How To Create Impossible-To-Ignore Content: Reach More People with Social Media – By Norma Maxwell
Hello SOTGC community,
Are you tired of hearing about social media yet? Have enough people sung the praises of Twitter/Instagram/Vine? Are you ready to introduce your products to a whole new audience?
More than any other aspect of online business, social media can feel overwhelming. We can blog once a week, find one perfectly lit photo and call it a day, but social media requires regular updates and check-ins. To add insult to injury, it feels like Facebook changes its policies every few weeks, and other social media platforms seem to add new bells and whistles each month.
But we can choose to view social media through a more positive lens than “necessary evil.” It can be a way to connect with our readers and customers on a more personal level and share little snippets of our lives and businesses that aren’t quite blog-post worthy.
Here’s how to keep it manageable:
- Choose which social media platforms you’re going to use.
There are, of course, about a million different social media platforms, and some really lend themselves to specific industries. Twitter and Facebook are great for community-builders and people who enjoy writing. Instagram is a good fit for companies with a photogenic, physical product. Here’s a more extensive explanation of which platforms to use for what.
- Learn the best practices for your social media platforms of choice.
The three paragraphs of witty text that work on Facebook don’t work on Twitter, and the square images that work on Instagram get ignored on Pinterest. To keep things organized, I’ve rounded up tutorials for each of the major social media platforms.
- Use tools that make social media easier.
Luckily for all of us, it’s possible to schedule your social media updates months into the future! Buffer, Hootsuite, and Tweetdeck all offer free versions of their software so you can update all your accounts from one handy dashboard. Gramblr allows you to upload images to Instagram from your desktop and Ahalogy allows you to schedule Pins.
- Decide what you’ll share on social media.
It’s tempting to pre-schedule a pile of updates that promote all those clever blog posts you’ve written, but that can come off as shady and too self-promotional. A good balance to strike is:
60% content that promotes other people and helps your readers
30% links to your own work and content
10% funny, interesting, personal updates (like photos of your pets or snapshots from your vacation).
- Chat with your followers and fans.
These lovely people are following you because they like you and they believe in what you do – so talk to them! Use your profiles as a space for dialogue and community. Ask them how you can help (and then write blog posts that solve those problems). If someone asks you a question on Facebook or Twitter, answer it. If someone sends you a photo of your products in action, share it!
- Maintain your sanity and your accounts.
It can be hard to stay on top of multiple social media accounts plus your blog posts plus your client work. I find that I can stay engaged and sane when I schedule my updates ahead of time and spend five to ten minutes, once a day, checking my different profiles and responding to comments.
Examples of people who are doing amazing things with social media:
Tara Street and Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative
Braid Creative has a thriving social presence. On Facebook, they share gorgeous images with soundbite quotes and on Twitter they share their own work and helpful content that their followers will like. On Instagram, they share photos of their workspace, their portfolio, themselves, and more of those pretty quotes.
Author and Travel Writer Kristen Hubbard
Kristen uses her Instagram account to connect to past, present, and future readers and to remind people that she really is living the travel life that she writes about. She also posts photos of her book signings and reminds followers when her new books come out.
Video Marketing Consultant Amy Schmittauer
Youtube is Amy’s main channel but it’s worth noting that she hasn’t used that as an excuse to abandon Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. She shares photos of her speaking gigs, keeps fans updated on upcoming events and offerings, and shares inspirational quotes and helpful posts on Twitter.
Do you feel like you’ve got your social media profile under control? What are you doing that’s working? Share your best tips in the comments!
P.S. Before you do any of this, you’ve made sure your website is mobile responsive, right?
P.S.S. This post first appeared on my blog a while back, but I fluffed it up and made sure to freshen it up just for you!
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