HOW TO SUCCEED WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN WHEN YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING
It’s difficult to define success, let alone social media success, right? Especially when it comes to your social media plan.
Is this something you’ve thought about for your online presence?
Because, as we all know, there is no one definition of success. And it can also feel quite elusive when you’re getting started.
But don’t let that bring the fear out in you. Even if you have no idea what you’re doing, you can still achieve success with your social media plan.
I’m working on something that will eventually show you all the processes, systems and tools I’ve tweaked and perfected in my online presence over the years.
And believe me, since starting my blog in 2013 - I’ve learnt a lot!
Today I want to share with you a handful of those ideas that you can use to create momentum and build buzz around your brand right now.
#1 | CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYPE OF CONTENT
It doesn’t matter how interesting your content might be. Getting people to engage with it is a different story. If you want your audience to share your stuff, it has to be the right type of content.
Sharing the right type of content in your social media plan will help you:
Demonstrate your thought leadership and enable you to become recognised as a “go to” resource.
Build trust which translates into trust for your brand. It makes you a top choice when someone decides to invest in you or your competition.
Attract visitors to your site, some of whom may turn into your biggest fans, leads, and buyers.
If your audience likes your content, they’ll like, comment, and share it with others. These are key to growing a loyal following and a successful online presence.
First, let’s look at some different forms of content and then I’ll share a little strategy to help you increase engagement:
Then you take that content and use it in a strategic way to boost engagement.
I love the fishing analogy from Josh Parkinson, CEO of Post Planner.
His idea is to share two types of content that:
Hook your audience (make them want to come back for more)
Increase engagement through interesting, entertaining and intriguing content
He calls this your chum and baited hook.
Your chum content is engaging visual content that gets a lot of engagement and clicks. This type of content attracts an audience.
Maybe it’s a viral photo or a funny meme - anything that’s interesting to your audience.
This type of content is very important for Facebook because it sends signals about the type of content that person wants. Each time they engage with that content, Facebook says, “okay, this person wants to see more of that.” Then you start showing up more in the Facebook News Feed.
So that’s your chum content. Your baited hook content links back to your blog, landing pages and/or website. This could include your blog posts, infographics, ebooks, tutorials, videos, etc.
The baited hooks turn people into loyal fans and customers.
In your schedule, you could use an automation tool to help you flip between images, links (evergreen content) and text-based posts with ease.
#2 | EMBRACE THE POWER OF VIDEO
It’s nothing new that video should be part of your social media plan. But what most people don’t realise is the multitude of ways you can use it.
Take Facebook. With native video uploaded to Facebook and Facebook Live, you can’t open your feed without seeing a video.
And what about Twitter? This is one of the most under-utilised networks for video.
Did you know that 82% of Twitter users watch video content? And what’s even better is that a huge 90% of those people view video content from mobile. Pretty unbelievable, right?
Native video has always performed well on Twitter. Those are the videos you see uploaded and shared directly from a tweet.
Then came the introduction of Periscope which allowed live streaming too.
In Q4 of 2016, Twitter users watched 6.6 million hours of live video through Periscope.
Think about that for a second. That’s the equivalent of 275,000 days (753.4 years). Enough to binge watch the top 10 shows on Netflix don’t you think? But let’s steer away from the sofa for now.
To use video effectively on Twitter create content including:
Videos of how to use your product
Live video tips
Facebook still has big plans for video content which means putting Facebook in your social media plan is important.
You might not believe it, but Facebook video receives 135% more organic reach than a Facebook photo. And 73% of B2B marketers say video positively impacts their marketing ROI.
To use video effectively on Facebook, don’t create any video content. Create quality video content that connects with your audience For example:
Tell your story
Use thought-provoking questions
TYPES OF QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK (AND THEN ANSWER)
Fill in the blank. If you’re a Food Blogger, ask “If you could have one dessert for the rest of your life, it would be ___________________”
Trending topics. If you’re a Beauty Blogger, ask “What beauty advent calendar would you love the most this December?”
Blogging/business-related questions. If you’re an organisation expert, ask “What’s your favourite way to keep all your blog files organised?”
Opinions on a trending topic. No matter your industry, you can find a topic that’s currently trending. Talk about it, give your opinion, and ask your fans a question.
One billion hours of video get consumed on YouTube every day. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it.
There are so many ways you can use YouTube for your online presence. Create a mini how-to tutorial from one of your older blog posts and you’ve given new life to that post. You’ve updated it. (Read more about how to do that here).
Or if you sell something, how about using tips on how to use some features of your product? People love to see demonstrations, especially when they show and don’t tell.
#3 | USE VISUAL CONTENT
Visual content always performs well on social media. And it’s no wonder.
As humans, we have an amazing capacity to remember pictures. If you hear a piece of information, three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.
So even if your link and text posts aren’t performing, you can boost engagement with visual content.
Here are some tips:
If you’ve got an interesting article or social post that you could turn into a long-form graphic, grab 3-5 bullet points and turn them into a visual story.
HOW TO CREATE YOUR INFOGRAPHIC
Go to Google Analytics >> Behaviour >> Site Content to find your most popular posts. You can also use this formula for new blog posts.
Create a title and subtitle for your infographic.
Break your top points into bite-sized pieces. Use numbers, bullet points, statistics and other elements to break up the design and keep people interested.
Head over to Canva, grab the infographic template and drag and drop your content in.
SHARE VIDEO TUTORIALS
This is a strategy I’m doing a lot more of recently. They’re super easy to create, even if you have no idea what you’re doing.
Step 1: I’m going to assume that you’re a content creator. So you’ve probably got years of content you’ve created that is forgotten about. Once again go to Google Analytics >> Behaviour >> Site Content to find your most popular posts. This is content that continues to drive traffic to your blog.
Step 2: Get 3 points from that post and head over to Google Docs or your favourite place to write content. Write a very short script. You don’t need to write out everything, just enough to jog your memory and keep you on track.
Step 3: Go to Google Drive, choose “New” - “Google Slides”. You’re going to set up 4 slides:
Your title slide
First bullet point
Second bullet point
Third bullet point
Step 4: Open up QuickTime on Mac and choose “New Screen Recording”.
CREATE CUSTOM IMAGES
No matter what kind of post you’re creating, you can always create a custom image to grab people’s attention.
Here are a few ideas on how to come up with ideas for content you can turn into visual eye candy.
Offer an answer to a frequently asked question
Ask a silly, light-hearted question that can easily be answered
Give your response to a current issue
Demonstrate a unique way others are using your product
Share a story that makes you relatable
Talk about what inspires you
#4 | POST AT OPTIMAL TIMES
Timing is crucial no matter how good your content might be.
If you’re sharing your content at a time when most of your audience is asleep or at work, there’s a huge change your post won’t get see. That translates into a decrease in engagement which could become detrimental. Especially when you’re trying to build momentum.
Kissmetrics has done a lot of research on how the performance of different types of social media content changes according to timing. They found that most Facebook shares occur on Saturday.
Not too surprising since people are off work and doing a bit of scrolling.
The important thing for you to do is understand your own metrics. They vary from one social platform to the next, so never assume.
#5 | USE MORE EMOJIS
Who knew I’d be recommending that you should use all the emojis in your social media plan! Those little things play a significant role in your social media engagement.
In fact, using emojis can improve your share rate by 33%.
Why do we love emoji’s so much? Well, scientists say they make our brain light up.
Seriously. Scientists have found that when a person sees an emoji, their brain lights up just as it would if you were standing in front of them. How cool is that?
Our brains are programmed to recognise and process an emoji as an emotion.
So when you send a smiley face in your “thanks for sharing” tweet, you’re also sending happy vibes to that follower or fan 😊
#6 | ENGAGE AND INTERACT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
The great thing about social media marketing is that you’re not just speaking at your audience. Instead, you’re speaking with them. You become an active participant in the conversation.
If you want to understand the needs of your target audience, treat them as collaborators. Ask questions, request input, invite them to test your product.
Their insight and feedback is the most valuable thing. And social media is the perfect platform for you to do this.
So as you use the ideas above, engage people in conversation. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason. Reply to mentions and comments to keep the conversation going. Always be listening!
This will help you build a personal connection and a stronger relationship with your community.
So many brands spend loads of time creating and finding great content that they miss out on relationship building.
Instead, use automation to track what your audience is saying about you and consistently share great content.
This will free up some time for you to engage with your followers and build relationships.
#7 | LET DATA INFORM AND DRIVE YOUR STRATEGY
When managing your social media plan, you need to remember that almost every interaction, be it a like, click through or comment, is measurable.
The key is to use those data points and make constant improvements.
You can find out what’s working and what’s not through:
There are so many other tools that let you take a deep dive into your results.
Then take that next step and track all your posts. If you need to know what visitors clicked on or how they arrived at your website, you can do that! You just need to use UTM parameters. UTM or tracking codes will link back to Google Analytics.
This will help you to understand your audience behaviour and create additional content that hits the nail on the head.
We all know there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But you can find success online if you’re armed with the right social media plan.
Not sure where to begin? Grab your free download below!