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:
Perhaps you don’t ever want the fame of Kim Kardashian or Beyoncé, but who wouldn’t want their business to have at least a little of that recognition? Perhaps your brand is Y.O.U. and you want to know where to begin to get your expertise and brilliance out to the world. Remember, it doesn’t matter how brilliant you are, if no one besides your mom knows about you, it is brilliance wasted.
With today’s social tools available and free, there’s no reason we can’t get a slice of that paparazzi pie. It takes a strategic focus, consistency, and it takes being in it for the long game (Think Monopoly…not Go Fish!). There is no easy button, no shortcut. You can write a book or get on with Oprah, and you will still be overshadowed by the piano playing chicken next week. You have to do the day-after-day, consistent work to be known and remembered.
If you are just getting started using social media, you might wonder if you are too late to the party. It can feel like you’re showing up to 6th-grade summer camp on day 5 of the 7 days. Everyone has already made friends, practiced their talent show act, and knows where the secret stash of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are. This doesn’t mean you can’t get in and learn the ropes and sign on for weeks two, three and four of camp.
The good news, it’s very doable. If you commit to doing the work and making friends … you will reach thousands and start seeing your impact.
Here are 7 steps to take TODAY to get your brand KNOWN:
Make a list of your top FAQs.
What are the questions you get asked most often in your business or in the work you do? What do potential customers or clients want to know about your industry? Write them down.
Create short videos for your FAQs.
Create one, 2-3 minute video answering one of the questions you just listed in step 1. Don’t wait to have these professionally produced. Don’t wait to get your hair done or until you lose that last 15 pounds. Do it TODAY! Put your smart phone in a simple tripod or even easier, open up your laptop or turn on your computer and start recording. Here are 4 ways to get going:
- Record a screen capture video right within PowerPoint? (go to the “insert” link and select “Screen Recording.”) To record right from your computer
- On a Mac, you simply open iMovie and hit that record button
- On a PC use MovieRecorder to do the same
- On any computer you can use a free tool like LOOM to record any combination of your screen, you in the corner, and the audio.
- On your iPhone or Android check out VIDEOSHOP for easy editing of short smartphone videos.
Create blog posts for these same FAQs.
Open a word doc and write the answers to the questions. You might have the exact same thing but it doesn’t matter. Some people like to read and others like to watch videos. You want to cover all of your bases.
Load your videos to your social channels.
This may seem like something Captain Obvious would be saying, but there are many people who load video or blog content and never share that via social media. Load your videos to Facebook, YouTube, and if they are under 10 minutes, also load them to your LinkedIn profile. Don’t load them only to YouTube and then share the link from YouTube to the other channels. Facebook and LinkedIn want you to load the file natively. Basically, they don’t want people leaving their platform to go to YouTube (It’s like sending people to an Ex’s garage sale when you have the same stuff at your house).
Load your blog posts onto your website.
You may have to have someone help you with this if you don’t know how …and if you do, be sure to have them show you how to do it. You’re going to be doing this often enough and it is so easy, you should know how to load content into your site.
Load your blog post onto your LinkedIn Profile as an ARTICLE.
This is simply copying and pasting what you have loaded onto your blog, into LinkedIn as an article. When you post a status update, it goes out to your network, like a Tweet and then it’s gone, unless someone knows to go to your profile and search through “All of Your Activity.” Articles showcase your content in a more prominent way. This is a great way to repurpose your blog post. Don’t forget to add a great image to make it visually interesting.
Lastly, don’t forget to share the link to your videos and blog content on your other social channels.
Take the links from your website and YouTube channel to share on Twitter and other channels you may be active on. If you are active in a social group, and if it’s appropriate to share your content, do so there. You can add an RSS feed to the bottom of your email signature or a hyperlink to take people to your content. It’s not a one-time promotion. You have to share your content over and over again, week after week, month after month. Not everyone will see your content the first time you share it. [read: Starting a New Business: What you need to know about marketing it]
This may seem like a lot of work, but keep in mind, the Kardashians weren’t built in a day. It takes time. It takes doing at least one thing each week to get your brilliance out for the world to see. Don’t look for shortcuts. You want great content that provides value for your target audience. It only comes from you getting that out of your head and sharing it via writing, speaking, creating content … week after week! You can do it! I’m cheering you on.
I’d love to hear from you and have you share one thing you are doing this week to get your content out to the world. Connect with me on your favorite social channel or right here in the comments.
There is no doubt that Facebook is the power-tool that we need in today’s marketing toolbelt. With well over 2 BILLION users, you have almost half of the world at your fingertips.
What started as a college connection tool has evolved into a Quad-Faced, personal networking and professional business behemoth. Along with this evolution has come great confusion. How to separate personal from professional use? What is the difference between profiles, pages, and groups? Here is an overview of the four faces and how to use each.
The FACEBOOK PERSONAL PROFILE.
The mainstay of Facebook is the personal profile, and it can be used for both personal connections with family members and close friends or as a professional networking tool. The terms of agreement at Facebook state that you will have only one account. If used correctly, you do not need separate accounts for business and personal use. Using the “LIST” feature you can create a list for colleagues and lists for family members or friends and then set privacy settings for these lists that will help you keep your information and photos nicely separated. When you go to craft a post on Facebook, you can select who you want that information to be shared with–the PUBLIC, FRIENDS, FRIENDS of FRIENDS, or you can select one of your groups…family only, people who live in Littleton CO, etc.
The FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE.
The former FAN PAGE has matured into the Business Tool extraordinaire. PAGES can do just about anything a website can do including house videos, blogs, testimonials, and more. You can have as many PAGES as you’d like and they are created off of your personal PROFILE. When you log into your personal PROFILE you will find a section on the left column that reads, “EXPLORE” and then PAGES. From this link, you will choose “Create a PAGE”.
PAGES have no limit on the number of fans you may have (profiles cap at 5,000) and each post from a PAGE is fully indexed by Google and other search engines (profile posts depend upon your privacy settings). People who like your PAGE cannot see anything on your PROFILE (unless you are connected there) and your friends are not automatic fans of your PAGE. Facebook PAGES also offer wonderful analytic tools to help you track click-through rates, fan demographics and more.
[Read: 7 Reasons to use a BUSINESS Page over a PERSONAL PROFILE]
One word of caution when naming your page: You may want to put your business name or other benefit-revealing name on your page instead of your personal name. Your friends will know the value or type of information YOU will provide but if your goal is to grow your fan base beyond your friends, your page should give an idea of WHY I SHOULD allow your PAGE information to be added to my information stream. [See post: Unless You’re a Rock Start, Your Facebook Page Shouldn’t Have Your Name]
The FACEBOOK PLACES PAGE.
This is the somewhat old and random face on Facebook. This was to try and create a Yelp-like page for people to post reviews and photos of different locations. When a business came around to finally creating their “business page,” they would convert the PLACES page into a BUSINESS PAGE. The problem is, there are still PLACES pages being created by users who just can’t find the actual Facebook Page for the business, and then the businesses find several rogue places pages out there and have to merge them into the main page. It’s a pain and I hope these go away soon.
GROUPS are meant to foster discussion around a particular topic area and were initially great tools to use after a class or conference to keep the conversations flowing. Facebook GROUPS are similar to LinkedIn Groups. They do not have the same functionality as PAGES but have the benefit of being made private (members must be approved to join) or even secret (not even showing up in group searches). This makes them a great tool that you are able to monitor as an individual or business. Currently (2017) a business cannot start or run a group. They must be managed by an individual profile. So I manage our DIYsocial group as Gina Schreck. SocialKNX (our business page) can promote the group, but SocialKNX cannot post or comment. I have a feeling this will change soon as more businesses are finding creative ways to use groups. To create your own GROUP, you simply log into your Facebook PROFILE and like creating a PAGE, you look for the GROUP link on the left column and select “Create a GROUP.” After naming your GROUP and filling out some basic information you will be taken to the second page that allows you to make the group public, private or secret.
So whether you choose to take advantage of one or all four of Facebook’s Faces, it all starts with YOUR face. Take off that mask, create that profile and let’s connect!
I would love to know which face on Facebook do you spend the most time with or find the most helpful to your business?
If you haven’t joined our DIYsocial group–pop on over, there’s lots of helpful info and it’s a place to get your questions answered.
If you are just setting up your business page, be sure to download our free GUIDEBOOK for STARTING ON FACEBOOK
@GinaSchreck Connect with me on Facebook – Gina Schreck or any other social channel…I’m everywhere you want to be! 🙂
Hitting business goals with social media is like planning a family vacation: You don’t start with planning potty-stops (well unless you travel with someone who has an extremely small bladder, then you just might).
Yesterday a new client asked how many posts per day we will be sharing on Facebook and how many on Twitter. I asked her if she has ever taken a road trip. She replied, “Yes. Why?” I told her when you plan a road trip you don’t start by deciding how many gas stations and potty-stops you’ll take. You decide where you are going and make the necessary stops to get there.
Many people are concerned about whether they should be posting 4 times a day or 20 times a day on their social media channels. There are people who worry about whether posts go out at 5am or 5pm. The key is, the algorithms have gotten so good it doesn’t matter what time of day you post. If your followers are typically interested in your content, it will be waiting for them when they log in.
We are looking at social media marketing all wrong if we are asking how many posts do we need to load each day. We need to take each goal and ask, “How do we get there?” Will we need to take a plane? A train? A car? All the above? And if you have ever followed a paper map instead of your GPS, which basically tells you what to do and which route to take, you know there are often several routes you could take to reach the same destination.
You may have to identify multiple goals along the way before you arrive at your final destination. Perhaps your final destination is halfway around the world. Your first goal is getting your family from your home to the airport. Then the next goal is to get from that destination to a train station and then a rental car location in the next destination. Achieving a business goal is a lot like this family vacation. There’s a lot of planning that has to go into getting to that final and ideal destination.
Let’s be sure the main goal you have in mind is the real business goal. If your goal is to have 1,000 fans on your Facebook Page, I would ask you WHY. Why do you want 1,000 fans on your Facebook Page? Do you want 1,000 fans so you can get 500 of them in a coaching program you run? Then getting 500 coaching clients is your goal. Having 1,000 fans on Facebook might be one of the vehicles you take. Adding fans, and followers to your social channel that then come into your email list to attend a free webinar to then sign up as a coaching client might be a better route to take.
So let’s take our road trip analogy and help you create a plan.
The Strategic Goal: Where are you wanting to go?
Identify the goals you have, big and small. These are the destinations you want to get to. Many times, it is not a single goal, but each one will have its own roadmap and plan.
The Plan: What mode of transportation will you need to take to get there?
Let’s identify some of the different vehicles you could take to get you to your goal:
- Social Media Posts
- Video – Live streaming or pre-recorded
- Blog Posts
- Podcast shows (yours or someone else’s)
- Whitepaper or research paper
- Tip sheets
- Facebook Ads
Now let’s work backward. We’ll use the coaching program as our example and work backward to identify the specific activities that need to take place to help us get there. You will simply tweak this to layout your own trip and plan.
GOAL – Final Destination → Getting 500 people in a coaching program
PLAN→ Host a webinar to teach the top 2 things people do to sabotage their own success and 3 steps to put a stop to that. If you can convert 20% of webinar attendees to sign up for your coaching program, you will need to have 2,500 on your webinar, or you need to host a few webinars with an average of 500 on each.
GOAL –Destination #3 → Getting 500 people on a webinar 5+ times
PLAN→ Email campaign. Send a series of 5 emails – 4 with short video tips to make changes in your life and the last email inviting people to a free webinar. Assuming you will get a 50% conversion of people who watch your videos to those who sign up for the webinar, you are going to need 5,000 people getting these email sequences.
GOAL – Destination #2→ Getting 5,000 in your email sequence
PLAN→ Lead Magnets (Freebie) with a downloadable resource guide or tip sheet for people struggling with self-sabotage. They get added to your email list when they download.
PLAN → Blog post about the destructive powers of self-sabotage with a tip sheet at the end for people to download and get added to your email list.
PLAN→ Weekly Facebook Live events to discuss one problem and one tip each week and end with a freebie off to download your research paper or tip sheet to gather email addresses.
PLAN→ Social media posts driving traffic to blog content mentioned above.
PLAN→ Social media posts offering freebie download
PLAN→ Social media posts inviting people to webinar
PLAN→ Facebook Ads using FB Live event that has an offer at the end.
PLAN → Facebook remarketing ads to those who watched the Facebook Live videos above but didn’t end on your freebie offered at the end. This ad could offer the free download
GOAL- Destination #1→ Grow your social media audience continually to keep new people seeing your content above.
PLAN→ Add specific hashtags to draw in your strategic audience
PLAN → Follow or connect with people who are interested in other coaching books, seminars, speakers, etc.
PLAN→ Create posts on Facebook that get people to identify self-sabotaging behavior they have experienced or seen in their life. Share a downloadable tip sheet after and ask people to share with others who might find it helpful
As you can see, this list can not only continue to grow but can be as exhausting as a family road trip. The key I want you to take away is this:
Stop focusing on the number of gas and potty-stops that you will make each day. Spend a little more time on the strategy and daily plan and you will get to your final destination much faster and have a much better time once you are there.
Be sure to download our cheat sheet that will help you create your own Strategic Plan!
When you see a picture of this structure, most will know exactly where it is. Does your social media profile pic allow people to know exactly what you are about?
Sydney’s Opera House is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. Whether you like opera or not, when you see the building, you stop and marvel at the design and beauty. You wouldn’t click on this picture if you wanted information on Chinese cooking or if you were interested in connecting with train collectors. The photo gives you enough information to draw you in or cause you to move on. In the world of social media and social networking, your online persona is made up of your name (or nickname), your avatar (or social media profile pic) and then the content that you provide. You may not be recognizable to many in the beginning, but it doesn’t take long to create that recognizable online persona.
When I see certain pictures on Facebook or Twitter, I pay more attention to the information than when I see others. There are some that I see and skip right over knowing it is not information that I want or need. (I know, I should just disconnect or “unfriend” them, but that is for another post.)
When developing your online persona, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, is the photo that you choose to use. Selecting a great headshot or photo that really represents YOU is important. In my book, Gettin’ Geeky with Twitter, I spend an entire chapter talking about using a great headshot and standing out. I have some below that I feature in the book and I will explain why they stand out in my opinion. But do this simple test: Scan your list of friends on Facebook or look down the stream of Twitter followers, which pictures jump out and capture your attention? Which one’s get lost in the stream? Are there some that stop traffic and cause you to dive into their information?
A great social media profile pic or headshot is close up, it shows personality and it becomes YOU to all of US. I used to think that everyone should use a REAL photo of themselves and not their dog or a picture of their book cover, but I have found enough exceptions to this rule to now say, “it depends.” Who are you online? Do you provide information from a dog’s point of view? Then a dog-face works for you. Do you use an animated character because this is how you see yourself? Cool. As long as it is not a picture of someone else–like those who post a photo of a celebrity as if that were them, or there have been cases where someone posts a picture of someone more attractive because they don’t want the world to see who they really are. This is different than posting a cartoon image or caricature.
I feel that this becomes a form of deception. Too many people create fake accounts with someone else’s face, name or both so they can write nasty comments or lead people into false relationships. I guess this is done in face-to-face relationships as well, but it is wrong in either case (in my humble opinion!) I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this. Depending on why you are online and engaging in social networking, it is usually important to build authentic relationships even when they are shot-term acquaintances. A friendly or engaging avatar/photo is very helpful.
Here are some of my favorite Twitter profile pics–and the reasons I think they stop traffic:
Viveka von Rosen or @LinkedInExpert
Peg Fitzpatrick or @PegFitzpatrick
Both Viveka and Peg have had great close up shots of their smiling faces. Just looking at their profile pics, you would get the feeling that they are friendly and helpful. After reading the content they provide on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and everywhere else, I know that when I see their face pop up it is worth stopping to read their post.
Here’s an example of a brand mascot being so recognizable he stops eye traffic. Moz is a brand that provides SEO tools and news that is always a favorite to read.
Lil Pecan or @LilPecan
Lil Pecan is one of my favorite Twitter Critters. First she is hilarious, she makes delicious chocolates (well, she has never actually sent me any, but they sound delicious by her descriptions), she has a great blog and she is always in character. The only irreverent social media guinea pig that sings scat that I know of. Lil Pecan is a great example of someone who connects with people through her character and it just works!
You be your own judge. What calls to you? In our overly crowded information highway, you need to be sure you have a face that stops traffic and then you’d better have some good content for them to read while they’re there! Let us know who stops traffic for you.
Now that you’ve got tips for your profile pic…let’s get that bio in shape!
Download our free RESOURCE GUIDE to Create Great Bios that Attract!
I’d love to hear from you @GinaSchreck