Do You Think About Who Makes Social Media Rules?


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social mediaSocial media marketing is one of the most powerful tools available to marketers today. That’s not just an obvious statement; it’s the cornerstone of online marketing strategies all over the world. Posting content through social media and engaging with potential customers is the new way to grow a business. It breaks down some of the barriers between small businesses and big brands.

If you follow the social media rules and post regularly, you can see huge growth quickly. When you post something that your fans like, with a capitol L, or comment on, it gets shared among their friends. This increases your reach as a company and builds brand awareness through a trusted source. The same thing happens with retweets, repins and +1s, each endorses your content and makes your brand appear more relevant. It’s a marketing silver bullet. At least that’s how social media marketing is sold.

There’s a But Coming

But, it doesn’t always work that way. There’s one thing you should be aware of, those accepted social media rules like posting a few times a day, posting every day, sharing the right content on the right channel. They aren’t rules at all, they’re guidelines. There will be times when you post content that gets little or no traction. You will post some content that you think is great, and very few people will see it. On social media, you control what content you post but you don’t control where it goes.

With so many brands engaged in social media marketing, particularly on Facebook, its difficult for everyone to fit in all of their fans timelines. Some of your content won’t be seen by your fans. It’s simply impractical. You can’t control who sees it, because you don’t make social media rules, the networks do. You have more control on Twitter and Google+ than Facebook, but the networks are always in charge.

Runaway Posts

And you’re not even second in command. Social media posts can get away from you. When you post something on social media, it’s in the public domain and the public can do what they choose with it. They can re-edit images, repost content with derogatory comments or hijack the content completely and claim it as their own.

The same goes for hashtags. We’ve discussed the hashtags ability to runaway before. To briefly recap, hashtags often take on a life of their own. Just because you create a hashtag and ask followers to use it for a specific purpose doesn’t mean that’s what they’ll do. Once the hashtag is out there, users will apply whatever meaning they feel is appropriate. You can’t control this, because you don’t set social media rules. And users have more control than you do.

You Don’t Make Social Media Rules But…

But social media marketing is an incredibly powerful tool. If you share the right content in the right places, you really can see massive growth. To help you to do that there are a few important social media rules that you can set, for yourself. First and foremost, don’t rely on social media as your own digital marketing channels. They are a part of the strategy, not the whole.

Secondly, rather than worry about places where you don’t make the rules, start your strategy in a place where you do. Your website and your blog should form the cornerstone of your online marketing output. This is a place where you control everything, and the place where you can generate that vital ROI. All of your other content should point users back to your website, where you are in control.

The important thing here is simply to be aware of your place in social media hierarchy. You can’t set social media rules, so you shouldn’t try to. Social media channels are vital to your success online; the brands that understand them best get the most out of them. As long as you build your online strategy from your own location outwards and understand what you can and can’t do, you can have huge success on social media. Just don’t expect to make the rules.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


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