Reasons aside, many business owners don’t leverage the unstoppable power of social media because they feel it must be difficult and time consuming to work. That’s not entirely correct.
Social media is worth doing and it can be maintained with relative ease. Today, I’ll show you how.
Pick the Best and Toss the Rest!
First and foremost – being on social media does NOT mean you have to be on EVERY platform. Ideally you want to be on the platform that works best and ditch the rest.
Have you ever been to a website that shows a dozen social media profiles and then half of them lead to an inactive account? Did it make you trust them or doubt them? Regardless what vertical you are in, if it’s not helping you it’s likely hurting you.
Ultimately, you need to choose the social media platforms that are right for your business. You can’t be engaged everywhere. I coach my clients on using the right platform for their goal and their audience.
Up until recently, the consensus was that Facebook reigned supreme in the world of social media. Maybe they still do, but many fear the possible downturn of business. The wise business owners out there will simply switch their tactics to better engage the users. That’s what Facebook wants after all. Well, that and your money.
This is a great platform for most business owners because this is where a large portion of individuals still spend their time. Whether interacting in their feeds or on a business page, with friends or with idols, Facebook is still a great place to meet and connect.
My business bias might come out here. Still, let’s talk about Twitter. In recent years, the platform has shifted greatly. Twitter used to be a great place in general, however now it seems that the folks benefiting from Twitter are those using it for live interaction; Events, Speakers, Panels, etc.
I get traction on Twitter but I can’t say conversion. For most business owners, it’s as easy as keeping it flowing to grow your audience. Keep it on hand for the day you need to publicize an event or get a concept trending.
My come-from-behind pick of 2018. At one point, there were some serious concerns about LinkedIn’s future. Now, it seems to be picking up steam. Where LinkedIn truly shines is B2B sales. This is where the CEOs and business owners hang out in there nearly non-existent free time. (Or is that just me?)
Any business looking to sell to other businesses or business types, you need to get on and get active. If you offer products or services outside of that realm, you may not need LinkedIn to the same degree.
Visual much? Instagram is supreme king of the images. Harnessing cool new toys like Stories and the ever-popular hashtags, they continue to be a great place for many business owners to hang out. If you want to truly make a dent in this environment, visuals and content value is key.
Instagram is best businesses with a strong message and strong visual brand. It takes a solid strategy to etch out a niche here and make it profitable.
I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest. If you are using Rich Pins, tracking conversion is easy. The thing is, posts on Pinterest last a long time. A LONG TIME. This means a user could pin your product, look at it several times, and purchase months later.
If you are a blogger or someone sharing information, Pinterest is AMAZING. Same if you publish helpful content like recipes or tutorials. There’s work involved in using this platform, so it’s not for the feint of heart.
This is a unique platform with benefits and weakness. It’s a fantastic discovery tool for users, but can be tricky business for… well, a business! This platform is very content driven. Users can like content, which is added to their profile, so that others (usually their friends or acquaintances) will stumble upon your website when the stumble button is pressed. They also have a pay-for play model call the “Paid Discovery” program. They put it in front of users, and you pay $0.10 click.
This is a platform that begs engagement as well. If you have entertaining or informative content, you’ll go far. Blatant advertising won’t. The goal is to continually create content users want to see and share. That’s how you maximize the platform.
Google+ is Google’s attempt at a business social media platform. However, they never really seemed to take off. It’s beneficial to your website’s SEO to have a Google+ page associated with it. Plus, it has the potential to influence potential buyers.
Business owners using Google+ are likely doing so for SEO more than traffic expectations. This can be an easy, low-effort platform.
Reddit is a social/news platform. Users vote on content from other users to increase Karma and thereby views. They also have subreddits which house a plethora of unified niches.
Business owners opting to use Reddit are community and customer support centric. They also have either the time or the means to hire someone to create great content. It’s a ruthless place where poor content is voted out and good content reigns supreme. Where brands can directly interact with users. Though this is a time-consuming platform, the possibilities are endless.
Yes, there are more platforms than listed here, but these are the ones I chose to focus on today. If you would like to chat about any of the other available sources I may not have mentioned, shoot me a message here.
Your Look and Feel Matters
Once you’ve narrowed down which platforms you want to be on (and checked out the rest) it’s time to make sure that the message you’re sending are going to achieve something. Your brand is more than just your logo, it’s your look and feel, what you say and what you do. It needs to be apparent and consistent in everything you do. The more a customer sees and recognizes your brand, the better chance you’ll have of converting eyes to buys.
When considering content for your social media feeds, take these factors into consideration:
- Content Type Variation
- Your Brand Voice
- Audience Preferences
Content Type Variation
What I mean to say is that it’s important to change up what you post. If all you ever do is post everyone else’s memes, you’ll never be recognized as your own entity. If all you ever do is share salesy garbage, your audience will tune out. If you aren’t harnessing the power of video marketing, you are doing something wrong. Or as the Godfather of Video Marketing, Lou Bortone, would say, “What? You don’t have a video marketing plan? What is this, 2005?”
Your Brand Voice
All business owners want customers to see their posts, instantly recognize them, and buy their product or service. Sound about right?
The goal of branding is to build that instant recognition, but it doesn’t happen overnight. To do this, you must make every post, picture, video, and tweet leave the same impression each time. Over time, the audience seeing your posts will become accustomed and be able to recognize you easily.
What I did for Brand Scrubbers was create a branding board indicative of what I wanted to express. It contains the fonts I use, the colors, the variations on my logo, and textures/images to supply the context. I whip that sucker out each and every time I plan on posting something to the world wide web. I can feel confident that my brand is coming through.
Over time, your audience will tell you what they like or dislike. It may not always seem obvious, though a lack of engagement is your first indication. If your social media posts don’t connect with them, your audience will simply skim past.
As you try different content types and engagement styles, pay attention to what your audience responds to and do it more. By continually refining your message and posts to what your audience cares about, you’ll build a loyal tribe of engaged followers.
Helpful Social Media Automation Tools
We’ve talked why you need it, which platforms go with which, and even what to post. Now, I want to share with you some amazing tools to help make your social media easier to manage.
Diane Jones, amazing business lady and friend who run DJ Public Relations, shared with me her tip to easily managing your social media without investing a bunch of time.
“Whenever possible, schedule your social media posts ahead of time using either the Facebook scheduling function or an app like Hootsuite. Social media posts that are evergreen can be scheduled out weeks in advance, ensuring that your social media presence stays consistent without having to spend valuable time every day working on it.”
There are many tools out there to chose from, so I’m going to share my favorites with you.
This is my favorite tool for maintaining my Twitter without interruption. It allows me to create a newspaper of my favorite topics that curates and shares itself daily. IT’s inexpensive, and it’s an arse-saver. If I end up unable to get online to post to Twitter, I know I’m still covered. Consistency is key and that’s why I have Paper.Li! (Whoops, I rhymed…)
Another Twitter toy! At least that’s what I use it for. It allows me to interact with my followers, see who has followed or unfollowed, and share top tweets in my network to my audience. Use it free or paid, the choice is yours.
Yes, posting natively is a nice thing. However, I can tell you from experience that using a scheduler does not negatively impact traffic. At least, not mine. I’ve tried every scheduler out there; from Hootsuite to Coschedule, Buffer to Sprout. Social Pilot is my best for value, reporting and client management.
Scheduling your social media content ahead of time can improve your marketing strategy. It gives you time to think it through and plan for impact. Again, this is my favorite choice. Check it out here.
This tool may end up becoming obsolete with Instagram’s new posting from desktop options. For a while now I’ve used Gramblr to schedule posts in advance. I can craft my messages and set it to post automatically making Instagram a lot easier for this business owner.
Putting It All Together
With tools at the ready and message crafted, you can head off into the world of social media feeling better armed with knowledge. That’s not all! I wouldn’t be a very good person if I left you without a means to bring it all together.
Here’s my secret recipe…
Each week, I put out 2 blogs. One blog is done Tuesday and one Friday. Each blog is created using the same template. The template contains my share schedule for each platform, sections to write the social media content, and instructions on both writing for SEO and checking/implementing your best keyword.
By doing it this way, my two pieces of evergreen content feeds content all week. Memes, quotes, videos, whatever moves me. Paper.LI adds some curated content to bulk up the lineup. Then, I post different things as the mood takes me. This creates a dynamic strategy with minimal effort. Cool huh?
~ Sacha Brant
PS: All opinions expressed are mine as of this date. They may change, they may not. If you have an issue with anything I’ve said, let me know. Thanks.