Is This the End of Your Social Media Love Affair?

Have you entered into a long-term relationship with social media? Are you starting to make plans for the future? Or have you recently begun to resent it – feeling chained down by the long lists of needs? Are you considering seeing other marketing strategies?

We’ve all been there.

So you’ve conquered the early days of the relationship and the accompanying choices that, at the time, felt as though they could make or break your future. Should you tweet now or wait five minutes? What does this retweet really mean? Should you be using a different hashtag? How can you get more shares?

It’s all starting to feel so exasperating. You’re over the passive agressive behaviour and wondering what happened to the romance ?

Now you’ve reached a fork in the road, and it’s time to make a big move. You ask yourself: where do I really see this thing going?

We’ve designed this post to act as your social media road map, helping you navigate through the complexities of your “slightly-more-high-maintenance-than-you-realized” relationship with social media.


The “Honeymoon is Over” Phase

You’ve put in the time and resources and now you want to see some real results. You can’t stop the negative questions from creeping up. Why is it taking so long to break 200 followers? How do I get more “likes”? It’s time to reassess. Here are some questions to consider:

honeymoon1. Are you utilizing the right platforms for your business?
Time is money, and you probably don’t have enough of either to spread out among all the different social media channels. Determine which platforms are the most relevant to your business. It’s better to be excellent at one or two than mediocre at five or six.

2. Are you treating social media as a tactic or a strategy?
Social media should be one of many tactics supporting your overall business strategy. Make it part of a holistic marketing plan.

3. Do you have a blog acting as the hub of your social media activity?
Having a blog for your business helps drive traffic to your website and increases your Google search ranking.

4. Are you measuring the success of your social media undertakings?
You should have some sort of reporting system in place where you can collect data and evaluate how your social media is supporting specific business goals. Without tracking analytics, you’ll have no way of measuring ROI.


The “It’s Not You, It’s Me” Phase

You’ve had some practice experimenting with the different social platforms and you’re starting to understand how they work. But how do you engage in meaningful conversations with your fans and followers? How do you produce the quality of content they will like and share?

It’s time to stop being a microphone.

broken heartIs it really “not you”? Here are some signs you’re pushing away:

  • Your Twitter profile is dominated by scheduled tweets.
  • You only talk about yourself (or your business).
  • You send automatic tweets or DMs to followers spamming them with links.

Here’s how to get the “spark” back in your relationship:

  • Provide quality content – your posts should be informative, shareable, actionable and relevant to your target audience.
  • Use hashtags relevant to your industry, location, business and target market.
  • Search relevant hashtags and respond to tweets or posts by others.
  • Respond to tweets or posts showing up in your newsfeed.
  • Ask your followers questions and reply when they give you an answer.
  • Like and share content belonging to other brands/professionals.
  • Reply to customer service questions on social media, in real time.
  • Participate in Twitter chats.
  • Run a social media contest or campaign.


The “Put a Ring On It” Phase

You’re committed. You know your social media channels inside and out, and you understand how to connect with your audience. But how do you turn fans into paying customers? How do you turn paying customers into brand loyalists?

It’s time to go the extra mile to really impress your audience.

ring1. Engage one-on-one.
Once you’ve identified your social media loyalists and brand advocates, give them special treatment. Send them personalized tweets or replies, calling them by name, and always be on the lookout for opportunities to engage with them.

2. Offer incentives.
Run a social media promotion that benefits fans and followers, and also encourages them to purchase your product or service.

3. Encourage guest blogs and reviews.
Ask returning customers to provide a review of your product or service. Or give them the opportunity to demonstrate their own expertise in a guest blog.

4. Ask to engage in other channels.
Request an email address from your brand advocates so you can send them special product information and offers. If applicable, invite them to join a private LinkedIn group or Google Plus community where they can discuss and learn.

5. Send personalized coupons.
Once you have an email address you can send a coupon to brand advocates offering a special discount.

Your social media relationship is a two-way street. Make it a memorable experience so your fans, followers, customers and brand advocates continue to support your business. After all, what better time than Valentine’s Day to show them you really care?

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