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Connecting with Your Prospects: 3 Golden Rules of Social Media Marketing

It’s tough getting established as a small business. You could toil and work for hours, only to gain an inch in the grand scheme of things. And one area of importance—or the most important to some—that people often lack in is digital marketing.

The most accessible way to approach digital marketing today is through the use of social media. But just knowing about social media doesn’t mean you know how to successfully market your particular business using social media.

So, for those who are just getting started, or who continue to struggle, here are 3 “golden rules” of social media marketing that can help you achieve your goals.

Let’s get started…

Rule No.1: Set Clear Goals

In a way, this is a no brainer. But how many times have you (or someone you know) started on a project only to have no idea why or where it was going to end up?

Unfortunately, many of us succumb to groupthink mentality—not to mention FOMO (fear of missing out). This causes people to act rashly. When you’re trying to grow a business, this is the last thing you want.

Of course, professional help from a digital marketing agency could help guide you through the process, determining what your endgame is. But many people get more satisfaction from the DIY approach.

So, before embarking on that journey to 10,000 likes to bolster sales for your budding cat fashion retail store, be sure to have a clear goal in mind of what you’d like to achieve at the end. This can be a milestone goal tracking monthly progress, or a year-over-year goal.

And once you have a goal set, define how you plan to reach this goal. This gives potential customers and followers insight into why it is you’re running a cat fashion store, or any other goal you’ve set out to achieve.

It’s peace of mind for them, and for you.

Rule No.2: Know Your Platform

One of the easiest ways to fail when it comes to social media marketing is to post the wrong type of content to the wrong platform.

The easiest way to avoid this? Do your research.

Look to other successful businesses for insight on the process on each platform. Know that each set of users has a particular preference and each platform a specific method that leads to best success.

Facebook, for example, does well with videos and engaging photos. Instagram is the visual paradise since high-quality photographs and videos work best here. While Twitter is for the shorter, more immediate text posts that come to mind.

It also helps to know when the best times to post are as well.  Most platforms offer metrics that help you know when this is.

Rule No.3: Respect Your Followers

This one is a bit tricky. It requires a degree of balance for you while trying to engage with your followers for feedback and a sense of community.

Even though you’re trying to build a following that is going to buy into the cat fashion store, or whatever it is your selling, at the end of the day, people want to feel that what they’re engaging with is meaningful and worthwhile. They want to feel a sense of community. You can’t bludgeon them with constant sales-pitch posts. That’s how you lose followers! There must be careful curation involved: personal posts, informational/engagement posts, and a more limited number of sales content (what you’re selling) posts.

Yes, you’re there to earn money and spread the word about your product but you cannot be overzealous in selling.  Again, it’s a tricky process that requires balance.

While some are skilled at this balancing act, others struggle with it. But an easy way to balance this it out is to develop a system that works for you, something like the 5/3/2 rule.

Once you have these three rules down, over time your social media followers should rise, and your sales right along with it.