Learn Social Media As An End User First

You want to start marketing on a new Social Media platform. Maybe it’s the newest shiny object on the market. Maybe it’s because your boss told you to. Maybe it’s because that’s where your customers are. Whatever the reason, you can just go jumping on a new site all willy-nilly.

Have you ever used this new site for personal use? If not, how do you know what people expect? If you don’t know what people expect, how can you market socially – and most importantly not spam or look ridiculous?

There are so many different platforms out there in the Social Media world and each one has its own unique vibe, audience, conversational tone, and “norms”. Some use hashtags, some don’t. Some predominantly use photos, some don’t. Some use long-winded posts, and some use short posts. Some are targeted towards millennials, and some are targeted to middle-aged women. All of these factors are extremely important to your marketing strategy.

So how can you best figure out how to be successful on a new platform?

Use It Personally

It’s simple – get a personal account first. That’s right, be the end-user. And I don’t mean for a day or two. Try it out for at least a couple of weeks – using it EVERY day. Post some photos, share some other’s posts, learn the lingo, develop a community, establish a presence. Get to know what works and what doesn’t work. Ask around to others in your community, let them know you’re new and see what advice they give you.

Look to see what gets the most action from users. Are they sharing photos, videos, or text? Is humor the best initiative or are they looking for valuable resources of information?

Follow Other Companies

Look at big companies and small companies. Find brands with large followings and small followings. What’s working for them? What isn’t working for them? How are their engagement levels? What kind of engagement do they get most – reposts, comments, likes, etc.? What do their profile pages look like? Engage with these companies by asking questions or leaving comments. How do they respond to you?

Make Note of What Works

Take copious notes (mentally or literally) about what works and what doesn’t work. Think about what you like to use the site for. Hey, if you’re there, so are others like you, right? Think about what your community is sharing most and how they engage with companies/brands. Look to see what days/times show the highest levels of engagement.

Implement What You Learned

Once you have a good understanding of what makes the new site work from an end-user perspective, then you can start a company/brand page. Set it up based on your research and start making posts that both introduce yourself to the platform and provide value to the community. Do NOT start marketing right away (not that you should ever do this). Just build your audience based on the tips and information you gathered as the end-user. If you’ve done good research, your brand page will succeed on its own merits and without heavy advertising. Yes, over time, you can invest in targeted ads and whatever other means your marketing strategy deems appropriate. Just remember to keep it social and make sure that you are serving your audience.

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