As a social media strategist, I’m also a keen observer of social media behaviors and a lot of what I see is what I call, random acts of social media. And while I do believe your life is content and some off-the-cuff or random activity is fine, I also know there is so much value on getting intentional with your social media strategy.
So these are a few things that have worked really well for me in my business, as well as for my consulting and coaching clients.
Be intentional. This is something I say all of the time. When it comes to social media, it’s vital to your success to get intentional. Otherwise, you’re simply throwing things at your ‘social media walls’ and hoping that they work. Yes, you might have a random selfie at an event in the mix, or decide to Periscope on the spur of the moment – some randomness in your approach is fine. But you absolutely must have a plan if you’re using social media to build your business. This could be in the form of a content grid (download mine for free at the top of the page) or a simple editorial calendar (I use Google calendar).
Don’t be all things to all people. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by social media, the good news is you don’t have to be a master of everything. You don’t need to master Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, etc. Really, you just have to pick one or two and knock it out of the park. Be really clear about who you are and your brand’s story, then choose the platforms that work best for you. Again, it’s being intentional and smarter about your social media time and efforts.
Use lists. If you’ve been following me for any period of time you know that I’m a huge believer in Facebook and Twitter lists. These lists can be amazing tools for getting more intentional with your social media. So first Facebook lists. If you go to Facebook.com/bookmarks/lists you can take your friends and place them on lists. These lists are private so use them to organize your clients, potential clients or leads. Then, take 5 minutes every day and look at those lists and engage. It’s a great way to get through the noise of your Facebook newsfeed and build relationships with those that matter most to your business.
Twitter lists are powerful tools too. These can be either public or private and again, can be used to break through the noise and connect with those who matter most. Think about what lists might be really good for you and your business. Public lists might be local or industry news, personal interests or influencers. Use private lists for clients, potential clients or even to follow your competition. Pro tip: You can put a competitor on a list without having to follow them on Twitter. A great way to gather a competitive analysis.
Connect with people where they’re at. It’s important to think about the fact that most people are not super active on every single social media platform. You want to connect with people where they’re at. So, if there’s someone you want to connect with and you go to their Twitter profile and their last tweet was 3 years ago, it won’t do much good to follow them or put them on a Twitter list. But check out their other profiles, perhaps they’re really active on Facebook or Instagram. Meet them where they are.
Cater your content to each platform. When you’re creating content and looking for ways to push it out, it’s important to take into consideration the nuances of each platform. You don’t want to sign-up for a program where you push a button and your content goes everywhere. There’s a lot of programs out there that do this and in theory it sounds really great, but it’s not. You need to be catering your content for each platform. You can certainly push out the same content to each channel, you just need to be doing it in different ways. Think about how that content lives within the eco-system of each individual platform (i.e. Facebook is more conversational, Instagram is more visual, etc.)
Think about content strategy. How are you going to tell the story of your brand? Will it be blogging, visuals, video? Decide what is going to work best for you. This could look like behind-the-scenes posts, customer testimonials, Q&A, interviews, guest posts. It’s important to really think about your brand and your story and have a solid content strategy in place.
Also remember it’s important to have that content live on your website. If you’re trying to leverage social media for business, you really need to have a website that you can consistently add fresh content to via a blog. I can’t tell you how much my business has benefited from consistently putting out content over the course of time.
Think beyond the now. What I mean by that, is that most people only think about the day ahead when they jump on social media. However, people that are winning in social media think about their content 30, 60, 90 days out. If you want to truly see results in social media, you have to stand the test of time. I’ve seen this a lot with Periscope. I’ve noticed several broadcasters come and go. I’ve also witnessed those broadcasters that have continued to consistently produce great content and scopes having huge successes. Just like any other social media platform, consistency wins.
*Bonus Tip* Batch your content. This is something I’ve been teaching and practicing for a long time. If you have a Facebook business page, sit down and schedule out blocks of content. Why do I do this? Because part of having a successful Facebook page is being there consistently. To be able to do that, batching content has been a game changer for me. Now, this doesn’t mean you set it and forget it. You want to go back and respond to comments and engage – a great tool for this is the Facebook Pages app which can notify you when anyone comments.
You can also batch your content on Twitter using tools like Hootsuite and Edgar – both of which I use and recommend. Again, not to set it and forget it, but to help you be more intentional about your content and having a consistent presence.
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