Gary Vaynerchuk is a legend in social networks. The guy is so big that he has more than 1 million followers on Twitter and hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers. In Knockout, he shares his advice on how to relate to his client and beat the competition in the age of social networks. Many companies, when planning their marketing strategies for social networks, decide to offer promotions in advance to beat the game. However, the author explains that this is not the best strategy. To have competitive advantages these days in social media marketing, the goal is to relate to the client with mastery.
Learn from an expert how to win over your customers and have a successful marketing campaign in the age of social networking! We will show you!
Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and most of the time spent on their phones, they are on some social network. That changes the dynamics of marketing in the digital age. If you want to have any chance of winning new customers, your focus should be on people's cell phones.
The impact and efficiency of traditional marketing and digital marketing continue to decline steadily, while social marketing is growing exponentially. That is not surprising when you consider that there are billions of cell phones connected all over the world. In any public space, wherever you go in the world, you'll see people on their phones and tablets - half of them will be using these devices to connect to their social networks.
It means that social networking is already on the way to becoming the most effective marketing vehicle. By the end of 2013, there were five large-scale social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.
Other networks are emerging and may become known in the future, but by 2013, the five giants dominated social media. That is very important because, although all five had several characteristics in common, in addition to their strengths and weaknesses. If you want to use these platforms to deliver effective marketing, you need to tailor your content to take advantage of each platform's strengths.
In social media, using constant promotions and calls-to-action does not work. If you keep doing this, people will only ignore your content. Direct selling is rejected by the final user. Instead, social media consumers expect you to pay attention to them and allow them to give you their opinions even before they consider buying from you. For social media platforms, smart marketing strategy looks like this a boxing sequence: many jabs, or weak punches and right hooks to finalize.
Instead of continually delivering sales offers or right hooks, you need to punch light first. Jabs are small amounts of micro-content that make people think and feel appreciated and valued. You need to start the conversation with consumers, answer their questions and then make offers, only after they have allowed you.
The idea of selling more stuff by telling stories in social media seems counterintuitive at first, but the key is to deliver excellent stories with their micro-content jabs. Great stories not only tell people about your product or service but also inspire them. You need to provide the stories your future clients want to hear and so grab your attention by offering value. Only after you have invested in the relationship, you can provide your business.
So what exactly are the characteristics of good content and attractive social media stories? Several factors are important to have exceptional stories:
You need to deliver material that is already native to the platform you are using - instead of using materials that have been adapted from other places. Each social networking platform has its sets of requirements regarding hyperlinks, texts, and images. Each has its strengths, and you need to develop content optimized for each platform. Show first that you understand and respect her.
You need a micro-content that is not interrupted - that's a natural part of the conversation. Traditional advertising places intruders in the consumer experience when they are trying to do something. Experienced social network marketing finds out what people are trying to achieve and helps them to follow that path. You should help people today, so they feel inclined to buy from you in the future.
Your stories should not generate demand - be generous, informative, funny and inspiring, rather than always talking about sales. Specifically, deliver a micro-content that helps people connect and do what they want.
Your stories should encourage pop culture - and show that you like it and are not stuck in the past decades. Today's consumers use their phones to do everything. Create content that shows you understand the issues they face today. Your stories need to be micro-sized - small sources of information, humor, or comments. People are busy. Small content is much more appealing than great productions. You need to be consistent and conscientious - that is, saying things that encourage your brand and at the same time are true to your values.
Each social media platform is different and has its strengths and weaknesses. To be successful in social media marketing, learn how to use each platform to deliver micro-content efficiently. Specifically:
Facebook has more than one billion active users. It is the ideal platform to tell your stories and deliver quality, uplifting and useful content. If you do it very well, users will communicate with you, and this will make your content rank better and be seen more often.
To give an example of how to use Facebook with maximum effectiveness, suppose your company sells boots. If you went to Facebook and simply published offers for sale (the right hook), few people would read or care about the post. Instead, you must first put a series of micro-content (your jabs).
Your jabs may include:
A 15-second video of people showing off the boots you sold them.
A Happy Valentine's Day card, which shows no boot.
A video of 15 seconds on mountain climbing.
A survey: "Would you rather wear your boots in the summer or winter? "
Keep putting content that entertains and engages your community on Facebook, and you will begin to realize that they are paying attention to you. Once you have a more detailed knowledge of your community, and after understanding what they find fun, you can continue to relate to them in fun ways. After many jabs, you can then post something that converts your fans into sales.
The Right Hook: Post a coupon, a free shipping offer or some other 'call-to-action.'
Facebook allows you to focus on some people in your community instead of just making public offers. Your right hook can be posted only to people over the age of 35, with college degrees or living in California. Facebook posts can be very selective. You can change your jabs and your right hook to be targeted to the right segments of your customer base.
Twitter has almost half a billion users, and its messages are 140 characters or less and are perfect for brainstorming and quick conversations.
Today, marketers use Twitter as an extension of their blogs or to promote links. That's a pity since Twitter is a great tool for listening to what users are saying.
Twitter allows you to make statements, put your position and project your voice - this is the perfect material for your jabs. All tweets are public, so when you use Twitter, you're talking to the whole world.
Twitter's strength lies in its ability to discover trends and other events. It lets you tell your stories in real context and with relevance. You can tailor your content to talk about current events. That makes it possible to expand your reach and spread your message to new groups of leads. Twitter allows you to relate to your current and future customers.
So how do you use Twitter to create good jabs for your company? Some suggestions are:
Post constantly short tweets - which are succinct. Go straight to the point.
Use the trends in your favor - write down comments on some trend and people will follow what you said. Be creative, have fun and experiment. You can use the trends to give some right hooks after giving several jabs.
Choose a memorable hashtag - something ironic or related to the local culture; this works great on Twitter.
The distinctive feature of Twitter is that it lets you talk to customers and give your brand voice. Make sure your voice is authentic. In the world of Twitter, large corporations with their large marketing departments are disapproved. People respond to authenticity and originality.
If you can generate a compelling story in the countless information you get on Twitter daily, you'll be able to connect with your brand's consumers in inspiring ways.
Pinterest was created to help people create and share collections of things online. Pinterest users put pins as visual markers, to mark interesting items and to make links to web pages. Think of Pinterest as a society of mutual admiration, where people are constantly looking for new and inspiring items.
The smart way to use Pinterest is to create some boards that are tangentially related to your brand and use them to generate awareness of what you have to offer. For example, if you sell tea and set up a board for your brand, you will only attract dedicated tea fans. However, if you set up a second board called "inspiring places to have tea" in which your pins are figures of large hotels and other interesting places, then you will attract a new segment of customers. These additional boards will inject some personality into your brand and will also attract communities that at first appear to be unrelated to your brand.
At Pinterest, you can also give regular and consistent jabs by posting comments. You can generate opportunities to talk to people who have preferences aligned with yours. By expressing a genuine interest in what people are marking, you develop a context and awareness.
The more you relate to other Pinterest users, the more reasons you can get them to click on your name and learn about you.
The rules for making Pinterest work are quite straightforward:
Have a good sticker - be kind and show people that you care. The Pinterest audience is 80% female, and 50% of users have children. Your conduct is important to these people. Show your products in an attractive and provocative way - keep in mind that Pinterest is a visual marketplace. Use attractive, clean images, and link to your other materials.
Be generous with your knowledge - help other Pinterest users.
Be true - if you can not help someone, show the direction to who can.
Use points of contact to tell your story - show what your brand stands for in each interaction and bring abstract concepts to life with remarkable stories.
Instagram has millions of active users monthly. Over 40 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day, and those photos generate over 1000 comments per second. Instagram prides itself on being "a new way of seeing the world."
Instagram, like Pinterest, is a visual social network. What is challenging for marketers is that you can not embed links in your photos and pictures. Instead, you need to enter the URL of your offers and other materials in your descriptions. They are not exactly 'one click does it all,' but people are not dumb - they find out how to get to your links easily.
So what's the added benefit of posting images on Instagram? It's more or less the same motivation behind ads in print magazines. Thinking about your goals, a print magazine is just a series of images and photos with some content around these images. Instagram is a consumer platform for images, with a bonus, which is that people can enjoy the images and content. They can also share their comments on Twitter and Facebook. Think of Instagram as a magazine that is read by 100 million people or more each month - and where you can post free content as long as it's an image.
When you think of the evolution of social networks from Flickr and Myspace to Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest, it is very clear that images dominate the market.
To create successful content for Instagram:
Put natural images on your Instagram - do not try to post ads or generic photos. The hallmark of Instagram has been the quality of its content, so do not do anything to end it. Good content for Instagram is artistic and not commercial. Post images that express art.
Respect the Instagram generation - the young users and their next generation of customers. Do things and post pictures with which they identify.
Use many hashtags on Instagram - post five or six if appropriate. In Instagram, hashtags are the only form of communication. Know that when people click on a hashtag, they go to a page of other images that use the same hashtag, so be memorable.
Be "worthy of exploration" - this means that the most beautiful images go to the "explore" page of Instagram. Put some fabulous pictures that show what you're talking about and get attention. That will bring you a lot of visibility.
Tumblr allows the posting of animated GIFs, which are fast becoming a cultural phenomenon. They use still images and put movement, generating surprise and unlimited creativity.
Tumblr is a publishing platform created for the mobile phone. It is perfect for delivering jabs, which surprise and fill the consumer with admiration. If you can, study the platform and learn how to deliver what people want through animated GIFs. Tumblr will provide a lot of visibility. Because the content can be shared transparently, it increases the appeal of Tumblr.
The keys to working with Tumblr are:
Do everything you can to build a reputation as a source of exclusive content - because that's what the Tumblr audience expects. Tumblr is great for word-of-mouth campaigns.
Tell good stories - using some animated GIFs to tell the stories. The Tumblr blog is a great place to do this with maximum impact. Integrate elements of pop culture, and you will have countless fans before you know it.
Learn how to make and use animated GIFs - because they are a distinctive feature of Tumblr. Forget the boring photos and stops. Make your pictures.
Try to find ways to invite your Tumblr followers to join your blog - because engagement increases your emotional investment. If one of your fans has any good ideas, post it on your blog. Give credit and others will observe this and follow suit.
Be worthy of word of mouth - do something funny. Tumblr users will love you for it.
Do not forget the occasional right hook - a neat offer to buy something that you know they will love. If you post a series of strong punches, you have earned the right to give a right hook. So do it.
Currently, there are some platforms that are growing rapidly but have not yet reached a large scale. You should be aware of the future opportunities for these platforms. Mainly:
LinkedIn - which is in the process of evolving from a network tool to a professional hub. LinkedIn has more than 200 million users and is growing rapidly. It is business oriented. The fact that more than 2.8 million businesses have LinkedIn pages suggests that it is a great place to do business. Find creative and intelligent ways to become indispensable in LinkedIn by providing quality content.
Google+ now has more than 500 million users, though many of them are inactive. While the future visibility of Google+ as a marketing platform remains a mystery, there is no doubt that it influences search engine rankings. It will be very helpful to gain some experience on Google+.
Vine - was released in the middle of 2013 and gained more than 13 million users in the first six months. Vine offers six-second videos that are ideal for storytelling and other marketing tools. Twitter obviously believes in Vine and bought it recently. It is still at an early stage of development, but there is no doubt that you need to figure out how to use it to deliver punches and right hooks. In the coming years, many experts predict that Vine will overtake Youtube and become the video platform of choice for most people. Note from 12 ': Vine was discontinued by Twitter, making Twitter itself the group's official platform for sharing videos.
Snapchat - was released in September 2011. In February 2013, 60 million snaps - photos and videos that self-destruct after viewing - are sent daily. Snapchat has gained fame as a potential sexting platform, but most users share jokes and pictures with their friends. The funny thing is that users know that their content will disappear, so they do not want to fail to see anything. The opportunities to use Snapchat to deliver right-handed punches and hooks will multiply exponentially in the future, and you need to learn how it works.
To have successful marketing using social media you need to have great micro-content in the most appropriate context and be consistent 24 hours a day, every day.
If you give great jabs and a memorable right hook on any social media platform, people will notice. More than that, they will comment on how nice it is to talk to a real person. If you can be charming and funny, and at the same time signal how much you care, they will notice.
At the moment, the key to giving effective jabs and winning over your potential clients is to post micro-content. This does not mean that the long content is dead. It still has life in the form of YouTube videos and magazine articles, for example.
These days, all businesses are quickly becoming media companies. Brands can become big players in the media world, and you can do the same. Social media platforms that offer free access to everyone make it possible.
For all these individual differences, the four basic blocks of all social networks are the same: pictures, texts, links, and tonality. If you take the time to learn how these four blocks blend into the various platforms you want to use, you will position yourself well and be efficient.
Do not forget that just as you are struggling to learn the evolutions of social networks, most businesses and consumers are doing the same thing. Consumers are slow to adapt too. If you can be quick and understand the continuous changes in social networks, you can gain significant competitive advantages.
To this day there is no cake recipe or a perfect combination of punches to win on social networks. So it's impossible to know in advance how many jabs you need to give before it's time to give the right hook. You will only discover this after many attempts and observations.
With so many voices and so much information being produced, the only way to highlight your brand is to deliver new and interesting content. Do not forget that social networks value quantity and quality. Try good combinations and practice hard to get to the Knockout.
If you liked this microbook, how about learning a little more about social networking with this TED playlist about social media?
Gary Vaynerchuk is a Belarusian American vine critic, author, and entrepreneur. He managed to grow the business he inherited from his father, a liquor store, from making 3 million dollars a year to making 60 m... (Read more)
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