It was an exciting night at the Vaughan City Hall yesterday as Sarah Zeldman, CAMP, and dedicated marketers braved the freezing temperatures to learn about Sarah’s Three Sure-fire Steps to Social Media Success.
The evening got to fiery start as early attendees were treated to a fire drill and a visit by the Vaughan City Fire Department. The initial excitement (for the ladies more than the men) was replaced by an equally lively round of networking by the attendees and event sponsors.
Oxygen CEO Bob Minhas opened up the formal program with a hilarious stand-up routine/roast/introduction to Sarah Zeldman, a.k.a. “The E-Marketing Maven”. Sarah, a social media trainer, strategist, and speaker by trade, gifted attendees with tips to improve their business’ social media presence. Best of all, these tips were backed up with real life examples and statistics.
Sarah’s tips focused on three simple but effective steps (for a more detailed recap, please visit Sarah’s website):
Sarah shared that this is the first and most important step, yet is still the one that most people get wrong. One of the most common mistakes of companies on social media is that they favor posts that are self-serving, or openly commercial, when they should instead be focusing on non-commercial posts that interest readers. These non-commercial posts should be informative, engaging, entertaining, and enlightening. According to Sarah, companies should use the 80-20 rule, where 80% of your posts are non-commercial, but only 20% of the posts are.
A schedule is especially helpful, Sarah said. You can publish different types of posts for every day of the week. By creating these posts in advance, you’re not under time pressure to create a good post. Marketers also have access to powerful social media tools that let you schedule your posts in advance and publish them automatically.
One of the greatest benefits of sharing other people’s content—especially if it’s good content, Sarah said—is that you can still use it to position yourself as an expert. By adding a personal note to the shared post, you create a connection between the information in the shared content and your own expertise.
Another great reason to share content is that it creates ties between you and other people on social media. Do it right, and you catch the other person’s interest and hopefully take the first step to a strong business relationship.
Social media is also about engagement—a fact that Sarah demonstrated by showing real life examples of Vaughan businesses and how they engaged with both customers and other businesses with similar goals. Mingling connects you with your audience, and interested social media audiences make for stronger advocates and more loyal customers.
Sarah’s advice made a big impression, and audience members were filled with ideas on how to improve their own social media efforts. Ever the helpful soul, Sarah hung around long after the event was over to answer questions and offer advice.
A big thanks to Sarah for sharing these great social media tips!
Patrick Icasas is a freelance writer and content marketer. When he’s not helping businesses sound awesome, he writes fiction and blogs about how to suck less. Tweet him at @patrickicasas to get a snarky response.