“You’re marketing to humans, not robots,” – Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This
In our last post in this series, we covered the basic things you need to know and do to set up your social media presence. In this post we’re going to be looking at the basics of posting, engagement and communities.
Now that you’ve got your profiles set up, they’re visible across your business and communications and you’ve started populating them with followers/fans, let’s talk about posting and engagement. Again, this is for beginners so we’ll take this from a basic perspective.
Four things to keep in mind:
Your target market
What they’re interested in
The network you’re using
Your brand personality.
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER – Social channels are not the place to force your brand messaging on unsuspecting fans.
Let’s look again at the independent clothing brand I mentioned in the last post. Using their interests (extreme sports, music, festivals, art etc) we conducted a little research into the best resources for existing content – a great tool (currently free in Beta) is Buzzsumo – it shows the most shared content based on keywords you select over given periods, domains, content types etc. You can then begin cherrypicking content that will interest your community. The other option is to create your own – this can be as simple as a blog post or slideshare OR you can go for a video or infographic – there are plenty of options. Some of the simplest examples we’ve seen are turning the FAQ’s into a downloadable guide or (as in the case of the example used above), creating an online photobook from the various photoshoots. The key thing here is to do some research into what your target market enjoy, what type of content works, who the major aggregators/influencers are (e.g. blogs, websites etc) and what you can do to add value to it.
Once you’ve got something interesting to post, something that will add value to your target markets (remember, that’s the basis of all social sharing – adding value), have a think about your ratios.
KEY TIP – The 4-1-1 rule is a great guide on your posting habits. The rule states that for every one self-serving tweet, post or update, a brand should share four pieces of content from other sources and one re-share DIRECTLY from another source.
Remember to tailor your posts to the network you’re using as well. Facebook and Twitter are typically more light-hearted where LinkedIn takes on more of a professional angle so the content needs to reflect that. For example, Soaring Worldwide’ Facebook page posts interesting ad campaigns, quirky articles or things that just make us laugh. Our LinkedIn posts articles that are more directed towards our business area and asks questions that will engage the business community, our Twitter does both!
KEY TIP – Visual content performs better than text-driven (source: Hubspot):
40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text
Photos on Facebook drive 33% more likes than the average post
YouTube passes 4 billion video views per day
Posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text posts
Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined
TOP TIP Always ask these questions of yourself before you post content – ‘Would I want to share this?’ and ‘What value does it provide?’ Remember, people share things that they believe will provide value to their followers or will raise their value in the eyes of their followers.
Now that you’re regular populating your various feeds with interesting content that people are likely to share, let’s talk about engaging in communities. We’ll use a different example here – a local osteopath clinic I’ve worked with. We recognised that their special skills involved baby/child osteopathy but that they wanted to grow outside of this market to bring in as much business as possible. So, where to get involved with communities?
Babies and children aren’t likely to be the ones actively searching help for whatever is the problem – it’s their parents and it’s not exactly marketing insight to know parents are protective of their children. So, we started engaging in communities for mothers, prospective parents and medical professionals – simply by helping resolve issues that were brought up in these communities, you are building up this image of your business as a human, as someone that can help and as someone that’s going to appear top of mind if anyone engaged in that community needs your service. What’s the basic premise here?
TOP TIP – BE NICE & GIVE, GIVE, GIVE, GIVE
Engage with communities that will be interested in your offering but don’t mention your product – you’re not a marketer at this point, you’re a human looking to help someone out, give opinions as an expert, converse – BE HUMAN. Jay Baer calls it ‘Youtility’ and it’s as simple as it sounds – just help someone out!
TOP TIP – Take a look at Reddit – there will be a Subreddit (a niche community) relevant to your niche that you can engage with – you can get some high quality links from Reddit as it’s a high domain authority site.