Madalyn Sklar is a serial entrepreneur, community builder, and leading Twitter marketing expert. With 25 years of digital marketing experience and 16 years of social media marketing under her belt, it’s no surprise she’s been ranked the #1 Social Media Power Influencer in Houston. Huffington Post has named Madalyn one of 50 Women Entrepreneurs to follow.
In this exclusive interview, Madalyn talks about her passion for social media, common mistakes that businesses make when it comes to social media marketing, trends to look out for, and more.
Let’s dive in!
1. When did you discover your passion for social media marketing?
My passion for social media marketing came from Friendster and then Myspace. These were popular sites back in the early 2000s. It was an incredible way to easily connect with like-minded people across the globe.
I quickly saw you could build an entire community of people you’ve never met in person by spending time on these sites, especially Myspace. It completely changed the landscape of digital marketing and opened up the door for the sites we love and use daily: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and more.
2. What is that one mistake you see most new businesses make when it comes to social media marketing?
I think the biggest mistake that new businesses make on social media is failing to have a plan in place. Many people think they're going to get on social media and "wing it."
While that strategy may work for some, it's not necessarily going to create long-lasting success. It's better to set goals for yourself so you know what you're working toward when it comes to your social media presence.
When you know what your goals are, you can choose the platforms and create the content that will help you get from where you are now to where you want to be.
Not only that, but your goals will indicate the most important metrics for you to track. Are you watching things like growth, engagement, and conversions? What's working for you and what's not?
If you've been implementing your strategy for a month or so and you aren't seeing the results you want, it'll help you identify where to make improvements. This way, you can be more strategic and purpose-driven with how you're showing up on social media.
3. Is there a benefit in sharing content regularly on your social platforms if you’re not going to be promoting it?
The algorithms put in place by each social media platform can definitely be frustrating. They do limit how much exposure your content gets. And in many cases, only a small percentage of your followers are seeing the posts you share.
However, you shouldn't let that deter you from showing up consistently.
The more you're putting great content out there, the better your chances are at generating organic engagement. The more engagement you're getting, the better the odds your content will be shown to your followers. It's all about showing up and serving your audience, giving them content that they'll love.
Plenty of brands are getting great organic results. You just have to keep at it.
So, I do think it's worthwhile to use social media, even if you aren't going to invest money in running paid advertisements. You just need to remain dedicated and continue putting in the work.
4. If someone comes to you asking for advice on how to get started with social media marketing, what are the three things you’d tell them?
The first thing I'd tell them is to choose which platforms they want to put their time and effort into. Far too many people get caught up in thinking they need to be on every single platform, but this simply isn't manageable.
If you're only one person, it's pretty difficult to create content for so many different mediums. It can be hard even if you have a team working alongside you! So, the best thing is to figure out where you want to be online.
Choosing the right platforms is a combination of knowing where your target audience is most active and finding ways to embrace your strengths. For instance, someone who really loves audio content might shine on Twitter Spaces. And someone who enjoys creating videos could find success on TikTok or Instagram Reels. Know what you're good at and what kind of content you enjoy creating.
Next, I would say that consistency is key. The only way you're going to grow your social media presence is by showing up and showing up often.
You can't expect to grow an account that's totally inactive. Does this mean you need to post 50 times per day? No, absolutely not. But you still want to make sure you're sharing high-quality, valuable content that will appeal to your target audience.
If you're consistently pumping out content, it gives them a reason to follow you. Not only that, but people will begin to see you as an authority in your field and that's going to build trust over time.
And my final piece of advice would be to ENGAGE. Social media is meant to be social. It has brought together people from all around the world. It's pretty amazing.
So, if you aren't using these platforms as a way to meet and connect with new people, you're really missing out. Don't sit back and wait for people to reply to your posts or DM you. Take the initiative and start conversations of your own or join others that are already happening. The more you're proactive about engaging, the more engagement you'll receive in return.
5. What are some social trends that you foresee in 2021?
I definitely see the popularity of audio content continuing to rise. Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are getting a lot of attention in the social media world right now.
You don't need any kind of fancy equipment to get started. You don't even have to worry about changing out of your pajamas because no one will physically see you. Instead, you get to just show up, talk to people, and share valuable content as a way of serving your online community.
6. What are some philosophies that drive you personally?
I have a tattoo that says, Just Do It. It’s been a mantra of mine for many years. I think too many people overthink things and then they don’t act.
I find it’s better to hit send whether it’s an email or a tweet and just go for it. What’s the worse thing that will happen? Probably nothing!
Another one is, Work Smarter Not Harder. I’ve adopted this one for most of my 25 years being self-employed in digital marketing.
You want to always be finding ways to do things better and smarter. It really pays off.
7. You're in a parallel universe--what is that one thing you're great at?
I’m good at editing videos and podcasts. I’d probably be doing that in a parallel universe. I find it challenging yet so fun to do.
I’m also good at getting tattoos! I’m up to 35 of them.