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Newcommbiz is a social media marketing journal.
In this journal, we discuss everything and anything related to social media marketing. As you can well imagine, if you’ve ever tried your hand at this type of online marketing, there is a tremendous amount of subject material to cover. In fact, there’s too much.
The great thing about social media marketing is that it enables a brand, regardless of how big or small the company behind the brand may be, to directly interact with that brand’s fans. This is a big deal. Prior to this point, you actually have to spend a tremendous amount of dollars trying to hire high quality consultants and expensive consulting firms to not only identify your customer base, but create a relationship with them. It took a lot of time and dollars. At the end of the day, it’s anybody’s guess, whether you would get the kind of results that you are looking for. There were just too many uncertainties and variables.

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You have to understand that social media marketing is like running a race. The first time you ran a race, you probably did not go through the finish line and walked part of the way. But the next time you ran a race, You probably went further. If you keep entering race after race after race, eventually, you reach a point where you would run the whole length of the race. In fact, if you keep it up and you step up your training, you might even reach a point where you can actually win a medal. That’s how social media marketing works. It’s so vast, wide and deep that you can pretty much start with any budget. Even if you have only one dollar to devote to social media marketing, that’s plenty because you can feature a third-party content produced by your competitors.
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Reverse-engineering is crucial to effective social media marketing

I know, you’ve probably have heard social media marketing and reverse-engineering many times over. In fact, I would not really blame you if you’ve heard these terms repeated so many times that you’re under the impression that they do not mean much of anything. After all, if somebody keeps hearing the word love on the radio and hear it in song after song after song, soon enough, people get annoyed and they start avoiding the word. Believe me, I can see where you’re coming from but you have to understand that if you truly want to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world with social media marketing, you really have to wrap your mind around the concept of reverse-engineering. There’s really no other way around this because the essence of effective social media marketing is to figure out what to talk about and how to talk about it. That is the essence of effective and successful social media marketing.

I know that’s kind of a bit of a downer and anti-climactic, but this is the absolute truth. A lot of people are under the impression that social media marketing involves some sort of secret weapon, secret type of content or tool that other people don’t have access to. They are more than welcome to think along those lines, but the reality is social media marketing is actually simpler than people think. It really all boils down to building on other people’s success. No more, no less. There, the cat is out of the bag. The secret is out. It’s not much of a secret because it’s out in the open. Believe me, nine out of ten social media marketers, regardless of whether they’re veterans or wet behind the ears, fail because they lose sight of this basic truth.

You have to remember that your audience members or your target audience are not that complicated. They know what they like. They hang out already on certain social media platforms. They’re not all that complicated and definitely not mysterious. In fact, in many cases, if you study them long enough, they’re actually screaming for you to market to them. I know it’s hard to believe and you’re probably thinking that I’m pulling your leg but it’s the absolute truth. People don’t get done. Your competitors are basically taking wild shots and sometimes hitting the mark. But in most cases, they miss. These people are hungry, desperate and saying: “Pay attention to me, look at me, I have these problems. Please, anybody, everybody, answer my question.”

There’s a sense of desperation there but, unfortunately, unless you know where to look and unless you use the right content, you’re going to fail. This is why reverse-engineering is so awesome. If anything, it gives you a head start by knowing what your competitors are already doing and how those efforts are connecting with your target audience members, you get a head start. You’re not starting from scratch or day zero. Instead, you have some information you can compare your efforts to. This saves you a tremendous amount of time, effort and money. So do yourself a big favor by reverse-engineering your competition. Let them do your homework when it comes to social media marketing. Pay attention to patterns, connect the dots and come up with a grand and a unified theory of the things that are going on in your niche. Keep playing around with that theory until it reflects reality more closely. Keep testing that theory. The more time you put into this, the higher the chance that you will eventually get the success that you are looking for. That is the bottom line.

None of this means that this is going to be a cakewalk, easy and that you can neglect to do your homework. You still have to roll up your sleeves and invest the right amount of blood, sweat and tears to make this take off. The good news is if you study your competitors long enough, the amount of investment assets like blood, sweat and tears that you have to pour into this project, would be much less. In fact, if you try this enough times, you won’t have to put in that much for you to swing that bat and hit that ball right out the park.

The best way to do social media marketing

Just like anything else in life, there are four ways to do things. You can do things the easy, hard, smart and dumb way. It should not come as a surprise that doing things the dumb way is usually doing things the hard way. They do tend to go hand in hand. They’re kind of like Siamese twins if you think about it. Because when you do things the dumb way, you just make things harder on yourself. Maybe, you’d have to spend a lot more money to fix your mistakes and time trying to figure out what went wrong. Whatever the case may be, when you choose to do things the wrong way, you usually end up doing things the dumb way. This is why it’s really important, when it comes to something as complicated and possibly expensive as social media marketing, to do things the easy and smart way. Again, just like with dumb and hard, these go hand in hand.

How do you do this? The first thing you need to do is to tap the power of reverse-engineering. Believe it or not, there are competitors on social media platforms that are enjoying the kind of success you’re dreaming of. They’re already living the life, making a lot of money and pumping a tremendous amount of traffic to their target website. The good news is that if they can do it, you can do it too.

I’m not just saying that to pump you out and get you excited. I’m saying it because it’s absolutely true. The first step to doing that, of course, is to pay attention to them. Look at what they’re doing. What kind of content are they sharing? What kind of engagement are they focusing on? How do they present themselves to their target audience members? Think along this line of questioning. This is how you should analyze your competitors so you can come up with the data you need to start replicating their success. Once you know that they are sending a specific type or range of content, then you should look for that type of content and share it with your audiences on social media platforms.

The good news here is that you don’t have to share your own original content. That would be very expensive. You probably would end up shooting yourself in the foot if you do that. Instead, look for non-competitors or authoritative sources of content that deal with the same themes and topics your competitors are focused on.

Run those pieces of content. Pick out the winners. Find materials that are similar. Run that material again. Replicate your success. Once you notice that a specific type of content produces the same level of success time and time again, then you should come up with your own version. This version then positions your brand, pulls or vacuums traffic from social media platforms and pumps them to your target website. That’s how you do social media marketing. It’s not a rocket science nor is it brain surgery. You just have to detect patterns, know your competitors and focus on the value, whatever it is you are promoting brings to the table.

If you become blind to any this, then it is going to be very easy for you to drop the ball. Seriously, you’re just going to be clueless as to how to talk to your audience members and how to appeal to them. You have to understand that most people do not have the luxury of time. Everybody’s in a hurry. People don’t really have the patience and motivation to wait for you to demonstrate your value. You have to make the right first impression. In fact, in many cases, people don’t even give you the chance to generate a first impression. That’s how bad and competitive things are in today’s social media marketing landscape.

You cannot afford to drop the ball. This is why you have to reverse-engineer your competitors. Find the very best that’s out there and use those materials to gain a certain level of credibility that will enable you to get the data set you need to come up with a systematic and methodical way to brand your website on social media. That’s how you play the game. Otherwise, you’re just playing the game to lose. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s also the truth.

Not all curated content are equal

When it comes to social media marketing, curated content plays a critical role. In fact, I would say that it is a crucial role. You have to understand that if you attack social media marketing with only your own 100% original content, chances are, you will fail. It’s only a matter of time, seriously. I know this sounds depressing and discouraging, but it’s also the absolute truth. If you were to turn a blind eye to this or, worse yet, try to deny this, then you’re just making things all that much worse for your company. You have to understand that social media marketing for all its amazing benefits can get expensive very quickly.

How can it get expensive? The most common way it can become a hassle, financially speaking, is when you get the idea in your head that you have to come up with your original content. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do that. At a certain stage in your use of social media marketing, you would have to do that, but not now. You shouldn’t even think about that getting out of the gate. Instead, you should focus on creating credibility with your target audience members on many different social media platforms. Now, you may be thinking that this is some sort of chicken or a problem. How can you build credibility when you don’t have content? How would people bother with your content when you don’t have credibility. You’re absolutely correct if you think this is some sort of catch-22, because it is.

The good news is that this is one instance of a catch-22 that is very easy to solve. How? Use third-party content. Look at your competitors and pay attention to their content. Look through their content that is already very popular on social media platforms. Maybe these pieces of content get a lot of re-tweets, plus ones from google plus and likes from Facebook. Whatever objective measurement of social media marketing success they may get, pay attention to those. Pick their most popular content on social media and get those links. Put those links on your social media platform. That’s right, promote your competitors’ or near competitors’ contents.

When you do this, you win in two ways. First, you get to build credibility in the people you’re trying to impress. At the end of the day, they really couldn’t care less where the content came from. Instead, what they care about is that you speak to their needs and that you are in the same ballpark as far as their niche interest are concerned. The more they see your social media account associated with the content they trust and respect, the smoother your brand becomes. They start trusting your brand.

The next benefit you get is that you actually track the success of the social media content. After all, they’re on your social media accounts. Pay attention to which of your competitors’ content gets the most love from the people you’re trying to market to. This is a serious indicator, so pay attention to this. Because if you notice that content talking about a specific topic almost always gets a lot of engagements, that is your cue to produce your own original version of that type of content. If you do this, you would be able to save a lot of money, while at the same time, getting all the information you need to cheaply, effectively and quickly come up with an effective social media marketing content campaign that can push your brand upwards and out. That’s how it works.

It’s all about offering the right curated content. The problem here is that not all curated content are equal. You have to pay attention to the results you’re getting. Drop the ones that are not performing. You have to run as many different curated content types as possible, but be quick to determine patterns and act accordingly by dropping non-performing curated materials.

What is the essence of social media marketing?

Depending on who you ask, social media marketing means so many different things to so many different people. It’s kind of like the old parable of the tools. When you are a hammer, for example, everything starts looking like a nail. If you are a screwdriver, on the other hand, everything starts looking like screws. In other words, you start looking at the world based on your specialization.
Similarly, when it comes to different types of specialization, social media marketing can be compared to blind people trying to describe an elephant. Imagine that several blind people in a room feeling out an elephant. To the person next to the trunk, an elephant can be described as a snakelike feature. To the person next to the tail, the elephant can be described as some sort of worm or a long rope-like animal. To the person feeling out the elephant’s massive and wide legs, an elephant can look like a very wide or thick bamboo-looking animal. It’s anybody’s guess because nobody has a broad enough idea of what the elephant looks like. The same applies to social media marketing.

If you talk to a content marketer, social media is all about content, content, content. When you talk to an SEO specialist, on the other hand, social media marketing may lean more towards outreach, backlinks, authority and credibility. It really all boils down to who you ask. This is why it’s really important to connect the dots. Believe it or not, all these people are absolutely correct. Just like when you ask people in the dark room about the elephant. They’re absolutely correct. Some people would say that it has huge ears. Others would say that it has a trunk. Others would say that is has wide legs. They’re all absolutely correct, but they are all wrong in one respect. They forgot to piece together or create a context for their observations.

This is the mistake you’re at the risk of committing if you look at social media marketing too closely. You have to maintain some sort of objective distance to it so you can see the big picture. That is the essence of social media marketing. It really all boils down to a cohesive branding of whatever product or service you’re trying to promote. Because if you are to drill too deep, it’s too easy to get lost in the details and focus on the specifics that you lose sight of what you need to do and when you need to do it to produce the right results. In other words, you lose sight of the promise of social media marketing, which of course opens you up to the very real possibility of missing out completely on the results that it could otherwise bring to the table.

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