Joe is just starting his on-line business. He has a professionally designed website and is posting a blog twice a week. He knows he needs to add social media to his marketing mix but has questions. Joe is like many entrepreneurs who are just entering the social media marketing world. Here are a few things Joe and I discussed to get him started building a reputation on social media.
- Know the rules of each network you post on. Each one will have slightly different rules. Take some time to review and then be sure to follow the rules. After you review the written rules, find out if there any “unwritten” rules you need to know. You can do this by observing for a while or simply ask your colleagues. For example LinkedIn is all business all the time. You shouldn’t socialize or share personal information there. Facebook, on the other hand, embraces the meaning of social media. Even if you are there for business marketing, you can and should share your personality. People on Facebook want to see who is behind the brand.
- Proof Read. A typo every now and then is not the end of the world but chronic typos, misspelling or grammatical errors could destroy your credibility. Of course, it may not be possible to have someone else proofread all your posts. A good way to check yourself is to read your writing out loud. You will be amazed at how many typos you catch this way.
- Follow the 60/20/20 rule for posting.
60% helpful/useful information such as tips or links to helpful information
20% support your followers/friends – share and like their posts – comment on their page
20% self-promotion – This is where you promote your service or product directly.
- Include a branded image as often as possible. Photos receive 53 percent more likes on Facebook than the average post and 84 percent more link clicks.What is a branded image? This can be as simple as including your business name on the image. When you do this, it not only builds your brand, but ensures your image is credited to you when it is shared without a link back to you.
- Use videos. Videos increase people’s understanding of your product or service by 74%. You don’t have to produce a major motion picture. On the contrary, keep it short and sweet because up to 45% of viewers stop watching a video after one minute. By the two-minute mark, 60% of viewers have tuned out. Get your message across quickly before your viewers click away.
- Be Consistent. Set up a posting schedule and stick with it. How much should you post and what is considered too much? The somewhat frustrating answer to this is, “It depends.” It’s hard to say what’s right for everyone as it will vary not only by platform but by target audience. It’s best to use some trial and error to learn the optimum number of posts for your audience. Buffer has a great infographic on the topic here.
Posting too much will lose followers. The key is to be consistent. For example, if you schedule it to post on Facebook each day at 1 pm, your fans will expect a post from you at that time. If your schedule is inconsistent they may lose interest and only see your posts when you “happen” to appear at the top of their timeline.
- Answer questions, ask questions, comment, like and share. Remember being social and supporting your friends and fans? Pay attention to what others are posting. Do you have a question about it? Ask. If someone posts a topic you can contribute to, comment on their entry. And don’t forget to like and share others content.
- Vary your type of posts. Different types of content appeal to different people. The popularity of videos is undeniable and the popularity of Blab and Periscope shows the power of this type of content. Make sure you vary the type of content you post.
- Use hashtags. Hashtags are a way for social media users to tag their posts with keywords, which in turn make them easier for social networks to organize and users to search. If you ever read a post that was 90% hashtag, you know how annoying it is. Use a maximum of 4 hashtags.