3 Social Media Lessons Every Marketer Should Keep Close


With a vast amount of available information on social media, society as a whole, and especially marketers, sometimes forget just how young these platforms are. Now, we know that social media dates back to the days before Facebook and Twitter to forums and other chat rooms, but still, the social media industry is very young.

On one hand, the youth is positive because it brings energy, excitement and a new perspective. However, the flip side of this understands that the platforms are continuously evolving. In other words, a marketer can’t rely on the same strategy and tactics for 5 years or more. For instance, just this week, Twitter began experimenting with showing “favorites” directly in user feeds. While great for marketers in getting possibly more eyes on particular tweets, the change may go away, especially with users complaining.

This is why marketers have to stay on top of their game and evolve with social platforms. Otherwise, their marketing efforts would be obsolete and very ineffective. Marketing with social media is really a constant learning curve, which is why we all have to regularly remind ourselves of certain lessons.

A Quiet Audience

In most cases, when it’s been a while since you’ve received a comment, reply, message, retweet, it can be more than discouraging. In fact, some marketers will even want to stop everything they’re doing a start from scratch. But, even though you may not always hear from your audience, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there and that they’re not listening.

When we talk about listening as a marketing activity, we put great emphasis on quietly listening before taking action. This gives you the opportunity to observe, watch other reactions and prepare for when it is time for you to act. So, why should it be any different for our own audiences? Well, it’s not. Sometimes our audiences are just taking in the information we feed them, and it’s okay.

Excitement Spreads – Utilize It

There is no disputing that word-of-mouth takes on a whole new level with social media. For instance, think about the recent news of Robin Williams’ death, which spread like wildfire. Where did you see it? It’s likely safe to say that it was on some form of social media. Once this new is distributed to the masses, it’s really difficult to go back and change it.

While Robin Williams’ passing was sad news, good news also spreads quickly across social media. Simply put, don’t put any secrets out on social media. But, for marketers, this can be used to your advantage. You have the opportunity to tap into that news by producing an article that ties it in, making a related spoof video, a related meme or any number of other tactics.

As a word of caution, marketers do have to be careful of being respectful and tactful on certain news items. For example, it would have been distasteful to create a meme related to Robin Williams’ death. Unfortunately, some brands have made this mistake and have faced backlash as a result.

Marketers should utilize trends on social media even related #MondayMotivation, #ThrowbackThursday, or #FridayFunnies. Users love this type of content and will share your inspiration and excitement.

Social Was Made To Be Social

A recent study from Harvard neuroscientists shows that it is rewarding for humans to share information about themselves. Interestingly, talking about ourselves is just as appealing as food and money are to us.

Bragging reaction on brainFor anyone who’s on social media this news should come as no surprise. Yet, in marketing, we should know that we can’t talk about ourselves. We have to produce content that adds value to our audience.

A good rule of thumb to apply is what has become known as the 4-1-1 rule that was initially equated to Twitter. This says: Tweet 4 pieces of relevant original content from others and re-tweet 1 relevant tweet for every 1 self-promoting tweet.

4-1-1 Rule for Social Media

Ultimately, by making your story about your audience, it will subtly benefit you more than any piece of self-promotion could have. Social media was meant to be social, so please be human and social.

It’s these types of lessons that we sometimes neglect but that are critical in moving our marketing efforts in social media forward.

Abby Johnson

Abby brings a unique perspective to the mix because her background consists of both traditional broadcast and public relations to now the world of online. She is very skilled at looking at the big picture and understanding how to get the message across to a particular audience.

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  1. […] will be seen as less than genuine and will be much less effective than they could be. Stick to the 4-1-1 rule, put the effort in to be genuine in whichever channels you choose to work in (if you’re […]

  2. […] Social Media Lessons Every Marketer Should Keep Close […]

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