The formula for success with social media

Whether you’re starting out or have been using social media for some time the difference between success and failure is likely to depend not just on what you communicate, but where.

How to be successful with social media is also all about building an online community first and then engaging with your  audience. Unfortunately too many are still using social media in a way that is more to do with broadcasting and less with engagement.

There is no secret formula or magic fairy dust for success with social media. However, identifying who you want to engage with and where they are likely to be online is an important first step.

Building an online audience

The audience to aim for is one which has some genuine interest in  you and what you do or what you sell, as opposed to anyone and everyone. But before you ask “how do you find those people?” let me ask you “Have you identified, in any detail, who your customers are?”

When starting work with a new client we set the following exercise.

  • Make a list of the types of customers you want to target, e.g. gender, age, location etc.
  • What elements of the internet might each group use and for what purpose?
  • Which social media networks are these groups most likely to use?
  • What sort of goods/services/help are group members likely to be searching for online.

It’s no good talking to an empty room, but equally it’s no good talking to a full one if no one in the room is interested in what you’re talking about!

Identifying the best places to publish content

There’s no magic formula for success in this area either, rather a lot of thought before you start along with a good deal of trial, error and re-group along the way.

Diving into choosing a social media network based on your expertise, or that of a member of staff, isn’t the best plan. Rather go back to the list above and then decide which social media networks are going to best serve your purpose. If you don’t know, then getting help/advice at this important initial stage could save you a lot of wasted time and effort.

Learning skills to use social media networks

How to be successful with social media is understanding that it’s better to identify what you want to achieve and who you want to reach, before signing up for courses offering to teach you ‘everything you need to know about Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ etc’.
Identifying what ‘you’ need to know, as opposed to what you’re told you ‘need’ to know is the route to enlightenment rather than brain meltdown!

“it’s not about learning social media, more about learning to be better in business because of social media.” Think of social media as tools in a toolbox.

What else you need to know about how to be successful with social media

You need a blog. Why? Because a blog is the place where you can build on engagements started on social media networks. It’s the half-way house between the social media network “Hello” and the website that should convert prospects into customers.

A blog also provides facility not only for visitors to share your blog posts to their social media networks but also to subscribe to your blog, providing opportunity for building a following of people who are ‘engaged’.

I wrote “should convert prospects” rather than will convert prospects because, if your website has shortcomings, your efforts to drive traffic to your website using social media may well be undermined by holes in the bottom of the bucket! You can ‘drive’ visitors to your site, then lose them because your website isn’t up to scratch, functionality or content wise. When was the last time you audited yours?

So, it makes sense to check out the quality of your website, which we can help you with too.

How Wings Academy could help you

As well as providing general tips and video on use of social media networks,  Wings Academy Social Media expert Catherine Simpson can provide tailored social media training, to deliver the specifics you need to succeed.

Susan Collin can help you improve your online presence related to your website and blog,  mentoring, encouraging, supporting and nudging you over a period of time until you gain the confidence to ‘go it alone’. Read  what other people say about working with Susan Collini,  or contact me by email.

Susan and Catherine can provide a mix of support via face-to-face, or telephone support, delivered at a pace that’s right for your level of technical understanding. So, whether you’ve some knowledge or a complete beginner we can help you progress your learning to do with websites, blogging and social media.

Do you need help with using social media?

If you recognise that individually tailored help will provide greater benefit than a more generalised learning approach then give Catherine a call on 07921 859265 or send an email and Catherine will contact you.

Another way you can tap into help with using social media networks and blogs is to subscribe to this blog by leaving your email in the box in the right hand column. That way you’ll receive all new blog posts, nothing else, direct to your email inbox.

Other posts which might be of interest

Is social media good news for small businesses?

How to make your website impress Google

What is social media marketing?



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