Lifestyle programs show us how to sing, cook and exercise. Radio stations bombard us with gardening tips, entertainment and music.
It is information overload.
Businesses are built on knowledge, expertise, talent and know how. Every business is in the “knowledge business”.
The businesses and personal brands that succeed may not have the best products or services but know how to package that information and share it so they cut through the noise of billions of online ads, crowded social media networks and TV advertising.
Artists, authors and musicians have services that are now easily digitized and can be sold to a global audience. Don’t think of 1,000 potential customers, add some more zeros.
Don’t think local, dream of world domination.
Social media can help you display that knowledge,expertise and talent to the world and facilitate the spread of your brand.
The world has changed and it is digital
Business that operated in unprofitable local micro niche markets now have platforms and portals that can publish and market to a large world market in seconds if you have the tribe and the tools.
Where do you start?
In a digital world that searches and consumes data from laptops, smart phones and tablets there is no other option but creating, building and investing in digital assets.
Google’s search engine is curating, crawling and indexing the web for all to see. Are you found or are you invisible?
The challenge is to move from invisible to visible. Visible is good, invisibility is death in a digital world.
Step 1. Create an Online Digital Portal
This can take many forms. My weapon of choice is a WordPress Blog. This is my social media hub. For many knowledge businesses it might be a website and a blog.
The bricks and mortar retailer needs to provide an alternative to drive, park and shop and also provide the alternative which is search, browse and click. Providing different ways to buy in a world of multiple choice is now mandatory.
Create and build that online store before your competitor does!
More reading: How to Create a WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes
Step 2. Know your Target Audience
You need to ask some questions to get this one right. What do they read? What seminars do they attend? What social media networks do they belong to, is it LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter? What are their problems and how can you help them solve them. Help them make it easy for them to trust your expertise and knowledge. How do you do that?
Step 3. Create Contagious Content
Customers will consume any information that helps them solve business problems. Some consumers will want to be educated.
Others will need some inspiration.
Also don’t forget to throw in some entertainment from time to time.
Create content in multiple formats and media. It needs to be content that is compelling and catchy. Learn the art of the headline. I promise you that this can be learnt and it isn’t just for Ninja nerds in creative agencies.
More reading: 25 Ways to Create Contagious Content plus Infographic
Step 4. Give away Free Content till it Hurts
Most knowledge businesses struggle with this one. Often the question is asked “Aren’t I giving away my intellectual property?”
The reality is that the magic sauce to a successful strategy is the execution and only you know how to take ideas on paper and make it happen in reality. The devil is in the detail. Now putting out one PDF, one ebook or that once a month blog post is not going to cut it. Provide valuable lessons which display credibility and build online trust and you will be surprised by what happens.
Think like a publisher.
Step 5. Build Tribes on Social Networks
Now there is a danger here and it is built on the premise that Facebook is the answer to all your social media networking marketing dreams. Many businesses are trapped into thinking that obtaining 1,000 Facebook likes is social networking nirvana and forget, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
Facebook has a secret formula that stops your updates on your Facebook page appearing in your Fans timelines. It is called “Edge Rank”. In fact as little as 2-3 percent of your updates will hit your followers Facebook profiles.
Sure, keep building those Facebook “likes” but start building targeted Twitter followers and tribes on other social networks where your target audience is reading, viewing and connecting.
More reading: How to Build a Targeted Twitter Tribe of 100,000
Step 6. Market on Multiple Social Networks
Content needs to be set free to roam and be shared on multiple social networks to give it the best chance of becoming contagious. Publish your articles, posts and videos on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. Create boards on Pinterest that link back to your blog, website or online store.
Your audience has preferences, so make it easy for them to discover and engage with you and your content on their social network of choice.
Step 7. Sell Premium Content and Services
So you have been giving away content for free. Now to cash in you need to provide premium content and services that they will buy. This could a book on Amazon or it could be a seminar or webinar. People will pay a premium for an experience or for something that is packaged that will save them time.
Step 8. Persist
Social media marketing is not broadcast once and set and forget. Step one to seven need to be repeated time and time again. It is not a sprint but a marathon. Monitor what works and what doesn’t.
Keep publishing, build those tribes and be relentless.
Your social media marketing will evolve as the landscape continues to change and morph. Smartphones and tablets are rocking the online boat so optimizing your content so that it is visible and readable on mobile devices is becoming essential.
What About You?
Has your business gone from local to global? Are you displaying your knowledge and expertise to a world wide audience?
How has social media helped you achieve that? Is Facebook your main social network or are you using Twitter and YouTube as well?
What social media works for you?
Look forward to hearing your success stories.