What posts should you make on your Social Media?
As I mentioned in my post on How to grow your twitter, one of the main things you need to do in your social marketing through Twitter (and Facebook, Linked In and Google+) is set a schedule, but what should you put in that schedule.
How many times should you post?
That totally depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to grow your audience, then research shows that the more times you post, the quicker your audience will grow. It’s that simple, the more interesting stuff you put out there, the more followers you’ll get.
6-8 posts per day seems to be the most popular, personally I only do 4 per day as more than that just seems excessive to me, but research says I’m wrong.
The answer here, is simply to set the balance between as many as you can, but few enough so you can cope with creating this level of content week after week, since the aim here is consistency. If you’re going to commit to doing this, make sure you can set aside the time, and cope with the extra workload. If it’s going to take an hour a week to set up a weeks worth of 4 posts per day, then 8 is obviously going to need at least 2 hours a week, and if you’re not a dedicated Social Media Manager, then finding an extra 2 hours each week in addition to your normal work, may prove difficult.
Well, let us set down some rules.
Firstly, people don’t like adverts. If all you’re going to post is post after post selling your business, then sorry people won’t want to read that. What they want is entertained, amused, stimulated and engaged. The general belief is that you shouldn’t post more than 20% of your content as adverts. So if you’re going to post 5 times a day, we’ve got one of those posts covered, and that’s going to be general posts on services you provide, work you’ve done, blog postings you’ve made, etc.
Secondly, with Twitter especially, and it’s 140 character limit you’re going to want to use images. When you’ve got the choice of capturing someone’s attention with a nice colourful large picture (or other graphic design) or just 140 characters of text, you’re going to want to use the images as much as possible.
Thirdly, unless you’re going to create a lot of content you’re going to need to promote other peoples work to engage your audience, and you should be generous with the praise for this. Find content you like, and you think connects with your particular audience and link to it.
Offers and Giveaways!
The best way to gain followers on Social Media is to give something away, whether it’s money off, or something completely free, everyone loves something for nothing.
There are two approaches to this, firstly to give something away like a free consultation, something you most likely wouldn’t charge much or at all for. You could write an ebook or white paper, digging into a problem your audience might have problems with, and giving them the solution. If they trust you as a source of information, then they’re likely to trust you enough to become a customer.
Secondly, to give away something that gives a discount on your products (or even offers products or services completely free). The secret to this is that you’re not giving something away for free.
When you’re offering a discount, then really all you’re doing is putting the advertising cost for selling that product straight into the hands of the customer. If you’re giving something away completely free, you want something back for that. So in reality “1 free with every 5 bought” means, I want to sell 5 and the cost I’m willing to pay to sell them is the price of 1. Or “1 free to our 10,000th follower” means, to get 10,000 followers I’m willing to pay the price of 1 of our products.
Remember, to ask people to share your giveaways to their friends, as this will definitely help in the rapid growth of your social media, as these friends will likely follow to see if any other offers are to follow.
Engaging your Audience!
Social media isn’t just about you broadcasting your posts to an audience, social media is about engaging with an audience, and that involves two way communication, the easiest of which is to ask questions.
Post polls, quizzes, and ask questions of your audience, and interact with them. From the simple, “What’s the best book you’ve read recently?”, through to honest questions “Does anyone recommend any accounting software?”, people are more than happy to talk, and it’s a free resource of research and information for anything you might want to know.
Other Ideas for content!
Here’s a list of other things you can use to engage your audience.
- Pictures: Personally I travel to clients a lot, and I’m lucky that Scotland is quite picturesque, so I take pictures and post them, but you do you.
- Quotes: Humorous, inspiring or motivational quotes are greatly loved and very re-postable.
- Polls: As mentioned above, people love to be asked things, they love to speak. So ask them things.
- Share a helpful resource: Any websites or online tools you’ve used, let people know. And the vendor might retweet or link to you, increasing your exposure.
- Recommend your favorite products: Something either business related or just personal, let the world know, be kind with your praise, and hopefully others will be just as kind back in praise for you.
- Ask for advice: As mentioned above, your followers are likely interested in your business sector, so ask them about things, what software they use, how to solve a particular problem. People love to share, and it can be useful and informative.
- Take a trip down memory lane: If your business has been around for a while, maybe you’ve got old photographs of the office showing 80’s fashions, or maybe old logos and products, show them off, people might remember and love seeing them again.
- Share a comic or meme: These spread across social media because people love them, so share that love, and you may feel some back.
- Share a news article: Anything in your sector interest you, share that, maybe just share your opinions on world news (nothing too controversial though, unless that’s the direction you want to go in!).
- Ask your fans for content ideas: What do your followers want to see? What problems do they have that you could answer, ask them, and see what you get back. If you get a reputation for being helpful and responsive to your followers needs, that’s a great reputation to have.
- Find out what your competitors are sharing, and do it better: Check out others in your sector, and find out what they’re posting. And then quite simply, put your own spin on it and do it better in your own unique way.
When you think about filling 4 or 5 posts a day, every day, it feels somewhat daunting, that could be as many as 35 posts to come up with Every Week.
But if you break it down into doing a news post every day at 12, a meme at 3, a question at 5, etc. Then looking through your sectors news, for 7 posts in across the week, can be done in 5 minutes work. Finding some funny memes from your favourite sources, the work of mere moments, and a few questions, that’s easy.
Once you’ve broken it down into organised smaller chunks, you’ll be able to prepare your weeks social media in only an hour or so. Make that routine and keep to it.