When I originally wrote this series, I called it the 3 R’s of Social Media but I realized this week that I am writing a LOT of ‘number’ posts so I changed the title. What I didn’t change is the fact that it’s a 3 part series.. it’s a lot of information and I want you to be able to absorb it all!

Are you guilty of just checking the box for your social media efforts? You know… you’re doing it because someone told you that marcia marcia marciayou should be-not because you understand why. If you’re still unclear as to the why (and you’re not alone, believe me), then you may gain some insight as I review the three R’s of Social Media. Honestly, there are more R’s, but these three are the ones that I think are
the most critical to begin with and be comfortable with.

I’ll review them all over the next few weeks, but today I want to start with the one that I think is THE most important:

Relationships

Relationships are the WHO of what social media is. It is how to build an audience and ambassadors of your brand and your site.

Stop talking about yourself, your site/blog, and your widgets – I call this the Marcia, Marcia, Marcia syndrome. I think this is the hardest one for most people to “get” because it goes against everything they’ve ever been taught. As business people, we’ve been taught to “always be selling” or “always be closing,” and in traditional marketing efforts such as print, radio, or TV, that was okay because that’s push marketing. The consumer had no choice but to listen to your constant pitch, but with the introduction of digital marketing and social media, the tables have turned. Now your customers want to hear what they want to hear and when they want to hear it. I promise you this… if all you do is talk about yourself on your social media sites, then pretty soon the only people who will be listening are your mom and your kids. If you are going to schedule instagram posts to target your instagram audience, for example, you need to ensure that the content is catered for them, not just what you think. Building that relationship is key, so don’t always preach what you believe as such. Ultimately, building an Instagram following is all about interacting with your followers and posting engaging and eye-catching content. However, some Instagram users have found that using Instagram bots has helped them to increase their reach and grow their audience. Bots are essentially automated programs used to interact with social media profiles. You can learn more about some of the most popular types of Instagram bots by reading this useful guide: https://bountii.com/best-instagram-bots/. That being said, there are other steps you can take to ensure that your marketing techniques are successful too. For example, some companies find that email marketing campaigns can be a particularly impactful way to generate business. You can learn more about launching your own email marketing campaign by heading to the Epsilon website.

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Sharing is caring… AND important – Believe it or not, you can still get your message across without selling all the time. For instance, if you’re a boutique, instead of posting about the new line of scarves you just received, why not film a quick video showing how to tie a scarf using one of the scarves you just got in! Once you start thinking outside the box a little bit, you’ll find plenty of ways to subtly get your products in front of your audience without being obvious about it!

The other part of sharing is when you share what others do and not just talk about what you do. This is the repinning, retweeting, regramming, etc., that tells people you are listening to them. It’s commenting on a blog post and giving your opinion. It’s commenting on another person or company’s Facebook page. Where can you find places to share and help someone else grow?

The party is ALL around you! Don’t limit the fun to just ONE social media site-there are people all over the place, and you should expand your horizons! I’m not saying you should be everywhere, but pick the sites that make the most sense. So many people focus on just one site and don’t take into consideration that everyone gets their information from different sources. Let’s take the boutique owner as an example. You should absolutely be on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Do you know how many people would be made aware of your business if you had advertisements on Facebook? This will significantly help your website (if you were selling online) to receive more business traffic, which is similar to what has been said in a new study from the researchers at Whitehat. The stronger your ad is, the more successful your company will be, and social media could be one of the best places to start. As well as YouTube if you’re doing mini-fashion shows or some other tutorial. LinkedIn is probably not the best use of all your time (not saying you shouldn’t be there at all, but I’d put it last in this instance). But note, you don’t want to have the same message across all these platforms. You’ll need to craft a different message for each one because each one serves a different type of person.

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Once you have a better understanding of what your audience wants to hear from you, your job will become so much easier. Watch what they respond to-if you post pictures and they “like” it or comment or heaven help us-SHARE it-and plain text status doesn’t get anything, keep posting pictures!! They’re telling you what they want to see, and it’s your job to give it to them because, in turn, it makes your page rock, and that’s what you’re trying to do!

Up next will be relevance – WHAT you are doing relevant to your branding and your customer?

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