that amount of money. People who buy articles for $100 or more do so because they know the article will be worth many times that amount of money to them when they use it correctly.
The same thing is true in social media — the top pros know how to ensure that people click your links and buy your products. So you can either pay peanuts to some third world outsourcer, or you can bite the bullet and pay real money to someone who really knows what they’re doing.
If you are serious about creating a killer social media presence, either take the time to learn what the pros already know, or pay the price they ask for — you’ll ultimately make more than you spend by doing so.
6. Don’t Ignore the Visuals
I’m currently working with a friend to craft a video for my new website building business and he keeps reminding me that my script needs to take into account the visuals. It’s not enough for me to simply speak to the camera. If I want my video to go viral, then I need the extra little props which keep people interested and excited.
The same thing is true about your social media presence. While Twitter is strictly a text service, Facebook lets you post photos and videos as does Pinterest and most other social media sites. So why on earth are you only adding text to your social media presence? Remember the visuals! Let people see all kinds of things which keep them interested and they’ll keep coming back to you.
One of the hardest things that most people find when they try to create a social media presence is that they need to constantly keep adding stuff to their various social media accounts. Unfortunately, that’s the name of the game. You can’t seriously expect to put it up once and forget it. This isn’t 1995 and websites don’t remain static and get lots of visitors so why would you think your social media presence could remain static?
Go out there and make sure that your social media is constantly updated with new and rich content which gets people excited about whatever it is that you want to offer for sale. Offer them something useful, or funny or interesting and they’ll keep coming back. If you can’t do it yourself, consider hiring an outsourcer and giving very specific instructions to help them do the job. Don’t just assume they’ll know what to do.
8. Include Games and Apps
These days, when every guy and his brother has a Facebook page, the name of the game is offering something truly unique. So consider including things like games and apps in your website and offering them as additional features which will keep people coming back to your site.
Don’t know how to make ‘em? No problem — you can hire professionals at places like Elance or oDesk and they’ll do the job for you for a fairly minimal amount of money. Or you can try one of the many tools which are available to help you build games and apps on your own.
9. Have a Unique Personality
Back to my friend working with me on my video. He told me that the best way to make my video a success was to have a specific personality which is recognizable. It doesn’t have to be who you really are, but it should be something memorable. For example, when I say Tracy Jordan, you know who I’m talking about because the character on 30 Rock has a very distinct personality as portrayed by Tracy Morgan.
Your personality doesn’t have to be quite that over-the-top, but it should be uniquely you. If you are simply going to blend into the scenery, you’ll never get noticed and you’ll never be able to create that killer media presence that you wanted to create.
10. Remember that You are a Person, Not a Corporation
Finally, remember that people buy from other people, especially on social media sites. They’re not interested in being sold to by some guy who is obviously interested only in how much money they can make from them. They want to know that you’ll be there personally to stand behind your product and help them to deal with any problems they have. So be a real person and be helpful and you’ll find that people will also want to buy from you.