6 Things You Must Know About Social Media

This is a post I originally wrote for Social Media Examiner, a top social media blog. I got the go ahead with writing the topic and after sharing the main points. It was going to be published until they realized they had something somewhat similar, already on the blog. It was a simple mistake and I'll be writing a new post for them here in the near future.

Enjoy!

I know, a pretty bold title but there’s some things you need to know (and do) in order to get to where you want to go. Social Media is an absolute powerhouse for those wanting to build a business or a brand, and those looking to branch out and leverage themselves with these new platforms.

Sure, you already know about all that. The Flavor Flavs, what I like to call, of the Social Media world, hype it up all the time. The big difference however with this and oh say that super duper amazing “make millions your first year online” course, is the fact that in Social Media, the hype is real.

With anything though, it takes some serious work to get serious results. You need to cut through the noise and ton of other things to get there. Better yet, follow these 6 things…

#1: Know What You Want

This is by far the biggest mistake whether you’re in Social Media or working on a parrot cage business. If you don’t know what you want, how will you be able to get what you want? Frankly, it’s not possible.

The mind is confused. You have no clear direction. When you have the right direction, you can better get to your destination and arrive there promptly. With no direction, you’ll simply get lost, time and time again. This translates into poor results and wasted time. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Before you do ANYTHING else, you first need to know exactly what you want and what you want to accomplish. Forget the strategy, forget the plan. Know your goals first, then formulate an actionable strategy and plan around it.

#2: Know Who You’re Speaking To

“So I just follow a bunch of people, hope they follow me back, then post a bunch of messages whether it’d be about my new blog post or my products/services?” Please help us all. I know there are some of you who have fallen into this idea before. Don’t get me wrong, it can be effective. The problem is, it’s not so effective when the majority of your network consists of people that know nothing or have nothing to do with what you’re about.

For example, I want to build up a soccer Twitter account. Do I follow a bunch of baseball fans, and communicate with people into fashion? No. That’d make absolutely no sense! I want to connect with and build a relationship with soccer fans and those into soccer. Anything else would be ineffective and a waste of my time.

No matter what any of us are building, we all require an audience to get our message out to. When you know who you’re speaking with and who comprises your target audience, you’ll do far better. You don’t sell meat to a vegetarian…you sell meat to people who aren’t vegetarians!

#3: Know How To Reach Them

Where are they at? Where do they spend a lot of their time? Sometimes you’ll find a bigger audience on Twitter vs. Facebook and vice versa. Not every person is the same. We all have our favorite tools and sites. For example, a good friend of mine has a significantly larger audience on Facebook than Twitter. The audience on Facebook is many, many times over what it is on Twitter.

Does that mean we should all be focusing on Facebook more? Absolutely not. What it means is that depending on your niche, your situation could be different. Dig around, listen to the conversations, and work in more than just one place. Soon enough, you’ll find best how to reach them.

#4: Know How To Communicate With Them

Communication is by far the most important, yet most misunderstood tool on the planet. Whether you speak English, German, Russian, Zulu, or any others that I left out, we all must communicate to survive and get what we want/need. If you can become a great communicator, you can generate great results.

This also comes down to what to say and how to say it. If your audience is business professionals, then you can get away with using more advanced lingo. I don’t speak Spanish in my blog posts, I speak English because people who speak English, read my blog.

Maybe I’m just ranting here but communication is key and vital to your success, especially in Social Media. The best communicators understand very well how to A) Build relationships and B) What to say and how to say it.

Learn those two things and learn them very well. There are a gazillion resources out there to help you out, all free of charge.

#5: Know How To Sell

An often times taboo subject in Social Media, yet a vital aspect of each and every business and brand in existence. A lot of people go about selling the wrong way or should I say, the old fashioned way, forcing advertising and marketing messages down people’s throats in a way that the majority of the population has already tuned out.

We’re in an age where that kind of advertising and marketing is dying at an alarming rate. People are sick of it. They don’t listen to it. They don’t buy from it. The new way comes down to relationships and meaning, not pushing and aggravating.

Although building relationships takes time and can take a business many months before seeing any tangible results, it works very well. The long term benefits are significant and what we should be focusing on. Too many are looking at the short term and worried about making a quick buck.

I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather make $500 down the line than $50 one time. Relationships mean business. Meaning creates great results. Speaking of meaning, a great book to pick up on this subject is “The Next Evolution Of Marketing: Connect With Your Customers By Marketing With Meaning” by Bob Gilbreath. Very solid and has some awesome case studies.

#6: Know How To Serve And Serve Well

We’re all here to deliver a solution to a problem. Our customers have the problem and we help fix it. Too many businesses are forgetting about the customer and treating them like a number. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Our customers are literally PAYING us to do what it is we do, so they deserve to be taken care of.

Without the customers, we have no business. It’s our job to serve them and serve them well. Treat them like a friend, not a statistic. Do that, and they’ll reward you for a lifetime, that is if your products or services live up to what you say. They do, right?

"What things would you add that we should know/use in our daily social media?"