How to WIN on SOCIAL MEDIA
Random ingredients and random quantity, random process and random time = flop.
Social media organic reach is diminishing. It’s getting harder to reach people simply by posting ‘something’ on your business page. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn want you to pay for advertising and post boosts, which after all, is how they make money. It doesn’t help that businesses often make the mistake of diving into social media without a clear plan. With unrealistic expectations, they join several social media platforms and when they don’t get the results they expect, they lose interest, deciding that social media doesn’t work.
If this sounds familiar then read on because I’m going to explain How to Win on Social Media.
The Perfect Recipe To Get Results and WIN on Social Media
You need six key ingredients…
The first ingredient is CONTENT
What Type of Content?
Not just random content.
Content to engage, inspire, educate, inform and/or entertain your target market.
Use a mix of original content: What do you do that helps buyers get what they want? What do you know that they don’t? Showcase your product features and benefits in a way that informs or entertains your customers. Include promotional content. Mix it up.
Use curated content: What can you share from your influencers and followers that helps your customers solve challenges?
One way is to share an interesting blog. Another way is to gather information from trusted sources, relevant to a particular topic and create content from what you have found. This type of content should at the very least, contain a link back to your website. If you are sharing a blog post, add a comment or your point of view.
In both cases ask yourself – Is it interesting? Is it valuable? Will it entertain them? Will it educate or inform them? Will it be something they want to share with others? Does it create controversy or inspire comment?
If not, rework it.
*There is a great article on Content Curation from Buffer.com at the end of this blog post.
Not all social media messages should be serious.
Have some fun. On Facebook or Instagram for example, share some insight on your business, your team and what you’re up to. Post those photos of your new office, or a couple of selfies at an event or networking group. Let your personality and the personality of your brand shine through.
Not all social media messages should be promotional.
You may have heard of the Golden Ratio. A well known guide to planning your social media content mix.
30/60/10 – 30% original content, 60% curated and 10% promotional.
Another guide you may have heard of is the Rule of Thirds
1/3 Promotion 1/3 Engagement 1/3 Original Brand Content
Ratios can vary according to who you are talking to, there are many variations but these are a great starting point. Experiment and see what works for you.
More on content at the end of this blog.
The second ingredient is A SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
Start with one or two and master those first. Choose platforms that suit your business and are used by your target market.
When publishing your content on your chosen social media platforms, it is important to structure it in a format that suits that platform.
** There is a great post about just that at the end of this blog post.
The third ingredient is TIME
And lots of it. Time to research, create, edit, format, schedule and post that content to all the appropriate channels; regularly and consistently. Time to engage and connect with your audience. Which leads me to…
The fourth ingredient, MANAGEMENT
You need to pay attention to your social media. Be available to engage with your audience, to respond to questions and comments. Your customers expect it. Not responding sends out the message that you don’t care. Quick responses increase your credibility.
Another aspect of Social Media Management is scheduling.
Scheduling is very time consuming, perhaps the most time consuming of all your social media tasks. You need to be organised to do it right. It’s important that you deliver the right content at the right time in your customer’s buying cycle.
After you’ve created, scheduled and posted all this amazing content you probably want to see how it went. To do this you need to analyse the data, to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. There are various ways to measure this data, depending on what platforms you use. At the vary least Google Analytics can tell you how your website is performing and Facebook Insights will reveal how your posts are doing.
How much time to you need to win on social media?
Well that’s up to you. How much time are you prepared to put aside? If time is a rare commodity, perhaps you need to consider hiring a dedicated social media manager or outsourcing one.
The fifth ingredient is CONSISTENCY
Random posting and hoping to engage will lead to disappointment. Post regularly across all of your platforms. Social Media Guru, Guy Kawasaki recommends posting three to twenty different posts a day – as a guideline. In his book The Art of Social Media he mentions that “As long as your posts are good, you can share more than that. But if you share one or two crappy posts per day, that’s too much.”
*** At the end of this blog is an interesting article about posting frequency.
Bare in mind that this is a guideline. Do what works for you. Post more often than not. If you are adding more followers and gaining more shares, then stick to it.
The sixth, and final ingredient is STRATEGY
To really WIN on Social Media
You have to have a plan, a purpose – a strategy for everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business using social networks.
A strategy for your business goals is important to success; whether that’s to get more likes and shares, to connect with your audience and increase engagement, to drive traffic to your website, increase sales, promote your product or get people to your event. Every action you take on social media should be part of your larger social media marketing strategy.
Set realistic goals on what you expect your strategy to achieve. Most businesses give up on social media because they have unrealistic expectations. When they don’t get the results they expect, they lose interest deciding that social media doesn’t work. Be patient. It takes time.
A winning social media strategy has the following features.
- outlines your brand’s identity
- identifies your business goals
- defines your ideal target market, and
- determines how your business will embrace social media
Social Media – How Should We Use It?
It’s important to remember that social media is a customer service tool. Social networks are the perfect platforms for 2-way conversations with your customers. Social media is not about selling. It’s more subtle than that. It’s also not about telling people how good you are. Too much selling or self promotion could lose you followers.
Over the past 5 years marketing has changed.
Today’s consumers are savvy and they don’t like to be sold to. Marketing is no longer about pushing your product in front of the customer; it’s about managing the customer experience, it’s service focused; it’s about improving lives. It’s individual marketing instead of mass marketing. Bottom line – It’s about creating perceived value through product features, services and information. Today’s businesses must have customer satisfaction at their core.
To do this on social media you need to create content that informs and educates your customer at each of the 3 main stages of the buyer’s journey.
Stage 1: Those at the awareness stage – when the buyer recognises that they have a problem.
Stage 2: The consideration stage – the buyer has defined the problem and has begun researching options to solve it.
Stage 3: The decision stage – the buyer starts looking for a solution.
For each of these stages vary your content. Write blogs, how to’s, lists and top 10s, use quotes and images, videos or slides – mix it up for variety and see what gets the better results. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Start with a blog and use the information from that to create the other content formats. Just make sure you create the type of content that your customers want and are likely to engage with.
Stuck for content ideas? Here are some tips:
- Expand on your FAQ page. Write an entire blog for each question/answer
- Keep a record of questions people ask about your biz
- Check out this list “105 Types of Content to Fill Up Your Editorial Calendar”.
So there you have it. A winning recipe for social media success. I hope it helps. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below.
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