Everywhere you go online you see lots of tweets, Facebook posts, and Google+ updates: the social networking noise can sometimes be overwhelming. All marketers have been taught that content is king, and other variations of this statement, but no one could have imagined how much content we would produce on social media these days.
Think of marketing reach to give you a perspective on how much noise we have created: in 1965, 80% of consumers aged 18-49 were reached via three primetime 30 second ads; by 2002, it required 117 commercials to have the same effect. When it takes 2000 impressions for one click on a Facebook ad (average CTR on Facebook is around .02-04% according to Clickz.com) then you know people do not see all the social networking noise around them.
This challenge means that many people simply try to shout louder. Instead, we need to plan our content on social media, so we speak smarter.
How do you get above the noise?
Don't speak to everyone
The biggest challenge entrepreneurs have when they market their business through social networking is that they want to speak to everyone. Like a kid in a candy store type of effect, they get so excited to be around so many prospects all at once. When this happens, a few people talk louder to get heard over the rest. This continues to happen, and soon you have chaos.
To end the chaos, you need to find your niche market. It is marketing 101: find a niche where you can market your services and fill in the gaps. Think of niche marketing like being in a crowded bar during happy hour. You might not get all 300 people in the bar to hear you, but everyone at your table can hear what you have to say.
Come from a place of service
When business gets tough, we sometimes go into commando sales phase. We batten down the hatches, and start reaching out to prospect after prospect after prospect until we are out of a jam. The same happens on social media. However, because it is so easy to share information, too many people share promotional information on a consistent basis.
Instead, you need to scare the living daylights of them, and provide useful information that wows them. By doing this you serve your prospects and clients. People respect how much you are willing to give of yourself to help others. Best of all, serving others not only serves as a promotional engine, but it also makes you feel proud of your business. The more pride you show in your business, the more pride others will have in referring your services to others.
I started using social media when I was a mortgage broker looking for new business. My wife, the techie, was convinced I could not use Facebook properly. She insisted upon setting up my account herself, because it would be “too complicated” for me to understand.
Five years later, I have helped hundreds of clients use social media, while setting up countless accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social networks.
There is a story that is short and to the point.
Keep your network in the loop
Ever see a site go down, and all the users migrate to another hangout online, chatting up a storm about what happened? Snafus happen! They are a part of business, however, you must keep your network informed of what is occurring.
While we all want to talk to our clients about the latest and greatest at our company, sometimes an honest apology will garner more business than a success will ever achieve.
This is more a result than a way to get over the social networking noise. Create raving fans of your business. People who’ve just gotta have the next iPhone, or must simply get their Starbucks kick in the morning.
When you help people, and communicate with them appropriately, you will create raving fans. There's no magic formula for attracting raving fans, but something based upon your level of service to others. How do you go above and beyond to help others? When you know how to do this for your niche, then you know how to find raving fans.
Social networking has a lot of benefits to offer businesses. However, to be successful through social networking today requires a new understanding of value: how to deliver value to your prospects, partners, and clients, so they listen to you above the social networking noise.
Do you promote yourself via social media? What strategies have worked for you? Let us know in the comments.
Featured image/thumbnail, social media image by .hj barraza.