Is Your Social Media Marketing Foundation Weak?
A faulty foundation is the reason for your weak social media marketing results.
You're posting to your social media profiles, you’re blogging your heart out and…nothing. Nobody's commenting, nobody's sharing, nobody's following, and most importantly – nobody's knocking down your door to give you their business.
“C’mon people! This is great stuff!” you think to yourself. Unfortunately, you seem to be the only one who feels this way. What’s wrong, and what can you do about preventing your marketing effort from continuing to collapse like a house of cards around you?
A Weak Foundation Delivers Weak Results
The tendency is to set up shop on a few networks, then jump right in and start sharing posts that you find interesting. Even pleas to "Like Me," or "Please Retweet" get few complies.
Chances are, you’ve built your entire marketing effort on a weak or incomplete foundation, and it's too weak to support any successful marketing efforts.
Many that are stuck and seeing no results will never get unstuck, and it's understandable. There’s a real reluctance to go back to where we started. We want to look towards the sky and build upwards! Going back feels too much like an admission of defeat.
But consider this: if you failed to lay the foundation properly, your entire future marketing efforts will prove unsteady and unsuccessful - indeed, it will collapse in on itself, just like a real house with a faulty foundation would. Making sure your social media foundation is designed and built properly in the first place means all your future efforts will in turn be sturdy and successful.
Simply put: Everything depends on the strength of your marketing foundation.
The 4 Cornerstones of a Strong Foundation
There are four basic fundamentals that form the cornerstones of all successful digital marketing. Get these right and firmly in place, and you’ll have laid the foundation necessary to gain the attention of your prospective audience, demonstrate your value to them, and grow your business.
Failing to plan, or faulty planning is most often the primary culprit in a weak foundation that is delivering little or no results. Winging it in social media marketing is simply not an option. You wouldn’t live in a home that wasn’t built to plan, so why would you try to grow your business online with no marketing plan? The basics of a social media marketing plan include:
In order to truly connect with your audience and motivate them to want to do business with you, you must first come to understand them deeply. People look for solutions when they are either trying to avoid a pain or are seeking something they are passionate about. These are what I call the 2 "P" Points. Find out what your audience's P Points are and speak to them in those terms.
When you gain an understanding of your audience – where they can be found online, what problems are they're looking to solve, and who amongst them are truly your ideal customers – then you can begin tailoring content to share that will motivate them to buy.
Networks are the nodes that comprise your social media presence. It's far better to be a master of one (or a very few at most) than to be a jack of all. Pick no more than three networks where your potential customers can be found, and build your presence there.
After establishing your network presence, learn how to fit into the culture of that network so that you look like you belong. At the same time, while acknowledging the particular personality of the network, begin to discover how to stand out without breaking the agreed upon norms of that network.
Each network also has its inherent strengths and weaknesses. Learn to avoid the weaknesses while exploiting its strengths.
Your Value Proposition
The success of your social media marketing efforts will directly correlate to the perceived value the audience places in what you share. Your value proposition in its simplest form is this: How valuable are you to your audience in helping them solve their problems, and how do you do it in a way that it is unique to you?
With the shortened attention spans and myriad alternatives of content available to your audience, it is mandatory that you answer the foremost question on the mind of your audience: "What's in it for me?" Demonstrate a customer-focused mindset that is at all times addressing this implied question, and you will find social media marketing success!
How to Begin
We will be highlighting each of these four cornerstones (your plan, your audience, your networks and your value proposition) in succession over the next four blogs. Each post will share an outline on how to proceed, with actionable steps you can immediately take for each area.
Start identifying your primary goals, begin really listening to people online as they talk about your area of business, and ask yourself how you can best satisfy your audience's P Points.
[ Founder of Big Brand Boost a marketing and branding partner. ]