Not a total newbie? Here are some advanced techniques for revving your social media game to full throttle.
In my last post titled What to Do if You’re Late to the Social Media Game , I covered six steps to follow if you’re a total noob to social. As such, my instructions were pretty basic. Here’s a quick summary of the things you SHOULD do:
- Find and connect with your real life network.
- Watch and listen to learn social etiquette and language.
- Give some love in the form of likes, comments and shares.
- Research your target audience to understand their pain points, interests and questions.
- Use 80-90% of your posts to address those pain points, questions, and preferences of your target audience.
- Respond to those who engage with you on social to encourage deeper and more frequent conversations.
To some of you, these things may be old hat, so I thought I’d provide some tips for more advanced users today. Keep in mind, my clients are all B2B telecom, IT and cloud services companies, so my recommendations are focused on that audience.
1. Create unique, engaging, entertaining content.
Bill Gates has said “Content is King” but I would revise that to say “Creative Content is King.” We’ve all read a million blog posts on the Top 10 Reasons to Consider Hosted VoIP, so rather than be a “me too” post, think of a creative angle. Here are some quick ideas for creative inspiration:
- Can you tie a current news item into your post? How Trump’s Security Policies Affect Your SMB
- Can you draw a parallel with sports or pop culture? How to Give Your Business Telecom the “Brad Pitt” Treatment
- Can you take the contrarian position? 10 Reasons You Should NOT Switch to Hosted VoIP
- As you can see, these posts are more intriguing to the typical “Top 10 Reasons” posts, and are likely to get many more clicks, comments and shares.
2. Research and test the best days and times to post.
Timing is everything, especially in social media. It’s important that you post when your audience is most active, so that you have the greatest chance of visibility. This is especially true with LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram because they operate on algorithms that respond to engagement.
For example, if you post something and it gets engagement right away, you show the platform you’re someone who’s posting great content and should therefore show up to more people.
In the opposite case, if you post something and no one responds, the platform will think you aren’t posting great content, so your posts will show up to fewer people.
For the best timing, consider things like:
- Where your target audience is located
- Time zones
- When people are likely to be online
Here is a great tool to help you with your planning. Just keep in mind you’ll want to play around a little to see when YOUR audience is online.
3. Use sponsored posts to reach a wider audience.
All the major social platforms are now Pay-to-Play, especially for business accounts and pages. What this means is that your post may not show up to your audience without a “boost” of budget behind it.
You’ll find it doesn’t take much budget for the boosts to pay off. Sometimes $5-10 per post is enough to get lots more eyeballs on your content. We recommend doing this for your unique content posts like:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- SlideShare presentations
Of course, you can certainly spend more to get even more reach, but if you’re just starting on social and wanting to test, a smaller budget will do just fine.
4. Get visual.
If you haven’t yet noticed, social platforms today are all about visuals. Pictures and videos, more pictures and more videos. One of my friends and I were recently talking about how the world seems to have reverted to a kindergarten-like state where everything has to be pretty pictures.
You can fight this trend, or you can join it and reap the benefits. With every piece of content you publish, ask yourself, “How can I make this more visual?”
Here are some ideas to make this happen:
- Use memes (pictures with text) for all announcements including new hires, events, awards, etc.
- Use slides for anything that used to be more text based, like case studies, eBooks and whitepapers. You don’t necessarily have to reduce the amount of text — just incorporate more visuals to break up the text.
- Use videos to capture highlights from your travels and events. From highly edited recap videos to quick videos using tools like Boomerang, video has quickly overtaken other forms of content because it’s just so engaging.
5. LinkedIn Publisher is your friend.
Let’s say you just wrote a fantastic blog post, like this one (*pats self on back*). There are basically two ways you can share it on LinkedIn.
One option is to post this content to your own blog, or a platform like Medium, and then paste the post URL on LinkedIn.
You can post directly to LinkedIn Publisher, which acts as its own blog platform.
Which do you think LinkedIn likes more and is therefore going to promote better? Yep, it’s own platform. LinkedIn wants to encourage more direct publishing, so it only makes sense that it rewards that activity.
So if LinkedIn is a target platform for you (and if you’re in the telecom or IT industries it should be), take advantage of LinkedIn Publisher for any content you write.
Wrapping It Up
Remember, you don’t make best friends overnight, and you don’t grow a meaningful social media audience overnight. These recommendations are best served with the side dishes of patience and consistency, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t find overnight success. I can’t stress this enough – do these things consistently over time and you WILL see results!
Did I miss anything here? What strategies work well for you? Let me know in the comments.