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Social Media Thought Horizon

The One Key to Success Using Social Media

By Sander Biehn | Aug 29, 2016

So you’ve set up your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram pages.   But is that enough?  Will you succeed by using social media or simply become another face in a crowded room?

Whether you are an inspiring YouTuber or have dozens of sales people selling your products, the question remains the same. Are your social media efforts paying off with the customers you most want to attract—your target market?

Using social media is an obvious choice to reach any market. Just check out these stats:

“There are over 1.5B social media users today”

                  McKinsey and Company

“LinkedIn has over 433M users alone”

                          LinkedIn

And here’s a surprising one…looks like social media isn’t just for the kids anymore:

“The fastest growing social media user group is ages 45 to 54”

                 Business To Community Blog

The sheer size and scope of social media has fundamentally changed how people buy. According to IBM “55% of all buyers do their research using social media”

Using Social Media to be noticed is a no brainer in 2016 no matter who you are. I was speaking with a musician named Brian just the other day. Making enough money to make a living playing music can be tricky business, but Brian has seemed to crack the code. His band is busy every weekend playing at parties and weddings. I asked him about his success. He told me that his number one differentiator was how he used social media to market his services. He added that it is the main reason he can be a career musician while so many other young players hold down day-jobs they’d rather not have.

For Brian, it goes well beyond having a Facebook page with pretty pictures on it.  He actively targets his prospects on social media

Let’s deconstruct just how Brian does it.

Check out these four simple tips that keep Brian’s calendar full by using social media to succeed with his audience:

  1. Network where it matters. Getting your face all over social media sounds like the way to go. Who doesn’t want to ‘go viral’ with what they say online. However, before you get blinded by the bright stage lights, it’s important to remember why you are online to begin with. Sure, you want everyone to know your name, but you also need them to buy your product, check out your work or follow you. Let’s face it, not everyone is your target audience. Forget about ‘boiling the ocean’ on social media by getting everyone to follow you. Bite off a smaller chunk and become a big fish in the pond you are trying to monopolize the beach front property on. How? Find groups and forums on social media that fit the right profile. Brian, my musician friend, joined forces with wedding planners and others who provided services to brides and grooms that did not directly compete with him. By being available to his target market, he generates new business without much effort.

  2. Share your expertise AND be specific. Everyone knows you need to be helpful and share information on social media in order to get the attention of others. But what should you share? Finding information that isn’t widely known or searchable, helps you grow your social media reputation exponentially. Offering up advice based on past experiences has helped Brian land more than one gig.

    He posts and responds to others on the perfect size for a dance floor or how loud a band should be playing at a wedding. Interacting with useful information gives him the upper hand against his competition who have their social media on auto pilot with the same stale messages each month.

  3. Be heard using the language of social media. Investing time in understanding how social media works and how it can help you spread your message is well worth the time. What website designer isn’t considering SEO (Search Engine Optimization) when creating a website? The same should hold true for anyone posting on social media. This means making your messages findable and searchable with hashtags, or tagging those you want to see your ideas in your social media posts. We’ve all been asked the timeless question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”  Don’t let your social media efforts fall into that category. Single out your target market using the power of social media.

  4. Get the right followers. Being popular online is everyone’s goal. However, being popular with people who might buy from you should be much more important. Measure your followers by relevance not in bulk numbers. Start creating a following of relevant users by following the right people.  After all, the easiest ways to gain followers is by following them. But this alone will not ensure online popularity with the people who matter. Your online profile had better succinctly tell your story and inspire your audience. You also need to be a regular contributor online with sharp opinions in your area of expertise. Get a backbone and watch your following increase.

Social media is much more than a place for others to find you. It is a powerful platform for you to find the people you want to interact with—and start relationships with them.  Being successful on social media really comes down to one thing: are you focusing on your prospects or not? 


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