Knowing what you need to do to thrive on social media is just part of the story. The other part of the story? Well that is actually doing it.
This might sound a bit redundant but consider just how many businesses will come up with a social media marketing strategy and begin with the very best of intentions. They genuinely intend on posting on a regular basis to Instagram and Facebook and building their following over time.
But then what happens is that life gets in the way. This is especially problematic for those smaller, one-man-band operations.
If you’re an entrepreneur who is looking to promote themselves on social media, then you might have a plan to post a certain amount of images, written posts, links and videos per week or even per day.
While this is admirable, if you overshoot what’s possible, then you will potentially end giving up on the attempt entirely – and this certainly isn’t a positive thing! The same goes for publishing to your website in general, and the same goes for vlogging etc.
It’s all about finding a balance that works for you and the most important thing through all of this is that your schedule is consistent.
Social media, blogs and vlogs are all most successful when visitors feel that they can rely on your content to arrive at a set time and set date, frequently.
It’s better to post regularly once a week, than it is to attempt to post ten times a day, burn out in the first few days and then give up entirely!
As well as finding the balance though, you can also use a few optimization tricks and process fixes to speed things up.
Let’s take a look at how you can optimize your social media campaign.
Let’s start by looking at the essentials – the bare minimum that you should be doing.
While it’s best to be present on as many social media platforms as possible, the reality is that this can take up a huge amount of time.
At the very least though, you should be on the three biggest platforms, namely Facebook, YouTube and Instagram and you should aim to post at least 3 or 4 times a week.
As for what you’ll be posting, you’ll of course run out of content fairly quickly if you try to post things from your own site each time so you might want to consider making your posts a mixture of:
· Humorous/useful observations
· Insights from your day (while staying relevant as possible)
· Niche/industry news
· Links to other articles or posts that you found interesting (especially if these are channels you’d like to work with in future)
· Promotions regarding partners
· Occasional promos for your own content
· Old posts that you published previously
· Images or posts about topical hashtags
· Responses to questions or comments
· Questions or comments of your own, for other people
· Polls, questionnaires etc.
· Tips and tricks
As you can see, you should have plenty to be dealing with but also keep in mind this little rule:
The key is to offer real value and then to market under the radar.
To offer enough value that your audience feels that their time spent on your site has been worthwhile, you need to make sure that you are posting regularly about things that interest them.
They don’t want to be inundated with ham-fisted marketing attempts!
YouTube / Video Marketing
Suffice to say that a well produced video will:
· Raise your profile by looking like something that an amateur could not create. A video with high production values takes skill, it takes time and it takes software and equipment. Suddenly, you
organization becomes something that couldn’t possibly be run by a kid in their Mum’s basement.
· Massively enhance engagement. One of the awesome things about video is that it instantly captures our attention. There is movement, there is music, there is spoken word and all of this is
very difficult to turn away from even compared with good writing.
· Increase conversions. Not only is video incredibly effective at getting people to watch, it is also very good at getting those same people to go and click ‘buy’. That’s because they can see you right there on the screen appealing to them, which is very different from reading some statically written persuasive writing.
– But do make sure you keep videos short – 4 minutes is suggested to be the optimum length by YouTube and in most cases there is no real advantage to going longer. If you run over time consider splitting your content into several shorter videos.
Video lets your visitors get to know you, it stands out in a sea of social media and it is powerfully persuasive and trust building. You can also share video through social media directly by posting to your pages too.
Optimizing Your Schedule
Our goal then is to optimize your social media marketing schedule, to find ways to get more done in less time and to outsource etc.
As a rule of thumb, be wary of outsourcing your writing and content. If you do, then make certain that the writer you hire is someone who knows the subject matter intimately and is genuinely passionate about it. It is not enough to simply find someone who is good at writing. If you are going to have people coming back to your site and reading it because they’re getting great information, then the information you offer needs to be new, it needs to be unique and it needs to really stand out. It is not enough to simply post ‘well written’ posts that anyone could research themselves.
So, writing is something that will cost you one way or another but we can speed up and optimize the rest. For instance, if you are going to make a video, then there is nothing to say this has to be expertly produced. In fact, if you film something on a smartphone or a cheaper mirrorless camera, you can aim for an intentional ‘vlogging’ effect. Use a lapel mic for low-cost, high-quality audio and then, if you want some added flourish, hire a professional editor to put it all together and get it to look great.
As for social media posts, you should make sure that it is as easy as possible to share things through all the major platforms. That means that you should have the apps ready and signed into your business accounts on your smartphone – so sharing something to Instagram is as easy and pointing and shooting the camera.
Then during the day just snap away and post to your social media channels.
Fortunately, there are some easy tools to help you do share to social media more easily.
Most social media platforms for instance now allow you to easily share to other channels relatively easily. You only have to tick a button on Instagram for instance and your posts will be shared on Twitter as well. And for those accounts that don’t offer this privilege, try using additional tools such as IFTTT.
IFTTTT stands for ‘If This, Then That’ and allows you to set up triggers and responses across your social media. For instance, you can make it so that any content you share with a specific hashtag on Twitter, ends up on Facebook.
One last tip: use a tool like buffer or Hootsuite. These apps allow you to schedule posts. This means you can set up a large number of social media posts that aren’t ‘time sensitive’ and then have them post automatically and intermittently.
As for sharing content – keep in mind that the links you post don’t all need to be new! There’s nothing wrong with sharing an old post from your site and actually you can schedule WordPress posts as well.
One of the best tips I can give you is to take a week off from all your other marketing activities to spend this developing some excellent content that you can then drip feed for weeks and months to come.
One last thing? Love your subject matter and love what you do. It’s the only way you’ll be able to keep up this kind of output.