I remember starting out in social media and having two “aha” moments that really transformed both our social media success and making sense of what we were doing.
I thought I would share these with you because once you understand them, they make life so much easier and social media becomes rewarding.
1. Produce once and share often
The first tip to social media success is that you want to produce a core piece of “content” and then distribute it in different ways on different social media. Always give links to get people to click back to that core content. For a business, this core piece is often a blog. It’s not a promotional piece but information written to help your customers or clients.
So if you have that core blog, you can then post it on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more.
If you have a visual business, then your core content could be photos or video clips which you share on YouTube, Instagram, and even Snapchat – as well as all the others. If you are new to social media, each platform has different etiquettes and protocols – these aren’t written in any handbook so you want to get a feel for who does what on each. As an example, you probably only want to post business-related content on LinkedIn and not more than once or twice a week. Whereas with Twitter, it’s OK to share several posts a day and include wider, interesting content.
You might be surprised to see mention of Google+. It may not seem important, and unless you hang out with social media types, you may not have even heard of it. However, Google is still trying to get this social media platform to become the next Facebook or Twitter – and therefore it over-ranks content posted on it. That means any content you post on Google+ is likely to come higher on Google searches than information posted elsewhere.
I’ve explained more in this blog 7 reasons why we have all got to love Google+.
2. 20% promotional – maximum
The best people to follow on social media are those who are helpful, generous, have insights and new ways of looking at things. They are not constantly promoting themselves.
The general rule is to balance out promoting your blogs, offers, white papers and so on to a maximum of 20% of the total content that you post.
The rest of your content should be interesting and helpful. “Great article on….” “Anyone who has struggled to understand XYZ will find this really helpful…” “Thanks to XYZ for …”
I found a great blog by Sofie de Beule on this: The 80/20 Rule: Why Just 20% of Your Social Media Content Should be About Your Brand. Actually, see what I have done here. I have gone out to find something extra to help readers – I don’t know Sophie but did a Google search for the 80/20 rule, and this blog came up and I like it. Some would say this is generous. However, we can mention in a tweet that we have mentioned her blog – and almost certainly Sofie will then RT and share it wider. So in that way, we all achieve social media success.
3. Reach out to others – it’s not all about you
I know from clients that this last tip is often the hardest. As I write this, I think I should do more too!
I mentioned in an earlier blog about creating lists on Twitter and then using these lists to manage your relationships.
Each week you want to have a plan to engage on social media with your clients, contacts, and targets. If you have a Twitter list, then you can quickly see what they are up to and comment on posts, thank them for interesting information, and wish them luck if they are speaking at an event.
The point is – engage. Have conversations with people. They will then reply and share, and you increase your followers in the process.
A good tip is to look at many different people on various social media platforms and see if you want to follow them and why – and if you are quickly switched off. Almost certainly you won’t want to follow people who just promote themselves. That is a lesson for us all to ensure we are being interesting and helpful to others so they want to follow us.
So those are the 3 key tips to social media success. Of course, you also want to be strategic and ensure your social media is integrated with the rest of your business. But, I’ll look at those another time!