Writing Better Posts will Get Your Message Further in the Social Stream
The social marketing space is extremely crowded and loud. Twitter alone has approximately 500 MILLION tweets flying out PER DAY! (approximately 6 million every SECOND) Twitter is a stream flowing wild and full with interesting content and … not-so-interesting clutter. Your goal on your social media channels is to share interesting and helpful content that others find good enough that they pluck it out of the stream and pass it along through ReTweets and shares.
To help your social media messages stand out and be read more often, here are 5 things to keep in mind:
Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
Being controversial isn't a bad thing on social media channels… occasionally. Tell us how you feel about something, while still being civil. People want to chime in and agree with you… or disagree with you. If you are just quoting everyone else, it gets old. It's like that old saying, “Be yourself…unless you're a jerk, then be someone else!”
Become a better writer!
Punch a bit of drama, humor or even intrigue into your tweets and posts where you can. Can you say it in a way that is more entertaining or humorous? “Craving that last piece of cake” can be tweaked to read, “I kept hearing my name being called in a seductive voice. I turned to find the last piece of cake winking at me.” Just more fun to read and pass along! “Busy day ahead” can be made more interesting AND helpful by telling us a bit about you with, “Working with clients to tame their clutter today-I love scary closets” or “Busy day ahead expanding minds–this could get messy!”
Share it More Than Once.
We all know that once is never enough for anything great, so why not share your post more than once. Unless it is time sensitive, put that post out today in the morning and then again perhaps tomorrow afternoon. Keep in mind that people are not sitting at their computer or on their phone JUST reading your posts (I know…shocking!). I'm sorry to burst that bubble, but people are reading lots of content and perhaps they missed your post today but will catch it tomorrow. Try adding two different images to your posts and see which captures the attention better. Speaking of images…
Add more photos and videos to your posts to allow people to SEE what you are saying.
Social media is all about photos, videos, and all things visual. Make sure and utilize this on your posts. While there are LOADS of great sites to find stock images [see: STOP USING THESE CRAPPY IMAGES ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS] you can also create your own with photos you snap, images you create with tools like Canva or other tools, or fun Gifs you find or create!
Be quiet sometimes.
On any social media platform, my philosophy (that even I do not follow at times) is BE HELPFUL, BE INTERESTING, or BE QUIET! If you post tweets when there is nothing interesting or helpful to say…you might start being ignored. Of course, we are talking about SOCIAL media, so there are times you are socializing and chatting it up with folks, but if you are just posting what you are doing without asking yourself “Can I make this more interesting or helpful?” you might want to just go for a walk.
YOUR TURN TO SHARE: Of all the posts you have shared in the past week, what was it that grabbed YOUR attention and inspired you to pass them along?
Here is our FREE resource to help you use Twitter to build your business — Download Now:
You've been asked by your manager to set up a Facebook Page for the business and most of what you read says you have to do this from your personal profile. You don't want this business page attached to YOUR personal profile. After all, what happens when you leave (hey, it can happen!) Perhaps it's YOUR business, but you still don't want to link it to a personal profile that you use for family connections and REAL friends.
FEAR NOT! You CAN do this. It may feel like you've been asked to turn over your personal diary for the world to read on your business page, but I assure you, your secrets are safe. Even though you are linking them for access, you are not linking them for the world to view.
So let's understand something up front. When I create a business page, it is like creating a website for a business. I will need access to the backend of the site to load or change content, but nowhere on the site does it have to give my name or contact information, unless I want it to. It is the same with Facebook. Your PERSONAL profile is your access point or portal into Facebook but from there you can create and manage as many business pages as you'd like. You don't need a special login and password for each page, and you don't have to share passwords with anyone. (If your mother didn't tell you this a long time ago, you should NEVER give your passwords to anyone. Whether they are your manager or not. There is no need for anyone to use YOUR password.) You log in and go to the pages you have admin access to. Your manager, or other team members, can log into their own personal profile and have the same access point if they are made an admin for the page.
If, and I hear this all the time, your manager or co-worker does not have a Facebook account of their own, so they ask to log into your account to check the business page, tell them you would like their login information to their bank account to check on your payroll first! They need to create their own account–it's FREE and they don't have to ever use it or share their horrifying vacation pics. If they need to log into a site, including Facebook, they need their own login credentials. There are just some things, like a glass of milk, a toothbrush or social media passwords, that should never be shared with other people.
When you are logged in from your personal profile and then jump over to your business page (easy to switch between the two from the dropdown arrow in the upper right) people on the outside do not know you are associated with the page. They cannot see any of your personal information and they are NOT automatically made FRIENDS of yours if they LIKE the business page.
With that out of the way, let's get started! To begin, log into your own personal Facebook profile and THEN go to Facebook.com/pages and click CREATE PAGE in the upper right. You will be asked to name your page and select the category (not-for-profit, local business, etc. And don't worry too much about the categories since they can be changed at any time. Your name is not so easy to change so choose wisely!).
Fill out the basic info and you are well on your way!
In the SETTINGS for your new page, look to the left and find PAGE ROLES. This is where you add an additional admin to the page, such as a team member or your manager (who will need to have a Facebook account). You can select different ROLES for people such as EDITOR (someone who cannot add or remove others but can post and comment AS THE PAGE.) You can select MODERATOR, ANALYST, even JOBS MANAGER to give specific rights without allowing people to add or remove others. If you leave the organization, you simply make sure there is an ADMIN assigned to the page and then remove yourself in this same area.
Now that we've covered how to set up your page, let's move onto the REAL WORK…. creating and posting content every day!
That's where things get scary! Happy posting!
No, No, Not Content Creation
Gina Schreck is the founder of SocialKNX. Their teams help organizations connect to their world and convert LIKES into DOLLARS! Be sure to find more geeky goodness on our own Facebook Page!
Who cares about the galaxy far away, when you have customers swarming around waiting to be pulled into your universe right here?
We’ve all heard that content is KING. We may have even heard that video content is QUEEN, which, aside from most card games, always trumps the KING! But, what good is it to create lots of content if you don’t have a plan in place to attract people to the content once it’s created? And even when people come to consume a piece of content you created, what is your plan after that?
Many people put a lot of hours into the creation of a single blog post, video or even website content but then they put no thought into how it will be promoted or what the next step is, and they wonder why no one is finding them. [Read More at- If You Write It They Don't Necessarily Come]
I’m going to talk about a lot of different content pieces, and I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. You don’t need to create all of these at once, and you can get help with many of these pieces (I know a great team who can help! 😉) but when you do create a piece of content for your marketing, you need to know its role and its place in your content universe.
Your Website- THE SUN
The core of your universe, or your sun, is your website or your physical space (i.e. your store, your office, etc.). It is the place you want to ultimately get people to come to so they can contact you or purchase something from you. If your website is old and outdated or doesn’t have strong calls-to-action for people to contact you or buy from you, this should be your first step. You need a clean website without pages and pages of text.
Donald Miller of StoryBrand says it best, “If you confuse, you lose!” Your website needs to be clear and yet answer the questions people are coming with. If you feel that explaining what you do is complicated, imagine what people coming to your site are thinking.
According to Donald Miller, there are three questions your website must answer in the first 10-seconds someone lands there:
What is it that you offer?
How will you make my life better?
What do I need to do to buy from you?
There are too many websites that never clearly tell people how to actually work with the company. Go look at your website with the eyes of a stranger. Does it answer the three questions above, QUICKLY?
Too much text on a site will also cause your potential customer’s eyes to glaze over and they will leave. It’s too much of an investment that you are asking them to make. I have a hard time when people send me an email filled with text, don’t think people will invest loads of time on your website right away. Have links and buttons to “read more” or “learn more” but don’t make it over-whelming for someone just stopping by to read a blog post.
Here's the harsh reality, no matter how much you just love the 16 paragraphs you have on that home page, even your mom isn’t reading it. As the popular meme goes, “Ain’t NOBODY got time for that!”
Once you feel that your website will help you convert more of those who come to it, let’s focus on how to get more of those ideal people heading your way.
Your Larger Pieces of Content- THE PLANETS
There are planets that are orbiting around the sun. These are pieces of content that your audience members want and need. These should have a natural gravitational pull that brings people from the piece of content into your core for more. Planets come in many forms:
A challenge series (one tip a day delivered via email)
Live Video Shows or Interviews
Shortcasts (Alexa briefings or Google capsules)
You may have some of these planets directly on your website or they can be delivered through an email or social media post. Your planets can have planets within them as well. For example, you might write a blog post and within that blog post you have a graphic or box that has a “DOWNLOAD OUR TIP SHEET WITH 25 WAYS TO SAVE TIME.” This is a great way to see if your readers are ready to move forward and commit by giving you their email address. I call this a lead magnet delivery campaign.
Keep in mind, as sad as it may be, not all of our ideal customers will be drawn to every piece of content we create. For this reason, you need to continue to create a variety of content pieces to see which ones land with your audience members.
If your content is helpful or interesting and leaves the reader wanting more from you, they will take the next step. So let’s move out into the stars!
Your Social Media Posts -THE STARS
Your stars are the social media posts (and sometimes email pieces) that are pointing people to the planets. They are small, byte-sized, shiny objects that are attractive to people. Your social media posts should be visually appealing, drawing people in to get to know, like, and trust you. They give enough information to entice. They will have short captions that attract attention and make people want to click or be pulled into your orbit.
Email messages can fall into this category since the purpose may be to pull them in closer to your core, but typically a person is already close if you have their email address. This is where you might want to look at how you can segment your email list to create smaller groups to get more personal with –that’s a topic for another post.
The key with social media content is you need lots of it. Just like stars in the night sky, not everyone will see every post. Some go by like a flash and won’t even catch your attention, while others stop you from scrolling immediately, drawing you in. You will need a variety.
Many people feel that posting one or two times a week is plenty of content on their social channels, but what they don’t realize is, like a shooting star, most people miss the infrequent post and so they never get pulled into your universe. If you’re promoting a new blog post, you might want 3-5 versions of social posts, each with different headlines and images pointing people to the post. This gives you five chances to capture someone’s attention.
Don’t forget that your social posts are not just for pushing out promotional content either. You want to mix in a healthy dose of “social” content to allow your ideal audience to get to know and like you. Social posts that do well include a peek behind the scenes in your office showing how you prepare for projects or your work team in a brainstorming meeting. Anything that lets people come in a little closer to learn more about the personality of your brand.
Ask questions to see whether your audience likes listening to classical or pump up music on a Monday morning. Share your favorite quote. That’s the social part of social media.
NEXT STEPS? What do you want your audience to explore next?
Now that we have explored your content universe, you will start to see how important each piece is in your marketing strategy. Nothing works when it sits alone. If you only have a website, you’ve got to work harder to get people to find you. And once people are on your website you will have a lot of work to do getting people to know, like, and trust you if that’s all they know about you.
Is it possible to only have a website and not need the planets and stars in your content universe? Of course, it is. When I have an immediate need for a plumber, if I don’t already have a relationship with someone, I’m going to Google, but then I will take the time to read the reviews on their Google My Business page, which is also a social channel.
Can you use only social media to get business and never need a website? Sure, you can. There is a cupcake truck that drives around Denver selling only cupcakes. You can find out where they will be and what flavors they will have stocked only through their social media accounts. So, you may have something so desirable that people are going to know about you through word-of-mouth and they already like you, so you just have to show up! That’s my kind of business.
The key is, you will shorten your sales cycle and increase your conversions when you have your content universe in working order. So once someone has been drawn to you through a social media post and goes to your website to read a post or watch a video… then you have to ask what do you do to keep them engaged with you? This is where the lead magnets and email campaigns come into play.
Often, we spend a lot of time and stress trying to drive more traffic to our websites, but we don’t think about what the person will do next. We don’t have a next step identified and so the person reads some information and then clicks away to another website. We think our “contact us” page is enough of a call-to-action, or even worse our “sign up for my newsletter.” Who wants another newsletter clogging up their inbox? Why not, “Get our weekly free tips and tools,” or something that sounds like something people would actually want.
When we attract people to our website to read a blog post, we have to think, “THEN WHAT?” What can I offer my reader when they finish, to give them a little more? What can I give them that might allow them to think of my brand a little longer and perhaps allow me to connect one step deeper with them?
You will want to start creating lead magnets and content upgrades for your blog posts or other content on your website to encourage people to exchange their email address for something of greater value. Let’s use the example of a content upgrade in one of your blog posts.
If you were an electrician and had a blog post about the “25 tips to keep your family safe around electricity in your home.” You could then create a printable tip sheet for parents to use with their children to help educate them on the “Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts Around Electricity”. You could have a second sheet that provides readers with “20 Hidden Electrical Dangers Lurking in Your Home.” Of course, your contact information is at the bottom of both sheets. All the reader has to do is enter their email address and download these great resources. Who wouldn’t want these? Since you are an electrician and you want to know who lives in your neighborhood, you could ask for their mailing address along with the email address and then mail out a card with tips on a magnet.
When your blog reader gives you their email address, you make sure you have a statement on the form they fill out mentioning you will send monthly tips and resources to keep their family safe at home, and they are automatically added to your list. Now you need to think of ways to nurture this relationship.
Perhaps you send a welcome email with a short video letting them know you are so glad they are focused on keeping their family safe and that if they are ever interested in having a free home inspection for them to give your company a call. Always mention ways they can stay in touch and find more tips and resources on your social channels. You want to stay top of mind and in front of your potential customers as often as you can
Now you send a regular email with additional tips and resources, perhaps seasonal tips along with additional information that you know a homeowner will find helpful. It doesn’t have to be a sales pitch in an email, and it doesn’t have to be daily or weekly. You are nurturing the relationship. Building trust.
At the end of each email message be sure to offer a free consult or perhaps a summer special or holiday safety check, along with your contact information. Never make people search for your contact information. I’m always surprised how many of these emails I get where they expect me to click over to their website to find how to contact them. Call me lazy, but that’s just too much work!
When this family needs an electrician, who are they going to call? They have now gotten to know you, like you and trust you because of the information you have shared. They certainly wouldn’t dare call someone from a random Google search.
Make sure you’re not collecting email addresses the way many people collect social media fans. If you are adding people to your list and then not doing anything to stay in touch and nurture the relationship, what’s the point? And then when you want to sell something to this list of people, how likely will they be to purchase from you?
WHAT NEXT? LET'S PUT IT INTO PRACTICE TODAY:
Here are 3 things you can do today to start building your content universe:
Create a content inventory of your current assets.
Add all of your blog content, video content, any lead magnets you currently have, etc.
Make a list of ideas for possible lead magnets and content pieces that you will plug into your calendar for creation.
Draw out a simple content map with your website being the sun, the pieces you have floating around the sun and then begin the craft some social media posts to start shining on those planets!
If all of this has your head spinning… RELAX! We can help you with any or all of these activities and we love working with our clients to move from just having social media posts thrown up on your profiles to having a strategy in place to drive more leads to your business!
I was standing with my husband and about 2,000 other crazed conference attendees, chanting and pumping our fists to the loud music as one of the room coaches stood on a chair with a megaphone yelling out “Who’s ready to WIN?” “WE ARE” the crowd roared. Just then the doors opened, and we all rushed in, running down the aisle to get the coveted front seats. I was 6 months pregnant and slid across the seat at the very moment another man was about to sit down. I bumped him right onto the floor! “IM GOING TO WIN” I thought.
That was my second Tony Robbins conference and probably my 10th sales-type conferences over a four-year period. I attended sales conferences, negotiation conferences, women’s leadership conferences, and lots of motivational conferences. I always came back ready to change the world, filled with so much new information and enough motivation to carry me through until the next conference.
Lately, I have become disillusioned and frustrated when I attend a conference. I walk out of each session feeling cheated that I paid money to come and hear the same things I’ve heard before. Is there no new information? I wonder if it’s just my age and the number of years I have been in my industry or is it the fact that the conference organizers don’t provide advanced learning for those of us who have been around the block a few years.
I sounded like a cynical old woman this week at a big social marketing conference. There were hundreds of sessions, and yet I walked out of each and told my 23-year-old daughter, “There was nothing new” and “I didn’t hear anything I didn’t already know.” This was her first big business conference and she was excited, overwhelmed, and inspired, after each session. What was my problem?
Later that evening it dawned on me. We live in the dripline age of internet learning. We have constant information flooding through social media channels, podcasts, YouTube videos, webinars, audiobooks, and more. I’ve just changed how I learn. I’m no longer that sponge that soaks up information all at once, the way I did at those early conferences. My sponge is just constantly wet (eww, that image makes me think I may have germs and mold in there… hmmm). By the time an annual conference comes around, I’ve heard most of what will be covered and sometimes by the very people I have learned from during the year.
I listen to about 15 podcasts each week on topics ranging from Facebook advertising and social media marketing, to personal finance and investing. I listen to a morning Alexa briefing that runs through 5 different topics on current news and I read blog posts and watch educational videos regularly. If I hear of an app or informative newsletter, I immediately go and download or subscribe to it.
The big social media conference ended Friday and as I was driving home from the airport Saturday night I realized I just sat in 3 learning sessions—one podcast on investing (Profit Boss with Hilary Hendershott), one on Marketing (Marketing Companion with Mark Schaefer), and one on Coworking (Coworking Insights). I felt great. I felt fulfilled.
The great news is, regardless of where you are in your career or business, you can learn everything you need, and then some, at any time. You can consume content each and every day or you can stand in line, eager, with fists pumping, to get into a conference and soak it all in. The key is to make sure you are making time regularly for learning.
So, which are you? A firehose or a dripline learner? I’d love to hear from you.
Marketing is all about experimenting, testing, and trying new things that get the attention of buyers. Whether that is through television ads, radio, print, or social media channels, everyone just wants a little slice of attention.
According to Wikipedia, the first official, paid television
advertisement in the United States was on July 1, 1941, over New York station
WNBT before a baseball game between the Brooklyn
Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies.
The ad was for Bulova watches,
and the company paid anywhere from $4.00 to $9.00 (reports vary). The ad displayed
a WNBT test pattern made to look like a clock with the hands showing the time.
The Bulova logo, with the phrase “Bulova Watch Time”, appeared in the
lower right-hand quadrant of the test pattern while the second hand swept
around the dial for one full minute. Approximately $5.00 for a full 60-second
ad during prime-time television. Attention was cheap. The world has definitely changed!
Sales has always been about connecting and building
relationships with those potential buyers. A salesperson’s job is to be
likeable enough to form relationships with people and then establish trust and
help that potential buyer make an informed decision.
I started my first business in 1995 and my sales and marketing activities consisted of spending hours down at Kinkos (now FedEx Stores) making copies of brochures to send to potential clients to try and get their attention. I would then spend hours dialing for dollars, making cold calls and follow up calls to set appointments. Those were the days before caller ID, and people actually answered their phones.
Our first website was built in 1997, which was just the
brochure I had copied over at Kinkos, put online. Aside from designing a logo,
business cards, and stationary with our company information across the top, I
really don’t remember having many other “marketing” activities. I did write
articles for a hardcopy newsletter that I mailed out quarterly and a few of my
early clients published some of the articles in their hardcopy newsletters as
Today my sales and marketing activities have moved online. I
don’t mail anything, but instead send links and videos. I don’t do much of
anything in the way of actual sales calls. Instead I spend more time creating
content that attracts people online and then our team spends time answering
questions that companies have about setting up company Facebook business pages
or how to optimize blog posts to be seen by more people.
As consumers we are influenced by digital marketing as we
make decisions every day. When we want
to go out to eat, we use our mobile devices to look up restaurants and
book reservations on sites like OpenTable. We research hotels, plumbers,
dentists, and even funeral homes on Google or Yelp, and then talk about the
service we get on Twitter, Yelp, Trip Advisor or Facebook.
Businesses don’t all like these tools, and it’s usually the
businesses that either don’t know how to use them or the ones that have poor
reviews listed on them.
It’s a wild, wild, social world we live in. Our in-person lives, or IRL, are tightly connected to our virtual and online worlds. We are connected 24/7 365 days a year. The social world doesn’t sleep, and it doesn’t take vacations. Or at least if it does take a vacation, it is well documented on Instagram and when it sleeps, it’s probably using an app like Pzizz or Calm to help guide them into slumber.
AND IT’S STARTING TO CHANGE AGAIN
Today’s consumer is so accustomed to jumping on social media
channels to connect with a brand for customer service, that we are seeing a few
interesting changes coming. The expectation that there will be a real person
responding to a request online within minutes has gone up.
We love living a digital life, but now we want high-touch
service that comes with the digital world. We are using digital devices with
artificial intelligence to help us connect with content and people. Think of
Alexa, Siri or Google to name a few (They really need to give Google’s AI
device a real name. Perhaps Gracie). A
JWT Intelligence/Mindshare study of U.K. Consumers found that 36% love their
voice assistant so much they wish it were a real person.
I have to admit, I do wish my Alexa device had arms and legs
and could follow me around and bring me coffee. Now with the devices adding
video screens, we can do video calls as we cook and sing karaoke-style to our
favorite song and I’m guessing it won’t be long before we can summon the
digital customer service agent from our cable company via video to help us walk
through resetting our cable box. What am I talking about… we won’t really still
have cable will we?
There are other signs of wanting to go back in time and humanize
our technology-filled lives. Today it’s very retro and cool to have vinyl
records and Fujifilm’s Instax cameras with instant film (think mini Polaroid).
We see more people buying board games, taking up knitting, and then posting
about it all on Instagram. Our worlds are colliding.
Brands must figure out how to be more responsive, with real
humans, working on digital channels. People don’t trust as much as they did
even a few years ago. According to the 2017 and 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer,
consumers have lost connection. They no longer trust brands, or political
systems. Instead of looking to the large entities, people are now seeking out
smaller intimate groups online that they feel connected with.
The rise in unique Facebook Groups is a great example of this. We all need to explore ways to deliver a fantastic customer experience and to connect with our consumers in a more human way. Read more on this in our post, “Facebook Algorithm Changes: 3 Things Your Business Must Do” for more ideas on how to bring back the human touch.
Marketing has fundamentally changed. No longer is it just about getting people to look at our billboards or websites. It’s no longer about interrupting people to LOOK AT ME, although many still approach it that way. Today, marketing is about creating something or some things that people are drawn to because they want it. They want to be smarter, more informed, more popular. Marketing is about drawing people closer to our virtual street corner to engage with us and get to know, like, and trust us. We get to know and like them as well and then trust that they will buy whatever it is we are selling, even if we are selling ideas.
How are you seeing marketing change in 2019? I'd love to hear from you below in the comments. If you would like more tips on keeping up with all of the changes, jump into our DIYsocial Facebook group.