Since 1997 when the first ever recognizable Social Media site, Six Degrees, was created, it has boomed and has become a part of a majority of the population’s lives. We spend a lot of time on these platforms, whether it be having a cheeky look at your Instagram during work, or “going to bed” and spending an hour and a half on Facebook looking at the same picture of a guy name Carl with different captions (literally a page on Facebook). Now, these are not the only ways that society uses Social Media, as it does give an advantage to people in a lot of other areas, and, if you know what you are doing, you can really make something of yourself on it.
There are a lot of different tips and tricks out there, and to be fair, they are helpful and well written, but can sometimes lack in practicality. Whether it be for your business or for your own personal use, here are a few different secrets and hints to help you understand Social Media better.
“Engage rather than sell … Work as a co-creator, not a marketer.” ~ Tom H. C. Anderson
1. Followers don’t come easy.
I don’t know about you, but I have never been told that things come easy if you don’t work for it, and the same principle applies to Social Media. Gaining followers take hard work and dedication, and if you want to create a quality organic following, then it is going to take some time. Let’s say that you want to start being a blogger - what is the first step that you are going to take in order for people to take notice of you? I would say quality content is important, but I would also say so does time, patience, and basically being a likeable person. No one is going to want to read what you are saying if they don’t want to go and have a coffee with you, so be likeable, and start telling your friends about it.
Organic growth is super important when it comes to any platform - if you have an Instagram of 15,000 followers but are only getting 22 likes on the picture of your ‘adorable puppy’, then there will be a rare amount of real people that will want to follow you and be interested in what you have to say, because you will come across as fake.
To sum up this first point:
- Be real, and work hard.
- Organic growth, although is difficult, is better quality, and will work out in the long run.
- Not everyone loves pictures of your ‘adorable puppy.’
2. Free marketing still doesn’t exist.
Social Media is fantastic for businesses! However, if you want to make a real mark in the world of Social Media for your business, it is going to cost. Personally, I spent a lot of my years neglecting the fact that you need to pay to advertise, and kept telling myself that if I ‘shared’ enough that one day it will break the internet, and everyone would want the product that I am selling.
As the ol’ saying goes, “You gotta spend money to make money.” This is the truest and most beneficial piece of information you can receive when it comes to your business. Yes, there are the rare cases where a business grows from nothing to something without spending a dime - and people write books on these concepts, and make even more money. I always like to stick to the fact that if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is, and money comes from hard work and not gambling it on a chance.
I have made it sound like you should not even try to market without spending money, and I’m not saying that - you can still market your business even if you really don’t have much finances. I do encourage you: if you really want to grow your business, put aside each week a certain amount for marketing - whether it be 5%, 10% or 50%, that is up to you. Realistically, Facebook advertisements only cost on average $7 a day, and you have a lot of control over where, when, how, and what you advertise.
To sum up:
- Paying a little, benefits a lot.
- Make a goal of setting money aside specifically for online advertising.
- Don’t neglect information because you think you know better.
3. Patterns are for tablecloths, not success
There are many books and articles out there that will suggest to you that there is a formula to success and if you follow these steps then you will make it! Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no specific method to grant you success in Social Media marketing. The tips I have given you so far help you to understand the concept and the idea around this area of marketing through Social Media platforms.
There are various things to consider when it comes to this type of marketing: as we are all different people, we have all types of businesses, all types of relationships, and I could go on with various examples. The variables are endless, and that is why there is no strict formula - the quicker you know this, the better, as it will propel you further into thinking, rather than waiting to see a “formula” play out. The best thing to do really is to read as much as you can, and learn from many different people. Don't take everything in, but review it, and come up with your own formula.
To sum up:
- There is no pattern for success
- Read a lot
- Formulas are for suckers
You are now on your way to Social Media success! As cool as that sounds, it doesn't mean that it is going to work out for you. As I have stated, it takes commitment, time, and passion for your goals.