Are you a social media expert?
If you don’t believe me check out all the ads for social media experts that now pervade seek.com.au. They are many and varied and companies will pay six figures for the right person.
How tweet it is
Becoming a social media expert isn’t just about posting to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, it is about utilising each of those mediums to build a large and loyal audience, as well as creating brand and personal recognition. Social media is not just a numbers game; it is dedicating your time to an audience and establishing a rapport through ongoing and consistent messaging. It is about building engaging content through transmedia platforms.
Once you have developed a clear and concise message, the sky is the limit; your Tweets are shared and favourited; your LinkedIn posts drive you to become an influencer, while Facebook and Instagram drive business in a way you never thought imaginable.
So now you know it’s a numbers game, but how do you generate an audience beyond just sharing and posting content?
1. Automatic for the people
Automate social media tasks where possible (within reason and without losing your humanity). This includes following back and sending direct messages. Being automatic will make your life easier in the process.
2. Be direct
Setting up direct messages can be a powerful tool. Thanking someone for following you, shows that you are interested in who they are and the relationship you may have with them. It also enables you to send them to other social media outlets to follow you there and notify them of any subscriptions or offers you may have.
3. Let’s talk about…
There is no value in posting at irregular intervals. We’re not telling you to use up your 250 twitter posts a day, but there is value in regular posting across all social media. And the posts need to be about you, your industry or related to the products and services you are selling. For instance if you are a marketing company you may decide to post regularly about automation or social media use.
If you want people to read what you are posting, make them read the headline. Your headline on blogs and LinkedIn announcements needs to stand out. It needs to evoke emotion or interest. Make it snappy. Make it like click bait, without the associated stigma because the content under your headline is, let’s face it, awesome.
5. No retweet, no surrender
When it comes to retweeting, never retreat. Retweeting allows you to give your audience a larger industry picture and information that is useful to them. By retweeting you can complete the story you are trying to tell or message you want to convey.
5. The chain
Posts that display links to other media including statistics, infographics and related content will always work well. People want to read things that interest them, this includes your own past posts as well. Internal linking can be a powerful tool to drive new readers to old articles, so guide them through the research you have done. They’ll appreciate it.
6. The Following
If you want to be a cult leader, you need a following. Find people who are relevant to your industry or field and follow them. Then follow those who are following you (to a degree of course, you don’t want to follow back a Nigerian prince or Russian bride, you do need to be a little bit discerning). Make sure you keep your growing list of followers legitimate, numbers are great but credibility is at stake as well.
8. For every season, sell, sell, sell
You are not only social media savvy, you are a marketing specialist and marketing specialists sell. Through social media you are selling you, you are selling your products, you are selling your services. How you go about this – with subtlety or not – is up to you, just understand that you are a salesperson. In fact, we are all salespeople, even if we don’t know it.
What defines a social media expert?
Perhaps expert is the wrong word. There are certainly practitioners with exceptional expertise, but even they will tell you that using them effectively as a business and marketing tool is an evolutionary process. What sets the great apart from the good is that they are willing to learn on a daily basis because the most powerful thing they know is that there is an enormous amount they don’t know.
So what defines a social media expert is their ability to learn and evolve as changes occur.
The path to social media excellence
I am not going to write about pathways to a particular career here, (and for our Aussie audience it is a little US focused) but Jeff Bullas who has 34,111 likes for jeffbullas.com has a brilliant infographic about How to Become a Social Media Marketing Specialist. Have a read, it’s a comprehensive look at what social media marketers do, how much they earn, its influence and education pathways.