It would be a little silly to call yourself a social media “expert.” Is “expertness” really even quantifiable?
Perhaps time spent toward achieving something is a good measuring stick. In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, New York Times best seller Malcolm Gladwell states that 10,000 hours of practice is the time commitment one needs to make in order to achieve extreme success. If you’ve already clocked in those hours, there’s no need to read ahead. For the rest of us, here are ten ways you can become an expert social media marketer.
Get schooled. Well…maybe. Many would argue that the most important investment one can make towards securing a bright future in social media is a formal degree in the field. While this may appear to be a critical first step, others have argued that social media’s constant state of flux makes an education in the field somewhat of a futile endeavor. Regardless, self-training, hands-on experience and attending workshops and conferences is key to staying ahead of the game.
Work with passion. Say goodbye to the 9-to-5 mentality. A common trait among successful marketers is an innate passion and drive to become the best at what they do, not matter the time or day of the week. Since the field itself is rife with competition, those who approach social media marketing with fervor will ultimately separate themselves from those who are in it just for the paycheck.
Capitalize on real time events. Brands have won big with in-the-moment tweets and posts pertaining to events unfolding in real time (without shelling out millions of marketing dollars). Oreo Cookies’ “Blackout” tweet during the Super Bowl and, most recently, Philly Pretzel Factory’s “Tebowing Pretzel” come to mind.
Although they may seem like fluky victories, there is a great deal of preparation and continuous monitoring involved in live-tweeting. A successful marketer will ensure that they are appropriately positioned to not only ensure the messaging is on point but also delivered instantaneously.
Link posts and tweets back to your website. At the end of the day, the goal of social media marketing is to utilize the platform as a vehicle to create brand awareness and bring consumers to the brand’s website. Clients absolutely love being able to see the sources of web traffic, so this is a great way to leverage social media to connect consumers with the brand.
Engage and build relationships with fans. Whether it’s a complaint (warranted or otherwise), a compliment, or even an undecipherable feedback, successful social media professionals take on a human voice and address any interaction that comes their way. This builds legitimacy and may, in some instances, reinforce and increase brand loyalty. You can find great examples here.
Get visual. According to a study by MDG Advertising, 94 percent more total views on average are attracted by content containing compelling images versus content without images. In terms of social media, successful marketers should pair shareable images with each of their posts.
Cater to your customers. Identify who your target audience is and find out which platform they spend the most time in. Devote the resources that are made available to you and your team and focus your creative energy on building awareness and loyalty within that platform.
Study and learn from your competition. If you’re assigned to be at the helm of social media for a new client, it’s important to determine what the competition is up to. Identify the voice and tone these brands are adopting and analyze the types of campaigns they are running. On the other side of the coin, it is paramount to identify where their deficiencies are and turn them into opportunities.
Dress the part. Yes, social media takes place in a digital world, but it’s important to look presentable at work and in other professional settings. We’re not talking fancy or flashy attire, just a little something that shows you made a conscious effort that morning while getting ready for work.
Quadruple-check everything before publishing. There is absolutely no excuse for spelling and grammatical errors. Even the sharpest English major can fall victim to an error on occasion, so it’s important have multiple eyes reviewing posts before they are published.