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12 Principles Of Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is changing the marketing landscape so fast that companies are struggling to adapt their strategies and tactics. What worked in 2001 or even last year is becoming less and less effective.12 Principles Of Social Media Marketing

Planning to publish a PR article in six months with traditional print media could mean completely missing the marketing window of opportunity. Booking bus or outdoor advertising  takes time you might not have and not be able to measure.

So what are some key elements you need to keep in mind to market on a social web?

1. Share

Think sharing. What do people want to share?  Then publish and promote it. This starts with a shareable and compelling headline.

2. Go Real Time

Social media marketing involves publishing in real time, not next week or next month and topical posts and tweets will help you catch the trend and viral wave. It also means you need to respond in real time to complaints, issues and inquiries. The days of publishing 3 months or 6 months in advance are fast disappearing as the market may have changed in that time and people want their information now!

3. Educate – Don’t Sell

People no longer want to be “sold to”. Social marketing is about informing and solving peoples problems with answers and information, whether that be from your blog, links in your tweets or updates and information on Facebook.

4. Entertain – Don’t Market

We live in an information age that discards the bland and embraces the “WOW”. Facebook pages and updates that entertain, with competitions, humor or the unexpected are the links that will be shared.

5. Go Multichannel

Mono channel is not enough these days, whether that be email marketing or niche magazine advertiseming. You need to be on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogs as a minimum. Social Media can provide you with the channels to be ubiquitous (everywhere) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

6. Give Information Away For Free

Free gets shared, it doesn’t mean that you give everything away but enough to build trust and spread your content to the global village so that when you do publish that ebook or hardcover they will buy it because they know you and love your unique content.

7. Think Multimedia

Text on its own doesn’t cut it anymore, you need to provide information in ways that meets different peoples expectations and wants. You need to provide content in different media. Gen Y loves video, Baby Boomers like email and text. Find out what type of media your audience wants and give it to them. The broadband high speed web is now a a multimedia experience.

8. Think Like a Publisher

The days of  just sending emails with a special offer or a brochure to a letter box are fast disappearing. Consumers are now researching your company on the web with Google searches  on the web and they are looking for online published informative content that provides answers and solutions. The types of online publications you should be planning are resources  such as eBooks, Podcasts, video tutorials and PDF’s just to name a few.

9. Target Your Niche

Tribes and fans find you and share you to their community. On Twitter you need to follow leaders and people in your niche so that when you tweet they will retweet you to their followers who will have similar interests. Facebook marketing can target demographics including roles, interests and geography.

10. Show Your Passion

Remember social marketing involves passion as if you are not passionate and motivated about your niche it will show. You cannot fake passion and a passionate publisher will shine through and be shared.

11. Listen

Remember listen to your audience and they will tell you what they want, what solutions they need for their problems and then provide it. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blog comments will reveal a wealth of information about your target market.

12. Engage

After listening to your market you then are ready to start communicating in real time with messaging systems that they are comfortable with whether that be Twitter, Facebook or email.

Is there anything else I have missed? I look forward to your thoughts.

Image by toprankonlinemarketing

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • I LOVE these principles. They resonate with me. It’s just too bad I find some many people who don’t follow them.

  • Like the article and agree.

    I married a career technologist who had written 6 books in 7 years when I met him. A year after we were married he asked me to become his business mgr. and publicist. I didn’t know much about being a publicist but by assisting him in his career we were able to put out 17 books in 4 years. He is a very gifted and prolific writer, to say the least, but obviously those numbers, and his full time job, meant no time for anything else.

    I took on the job of business mgr/publicist and found myself in a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants crash course situation! It is true, that my author/husband had the exposure that the publishers provided by listing his books on their websites, but not much else; no Facebook, no Twitter, no official website, nothing on YouTube, not even professional photos for his book covers! Aside from finding him on Amazon, and from occasional posts from his blog, he was almost non-existent on the web. He didn’t even own his own name as a domain (eeeek!).

    Now if you Google his fairly common name (PeterHGregory), HE dominates the first several pages because now he is on Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, press release distribution services, additional blogs just for particular books, iTunes, and YouTube.

    I know what I’ve added has added value but I’m ready for the next level. Staying up on the latest strategies is a challenge but also essential since they are changing every single day. I’m watching the trends, and looking into ways to clone myself, so I can keep up!

  • Overall it’s a big change from traditional media, that’s probably why most brands have got problems adapting, after having spent decades caged in a now old mentality.

  • Jeff: This post really captures the essence of how to “social media market” in 2009 to the present. Obviously, it’s a constantly changing media, but your suggestions in this post are spot-on, IMO. It was nice to see that some of the things I’ve been doing for my law firm in this area were covered in this post. As always, there were some great take-aways from the 3-minutes I invested in reading the post as well. Thanks.

  • Ray J. Norris

    Jeff – this is EXACTLY right and SUPER well stated. We have been training and practicing these principles for over a year with great results. People really want to know this message – we receive great response from the workshops we train!

    You are Spot On Jeff!

  • Thanks for great points. #10 is really what lies behind the other 11. Passion and desire to serve is what shines through and makes other points sparkle.

  • Dr.K.Prabhakar

    I think you should should add values~ if the communication is more a hype people are likely to reject it ~ it needs to reflect the value of people who communicate and receive communication. As pointed out by Tony Passion is another area that required to be added. dr kp

  • Saleem

    Good principles.. will become crucial to adopt for every business house in near future , even in devoloping countries

  • Great article, Jeff, what you write here is concise and to the point.
    I’d add: “Clear business objectives” and “Effective measurements”
    Being clear about the desired impact of the social media initiative, and able to effecitvely measure progress on a regular basis towards this goal (easier said than done) are essential for ROI

  • Spot on Jeff. I particularly like

    #2 Go Real Time
    I think we’re all getting tired of timed and syndicated tweets and posts. They are merely push marketing. When someone tweets something I expect (desire) several things. 1. that the information is coming from a human and not a bot; 2. that the person who tweeted is actually online at the moment of tweeting (MOT) and is able and perhaps likely to respond if my comment is engaging; 3. that the person tweeting is who they say they are.

    #6 Give Information Away for Free
    This was one of the first lessons of the web. Everybody could put up pages and online brochures, very few could articulate how to do better. Thus began the idea of “thought leadership” in interactive marketing. And that term merely means that the person is communicating in such a way as they are engaging and informative. We should all strive to be “thought leaders” and giving away great ideas and content is the best way to establish your value in the online community and your authenticity.

  • Carme Calles

    13. Do everything possible so this Media has a tangible return: translated “using” into VALUE.
    e.g. The contributions of people can solve real problems!

  • Daddy-O

    Just getting in to the whole social marketing thing, so thanks for this informative article

  • Nathan Shepherd

     I agree with all that has been said and also would say measure and plan should be a part of the process.  Having a consistent brand is a classic marketing principle that does not always shoe through in social media marketing and needs to be taken seriously. 

  • Peswani Hitesh

    I have just started my Project on Social Media Marketing, so it is of great help for me..!!
    thanks for the post..!!

  • Nathan Shepherd

    I appreciate the article!

  • Well written article.

    With so much possibilities around for Social Media, I was wondering what would be a good strategy?

    Just focus on a few sites and take as many. But then, not interacting on the numerous sites could prove detrimental.

  • Thanks…very helpful

  • Maggie Yau

    like your sharing. It’s so true that the traditional ways of marketing strategies are fading out as the new movement of facebook and twiteer comes. Social media really change and offer a whole new way of delivering your marketing strategies and messages to the right people out there. 24/7 globally.

  • How about #attracting people to you? Other than simply asking “please follow me?” That involves targeting your niche, but getting people and interested enough to follow you has a lot to do with how you engage your audience. You can always follow me on Twitter @engage_attract.

  • Yes all good pointers must learn to apply them.

  • Johnbrown8974

    Many people does not aware about the techniques and method of the social media marketing. Over here you have shared main principle of the social media marketing. It is integral part of the search engine optimization. social media marketing for higher education

  • appreciate these words many thanks

  • Brandon

    Great Article – #7 (multimedia) is very important and spot on. We use video to market listings and it is easier than most people think. But #6 is really important too, not only because it get shared more often but it gains trust in your readers/clients. I follow the same philosophy on my site http://www.soldwithvideo.com, teaching people how to market videos online.

  • Debbie

    Another great article Jeff, simple and informative. As soon as I see someone push ‘marketing’ it puts me straight off, no matter how good their product may be.

    • Thanks Debbie for your comments.
      The mantra with the new rules of marketing is “engage first sell second!”

  • Thanks John and glad to hear you enjoyed it

  • There is nothing wrong with offering that on your Facebook page but just make sure that it the selling is only a small part of your content. One suggestion guideline is that it should only be one in ten updates.

    • Evren Konakçı

      Thank you for knowledge

  • RM Sorg

    Spot on post Jeff!!! Yes, #2 is really important as SM and the internet change on a daily basis and new resources being introduced daily to help you manage your clients, time or workload.

    Enjoy this informative post!


  • Kara Kharmah

    Isn’t #11 one of the most important on this list? Listening is key to understanding your target audience. How many times have you seen marketers send information that they think is relevant and useful, only for it to fall on deaf ears? Listening is the first step towards really providing valuable content, which is what social media marketing is all about.

  • Growing your business through social media marketing is a short learning
    curve, minimal upfront cost, and a high rate of return on investment.
    That it is overlooked by many is not surprising as many small to
    mid-size business owners are already working with stretched advertising
    and marketing budgets.

  • Enter the socially connected business. By embedding social into every
    part of your business and marketing practice, being a social business
    becomes much easier to manage and scale. This has a direct positive
    impact on your bottom line, shareholder and customer happiness, customer
    service capabilities, lead generation, analytics across departments and
    the internet, product development, and much more.

  • Advertising and social media supports both online advertising and offline and provides advertisers the ability to engage additional prospects to build relationships that lead to sales. To achieve this, publishers must and social media to find ways to better advertising and Prospects track without interfering in consumer confidence.

  • www.codedcontainer.com

    Thanks for the blog post!

  • jovan367

    Jeff, I think you’re exactly right! I love to think I’m engaging with a human, not a bot!

  • Excellent point Gary