Maximizing Your Social Media Impact

When you set off to make your mark in social media there are three things that you can do to help maximize your impact.

  1. Know your audience
    As I may have mentioned in previous postings, the number one thing that you can to in any marketing endeavor, online or off is to know your audience. Knowing who you are talking to with your communications will shape the information you provide along with the manner in which you provide it. The best way to do this is to sit down and create analogs of your target customers with everything from age and gender to marital and parental status. There is a reason why so many marketing research firms are located in malls and are constantly trying to entice unsuspecting people into their lair where they are forced to answer lengthy questionnaires. The information matters, plain and simple. And that information helps businesses like yours shape their marketing messages and even the manner in which the messages are delivered and that includes social media.
  2. Be a resource
    The best way to build an audience and enhance your exposure with social media is to provide information that your audience will find useful. Don’t use your social media outlets just as a veiled way to push your products or services. It is certainly ok to mention your products or services here or there but that should not be what it is about. Strive to Become a thought leader in your chosen space. Becoming a true resource that offers value to your audience without expectation (whether through informational blog postings, ebooks or other free resources) can have great side benefits to your business. Offering free resources on topics close to you helps build relationships with your network. These types of relationships foster evangelism among your network that can turn into an unpaid salesforce for your products or services.
  3. Have a conversation
    The idea behind any good marketing program is to start a conversation that will ultimately end in a sale. Blogging as well as using resources like Facebook and Twitter can be the best conversation starters in the world. Open up communication and be willing to hear feedback from your social network. Everyone can see the value in good feedback, but you need to take the good with the bad because you never know where things will lead. Never underestimate the power of conversation. You might get some negative feedback about your company but you can turn that negative feedback into a win depending on what you do with the information. Someone relating a negative experience may give you insight into issues that may effect more than the single individual. No only that but it can afford the unique opportunity to act to change the underlying issue and turn a negative experience into a life long customer that in turn can become an evangelist for your products or services.

Whichever way you decide to go in the social arena whether it be blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, or any of the other budding networks out there as long as you keep in mind that social networking is less about you and more about your network, then you should be a in a pretty good position to maximize your impact.