Pause for a moment and think about something for a minute. Is there anything you can really be successful at without following some “rules”? I know what you are thinking, entrepreneurs are meant to “break rules” instead of follow rules right? Wrong! In my opinion there are just some times when you have to follow rules and Social Media is one of those times. When it comes to Social Media, you simply have to follow in the footsteps of people who have gone ahead of you and been successful. These footsteps are what I refer to as “rules” in this article and they will certainly lead you to a degree of success. As with anything in life, we might be following the same recipe but results will differ depending on more personal characteristics.
Rule #1 it’s not about YOU
The only radio station everybody tunes in to is WIIFM FM (What’s in It for Me). If you have a Social Media account for your business then it is not about you, but what your connections will benefit from association with you. This could either be Facebook fans, Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections. Talking all about yourself and your business is a sure way of losing everyone’s attention and they just stop listening. To have a successful Social Media presence make sure you talk none stop about the benefits your visitors will get from association with you. It’s all about THEM.
Rule #2 Content is KING
Break this rule at your own peril. A Social Media page lacking in content is like going to a party and you are the only guest there, who wants to go to such a party. This is where the 80:20 rule comes in. Spend 20% of your time creating great content and the rest delivering it to your audience, engaging with them, listening to them and talking about THEM. At no point are you ever expected to reverse this ratio, this amount to shooting yourself in the Social Media foot.
Rule #3 Do not be a One-Hit-Wonder
Social Media success is 24/7 business. Just because you have thousands of fans or followers does not mean you can sit on your haunches. It is a fulltime occupation to make sure those fans are being fed and you have to work at keeping their attention. Just because you made one killer post that got them in does not mean you can sit back and relax. Your fans are hungry monsters, keep feeding them and they will keep bringing their friends in.
Rule #4 Reply to EVERYONE
This is one rule you must never break. If someone posts a comment or engages with you, you MUST respond and reply to them. There is no faster way to lose fans or followers by ignoring their message or comment, and then replying to the one after theirs. It is therefore imperative that you look after your audience; it generally costs more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Rule #5 Remember Social Media is about PEOPLE
This has got to be one of the most important of the 5 rules. Sometimes when we are exploring the Social Media jungle we see “people” as prospects and forget that it is all about creating lasting relationships. As the adage goes, no one wants to be sold to, and if you treat people in real life as we see some being treated in Social Media, then you wouldn’t have any friends. Also remember people are more likely to react more to something that stirs their emotions. Appeal to people’s hearts and they will love you forever (well considering that a tweet has a half-life of 6-7 minutes and good Facebook post only lasts a couple of hours.)
Well there you go 5 very powerful Social Media rules which will make you or break you. Now go and check if you have been applying these rules in your interactions, if not then it’s not too late to ring in the changes. Good luck.