01 Mar 2016 07:37:10
The promise of social media marketing often goes unfulfilled. The objective is to create a dialogue with customers, generate traffic to specific websites and/or to generate interest in your offerings. Very often, the key to success is to share adroitly branded and highly relevant content with users who, in turn, pass your content to like-minded people they’re connected to. Your effectiveness at social media marketing can be measured by the demonstrable monetization of your efforts.
The reason so many companies and professionals fall short here is not because social media marketing lacks power. On the contrary, it can be amazingly effective. The reason for a lack of success is quite often:
- A lack of understanding of the interplay between the target audiences, of the need to add value and of how to maximize the power of the various social media platforms.
- Lack of ability to effectively implement this trick.
Putting the second reason aside, we’re left with needing to know what select audiences are looking for and being able to deliver accordingly. What regularly sets the stage for disappointment is the failure to provide high-caliber content that wows the target audiences.
A core objective of social media marketing — or of a thought leadership campaign, for that matter — is to gain “mindshare.” You want to be top-of-mind when potential clients or customers are interested in products or services you can deliver. You want to provide content your preferred audiences find so appealing and beneficial that they’re motivated to pass it on.
Social media marketers are often most successful when they are exceptional content creators. Being able to develop proprietary customized high-caliber content is commonly the most effective way to develop a solid position as an authority in a particular area. There’s certainly a cost to developing this level of proprietary content. If you lack the abilities or resources to develop your own astounding intellectual content, a reasonable alternative is curating third-party content. By bringing together relatively new ideas and adding some transformative or explanatory and creative elements, you can also position yourself as a leading reputable authority.
What’s important in becoming a recognized expert using social media is to match up the content with the distribution model. For example, by emphasizing public-facing areas like LinkedIn LNKD +0.55% Groups, you’ll be able to reach a reasonably broad but somewhat diffuse audience. In contrast, you might choose to use LinkedIn’s status updates or tweets for a more rifle-like approach.
Distribution of information has become democratized, so top-notch thought leadership that creates “mindshare” is essential. It’s highly probable that all types of marketers, for example, will increasingly be developing proprietary content that is educational, entertaining and fits well with the various social media platforms. We’re already seeing a drive to produce exceptional thought leadership content by various professional services firms, and this trend is likely to become the norm across the board.
If your goal is to significantly leverage the various social media platforms for business development, the creation of outstanding thought leadership is an exceptionally powerful tool. To the extent that you’re limited in your ability to create content, the answer is usually to curate content, provided you’re enhancing it in some manner. Whether you’re an advertiser or simply a participant in social media, the ability to be recognized as a leading expert in some speciality coupled with a clear monetization strategy is a formidable approach to incomparable business development.