Before I jump into the actual meat and potatoes of this series, I need to devote some real estate to how other people are doing social media marketing. I need to do this because it’s very tempting for people to engage in the same practices.
I can see where they’re coming from. It is easy. It’s like seeing some chump change in front of you and it’s almost irresistible to fight the urge of bending over and picking up that change.
But when you do that, it will throw you off. It will give you a false sense of incentive or reward and don’t be surprised if you end up giving into your worst instincts only to walk away with less than nothing.
This happens all the time because human beings, being the way they are, would always take the path of least resistance. Who can blame them? But by warning you about how this works out, it is my hope that you stay away from this and focus instead on investing your time, effort and energy on the right way to do things.
The Classic Approach to Social Media Marketing
So what is the classic approach to social media marketing? Well, it’s actually quite simple. Whether we’re talking about Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you need to only “follow,” “like” or “friend” people who are interested in your niche.
You connect with all these people, and then after you have followed them, a lot of them would actually follow you back. For example, on Twitter, for every 100 follows, don’t be surprised if maybe 20 to 30 people follow you back.
Now, this is where it gets really bad. Classic social media marketers would then spam their followers. They would just send all sorts of unrelated garbage, and then they would unfollow. Do you see the pattern? Follow, get followed, spam, unfollow. And I wish I could tell you that they do this sporadically, but instead, these self-professed “professional marketers” use all sorts of sophisticated software to do this.
Up until a few years ago, this worked like a charm. This was a great way to get a lot of Twitter traffic. But not anymore. This pattern, instead, can get you banned.
More importantly, whatever traffic you do manage to get using this tactic is not going to be any good. Why? There’s no targeting. You’re not pre-qualifying these people who would follow you.
The only reason why they followed you in the first place is because you followed them first. Where’s the selection there? Where is the targeting there? Now, you can make wild guesses, but ultimately, it’s a volume game and it leads nowhere. The return on effort is not there.
I’m not saying that you can’t make any sales doing this technique. I’m not claiming that. But what I am saying is that whatever rewards you get are not offset by the wasted time, effort and energy as well as opportunity costs involved. You’re better off using a quality-based approach.
Audiences are Looking for Quality
The bottom line to Social Media Marketing Revolution is to use quality content. Your content will speak for you. Your content will do the pre-sales job regarding your brand.
In other words, your content is your representative. It speaks to the values you want your brand to be associated with.
The Sad Reality
Even if the “follow, get followed, spam, and unfollow” technique still works for some people, the rules have changed. Social media platforms will reward or punish you based on engagement. If you want an extreme example of this, just look at Facebook. Facebook used to be a traffic goldmine. Not anymore.
You need a really high level of engagement to preserve your reach on Facebook. If you get normal levels of engagement, good luck. That’s how bad things are, and that’s why I need to take this time to spell out why this “classic social media marketing” no longer works.
Other Failed Methods
I would be remiss in my duty to educate you on failed social media marketing strategies if I don’t also mention other failed techniques. First, hashtag hunting no longer works. This technique involves marketers finding hashtags that are trending. They basically would publish niche-specific content, but use unrelated or irrelevant hashtags and pair them with their content.
They do this because they want to “hitch a ride” on the upward trend of those hashtags. They know people are searching for those hashtags. They know that these hashtag trends are hot, so they want to poach as many eyeballs as possible.
Unfortunately, the traffic that you get is not going to be any good. People are looking for specific types of information, and when they see that your content is so obviously unrelated, they’re not going to click through. You might even get reported.
Another failed method you should stay away from is influencer spamming. There are many influencers in almost all niches. If you want to see this in action, go to Facebook or Twitter. There are many specialized pages and specialized Twitter accounts.
Now, constantly mentioning those influencers on your content is not going to help if your content doesn’t really add any value. There has to be a reason why you are engaging with these influencers. And drawing their attention is not enough. Getting them to look at your content because you think your content is hot is a lousy idea.
Instead, you should focus your engagement tagging based on what they did. For example, if an influencer was talking about recent trends in athletic shoes, then that person would be fair game for an article I post regarding the latest trends in athletic shoes and what they mean in terms of the bottom line of large footwear apparel companies.
That influencer would be directly interested in what I have to say because I am sharing content that is not only high quality, but is directly related to stuff he or she is already talking about. Do you see the specificity here? Do you see the direct link? Now, compare this with an influencer who talks only about forex and I tag that influencer when I’m talking about bitcoin.
That person is going to be annoyed. Do you see the difference? Finally, automated publishing with no outreach is not going to work. Basically, what you’re doing is you’re throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping something sticks. If you’re just publishing content on an automated basis on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other platforms, it’s anybody’s guess whether people would actually engage.
You have to do some outreach. You have to draw eyeballs to your content. You have to find existing pools of highly qualified audiences and get your social media account in front of their eyeballs.
Use your very best content. If you do this right, your automated publishing on social media will be greatly rewarded. Use a shotgun approach and you’re probably going to get the same results as other failed social media marketers.
DO IT RIGHT!
I’m going to give you an overview of the 10 Steps I’m going to share with you in the next series. To be frank, these tips derived from many failed experiments.
Believe me, if you’ve been exposed to some type of “hot” or “ground breaking” social media marketing technique or strategy, I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I know what works and I know what doesn’t. I also understand that people have different skill levels, time horizons, and project resources. I understand the limitations. I understand most people’s concerns regarding social media marketing. Accordingly, I’ve come up with a 10-Step Program that appeals to most social media marketers, regardless of how small or how big their budget is, and regardless of their skill levels.
If you’re looking for a truly effective social media marketing game plan that you can set up to pretty much work on autopilot, this is it. Please understand that these steps that I’m going to lay out are exactly that. Steps. You need to follow them. You can’t skip a step. You can’t assume that since I mentioned certain keywords or I’m talking about certain themes and topics that you have mastered this already.
I need you to look at all this information with an open mind and pretend you are learning social media marketing all over again. If you don’t have that mindset and you are all too eager to skip steps, don’t be surprised if the plan that I’m teaching you will not work for you. How can it? You zipped through it. You rushed. You skipped through certain key parts.
You need to be patient with this program by going through each step. Don’t go to the next step until you’ve mastered the step you’re on. I know you’re busy, I know you don’t have the time, but you need to do this right. Otherwise, you only have yourself to blame if things don’t work out.
The 10 Steps of Social Media Marketing (SMM)
- Niche research and targeting
- Content curation
- Reverse engineer your competition’s top content
- Create fine-tuned payload content
- Market your mailing list right
- Unlock the power of repurposed multi-platform content
- Automate content sharing
- Scale up your targeting
- Sell to your list differently
- Reinvest your profits the right way
Those are the 10 Steps. I know they sound pretty simple. They definitely appear pretty straightforward, but the devil, as always, is in the details.