We have all been offered a piece of advice that seemed extremely helpful at the time but didn’t produce the results we were looking for. Sometimes the advice was lacking a small detail or explanation that when applied could have made all the difference. Social media is much the same. With the excessive amount of information out there today it can be hard to know what to follow and to what extent. This article will help clarify some of those tips you may have read and help you better understand what small piece of information may have been missing and how to truly apply these strategies in your business.
Tip #1: Use hashtags in every post on every platform.
Why it doesn’t work: Twitter was the initial network to introduce hashtags enabling you to search out certain keywords or topics and allowing brands to create conversations specifically for their audience. Users started utilizing these hashtags on Facebook so they quickly followed suite. Soon after Instagram was born and followed the same model. Today Instagram is the only network that allows only hashtags for search terms while Twitter and Facebook’s model allow you to search out keywords with or without the hashtag.
Try instead: In terms of Instagram definitely try to include 3-4 key hashtags with every post. If you don’t like the way it appears next to your caption, include your caption in your initial post and then comment with your hashtags. It will appear in searches the same way. For Twitter and Facebook try using a select set of keywords instead that will improve your search ranking and SEO. Make sure to optimize your bio as well for those important terms you want to be associated with.
Tip #2: Post as much as possible.
Why it doesn’t work: You know that one commercial that’s completely irrelevant to you but somehow keeps showing up all the time? That’s kind of what consistent posting is like if you’re not posting the right information for your target market. If you’re a news source or people rely on you for critical information than by all means post away. If you’re a company such as a clothing store or restaurant posting more than a couple of times a day becomes excessive. Many know what food items you offer and a little humor goes a long way. Sometimes less is more.
Try instead: This is a prime example of quality over quantity. If you’re a post heavy person try spreading the important stuff out to every day or every other day with maybe a post here and there related to your business. You want your fans to WANT to follow you.
Tip #3: Boost every Facebook post.
Why it doesn’t work: Unless you have that much money or important stuff every time you’re wasting your money. Boosted posts are meant for new products, promoting your website, or running a campaign including a very specific call to action. In addition if you’re simply just boosting a post without targeting then you may be spending your ad dollars on a market that will never use your product or service.
Try instead: Carefully crafting 1 or 2 boosted posts a month featuring a new product or service and a call to action (something that makes the user have to do something in order to take the next step). Determine your target market and interests they may have in common and cater your post accordingly.
Tip #4: Auto posting the same content across all platforms.
Why it doesn’t work: Tampa Bay Times, New York Times, and Time Magazine. All include the word time, all are news sources, but you would never expect them to have exactly the same information. Social media platforms are kind of the same way. Instagram is visual, twitter is for content or articles that redirect to a new page and Facebook is more for information. You want users to want to follow you on multiple platforms to create the most exposure but if you’re posting the same content throughout then what purpose do they have to follow you?
Try instead: A post across all platforms here and there is fine at times but create specific strategies for each platform. Are you a magazine? Post links to your article on Twitter, a photo heading on Instagram, and a teaser with a link on Facebook. The more information you can share across multiple channels the more your fans will appreciate your content.
Tip #5: Tag influential brands and people in your posts and photos.
Why it doesn’t work: Tagging any and every person and brand in your posts has no benefit if you’re not doing it in a targeted strategic way. Not only that, but brand influencers get tagged in so many posts a day that it’s hard for them to keep up and decide which product or company stands out and is offering something truly valuable.
Try instead: Find 3-4 brands or brand influencer that you think could benefit from what you’re offering. Follow them on social media, comment on their posts and interact with them in an organic way. Build a relationship with them and then reach out offering to send them your product or invite them to check you out free of charge. If they like what you’re doing they’ll tell someone about it. Find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Tip #6: Use extremely professional language in all of your posts.
Why it doesn’t work: If you’re a B2B company this may be best for you but if you’re a B2C then chances are you’re not speaking the language of your intended target market. You never want to come across as “preachy” and often times seeming too professional can have this effect, especially if you’re trying to reach a younger crowd.
Try instead: Take the time to truly understand your target market and the language they speak. Understand the level of education, income status, hobbies, and interests. Speak with someone in the demographic that you’re trying to reach and have a conversation about the brands that appeal to them and why. You’ll be able to gain a better understanding of the language to use and develop your brand voice.
Tip #7: If you sell a product post lots of/only pictures of that product.
Why it doesn’t work: Chances are if someone is following you on Instagram they already know what products and services you offer to an extent. Following this approach is like being that pushy friend that is always trying to convince you to buy whatever they are selling and you begin to avoid them like the plague. If you’re only posting about what you sell, why do your followers have any reason to follow you? There’s no educational or entertainment value to your content.
Try instead: I suggest following the 70/20/10 rule of content marketing:70% adding value and sharing useful information that relates to your demographic or brand, 20% sharing others posts and ideas, and 10% promoting yourself and your business. Following this guideline makes you a useful resource to your followers and also occasionally reminds them of the products and services you offer without being excessive.
Tip #8: Post at x time for y platform for the best results,
Why it doesn’t work: 1pm EST is 10am PST and 1pm PST is 4pm EST. This may seem like a “duh” concept but it is often overlooked. When reading infographic or articles that suggest the best posting times for specific platforms there are a few things that are overlooked including your location in relation to the audience you are trying to reach. In addition, these types of articles and infographic don’t take into consideration your specific audience. Younger crowds tend to be active on social media later in the night while older crowds tend to be more active earlier in the morning.
Try instead: Think carefully about whom you are trying to reach and where they are located relative to you. Consider the age and occupations of your audience as well as this can determine when they have time to spend online. Facebook also has an awesome feature in it’s analytics that lets you know when your followers are most active. Use this information to craft posting times that work best for YOU in order to reach the most followers and increase user engagement.
Following these tips can help you quickly grow your online following and develop strong brand engagement but these aren’t the only steps. For more information or to schedule a free consultation specific to your business feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.