Social Media MarketingSocial Media Marketing is accessible to almost anyone in today’s digital world. How to be successful at it is the bigger challenge. In our previous article, we discussed the importance of value as a foundation and how that helps companies break through the noise of rampant social media.

With that foundation laid out, the next important subject to discuss is the 4 Pillars of Social Media Marketing. These pillars are a mix of disciplines within a social media marketing framework. Each pillar, practiced in equal parts, will help us reach higher levels of success. Let’s explain each pillar in detail…

Pillar #1 – Social Listening

Social Listening means you are monitoring and responding to customer service and reputation management issues on social media. Because social media is so easy to publish content to, we often forget to look out for those in need of our attention. This is why companies like Facebook have implemented features such as response rates on their platform. These response rates are a good indicator of your customer service reputation.

Pillar #2 – Social Influencing

Social Influencing means you establish authority through the distribution and sharing of valuable information. This can be in the form of sharing your own information or sharing other people’s information.

Sharing others’ information is called curation, and it is widely accepted on social media. It would be great if we could focus 100% on building our own content, but even thought-leaders and experts will reference other peoples’ work. Doctors will reference medical journals, and journalists will quote experts, and so on. Plus, people tend to like variety when it comes to resources, so feel free to make curation a part of your practice.

Pillar #3 – Social Networking

Social Networking is all about finding and associating with authoritative and influential people online. This is the way we physically network in our professional world today, where we go to gatherings to meet people and establish connections. You will want to extend those same networking efforts across social media for the best results.

Pillar #4 – Social Selling

Here’s where you get to focus on generating leads from prospects and making sales to customers. Notice how Social Selling is #4 and not #1. We structured the list this way on purpose because trust must be established before people will buy from you. This means that Pillars #1, #2, and #3 are paramount for Pillar #4 to be successful.

A lot of us instinctively act on these pillars today. But where we fall short is in the percentage of effort needed for each pillar, or we simply don’t act on all the pillars as a whole. When you’re not getting the results you would like to, use these pillars to reconcile against your current strategy. In other words, how does your current strategy line up with these pillars?

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