10 laws of social media marketing

social media marketing(This article was originally published on Entreprenuer.com and was edited for content and style.)

By leveraging the power of content and social media marketing, you can dramatically increase your audience and customer base. But getting started without any previous experience or understanding can be challenging.

It is vital that you understand the basics of social media marketing. From maximizing quality to increasing your online entry points, adhering to these 10 laws will help build a foundation that benefits your customers, your brand, and—perhaps most importantly—your bottom line.

1. The Law of Listening

Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Read your target audience’s online content and participate in discussions to find out what matters to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter their lives.

2. The Law of Focus

Better to specialize than to be a centipede. A highly focused social media and content marketing strategy aimed at building a strong brand has a greater chance of success than a broad strategy that tries to be everything to all people.

3. The Law of Quality

Quality comes before quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 online connections reading, sharing, and talking about your content with their own audience than 10,000 connections that disappear after they first connect with you.

4. The Law of Patience

Success on social media and content marketing does not happen overnight. While it’s possible to catch lightning in a bottle, it’s much more likely that you’ll need to commit to the long run to get results.

5. The Law of Composition

If you publish great quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they will share it with their own audience on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.

This sharing and discussion of your content opens up new entry points for search engines like Google to find it in keyword searches. Those entry points can grow into hundreds or thousands of other ways people can find you online.

6. The Law of Influence

Spend time finding the online influencers in your market who have a quality audience and who are likely to be interested in your products, services and company. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.

Getting on their radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information will help them share your content with their own followers, putting you and your business in front of a huge new audience.

7. The Law of Value

If you spend all your time on the social web directly promoting your products and services, people will stop listening. You need to add value to the conversation. Focus less on conversions and more on creating great content and developing relationships with online influencers. Over time, those people will become a powerful catalyst for word of mouth for your business.

8. The Law of Recognition

You wouldn’t ignore someone contacting you in person, so don’t ignore them online. Building relationships is one of the most important parts of social media marketing success, so always acknowledge every person who contacts you.

9. The Law of Accessibility

Don’t publish your content and then don’t disappear. Be available to your audience. That means consistently publishing content and participating in conversations. Followers online can be fickle and they won’t hesitate to replace you if you disappear for weeks or months.

10. The Law of Reciprocity

You can’t expect others to share your content and talk about you if you don’t do the same for them. So some of the time you spend on social media should be focused on sharing and talking about content published by others.

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