Most of the people knows how powerful the social media can be in promoting the product, yet having a plan on social media will also allow you to stay visible to your audience even when you’re not posting. If someone is following you on Facebook and Twitter, then you can greatly increase your brand recognition and make sure you’re at the forefront of your customers’ minds at all times. This then in turn means that when they decide they need a product or service that you provide – you will be the first person they come to in order to get it!
So the question is: how do you go about creating that plan and conquering social media?
Regularity, Quality, Consistency
Perhaps the easiest way to think about this is to start by looking at what doesn’t work. And for that we have any number of examples from companies all over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The problem for these companies is that they often focus on just one thing: promoting their products and services. They create their social media account, they do a little promotion to encourage people to follow them and then they just occasionally post messages like:
“Our drain cleaning products are second to none!” “That’s why Mums love NappyMate!”
It’s just bad marketing and again the reason is that it fails to pass the ultimate litmus test: you wouldn’t follow it yourself.
Think about the brands and the pages you are following on Facebook and most likely you’ll find that they’re brands and pages that regularly post content that you find interesting. If you’re into fitness then you’ll enjoy getting articles about staying healthy sent to your wall and if you’re into poetry then maybe you follow a Twitter account that posts short poetry.
In other words, there’s something in it for you and you’re receiving value. That value can come in the form of entertainment, it can come in the form
of information or it can come in the form of discounts. Either way though,you’re getting something consistent and in that way you can feel almost as though the social account is providing you with a service.
If a social media page is done well, then people should be upset when it goes for a long time without any new updates. If people are happy when they don’t see another post from you in a while then you know you’re doing something wrong!
Why it’s Important To Be Consistent
Let’s imagine an example revolving around a life insurance company. Now if the life insurance company were to use the same marketing strategy as 99% of the other insurance companies, then it would probably just post regularly about how people need to look after their family and how they have the best rates.
That’s not great and no one is going to want to follow that!
So instead, a smart life insurance company might identify its small corner of the market. In this case, we’re going to say that it’s targeting single Mums.
Mums are generally women and seeing as Pinterest is a social media platform that appeals to women more than men, this might be a good place to focus on that wouldn’t be too crowded.
Now, instead of just trying to drown Pinterest in sales pitches, the company instead makes the decision to provide a real, useful service on that platform. It creates a blog that talks about the challenges of being a single Mum and it also uses Pinterest as a place to post images that suggest activities for small families. The photos are at once inspiring, promoting a happy-family lifestyle but at the same time, they’re helpful in that they offer useful advice.
If people see these pictures and like them, they’ll follow the account. And because the account is delivering consistent quality, they’ll stay following, share that content and look out for future posts.
And thus, when the account talks about how its followers can exclusively get 20% off their life insurance – it will get a massive response.
Do you see the difference? You have the ear of a massive audience because you’re offering something useful, inspiring and interesting that’s perfectly catered to your audience.
In order to make the sales and get the attention, you have to offer something worthwhile in return.
How to Post Regularly
And in order for this method to work, you also of course need to post regularly and consistently.
Because if you only post once every few weeks, you’ll struggle to get the momentum going. And when someone looks at your social media page, they’ll question whether you’re even still going!
At the same time, your posts need to be consistently on the same topic. If every third picture on that life insurance page was of Optimus Prime, then it would be confusing for the audience and a lot of people would leave.
So know what you do, do it well and do it consistently.
There’s just one problem though, right? You’re probably worrying at this stage about how long this is all going to take. That’s a fair point, but fortunately there are a large number of tools available that can help us to save a lot of time posting to social media and help us to ensure that we never miss a beat.
Most social media sites have mobile apps that you can use instead and this is especially useful if you are building a personal brand. Using the camera on your phone you can simply snap pictures for Instagram, while Tweeting about your day takes all of two minutes. This helps keep your feed alive and again keeps you at the forefront of your followers’ minds.
There are a few different tools you can use in order to schedule your posts. One example is Hootsuite and another is Buffer. In some cases, such as with Facebook, the social media site itself will come with scheduling as a built-in option.
What this basically means, is that you can sit down when you have some free time one afternoon and then you can write out hundreds of posts for your page. You then enter these into the tool of your choice and it will drip- feed them out to your followers.
You can still manually publish new content if you want to as well but this way you now know for certain that you’ll never go a month without thinking of anything witty to say. Likewise, you’ll save a lot of time by writing all this fresh content in one sitting and not having to keep uploading it and starting afresh.
IFTTT stands for ‘If This, Then That’ and is an incredibly powerful tool. We won’t go into it in massive depth right now but suffice to say that you can link all your different social media accounts and web apps. It’s actually incredible how many interactions you can set up this way.
On a very basic level, you can make your Twitter posts post to Facebook as well, or you can save your Instagram pictures in Dropbox. But if you wanted to get advanced and strange, you could set up a Philips Hue lighting system and then create an interaction so that every time someone liked your page, your lighting changed color. This could be used for all kinds of fun marketing and it has a lot of practical purposes too. If you’re going to look into this, then get the mobile app too and Tasker for Android to really increase the power and the options.
While automation is handy up to a point, you still need to simply find the time to work – though thankfully there are tools out there to help with this too. For instance you can schedule yourself some time to work in Google Calendar, or why not use something tailor made for this kind of job such as coschedule or Asana.
Statistics and Analysis
What’s most important of all is that you’re looking at the reports for all your social media efforts and that you know precisely what’s working and what isn’t. Most social media sites like Facebook have these features built in (in Facebook, go to your page and then select ‘Page Insights’ along the top). You can also use third party software for more in-depth analysis such as ‘LikeAlyzer’ (www.LikeAlyzer.com). All this will allow you to see which of your posts performs best, which of your followers are most engaged and how quickly you’re gaining new fans. At the end of the day, the objective is to do more of what’s working and less of what’s not!
It’s also worth researching general statistics to find out things like when’s the best time to post. You can find a great guide to that topic for Facebook here.
and there’s another nice spike between 9am-10am.
But while this kind of resource is very useful, you should also bear in mind a couple of things. First: when you post isn’t necessarily when you get seen. Second: different audiences behave differently (we touched on this earlier). Third: you need to think about time zones. That’s why using the above tools is the best way to know for certain what’s working for you and what you need to focus on.