Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros
#01: Use Social Updates to Write Blog Posts
Take your most popular tweets and Facebook posts, or the ones you feel most passionately about, and use them to develop blog posts. You don’t have to write three pages; you don’t even have to write four paragraphs.
Seth Godin is one of the most successful bloggers in the marketing world, and he writes in two- to three-sentence paragraphs. He’s a master at expressing ideas that are thought-provoking and easy to read. People are pressed for time these days and content can be overwhelming, so make it valuable and easy to read.
Another way to get ideas is to comment on the things you read, such as other people’s blogs and newsletters, media publications and anything else relevant to your business. You’re already absorbing the content and you probably have opinions when you’re reading it, so go ahead and comment on those blogs.
One benefit of commenting is that people will start recognizing your name; another is it gives you material for a blog post.
For example, I save the comments I write in my email drafts folder and I use the subject line as a label for the topic. After I’ve saved the drafts, I can come back and turn these comments into blog posts. I can even make the comment itself the blog post. After all, it’s still my writing. (Check out Meddle, which makes this whole process easy and allows you to share/syndicate your comments to your social platforms with a few easy clicks.)
Use Meddle to help with your blog posts.
#02: Give Context to Pinnable Images
We live in an age of information overload and short attention spans. When it comes to capturing your audience’s attention, take full advantage of every chance to communicate your message in a way that they’ll engage with!
The best way to gain and keep your audience’s interest is by using an effective visual content. Visual social media platforms like Pinterest can be a fabulous traffic source if used correctly.
When designing Pinterest graphics, make sure your readers know “what’s in it for them.” Take a look at the images below. They’re two separate styles of blog graphics for the SAME article. The top photo makes sense when it’s seen on the blog itself. However, when you take the photo away from the post, there’s no frame of reference for it.
Add a title that tells viewers exactly what they’ll get if they click on the pinned graphic.
The bottom graphic, on the other hand, uses text to tell viewers exactly what they’ll get if they click on the pinned graphic.
Always include the title of your blog post on your graphic. That way, when you pin it to Pinterest, users will have a frame of reference and want to read it.
#03: Become a Resource on Facebook
Over the last year, Facebook has been slowly making algorithm changes that have limited the number of people who see a page’s Facebook post. Pages can use these algorithm changes to their advantage by thinking of their page as a user resource, rather than a promotional tool.
Build a page your customers would enjoy and then use that platform to delight them. Deliver posts that educate, entertain, inspire and inform to reach a wide Facebook audience.
#04: Manage Time Effectively
How much time do you spend crafting blog posts? Sending emails? Sitting in meetings?
Even if you have a good idea of where you’re spending the bulk of your time, you may often feel there simply aren’t enough hours in your day. Getting a handle on time management is a huge challenge for business owners.
Try a time-tracking tool like RescueTime to improve your daily productivity and devote more time to the areas that need it most.
RescueTime is a great time-tracking tool.
For example, let’s say you spend a great deal of time interacting on Facebook and Twitter, but you’re not seeing a lot of results. Meanwhile, your email marketing campaigns are intermittent at best, although you know the results are there for the taking.
Adjust your daily schedule so you spend more time on email marketing and see if it drives more sales. Remember, digital marketing depends on the trifecta of social, blog and email. If you neglect any one of them, your entire strategy could suffer. However, give them each a little love, and you might just see explosive growth.
It’s all about finding a balance that works for you and your business.
#05: Expand Reach With LinkedIn Publisher
If you haven’t already done so, take advantage of the free content publishing feature on LinkedIn called Publisher. It can increase your exposure to your target audience and help build your credibility as an expert in your industry. In fact, LinkedIn Publisher can greatly expand the reach of your business on LinkedIn, regardless of your network’s size.
For example, after Wendy McClelland added her third post, Why I Say NO to Coffee Meetings, she received more views, likes, and comments than she ever could have expected.
Wendy McClelland’s post, Why I Say NO to Coffee Meetings.
Wendy’s following is just over 1,500, but this published post got more than 61,500 views, 350 likes, and 500 comments! 60,000 people outside of Wendy’s network were exposed to her and her work.
While most posts will not achieve such extreme reach, all posts have the potential to reach new people.
Each time you publish, all of your connections and followers will receive a notification. The post also has a chance to be included in the email LinkedIn Pulse sends out to its members with suggestions for posts that might interest them.
LinkedIn Pulse sends out an email of noteworthy and recommended posts.
To increase your chances of success with Publisher, create professional-looking posts that address the needs and pain points of your audience. Make sure you avoid adding spammy or promotional information.
Post valuable content that your network will share with their connections and your reach will grow even more.
#06: Focus on One Social Media Channel
Unless your company is a big brand, it’s unlikely your customers are scattered across multiple social media channels.
Therefore, to make the most of your limited resources, find the one channel that is densely populated with your ideal customers and inhabit it like no other.
#07: Automate Curated Content
If you run a small business, creating or curating content can be relegated to the back burner. The problem is that an erratic publishing schedule can alienate your audience and break trust. There’s a way around this.
Schedule a baseline of curated content. While there are a number of tools out there that can help, lately I’ve been choosing to use Hootsuite’s new Suggested Topics under its Publisher tab.
Use HootSuite's Suggested Topics tool to find curated content.
Select up to three topics of interest, then let Hootsuite find content that’s relevant to your audience.
Let Hootsuite find content that’s relevant to your audience.
As I mentioned, this is baseline content. If you want to rock your social media marketing, you still need to create and curate your own posts, as well as engage with your audience. However, this tool lets you stay in front of your audience even when you’re making sales calls, writing proposals and brewing that second pot of coffee.
#08: Create a Social Update Library
One thing that holds many businesses back from actively posting on social media is having to come up with ideas for what to post. When you batch content and social media update creation, it’s much easier to come up with interesting ideas for status updates relating to that content.
Whenever you create a piece of content (article, podcast or video) for your blog or website, come up with a list of 10 to 20 social media posts at the same time that can be used to promote that piece of content.
This same concept will work for your product pages, sales pages or any other piece of content you want to promote.
Batch social updates as you create content.
Once you have a list of social media updates, add the updates to a spreadsheet to keep track of them all in one location. This can be a simple spreadsheet that includes just the update and a link to the content, or it can be a more elaborate one that tracks all of your content and social media updates for multiple networks.
This will save you a lot of time over the long run. Also, you build a library of tweets and status updates that you can use for years to come. Whenever you need to schedule some updates, just come back to the spreadsheet, create a .csv file, import it into a program like Hootsuite and you’re good to go.
#09: Publish Long-Form Content on LinkedIn
By publishing new and previously published content on LinkedIn, you can grow your audience and network while increasing your status as an expert.
Through this open publishing platform, your original content becomes part of your company’s profile, is shared with your trusted network and has the ability to reach the largest group of professionals ever assembled.
This post gained more visibility when it was picked up by editors.
#10: Target Website Visitors with Social Ads
It takes a lot of time and effort to attract visitors to your website. When you do attract relevant visitors, it’s important to maximize the potential of that visit even after they leave your website.
There are now great retargeting options where you can follow your website visitors to other sites like Twitter and Facebook, and encourage them to take further action.
For example, to target your website visitors on Facebook, display “page like” ads and encourage them to become fans. This currently costs us 15 cents per fan. In return, we get a relevant fan and another place to reach our audience.
Website owners can target past website visitors with ads like this on Facebook.
Your potential customers don’t see all of your communication, but with good marketing tactics, you can improve your chances of showing up in their social streams!
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