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The Power of the Social Success Cycle

Social Media is an incredibly powerful tool to lure a responsive audience and capture their attention. Attention, however, is not enough to bring your business to a level of growth and effect business goals that really matter. Social media can help you drive revenue while reducing costs.

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To master your social media marketing, you can utilize the Social Success Cycle. The cycle can be broken up into 4 main steps:

  1. Social Listening
  2. Social Influencing
  3. Social Networking
  4. Social Selling

By mastering these four aspects, you will be able to successfully and profitably monetize your social media presence. In the articles to come, we will delve further into each of these aspects. But for today, let’s take a look at how these four steps can serve as goals to accomplish.

STEP 1: Social Listening

Social Listening is monitoring and responding to customer service but it also includes managing any reputation issues on the social web.

Once you make your social media mark, there will always be conversations on the Web about you, your brand, and the major other associates or partners involved in your company. As all these conversations unfold and evolve, you need to be there: present and listening.

Broken down, we can see social listening as accomplishing these main goals:

  • Manage reputation
  • Increase retention (subscriptions or continuity programs)
  • Reduce refunds
  • Identify product gaps (you want to hear those ideas)
  • Identify content gaps (and fill them)

Most of these goals are straightforward, but make sure to stay tuned as we explain how to accomplish these in the articles to come.

STEP 2: Social Influencing

This is where your content and creativity comes into play. By having an influential social media presence, you establish your business or brand as an authority on the social web. This is done most often through the distribution and sharing of valuable content.

What is so powerful about social influencing is the build-out and proliferation of your content. This can be achieved by you or other folks on the social web. The goals targeted within this step are:

  • Increase engagement
  • Increase website traffic
  • Increase offer awareness
  • Grow retargeting lists

STEP 3: Social Networking

Most of us already know the power of networking. The key to effective social networking in social medias is finding and associating with authoritative and influential individuals and brands on the social web. These partnerships will help you move the needle in your business.

Think of networking as a powerful tool to help accomplish two main goals:

  • “Earn” media mentions on blogs, social channels, magazines, newspapers, or even podcast interviews
  • Establish joint ventures and partnerships

STEP 4: Social Selling

There is a very strategic reason why social selling is the fourth step in enacting business growth. Without the other aspects of effective social media marketing, you will not be able to actually generate revenue from the social web.

Social selling generates leads and sales from existing customers and prospects on the social web. You must continue to listen, influence, and sell to accomplish these goals:

  • Generate Leads/Grow Email list
  • Initial customer acquisition
  • Cross sell/up-sell
  • Increase buyer frequency

The Customer Avatar

Now that we have established the steps needed to successfully monetize social media, it’s important to establish a targeted audience for your social media pursuits to be most efficient.

Ok, but what is an Avatar? (Aside from a Hollywood sensation.)

Others might call this a buyer persona. As you establish and begin to build on what an ideal customer for your business looks like, you can begin to understand what your client base needs in order to be reach. The main points of your Avatar’s interest will drive your content on social media. It will attract and ultimately connect with more similar Avatars.

To help build out your Customer Avatar, check out this customer avatar worksheet brought to you by Digital Marketer.

Finding Your Perfect Social Media Channel

Ok, so now that you have built the Avatar for your ideal customer that isn’t based on the blue Pixar character, you have to find your ideal channel.

There are hundreds of different social media channels. They can be image or text based, business centered, or based in customer-driven information exchange. You can check out The Conversation Prism created by Brian Solis in 2008 for an idea. But seeing as how our modern world changes and shifts at lightning speed, it’s already slightly outdated.

Regardless what channel you leverage, it is less important than understanding an overall social media strategy that makes sense for your business.

So even though there are hundreds of social channels, don’t get caught up in the individual channels.  Here are some examples of how to hone in on the appropriate channel:

  • For health and fitness space, leverage the Quantified Self path.
  • For a photographer and working with images, look at Instagram and Flickr.
  • In the B2B space, look at LinkedIn, Scribd, and SlideShare.
  • If you create a lot of videos, YouTube and Vimeo will be good.

First figure out the best strategy that works for you, and then go find the right channels.

But How Do I Figure Out What Channel Works Best?

You can divide the social media channels into two categories:  seeker and engagement.

Engagement vs. Seeker Channels

Seeker Channels

Users seek and consume certain content on that social channel.

      • Channels are modified versions of search engines, like Google.
      • Best for Social Influencing and Social selling
      • Influencing: sharing of valuable content to build authority and trust
      • Selling: to build in CTAs to ascend into being a lead or customer and link back to your website.
      • Big Seeker Channels: YouTube and Pinterest
      • YouTube: Users seek for more information. They use YouTube as a search engine, consume content in the channel, overlay and make CTA to drive people to your website and convert them to a lead or sale.
      • Pinterest: same except content is mainly image based.

Engagement Channels

Users come to the channel to engage, connect, have conversations with others.

      • Channels call on users share short-form content on the channel that links back to longer form contents.
      • Twitter: with 140 characters, the content is just snippets that link back to longer pieces
      • Channels are best for Social Listening, Social Influencing and Social Networking.
      • Listening: lots of conversations – brand to customer, customer to customer, customer to prospect, prospect to brand, customer to brand.  Listen to what competitors are doing!
      • Influencing: drop content.
      • Networking: native conversations.
      • Channels call on users to go there to engage with others, tag each other, ask what’s going on in their lives, from a professional and personal standpoint.

Hybrid Channels

A crossover between Engagement and Seeker Channels

      • Instagram – imaged based, lots of conversations, plus search capability using hashtags.

With Power comes Responsibility: Social Media Dont’s

We’ll keep this short and as a list. No one likes a rash or abusive Social Media queen. Unless your Kim Kardashian, use it responsibly and witness its potential!

    1. Don’t use social media when angry.
  • Have someone else you trust to handle a fiery situation.
  • … give it 12-24 hours and come back with a cooler head and reply in a professional manner.
  1. Don’t buy followers/connections
  • Can do so on Fivrr – but don’t.
  1. Robots won’t increase your stature — it’s just not business savvy
  • Instead, pour those resources into making a good experience for the followers.
  1. Don’t do the follow/unfollow dance.
  • However, there is a tool (automatically or manually) that unfollows you within 24-48 hours if you don’t follow someone back who has followed you.
  1. Don’t try to be everywhere.
  • Depending on the size of your organization, choose some to just listen vs. network, influence or sell.
  • Be on a couple channels that work really well for you and really master them.
  1. Don’t be a salesman.
  1. Don’t automate (everything). Which brings us to our next topic!

When Should I Automate?

Wait wait, but what is automating? Automating is when you set things up so they happen, regardless of any other circumstance. Pretty useful when you have a million other things to do, right?

You can automate Social Selling and Social Influencing. (Remember those two steps of monetizing social media!?) But do your business a favor and do NOT automate Social Listening.

You need to remain genuine and authentic and be able to properly adapt to the needs of your audience. Have a real-life, breathing human respond to customer service, reputation management issues, and praise.

This also applies to Social Networking. You don’t want a robot trying to engage in conversations with influential people who may become joint venture partners or might share your content.

Even with Social Selling you want to be careful with automating. You ideally want to distribute lead magnets and low-dollar offers that are not on a timed schedule or that have the potential to become irrelevant over time.

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