10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
Social media is termed a golden platform for businesses as it has given a completely new direction to traditional marketing. Due to social media which is a common and relatively cost-effective tool, businesses started to flourish and skyrocket their reach and audience without spending thousands of dollars.
Unfortunately, it is not always that simple. To fully benefit from the opportunities that social media offers, it’s necessary to be aware of the laws of social media marketing. Surprisingly, only a bunch of social media users are aware of the fundamental principles that social media marketing is based on. In fact, not knowing these rules and not implementing them in your social media marketing strategy can cause a big loss to your business by harming your reputation which may lead to a drop in the number of your followers and eventually curtail your sales opportunities.
If you have a business and you are on social media, do yourself a favor and adopt the following social media marketing laws to maximize the potential of your business. By abiding by these ten laws, you will enhance your image and make closer contact with your customers who can eventually become your strong followers and fans.
1. The Law of Listening
The difference between social media and other media is that social media is more of interactive and two-way communication, rather than a monologue. As social media marketing is based on dialogue, listening is one of the most important skills. Businesses must understand that social media is not all about posting content continuously and not paying heed to what your followers or audience have to say, but primarily about listening to what your audience expects from you.
Listening can be taken as an observation here. Your listening and observation should be emphatic and attentive. Observing and listening to what your audience likes and dislikes is fundamental to your success. You can only know their interests if you pay attention to what they say. If you don’t listen to your audience and ignore their needs, you can create an unfavorable image that will work against you. Therefore, it is so important to acknowledge the needs and interests of your audience and then draft your content aligned with them.
2. The Law of Focus
Another fundamental law of social media marketing is the focus. Your social media strategy should be niche-oriented. Currently, being all things to all people makes your message unclear and ineffective. So instead of trying to become a jack of all trades, it is better to specialize in one niche, offering super in-depth content. In general, it is advisable not to defocus to broaden your niche as it looks inauthentic.
For your social media marketing to look organic, natural, and compelling, you should focus on one thing. In fact, it is necessary to build a strategy that will underpin all your social media activities. People are attracted more to profiles that are niche-oriented with specific goals to achieve. By implementing a clear message in your social media communication, you will create an image of a professional business and eventually bring lots of quality followers.
3. The Law of Quality
It is unlikely that your business or brand will get any progress if your focus is quantity rather than quality. The law of quality is to stick to the quality and not mind the quantity. It will not make any difference if you post so much content with poor quality. Instead, it will decrease your fame and credibility. Quality can never be superseded by quantity. If you are willing to communicate with your audience on social media in an effective manner, quality is the key.
According to the authors of “Social Media Marketing: Step by Step Instructions For Advertising Your Business on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin and Various Other Platforms” Noah Gray and Michael Fox, “All social media sites have standards for how the content is posted.” Therefore, businesses need to be aware of what specific content works best for their audience to provide their followers with high-quality content. Thus, it’s necessary to remember that each platform has been designed to publish a specific type of content. For instance, the primary purpose of YouTube is videos, while Instagram focuses on pictures, Twitter is for shorter messages, and Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to provide more information about what you want to share.
With that in mind, as a business owner, you should pay a lot of attention to the content quality as it attracts more and more followers ready to engage with your brand, enhancing your brand credibility. That is why you need to keep the law of quality in mind when marketing your company on social media.
4. The Law of Patience
The law of patience means to be patient with your brand, business, or service reputation. Businesses usually don’t succeed on the first attempt. Although it theoretically may happen, it’s statistically very rare so you need to prime yourself for a marathon, not a sprint as achieving goals usually takes time. If you want to uptake your business effectively, then rely on slow and steady work. Remember that a thousand-mile journey starts with a single step so appreciate your journey to success and reach your destination step-by-step.
You will crash in the end if you go towards instant results. Everything that gives instant results is likely to vanish after a while. So if you want the long-term benefits of your company’s social media marketing, be patient, as only then you will reap the rewards of your efforts.
5. The Law of Compounding
The law of compounding is a must to follow if you want to excel in social media and get the best out of it. Similarly to investing where you can grow money benefitting from the interest, you earn on interest which is called the power of compound interest, you can grow a bigger and bigger audience using new followers’ reach to gain more and more followers. By increasing your reach through social sharing, your reach is much wider. Think of it as social compounding. You make valuable content and share it with your network. Then someone shares it with theirs, and then it turns out it gets shared again due to that sharing. When it works, it may be a very powerful method of increasing your brand recognition.
This content resharing process based on a compounding effect is an important factor in effective social media marketing to drive traffic to your website, which in turn may influence your ranking on Google or other search engines. According to the law of compounding, the bigger your social media audience, the greater your chance of reaching new followers and growing your business faster and faster.
6. The Law of Influence
The Law of influence is another fundamental law of social media, very important but sometimes underestimated. To get the best results from your marketing campaigns, use influencer-based marketing techniques. This is a very effective method to get wider exposure for your marketing efforts but to make it work, you need to partner with influencers operating in your target market who have high-quality, authentic, and responsive followers belonging to your target audience. This greatly increases the likelihood that they may be interested in purchasing your products or services. In fact, to achieve the best possible results, you need to not only establish real contacts with influencers but also constantly work on building long-term relationships with them.
However, always keep in mind that not all influencers provide the same value, and not all are equally influential. That is why only reaching credible influencers who have quality followers is helpful. If you do your homework and make a deliberate selection to choose only reliable and credible influencers, incredible outcomes will come. Working with influencers is very powerful, so if you build a reputation as a reliable business partner offering high-quality products and credible information, influencers will be more likely to share your content with their own followers, which could put your business at the forefront of a huge new audience.
7. The Law of Value
Law of value means adding value to the lives of people following your content. Value is one of the most critical things you should deliver to your customers through social media channels. To uncover what value your content is supposed to provide to your audience, ask yourself: How can you improve the lives of your followers? The answer to this question should be very well-thought-out as it will be the linchpin of your entire social media communication strategy. Obviously, it all depends on your industry, but the greatest value you can provide is usually something that your clients can’t find anywhere else. It can be credible information on trends in your industry, new statistics, an infographic, a flowchart, a table, or a link to a well-written piece with lots of helpful tips.
Surprisingly, plenty of companies are still of the opinion that posting any content on social media, including advertising their products or services, is providing value. Unfortunately, this is not the case. People like to buy but don’t like to be sold, so if you publish promotional content aggressively pushing your followers to buy your products or services without giving them any value, chances are they will quickly abandon your social media accounts. Of course, you may occasionally want to mention your new products or services on social media from time to time, but this kind of content cannot be the backbone of social media content marketing.
8. The Law of Acknowledgement
Who likes to be neglected or ignored? No one!
As people like to be seen and heard, you should never ignore your followers' queries and comments. It is very important to acknowledge what they have to say. Their queries must be effectively answered. You should always respond to their comments, especially negative ones. By not avoiding difficult topics and taking note of them, you show that you are open to discussion and do not run away from challenging situations, which proves that you are a trustworthy and credible brand.
In fact, responding properly to all sorts of comments always adds quality and value to communication with your followers. As relationship building is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, always acknowledge every person who reaches out to you.
The essence of a successful social media strategy is acknowledgment which is critical not only in social media communication but in any type of communication. Thus, companies can't expect their followers to comment and share their content when they are not responsive, treating communication as a one-way process. Focusing on acknowledging and responding to not only your followers’ positive comments but also to those who deal with their potential issues and challenges is a royal road to establishing long-lasting relationships with them.
9. The Law of Accessibility
The law of accessibility is about being available after the content is published. Do not vanish after posting the content. Stay there and work on your engagement. Yes, make contact with your followers by responding and conversing with them. Brands must take care of their social media communication not once in a blue moon but on a daily basis, trying to be as available as possible. If you post content and then disappear for a long time, chances are you will lose a bunch of your followers.
The gist of social media is interactivity. Unlike traditional media with one-way communication, where people were only the recipients of the "one and only" worldview, social media has leveled the playing field by making all participants contributors whose voice is equally important. Thus, by being accessible and responsive to your followers, you recognize their role in the common dialogue, showing that you care about their insights and opinions.
10. The Law of Reciprocity
The law of reciprocity is one of the most neglected laws. Brands need to remember that social media are an open-access platform based on the idea of reciprocity with the goal to support the whole community. However, there are a lot of companies that make the basic mistake of not paying enough attention to their social media accounts and neglecting the comments and messages of their followers, which makes a bad impression and creates a very bad image for these brands. Companies should bear in mind that building their presence in social media should be pinned on reciprocity and only then can they create an active, responsive and supportive community made up of masses of staunch followers.
If you don't care what your followers want to tell you, primarily, by neglecting their needs and wants and not having time to respond to their comments, you can’t anticipate that they will be responsive to your posts and marketing campaigns. However, if you do take the time to communicate with your target audience on a daily basis, you’ll quickly notice that your followers’ feedback is constantly growing. For this to work, only one condition needs to be met: you need to be in touch with your audience on a regular basis, certainly not once in a blue moon.
Overall, you can't expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don't do the same for them. So some of your time on social media should be focused on sharing and talking about the content posted by others. If you add value to other people's content, they'll definitely do it for you as well.
These ten laws can’t guarantee your social media marketing campaigns are successful, but following them, you can significantly increase the chances of your social media success. It’s worth noting that social media marketing is not just about posting on Instagram and Facebook, it’s primarily about finding ways to connect with your fans and followers to communicate effectively with them and ultimately convert them into customers. By following the aforementioned social media laws, your brand has the chance to reap the benefits of the impact of social media without spending tons of money.
Just because your brand isn't active on social media doesn't mean it won't work for you; however, don't forget that you're still running the business and have to consider how much time you need to spend on your social media. Finally, make sure that your social media activities not only comply with the 10 laws of social media marketing but also convert into profits.
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Author: Ulfat Iqbal is a social media expert, writer, blogger, and outreach manager at Followers Cart with 3-year experience in SEO and social media marketing, writing about marketing, technology, science, and digitalization trends.