I enjoy working with a lot of people talking about social media. I’ve had conversations with people who are leveraging their accounts to build their own businesses, some who are beginning to see the benefits of signing up for Periscope, Snapchat, or Instagram using these tools to build their personal brand. No matter what you do with social media, 3 things still apply about this crazy technology and its effect on people.
If this is how you feel, here’s what I want you to understand: There is no one way to be good at social media. The strategies, tactics, and platforms that’re going to make a job seeker in the food industry well versed in social media won’t necessarily be the same strategies, tactics, and platforms that make a marketing manager in the financial industry excel and stand out. But, even though there’s no one-size fits all way of using the platforms, there are best practices and steps you can take—no matter why you’re online—that’ll make you a better at it.
Here are some tips that I think might help your or your social strategy work better:
1. Understand Your Posting Style and Stick to It
If you want to be a confident, savvy social-media user, you have to decide what you want to be known for on social media. How do you want to position yourself or your brand?
For example, do you want to be a go-to expert on a topic? Do you want to create a Facebook page with funny videos everyone watches while they eat lunch? Do you want to offer no-holds-barred commentary on current events?
I know this might sound warm and fuzzy, but it’s actually an important marketing tactic. If you pretend to be an expert on a subject you know nothing about, people are going to catch on—and disconnect—very quickly.
Once you decide what you want to be known for—in other words, what you want your community to come to you looking for—all you need to do is serve up that content consistently.
2. Keep a Running List of Videos, Articles, and More
Having content is to share content. Share content you think the people you’re trying to connect with will find interesting, insightful, and thoughtful. Ideally, it’s also content that speaks to you.
The easiest way to post great content (and to post it regularly!) is to keep a running list of the content you come across on a daily basis that you think your audience will enjoy. Then, whether you decide to create content monthly, weekly, or daily, you have a big meaty document to pull from, rather than trying to come up with content on the spot.
3. Respond to Everything
If you browse the internet for social media tips, you’ll find a ton of articles about how to create content and how to publish that content.
When you think about the real reason we choose to be on these platforms—to connect with people—it’s crazy that we spend so much time and energy trying to get people interested in us or our businesses (by creating and publishing great content) and not spend time actually solidifying the connection we just worked so hard to make. Creating and publishing awesome content doesn’t make you good at social media—it makes you good at creating and publishing great content. To be good at it, you need to foster and nurture the connections you derive from your online presence. So, if someone comments on a photo, answer him. If someone tweets an article you wrote, thank her. If someone sends you a direct message on LinkedIn, reply back. It’s one of the easiest ways to make your network grow.
4. Watch Your Analytics
If you want to get better at social media, you need to understand who’s engaging with what you post and what’s resonating most with those people so you can continue to serve up content they’ll respond to. The easiest way to do that? Analytics.
Analytics can be a pain but all you really want to know is: What were your top pieces of content in the last month? How much engagement (likes, shares, comments) did top posts receive? Who is interacting with your content most often?
Take some of your best connections and venture off Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Exchange email addresses. Invite an active follower to coffee. Send a handwritten thank you note. Invite a few contacts to your next webinar. That’s when you’ll know your social media game is strong. Going Offline is Really OK!
FDMC Social & Digital Media
Roy has over 30 years experience in the broadcasting and marketing fields. He carries strong credentials in mass media, social media, advertising, marketing, public relations, and video production. Mr. Garton is also a professional actor and voice-over talent.
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