Michael Stelzner founded Social Media Examiner in 2009 and since that time, he has developed the site into the Web’s leading social media magazine, attracting over 530,000 monthly readers and 125,000 email subscribers.
It’s clear that Stelzner knows more than just a thing or two about social media marketing, so we were thrilled to be able to see him speak at this year’s Online Marketing Summit, where he shared his insights and provided proven and perceptive strategies that can help drive business.
One of Stelzner’s points, in particular, struck us as profound. He stated that modern social media suffers from two problems: channel overload and customer distrust. In an increasingly crowded market, companies must distinguish and broadcast their brands without turning off potential customers with overzealous promises and marketing gimmicks.
It’s a tough balance to strike and can seem easier said than done, but Stelzner provided some tips for making it work:
-Great content is a gift to your customers
If businesses invest in content, and avoid spending all of their marketing money on ad space, they can develop engaged customers who are grateful for the experience and often express that gratitude on social media sites. That content can come in many forms, but comprehensive “how-to” articles, expert interviews and reports based on surveys are frequently shared by social media users.
“Treat people like people, not fish,” Stelzner said. “Keep focused on people and their desires and half of your mission is complete.”
-Marketing is not about exchange
When creating and sharing content with customers, keep in mind that true gifts—meaning those that are given without the expectation of receiving something in return—are the most valuable. Give customers great, no-strings-attached content because you think they would enjoy it, not simply because you want them to buy something from your company. Successful social media marketers focus on people and solve their problems for free.
“Rethink the rule of reciprocity,” said Stelzner. “When you help people with small problems, they will look to you for their bigger issues.”
For those who are more technically-minded and prefer to tackle problems with equations, make a note of this simple formula: Great Content + Other People – Marketing Messages = Growth