There’s a lot of misconceptions regarding what social media marketing actually is. In fact, when you come across people who call themselves social media marketing consultants or practitioners, chances are very high that they will give you different definitions.

Part of this is due to the fact that there are many different points of emphasis when it comes to social media marketing.

Some people focus on the content, others pay more attention to the network that the content is going to be addressed to, others give more of their focus to social engagement. Naturally, to the lay person, social media marketing is a big question mark.

I understand if you’re confused at this point. In fact, you may be so confused that you try to simplify things in your head and end up focusing on how to get as much traffic for as little effort as possible.

That is precisely how a lot of online entrepreneurs and marketers approach social media marketing. Sadly, that is a one way ticket to failure or disappointment. It’s not just going to work out sooner or later. With any kind of project, you have to have the right definition, otherwise, you are making things harder on yourself.

Depending on the definition you go with, you might have all sorts of expectations, and if these outcomes do not come to pass, your resolve and your motivation levels start to suffer. You have to work with the right definition.

A Winning Definition

With all of the above said, what is social media marketing for our present purposes? Well, since this training uses list marketing as its main vehicle for converting social media reach into cold, hard cash, social media marketing is all about content-based audience relationship building. Let me repeat that, social media marketing is all about content-based audience relationship building.

You need to use content in a strategic way. You need to speak to certain audiences and build a relationship with them. This relationship is not this broad word that makes people feel good, but ultimately doesn’t mean much of anything. Instead, this relationship has a tangible form. And I am, of course,

talking about your mailing list. Once you get people on your mailing list, that’s when the fun begins.

Everything else is just a work up or a preliminary prior to that point. You need to get people on your list. Social media marketing is going to be your primary vehicle to get people to your list. Everything has to revolve around that list. And this must shape, inform and guide your social media actions.

Managing Your Expectations

A content-based audience relationship approach to social media marketing sets different expectations compared to other ways of defining this type of marketing. When you read the typical social media marketing book, the focus in on traffic.

Unfortunately, if that is your main goal, you end up with a “the more the better” mindset and you feel really depressed at the end of the day because the traffic doesn’t come. Even if it does, there’s not going to be enough of it. You have set yourself up to fail.

When you use a content-based audience relationship building approach to social media marketing, your focus is on getting the right content in front of the right eyeballs to build the right levels of trust.

This is a long term game. It is definitely a marathon and not a sprint. Since that is your expectation coming in, you position yourself for long term victory. You’re not going to be the typical failed social media marketer who jumps into the game with both feet only to find out that the traffic simply isn’t there. So what do they do? That’s right, they quit.

Manage your expectations by focusing on the right definition and you will be okay. The worst thing that you can do right now is to sabotage any chance of future success by defining the problem the wrong way and filling your mind with all the wrong expectations.

Social Media Marketing can Build Brands

Now that we’ve defined social media marketing, the next step is to focus on the end result of this content-based audience relationship building approach. If you do everything right, you walk away with a brand. Let me tell you, that is the best asset you will ever have.

Now, in terms of real world traffic, you may get a low to moderate level of traffic. But if you build a solid brand, that traffic is all you need. That is qualified traffic. These are not random people just blindly clicking on links out of curiosity. These are people who are actually interested in whatever it is you are trying to sell. They want to truly learn more.

They want to build a relationship with you because they want to know what you’re about, like what you have to offer, and eventually trust whatever it is you are pushing. These are real people. And this is only possible if you build a solid brand. You have to deliver solid value.

I wish I could tell you that content marketing is enough to do it. I really wish that I can say that, but that is not true. That only explains part of the situation. Sure, you have to deliver content that people truly are interested in, but at the end of the day, when they join your list, they are expecting and deserve value.

That’s how you build a solid brand. When people join your list, they will quickly find out that they did not waste their time because you send high quality updates that actually add value to their lives. Social media marketing can explode the rate at which brands are formed. That’s why a lot of people are ranting and raving about social media marketing, but a lot of them are clueless as to how to build a solid brand. Most of the time, they just stumbled into it.

I’ve let you in on the secret. It’s all about content-based audience relationship building. There are many different parts to that equation, and I’m going to walk you through them in a practical way in the following chapters. In this section, I just want you to wrap your mind around the definition and the expectations that flow from it. This is how we tightly define the project that you are going to embark on.

Anything less, chances are, you’re going to beat yourself up unnecessarily because you just had unrealistic expectations. This is not one of those get rich quick schemes. This is not one of those overnight success stories. This requires real work. This is the real deal. Are you ready for the journey? Great. Let’s go on to the next series.

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