Ok, so everyone and their kid brother know that promoting a brand or a product through Facebook is one of the best things a marketer could do.
Everyone’s doing it so it must be simplicity itself, right?
Well, not really.
I prefer to look at it like making the ideal preparation of your breakfast eggs. Everyone knows how to fry, boil, or maybe even poach eggs, but hey, it takes a little something extra to really prepare the eggs to be worthy of the term “breakfast of champions”.
What am I talking about?
You don’t just throw in the eggs into whatever meal you’re preparing. You determine first what preparation is wanted. Then you time the cooking just right, be it fried, boiled, or whatever else is wanted. Then you add the salt, or the olive oil, or whatever else makes it better.
I think pretty much the same applies to when you’re thinking of marketing or promoting something over social media. You just don’t throw it out there and kick back to relax with the tought that people will definitely hop to it.
There’s this post from Greg Habermann that pretty much underlines this point of mine:
To be clear, I’m neither in love with any social media space, nor suggesting that Facebook is the be all, end all of marketing, but I am in love with what any space can do for driving business and building a brand.
One of the most prominent arguments against Facebook is something to the effect of, “They could disappear tomorrow and I wouldn’t care. Don’t you remember MySpace? There was a time that no one thought they would go away either. What makes Facebook any different?“
This post actually dwells on how badly people want to do their own promotions on social media sites, but at the same time quite scared because of the “unknown” factors that are attributed to the practice.
Now, those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I have a sure fire way to combat fear of any kind: knowledge.
Thankfully the post agrees with my point and also provides some tips on how to effectively build your brand socially:
“Don’t worry so much about whether you are targeting Facebook, MySpace, Diaspora, Friendster, or Pinterest. The importance is not about how relevant they are to the entire world, rather how relevant they are to you.
Don’t try to push messaging down the throat of your potential audience. Instead try to understand why they are there in the first place and how you can compliment and expand that experience.
Corporate messaging rarely works. If you are part of some bureaucracy, you need to learn how to lean with your weight in the right places that will help build your brand and break down those walls. Social media is called that for a reason. Don’t stand in the rank and file. Break down the walls and figure out how people can relate to you and how you can relate to them.
I’ve many times heard that Instagram and Pinterest should only be used by brands with something “visual” to sell. Baloney! Every company on planet earth has something visual to give to their audience. If you are willing to be creative and figure out what that is for your brand you will likely be rewarded far beyond your competition.
If you can spend a little bit of money to help promote yourself in unchartered social media waters, be equally as willing to try different tactics and messaging in order to reach and better understand your potential base. This will pay off in your overall strategy and you’ll be wondering why it took you so long to get to that point in the first place.“
To make the long points short, the items above boil down to:
1. Relevance. There are other social media sites apart from Facebook. FInd out which one is the most relevant to you and your initiatives. If it’s Facebook, well and good, if not, research, research, research.
2. Appropriateness. Not everyone speaks corporate, that’s because not everyone wants corporate. Remember, you are marketing to them, so you need to learn to speak the way they understand, or no one will listen.
3. Skip hardsell. In social media, hardsell rarely works. Rather than push your product to them, let them come to your product. You do this by attracting their attention (in a friendly and effective manner) and getting them interested.
4. Beauty shots are best. Whatever you’re promoting, there must be some imagery there that looks good and is worth sharing. Look for that image and jazz it to the closest thing to eye candy that you can, and share it.
Social media is still mostly about experimentation. No one, even the top psychologists, can predict for sure what people would want, so don’t be afraid to try different ways of promoting your product on social media. See what I did there? It goes back to the importance of split testing, alright. Enjoy!
Andy “Mr Fearless” Jenkins