When I first became involved with social media seven years ago, I was lost. I knew I needed to be there, though, because something significant was happening in the world of marketing. Amanda Patterson gives seven lessons she learnt en route to a serious social media following.
I could see that traditional advertising and public relations efforts were not going to work for long. I had no real objectives other than I knew how important the Internet was for our future as a company. At first, I concentrated and experimented with my own platforms. Later, I used what I had learnt for Writers Write.
- I learnt to focus on the client. If you ask ‘What’s in it for us?’, you will fail. People join Social Media platforms to be part of a community. Rather ask: ‘How can we help our customers?’ By providing entertaining and valuable content, we have created a customer base.
- I learnt the value of being there. If you are going to do this, you have to be committed, and that means you have to post content on your major social media platform every day. Consistency is crucial. People get used to you. They will come to you for information, guidance, ideas, and assistance. Yes, people come to you. This reward is the most valuable commodity there is for a business.
- I let our followers’ behaviour speak for itself. I learnt what people like and what they are not interested in. The people who visit your website or blog because of the content you have shared on social media tell you how you are doing. If those people buy into your business or product because they like what they see there, then you are succeeding.
- I learnt that attitude is important. I learnt that we should be generous, honest, and open to feedback. We did not have to do what customers wanted us to do, but we at least let them have their say. I also realised that we had to behave well.
- I learnt that everything changes. When you get involved on a day-to-day basis, you see that there is so much uncharted territory. We could not follow someone else’s rules. We had to make our own, and then change them when social media changed. Planning is great, but being aware is better.
- I learnt that it takes time. There is no quick fix. I had to work on each of these platforms for a good two years before they started working for us. When I see the latest social media figures, I’m glad I did.
- I learnt that Social Media is not a real conversation, but it is a way to interact in real time with your followers. Everything we did had to be aimed at giving as much as we could in order to have the platform to share our messages in real time.
I am sure that I will learn much more as this media continues to evolve and I look forward to it.
Amanda Patterson is the founder of Writers Write. Join Writers Write for The Social Brand, a social media workshop.
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