When social media first hit the scene, I thought three things: this is a waste of time, I don't have time for it and my customers are not here. I was wrong on all three counts. Social mediums are vital to your business. They all can grow your brand awareness and your profits.
Just three years ago I was oblivious to these tools. Today, my companies have more than 5 million views on YouTube, accumulated 300,000 Facebook followers and another 275,000 active followers on Twitter. Like you, I started with no followers and a very limited belief in these platforms.
Here are seven things we did that helped us build a presence and a following on the social media platforms:
1. Start. The most important thing to do is to start, and start fast. You don't need to know anything to do this. Create an account and commit to posting content. That’s all! Nothing is going to happen without starting. Billions of people are using social media worldwide -- proof that it’s not complicated.
2. Post often and keep posting. There is no such thing as posting too much content. There are some “experts” out there who discourage frequent posts. They think if you post too often people will quit following you, but in the beginning, you don't have followers. The only way you are going to get attention is through frequency. Those who quit following you because you post too much aren’t your market and won’t buy from you anyway. If people aren't complaining about how much you post you are not posting enough. In three years, I posted more than 1,200 videos on YouTube, the social medium I consider to be one of the most powerful. That's almost 400 videos a year.
3. Be the celebrity expert in your space. Post content that makes you the expert in your space. Think in terms of providing information based on what you know and the service your business or products offers. Offer tips and insights such as how to, how not to, what to avoid, how to find the best, what makes it the best, how to fix it, repair it and what you must know. If you are a dry cleaner, post everything there is to know about dry cleaning, stain removal and fabrics.
Related: 9 Advanced Twitter Tips and Tricks
4. Make planet Earth your target. Unlike traditional marketing, social media allows you to pitch the world. In the beginning, you want attention from anyone. I have followers in China and India that may never buy my books or sales training programs, but they may share my content with someone here in U.S. that can become a client. Understand from the start that anyone worldwide can see your content and be inspired to take some sort of action.
5. Create varying content. Use every form of content possible: videos, photos, quotes, articles and blogs and curating the content of others. Content sharing is the easiest and the one that may get you more followers faster. By sharing the content of a competitor or another expert and giving them credit, you will pick up followers from those that follow them.
6. 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your content should be information based, not promotional. In the beginning, you may even shift that to 95/5, where 95 percent is information. No one is going to come to you because you posted something promotional because no one is even following you. You have to get an audience that wants your content. As you grow followers, you can increase promotions.
7. Do not delegate. No matter how important your position or how busy your schedule, you must take ownership of your social media presence. I run three different companies and I still find time to post daily because I understand the power of these mediums. I am also supported by an entire marketing department of young social media-savvy people, but none of them knows more about my businesses than I do. They help create and push promotional content, but my voice is my own. You have to be authentic. Many brands miss this.
No matter who you are, how old you are or what you do, these mediums can be great for your brand and business, but first, you must get started and get a following.