Social Media Marketing seems to be all around us! People shouting out about Facebook and Twitter and to a lesser extent networking sites like LinkedIn. Social Media then is something that all businesses are coming to increasingly think of as important, but without necessarily having a clear strategy as to how to approach social media marketing, establish their own brand online and make sure that people feel connected to them. The first thing to realize is that social media marketing has a different flavour than other forms of marketing or paid advertising. This is particularly the case if you compare a social site like Facebook with Google. If your primary marketing channel up to this point has been Google SEO strategies or Google Adwords, then you must change your approach for social media marketing.

Branding on social marketing websites

Branding on social marketing websites is very much a process of connecting with your audience. If you simply try and endlessly sell things through your Facebook account, then you practically guarantee that you will fail. Social Media is much more a secondary sales mechanism, but a primary branding mechanism. Google PPC is the exact opposite. It is a primary sales mechanism, but a secondary branding mechanism. What I mean by this is that using social media marketing you are able to connect with your visitors in a way that you simply cannot in virtually any other way. It allows you to share the same space as that person’s friends, and that is powerful. In keeping with the idea of “friends”, you wouldn’t expect your friend to endlessly pitch and try to sell you stuff. If they did, then they wouldn’t be a friend very long!

Taking it slow, but steady

The same is true with social media. In order to brand yourself on social media websites you need to take a slow, but steady approach to marketing. You need to come in under the radar. You need to be seen as that persons friend or at the very least like a trusted advisor. You don’t sell them stuff constantly, but every now and then when you do come across something that you think is really great, you let them know about it. The value in becoming like a friend on social media is that when you do this then your friends will take action. They will buy what you tell them to buy, or go and visit the websites that you tell them to visit. But only if you have built up credit with them by being honest in the way you deal with them, only recommend good stuff, and don’t do it too often!

Less is more!

Branding on social media websites ought to come with a warning sign that “less really is more!” If you try to be all things to all men on Facebook then you are going to crash and burn. You need a loyal group of people following you who see you as a good guy and who like what you are about and the recommendations that you make. You need to be honest and straightforward. React to what people desire with ease on websites like Facebook and social media marketing really does become a breeze. It becomes about people connecting with people, and loses lots of the hard edge intensity that marketing otherwise often has.