Social Network Marketing: The Good, The Bad And Everything In Between

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Every week, I spend some time reading up on what is going on in the digital marketing world. Sometimes, it’s not even worth mentioning but other times you stumble across something that is either totally fantastic or utterly rubbish. That’s what happened with the end of guest blogging piece earlier this year and today’s article comes from SEJ, focusing on why social network marketing is a bad content strategy.

I have to disagree with this on almost every level. While there are good points in there and the author lists substantial experience, it seems to be a very one sided and dimensional approach. I’d recommend reading the article before continuing on.

Finding the balance

In the above article, a lot is made of time and money invested and the ROI you receive. While, to an extent, I’d agree that focusing purely on social for content marketing is a bad idea, it’s also a bad idea to ignore it completely. There should always be plenty of consideration given to how the content is viewed, received and shared – whether that’s on social or not – to make sure it’s reaching as many people as possible. With some very small tweaks, you can ensure it’s suitable for social networks and that small amount of time doesn’t cost much and can bring great benefits – in most cases, you’d be mad not to do this.

However, not everything needs to be shared socially. This is crucial, especially for outreach plans as you don’t want the same thing popping up everywhere – unique content is more engaging and appealing to both the user and the people you outreach to.

However, there is nothing to stop them for sharing it social, and if they deem it good enough then why don’t you?

This balance is essential but social is a resource that you can’t afford to ignore. It’s also very hard to tie down what your actions on social will accomplish. You can estimate and guess but it changes daily and you are likely to spend more time figuring it out than anything else – that’s more of a waste. Alongside a content marketing strategy, social is invaluable but as it is now the two cannot be and should not be separated.

Does social network marketing have any value?

Yes, it really does. You need to identify your aims and objectives for using social. It might be communication, awareness or something else but it should be user focused. If you’re all about conversions, you’re going to be disappointed because that’s not what people associate with social. Keep it as a secondary or shadow objective – something you want to happen but not something that dictates what you do. Every day, people are becoming savvier to this and they can spot it with ease. They’ll leave you high and dry without a second thought, believe me.

Someone else will always do it better if you’re not careful. Social should be about the user and your audience first. You’re business goals don’t matter to most people and your social approach needs to reflect this. If it doesn’t, you’ll get nowhere.

My top tip

I’m going to share one of my closely guarded secrets with you to prove a point, and I’m going to use Facebook as an example. My Facebook profile has a large number of friends, and not all of them are interested in everything I share. Targeting through lists (this works with Twitter, G+ and most other platforms too) means that people see what you think they might be interested in. I stress this you think part – you’ll never know for sure, it changes daily.

When you come to share a link, you get this view pop up (this is my previous blog post, read it here). Did you know there are three things you can do here to make sure what you share is targeting and appealing to the right people? With this you can share the same thing multiple times and keep it fresh every time.

Three key areas to change your Facebook link status

Obviously, there’s the main box where you type the link in – I always delete the link from this as the preview does everything I need and I think it looks better. Grab people with the status update and make it worthy of their time. Under the title, the area I’ve highlighted, you can edit this text to again be more specific about certain details or points that are most relevant. The picture you can change too, but if you have one in the article, it’s for a reason. It’s better than a company logo. Finally, hit the ‘public’ button and choose who you want to see it. That will help it show up on lists and profiles who will want to see it.

Use these tips and your updates go much further than ever.

Looking forward

In the future, I firmly believe social platforms are going to become even more important. Eventually, they will be a key indicator of popularity and authority as people will only pay attention and give their time to the brands and people who can provide a positive impact on their lives.

Breaking into this later will be harder, which is why you can see plenty of profiles already laying the foundations for what they think is to come. It may take months of years, but it will pay off in some way and by that point, social network marketing will be essential and those too late to the game will be playing catch-up forever – or at least until something else overtakes social.

No matter how powerful it is, nothing lasts forever.

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