Have you heard the news?
It’s official. No matter who you are or what your business does, the internet holds the keys to your success. Weather we’re talking about using social media, search engine optimization, online sales, or content marketing; your organization should be using the internet if you want to stay competitive the current market.
Where do you begin?
The technical aspects of using the internet for your business are no doubt important. But before you dig into the nitty-gritty of “HOW” to engage your customers online let’s take a moment to talk a little about the “WHAT” behind your strategy.
I see so many people who start their social media and digital program without taking proper time to think through what they are actually wanting to accomplish. This often leads to disjointed content spread across multiple platforms with no measurable return on investment (ROI). How well you plan your approach to digital content distribution will determine your effectiveness.
If you aren’t already aware, it’s good to know that nearly all of these digital platforms use algorithms to highlight the most engaging content for their users. This means that no matter how many followers or fans you have on a given platform, your reach and effectiveness will be 100% determined by how consistently your audience engages with your content.
Before you set up your Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Snapchat, Yelp, Reddit, Instagram, Blogger, YouTube, Vimeo, Linkedin, Adwords, Flickr, and Pinterest account; take 2 minutes and think through 4 best practices for using these platforms effectively.
All social media channels and digital platforms are not the same. All of these platforms have unique tools and options for delivering specific types of engaging content. While there may be situations where you want to share a similar piece of content across several platforms, more often than not, you will want to tailor your content to fit each platform specifically.
When first starting out, it’s tempting to blast the same content across all of your platforms, but I assure you, this is rarely an effective approach for long-term success. Instead, I recommend that you start small. Pick 1 or 2 platforms to start with and think about how you will use them each in a unique and creative way. Spend time experimenting with what content engages people on each platform and develop a “platform specific” posting strategy that keeps your fans engaged.
Once you’ve cultivated an audience on your first platform or two, start thinking about how you might expand to others. Think about how additional platforms will add value to your message and allow you to reach people in a new and engaging way.
Social media is a two-way communication channel. You don’t want to think of social in the same way that you would traditional media. Effective social media should trigger responses from your audience and get people talking back. Asking questions is a great strategy for engaging this type of two-way communication. Ask your followers for recommendations and feedback regularly. Soliciting meaningful responses from your fans keeps followers engaged in your content and maintains your presence in their news feeds and notifications.
Don’t you love when you text a friend and they text right back? Have you spent hours checking your phone in anticipation of a friendly reply only to find your notifications empty? Once you get people talking to or about your business make sure you talk back! If your followers are commenting on your posts make sure you respond ASAP. Liking comments and fan posts just isn’t enough. If you want to retain long-term engagement they need to hear back from you personally and promptly.
Let’s face it, the internet is crowded. Everyone is jockeying for people’s attention in every corner of the web. Boring social media will cause you to fade into the background like the hardest where’s Waldo puzzle you’ve ever seen. Fun and playful content and interaction is your secret weapon for cutting through the noise and making a serious impact.
There are hundreds of examples of this but one of my favorites is Facebook’s comment with a GIF functionality. Saying “you’re welcome” is nice, but saying it with…
Amy Poehler in an eyepatch
or Bill Murray in a tux
and you make the interaction much more fun!
So there you have it! Four easy ways to tune your social media strategy for consistent engagement and drive more traffic to your brand. If you are interested in more personalized digital strategy consulting check out my training and coaching services.