Post, tweet, and pin, oh my. Shoot, edit, and click time good-bye. If you’re frustrated with a lack of return from social media and puzzled about what to do this article has you covered. Whether you’re working for yourself, for an employer or managing a department these six steps will get you socially successful faster.
- Identify how to manage posts, tweets, pins and video.
- Choose your social platform based on your customer.
- Make your social media pop with brand impact.
- Learn how and when to convert fans and followers to customers.
- Identify five types of effective posts.
Manage Your Media
Create a publishing calendar. Include each social platform you use along with your email and blog. Include the media platform, the content topic, the author and the date to be published along with image suggestions.
Set weekly and monthly goals for frequency that you can manage. Plan at least a month in advance. Keep in mind how each social platform works. Users check Facebook daily, Tweet most around current events, and may only visit Pinterest when they are searching for recipes or travel destinations.
Set a frequency that is ideal for marketing and commit to it. For example, add one video a week, two blogs a month, an email a week, four Facebook posts a day. Add content details based on your program launches, holidays, special awareness days, weeks and months. Then fill in with regular posts your ideal customers love.
A before and after exercise technique makeover, a nutrition tip, and a motivational quote on a client image might be a part of your regular weekly content. Repurpose everything. A video goes out to both Facebook and Twitter. It becomes an infographic that you add to a blog or email. Are you the science guy? Then include a new research study each week. Choose content topics centric to your specific market.
Your publishing calendar can be a word doc, Google Calendar, or an excel spreadsheet. Do what works for you and any staff who need to see it. With the calendar you can get in, do the job, and get out without falling down the social media rabbit hole.
Where exactly should you be social? Where will you get the most return from your time? Go where your customers hang out.
Follow Your Customer
YouTube is the second most popular search engine. Be there. Video is a non-intimidating way for a client to meet, like and trust you. Video is the core of your social campaign. Everything else that you do should incorporate video.
Less is more. Create short 30-second to two-minute videos. Start your “why” for posting with a problem you solve for a customer. Include a call-to-action. Tell them what you want them to do next. Think about your title, description and tags. They matter. Will someone searching Google about a problem find you? Don’t go to the effort to make and upload video and bomb because you don’t optimize it.
Facebook is still the biggest player among all age groups with 1.44 billion monthly users. Facebook’s most rapidly growing age group last year was 65+. If you’re targeting the 77% of females online who are on Facebook, and the males they influence, you want to be here. The 18-29 year old demographic have the largest presence on all but one social media sites. This group uses social to connect with friends, more than businesses. You will find plenty of all age groups on Facebook especially Boomers. Insider tip: hashtag use on Facebook reduces your views significantly. One is ideal.
Twitter use is skewed to 24% of the men and 21% women online. As is true of all social media, tweets with photos are shared more. Reply, quote and retweet. Learn how and how not to use hashtags. They have meaning. A hashtag might be trending. Know why before you use it. Chief marketing officers have been fired for damaging hashtag use. If you have an event Twitter can be especially effective with hashtag use.
Pinterest appeals to women. About 28% of all women 30-64 online are on Pinterest. Yet, while Facebook is something users check daily, Pinterest is only occasionally used. Get a business account. Think beautiful images and connect to your website with URLs for each pin. Play nicely with others by pinning their content. Interaction is your key to success. It’s called a social media network for a reason!
Instagram is a rising star for branding opportunities. With 300+ million users sharing 60 million photos daily that then get shared to Facebook and Twitter, you could say it’s popular. This is a primarily younger female user-group. You can’t advertise here yet even if you want to but it can grow your organic following. Think outside the box. Post fitness outfits or your dinner plate. Post yoga poses. Images of finish-line crossings may do better than images of in-gym exercises.
This list is not an all-inclusive but it is a manageable list of major players. If you have to narrow your selection choose YouTube and Facebook, along with your email. If you have a consistent presence and know the secrets to optimization you will be found first by customers.
LinkedIn didn’t appear above but is a valuable B2B platform and strong for academic and business relationships. Do be present there and work grow your contacts to 500+ as you share rich content. Don’t overdo daily use. Just 13% of users check it daily as compared to Facebook users with constant connectivity. Include a headshot if you want people to trust you. Few people connect with an empty profile image.
Every aspect of your images, fonts and colors should tell your fans and followers they’re in the right place. Use your logo, your image, and your language. If anyone else could use your picture, it’s not your brand. Consider always using the same filter for images. Make them recognize you anywhere. Make custom thumbnails for each YouTube video and carry your brand theme there. Timeline covers, app images, or profile pictures should all be branded.
Convert Fans and Followers to Customers
Know what drives customers to your services. Successful social media depends on it. Share information that attracts them. Do they want to end back pain, lose weight, or are they interested in serenity from yoga? What information can you give away generously in order to become the resource they’ll like and share?
Does your content add value? Does it solve a problem a customer has and is actively looking for a solution for? Content-rich information is going to rise above the rest. Don’t post just to hit your post quota. The information overload we’re experiencing now is going to grow. That will mean your prospects will get very selective about what to listen to, watch and read.
People want to consume things fast and have them solve a long-term problem. That’s your social mission.
Being busy with social media isn’t the same as being effective. Drive people to your list. Facebook could go bye-bye tomorrow. You don’t own your fans or followers or subscribers on any social platform. You do own your email list. Give a free gift in exchange for email. Use apps on Facebook to attract subscribers. Use the connect button. Use more than one strategy for both drip and direct action.
The distinguishing feature of social media and email is purpose. Social is about conversation. Nurture the relationship. Email is about conversion to paying customers. Promote yourself at a ratio of 6:1 on Facebook and 10:1 on Twitter. “Buy this,” or “check out our trainers,” is not a strategy and there’s a lot of it going on. That’s opportunity for you. Mention your service in a way that solves a problem. If you have conditioned your fans and followers by providing links that add value they love from you, they’ll open your link too. You have to earn it.
“If you liked this article, you’ll love this.” Insert a link with this line at the end of a content-rich post. Interested readers will click on it.
Use the language of helping and connecting. Leave the language of selling and pitching out of your conversation on social. Conversions happen through email. Your email subscribers have said “yes” and gave you permission to ask them to be customers. There is nothing in a pitch for service that makes a fan want to like, comment and share. It doesn’t make them look cool, funny or savvy.
Post These Five Types of High-Performing Content
Customers are on social media to connect with family and friends. You want “likes,” comments, and most of all, shares. These five types of posts will help you get them. When you increase engagement Facebook shows your content to more people.
- Photos with memes and without. Find images your fans like best. Invest time adding your URL and quotes on photos. If you do spend ad money on social use images already tested as high-performers.
- Videos with a call-to-action and without. Native video is uploaded directly to Facebook from your phone or iMovie, for instance. Right now Facebook loves you for that. A video uploaded directly to Facebook will reach two times as many people as a link to YouTube. Include a call-to-action in half of your YouTube videos. Insert the rest into playlists with a call-to-action on the first video. Playlists increase total viewing time. That increases your video recommendations.
- Articles you’ve written. Position yourself as the expert by using research, case studies, and statistics in your articles. Link to articles on your website.
- Others articles and blogs. Be a curator of content. You become known as the expert even sharing other people’s content. Your customer doesn’t have time to sort through it all. They’ll rely on you. If you share it they assume that you are the expert. Make it yours with a comment, thank you, or a poll to your fans. If you wish you wrote it, post it.
- Other people’s eye candy. The more you share photos, inspirational quotes and videos the more you get shown and shared. Facebook likes when you play nicely with others.
Boost Your Social Reach Without a Budget
Organic results are possible. Consistently deliver what your fans and followers respond to and you will win. Random ads don’t get responses: campaigns do. Knowing that, random free certainly isn’t going to work.
- Post pictures with content. Your occasional photo-less post may get attention because it stands out. Stack multiple new photos in the same album so that when it’s shared the likes, comments and shares are compounded. Nine at a time works nicely. Add your URL. Ask people to tag themselves. Don’t do it for them.
- Be consistent. Post regularly at different times of day to cover your early birds and night owls and those in between. Tweet up to 10 times a day if you truly want to use it for business. It’s OK to tweet the same content multiple times. The same person on at 7am is not going to get upset because you tweet it at 8pm. They won’t see it. On Facebook you can create content and cycle it every 30 days as long as it’s not dated.
- Test: don’t guess. Test images, video length, posting times and questions you’re audience responds to best. Watch your insights and analytics closely. When you find the sweet spot give them more of what they like when they like it.
- Make a call-to-action. In every post, tweet, video, include your URL. Ask for a thumbs-up or a comment on YouTube. Add an annotation that brings clicks to your lead page. Be direct. “Click here now” works. Know where you want to drive traffic and are ready to capture emails. If you’re not ready to handle traffic yet you can’t monetize your social media use.
- Use free resources to create beautiful images with quotes from famous people and local celebrities. Brand with your URL. You want viewers to click the image and go to your site. Use your own photos or make absolutely sure you have the rights to a photo before using. Free photo editing resources include Canva and Picmonkey. Find free photos at Morguefile, and Flickr. Follow the rules for photo attribution. Create infographics at Piktochart.