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Guest Post by Mary Agnes Antonopolous.

Failing at Social Media? Here’s WHY. (3 Steps to THRIVE & Sell)

social media appsOur friend Mary Agnes is teaching a weekend social marketing seminar in Stamford June 11-12:  2-Day Content Creation & Social Media Bootcamp. Discount code: “INNOVATION.” She’s a remarkable thinker in the world of online marketing and an all around good person.  Here’s a taste of what you’ll learn if you attend her upcoming bootcamp.

So, is there really a formula to social media? There is. It took the better part of TEN years of owning a social marketing agency to have the privilege of figuring out the formula, and all I want to do, since that moment of discovery, is teach the formula to everyone else.

Step 1. At the core of it, social media is really a trust building exercise.

This is the new reality. Social platforms are one of the core arenas where we’re empowered to build a brand and a community in a whole new way. This is a relationship first – to do your best SALES, however, you want to move your audience member from the social space to a potential sales space (like a webinar or a page on your website where you offer great content, or even your email list – because you are 30x more likely to sell by email than you are on social media – so social is ONLY your starting point).

But the opportunity around social just can’t be overlooked. Even IF no one is looking. Why? Because GOOGLE is watching everything.

It’s really important to understand the demographics of each network in social media – but it’s twice as important to know the algorithm of each platform. This is literally how any platform responds to a search inquiry.  And you need to know, every moment, that every one of these feeds into the mac-daddy of them all: Google. Until recently, Google’s rhythm for SEO had always been about keywords – and it led specifically back to your website keywords, so it was – to some degree – trickable.

(So, in order to be successful and come up on page 1 or 2 on a search, you had to have an SEO agency that really understood metatagging and metadata, who would keyword the heck out of your pages. If you didn’t do it, you would never get found in a search.)

Some background: To be honest, Google hated that. They hated that people had to buy their way to page one, and the normal person or company had no way to get there. This was not a democratic universe – and Google itself could not control it. There was no great equalizer. So they spent YEARS coming up with a new formula (two, actually). And now? The algorithm / SEO is all about social grid. It’s about your social connections, your friends, their friends – it’s all who’s talking about you, who’s sharing about you and the impact you’re having.

And remember, because of this, one person’s response to a search query on Google is totally unique from another. The answer you get back from Google when you search something looks nothing like someone else’s. It’s as individual as your DNA – and it changes daily.

They determine the answer to your searches based on infinite criteria like, where have you been recently, what are you talking about, what are your friends talking about? If I wanted to look up Hawaiian vacation, they might show me a place that my sister mentioned on her Facebook or Twitter account about a Hawaiian vacation.

They’re going to answer you based on what your community has been sharing and commenting on. This is a multi-headed hydra WORTH understanding. So here’s the million-dollar question: How do YOU get caught up in multiple conversations and recommendations on social media and get recommended on Google?

social media video Youtube tabletStep 2. The formula for success on social media begins with YouTube. Period. 100%. Why? Because Google owns it (and video is super engaging).

So let’s step back for a minute: In the end, what’s the barometer for knowing that your social strategy is working? Is it the number of fans, followers, or engagement? Nope. It’s conversion. AND ONLY conversion. I want your barometer for how it’s all working to be social-to-email-list conversion. Does that make sense? Because that’s all that really matters. It doesn’t matter how many fans, followers, or how high your engagement is. It’s who’s converting to your email list. And that is a trust building exercise. And the fastest way to build someone’s trust is to have a face-to-face conversation. Video is your next best path to creating the experience of a conversation.

Why is conversion the only real number to measure your success by?   If you’re not moving people from your social audience, like Facebook for instance, then you’re not getting them. You get a 1% organic reach on Facebook for all your hard work. Literally. 1% of your audience SEES your posts. And first, you have to buy the ‘likes’ or fans. Then you have to BOOST to get more than 1% of them to see what you post. You pay coming and going.

On social media, your conversion rate to an actual sale is .48% (IF you get it right). But it’s 2.64% through a Google search. And it’s potentially as high as 30% on an email launch. THIS is your measure of success, your barometer. It’s not the sale itself, because you can control that once someone’s in your realm – but it’s the number you’re moving from social to your list, where your opportunity to GET the higher sales conversion lives.

So YouTube is your best way for you to be your own ambassador and broadcast yourself.

Even if you were going out live, on stage, having face-to-face every week, on You Tube you’re broadcasting yourself every day, 24 hours a day.

social_06Step 3. ONE important tip: When doing your videos, remember that most viewers will “choose you or lose you” in the first five seconds,…

…so start the conversation right away. No introduction. You’ve got to really be fast, so I recommend you start with their pain. Start talking about WHY they are suffering, then give your credentials, then solve their problem and offer MORE solutions if they opt into your list. THEN and there that person has moved from someone else’s network, and their rules and culture, to one YOU create.

AN INVITATION: I would love you to come to my 2-day event on how to use social media to reach out to your community – to find them where they are and invite them to your fellowship.
We’ve worked to keep the registration fee very low for this event. You’ll receive 2 days of solid training – including how to use Facebook, Meetup, LinkedIn, YouTube and more – plus a powerful workbook unlike any other (in fact, we are slated to publish it with McGraw Hill in 2016). And me and my team, who are 100% committed to your success. (The event is $397 – but with my code (INNOVATION) it’s $297). AND we are thrilled that Stamford Innovation Center is one of our sponsors.

Click here for all the details.

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