This is the third installment of our ‘Building Your Digital Landscape’ series about the best practices you can use to construct a strong digital presence. If you’re catching up, you can check out our Digital Marketing Acronym Reference Guide or Head into Header Tags for SEO.

Jumping into the world of digital marketing through social media may seem simple to some and out of reach for others. We’d like to walk that enthusiasm (or trepidation) down a more realistic path to getting your name out there using social media. Whether your business has stood the test of time and is just now jumping into the social space or it’s a brand-new business looking to shout its name from the rooftops, we’ve got five truths to help guide your way.

Truth #1: Word of mouth is still the reigning champion of digital marketing.

News spreads faster person to person in a single day than any PR campaign could provide in a month. Get people talking. What does your business offer or what element of your business is worthy of telling a friend about? Whatever THAT is, it should be the main focus of Truth #2.

Truth #2: Yes, you need a social strategy.

Sure, you could be an avid personal social media user and think that you easily could pump out content for your business. Reality check — social media as an individual is much different than social media for a brand/business.

Think about it: In general, people care more about what other people are doing — not necessarily what a business is doing. Approaching social media takes a different lens as a business. Are you useful? Could you provide helpful content that keeps people coming back and saying “Oh hey, I didn’t know that. I can apply that to my daily life right now!” Or do you have compelling employee stories or a company history that could draw someone in? Whatever is your best story, pick it and stick to it.

From there, build a strategy that focuses on your core audience and what social channels they spend the most time on. If you build a strong community foundation, you can then build additional customer service channels, sales channels and even a smart, efficient paid social strategy.

Truth #3: Don’t aim for viral. You’re not an infection.

It’s true that some businesses slide right into “viral” fame. Whether they were the first to send snarky tweets to their competitor or make use of a well-placed grumpy feline, they are indeed out there.

However, that’s like aiming to be the next Jay Z when you are more likely to be mistaken for Dwight Schrute. It’s not going to happen intentionally. Instead, set a business goal and build your social media and online tactics around that.

Product sales? Showcase products on the platform your audience hangs out on. For example, TikTok has a whole branch of content around “cleantok.” It’s this community that has led to an increase in sales for products like wet dry vacs, spin mops, smiley-face sponges — just to name a few. No one single “cleantok” video is the “viral” culprit, rather it’s a community that has developed through cultivation and some smartly researched influential users of that platform. This leads to our next truth.

Truth #4: Quality over quantity — pick your platform(s).

If you know your audience, you know where they spend time online. Focus on those one or two social platforms. Learn the lingo, know the strategy and become a part of that platform’s overall community so your content makes sense.

Be ingrained enough that you know what are the trending topics or hashtags and jump on that wave if it makes sense. Knowing a topic means knowing when it’s more appropriate for you as a business not to engage is also key. (Look up any number of social media business gaffs; there are plenty.)

It isn’t a requirement to be on every platform pumping out content every day. Find your audience’s preferred space and be an authority voice in that space.

Truth #5: If you’re bored with your content, so is everyone else.

If you weren’t a part of your business, would you follow your account? If you paused or said “no,” then it’s time to re-evaluate the prior truths. People are online because they want to be entertained, educated and connected.

A few questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s in it for the audience?
  • What value are you providing them?
  • How can you build your community around what sets you apart? How can you use and reuse that?

Need help thinking through these five truths? We’re here to help. Whether you’re ready for social strategy, need a walkthrough of what social media is out there and who’s using what or you just want to talk content, we’re here for you.

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