Talking about social media and blogging in general, content is often considered the king. Undoubtedly in a way, it is. This is what you put before people, through which they start to develop thoughts about your brand’s image and then they decide whether they follow you or not. The question is whether or not content is the only thing you should focus your efforts on. Not at all!
In fact I have placed ‘content creation’ as a rule at the bottom of this post; I’m sure that you would understand why as you go along the post.
With around 2.5 billion social media users worldwide, does it not sound like a good idea to know how you can get the most out of the time you spend on social media platforms? Apart from brand recognition, increased followers & more potential customers, having a robust social media presence also enhances your Google SERP positioning because your social media and SEO work together.
Go through and apply these 12 rules to build up your social media presence.
1) The Beauty of Compounding
It beats every kind of paid promotions if your audience is proactively sharing your content.
Take Buzzfeed’s Tasty video series as an example. The videos have:
- Accumulated more than 14 billion views
- Buzzfeed estimates that 1 in 4 Facebook users views a Tasty video once a month
Let’s see exactly why we share content online. The individual reasons are written in question format so that while you create content, you can refer to them as a guide:
- Is it hilarious?
- Is it jaw dropping?
- Does it evoke deep emotions?
- Does it resonate with our general world view?
- Does it make you stop and ponder?
- Has it been broadcasted by mainstream media?
- Is it gossipy?
- Is it provocative?
If you have an affirmative answer to any of the questions below then you are good to go!
2) Make friends with Call-To-Action (CTA)
Did you know that if you couple a Call-To-Action or CTA with your content, then you can increase your followers significantly?
Conversion consultant Jeremy Smith, writing for Kissmetrics says:
“Your audience’s minds are prepared for the experience of being called to act. They know it’s coming. Their minds have already decided that there will be a CTA”
And that’s true!
Don’t disguise your call to action just because you think it’s goading to your audience. They are expecting it, so give it to them but do it right.
Speaking of CTAs, here are a few examples on how you can use them on various social media networks:
Ever seen those bubbles that pop up during the video that ask you to like, subscribe or comment? Use them.
Use a Screen (usually at the end of the video)
The screen is used to direct the viewer to either another video or your website’s link.
You can manually request the viewer to perform some action (like/share/subscribe/comment/go to site etc)
Your lucrative content does drive people to your business page. Make sure you get the most out of such opportunity.
There are a plethora of call to action buttons you can choose from:
- Book Now
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Play Game
- Shop Now
- Sign Up
- Watch Video
How to create a call-to-action button:
- Go to your business page’s cover photo and click on +Add a Button
- Choose your preferred call-to-action button and feed your website’s URL
- Click Create
- That’s it. Easy, right?
Perhaps the most underutilized platform, Twitter has immense potential, however. The problem with Twitter is its 140 character limit. Here are some short but very effective call to action statements:
- Free trial
- Read more
- Retweet this
- Subscribe/ Buy now
Pair all of these short CTA statements with a shortened link to the page where you want your audience to land.
There are many sites which shorten urls, like tinyurl, ow.ly but I personally prefer Google URL shortener.
Another way is to put your URL in the tweet. when twitter fetches your page, delete the URL.
Another weapon to keep in your arsenal is conversational ads. They are very effective.
3) Connect with Influencers
“Rubbing shoulders with giants”, or so they say is a better tactic to enhance your social media presence than to rely only on a single traffic source. What I mean by that is there is so much to gain if you could put yourself within the loop of major influencers.
Simple steps you can follow to do so are:
Build a spreadsheet
Start by whatever names you have in mind and we can layer up from there. The details to be included are…
- Email address
- Twitter handle
- Last contacted time
Where can you find entrepreneurs/bloggers/marketers one step ahead of you?
- On reddit
- local meetups
- startup directories
- Youtube tutorials video creators
- Google search (last but effective resort)
Include them while guest blogging
It’s good to include some of the influencer’s relevant content while you write a guest blog post and mention them. Let them know. It’s good to be in their good books.
Comment on their content
Refrain from making worthless comments like “awesome post”. When someone creates content, they usually put their heart and soul into it. Hence they appreciate if you mention the part of the content you liked the most, get into sensible discussions on comments section etc.
Instead of pestering them with endless tweets and messages, offer value. If you are a web designer, offer a free consultation on their website’s/blog’s design. Facilitate worthwhile connections among like-minded influencers. Introduce them to influencers you know who can be useful to them.
4) Stop blowing your trumpet
David Ogilvy said “The consumer isn’t a moron. She’s your wife.”
Hand out content that is practically useful to people, be it entertainment value, life lessons, grooming tips, a virtual course, anything.
Nothing kills a group of potential followers faster than content that talks only about you or your product.
Open the gates of your garden to the children, don’t just kidnap them.
5) Do not underestimate the power of Visuals
Larry Kim says “Visual content increases message association, brand awareness, and engagement.”
Also, Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts (as per WebDAM).
As per a previous post of seo-hacker, posts that include pictures on Facebook get 104% more comments, 84% better click through rate, and 54% more likes
While creating content, make sure you use relevant images. Now you don’t have to be a graphic designer to do so. Simply use these online tools:
These sites let you create amazing graphics extremely easily. I personally like Canva as its very easy to customize and download images there.
Make use of Facebook live to stream live events. I’ve seen huge audience engagement through this.
Pair your content with relevant video for an even higher rate of engagement. Periscope lets you go live with your mobile anytime.
6) Learn to listen
Listen to what your audience wants. Closely monitor their online discussions. Visit your competitor’s social media page and see what more the audience are asking from them, and improvise.
Ask your audience’s feedback on your content and generate new content keeping the feedback in mind.
Never ignore a dissatisfied follower. Acknowledge their searing comments before they garner negative publicity for you.
Also, respond promptly to a fan or a follower who proactively approaches you.
7) Leveraging user generated content
There is no better example to demonstrate this point than to cite GoPro’s success. Around 6000 user generated GoPro videos are posted every day. Making use of user generated content has made a small action camera manufacturer into a company raking in around 2 billion dollars worth of revenue.
Find a way to make the users of your product create content and share among their network.
This is similar to “crowd sourcing” but the only difference is that this is free and it’s a great way to boost engagement and visibility.
8) Do you know how powerful Twitter is?
I grabbed this screenshot from John Lennon’s twitter account. So why is this any “special”? John Lennon is a celebrated artist who passed away way before Twitter was founded – and yet, he has 250k followers. If he can do it, why can’t you? And look at the size of that reach! It’s amazing, really.
Most people miss out on this. Twitter is an extremely powerful tool not just to bring out your content, but to learn about your audience before starting a campaign, developing a product, designing content etc. Make use of twitter analytics to find out your potential followers’:
- Income, sex, marital status, education etc
- Occupation and behavior
- Past purchase behavior and buying style
- Mobile usage behavior
With such information, your guesswork reduces and the scope of success increases.
Points to take care of….
- Twitter is a very noisy platform. Millions of tweets every hour. Therefore it’s better to tweet multiple times a day. Just don’t repeat the same content over and over again. Have variety.
- You can repeat the same content every three days or so.
Leveraging the power of Twitter requires making use of some third-party applications.
Here are some apps you can make use of…
- Manageflitter lets you remove all inactive accounts
- Stormit enables you break the limit of 140 character by posting your long tweet as individual tweet.
- Tweroid analyses the time when most of your followers are in action and gives you the best time to tweet.
9) Delegate work
Handling social media is a 24/7 job. Your followers never sleep – and neither should your brand.
But actively being online all the time will eat up the lion’s share of your time, focus and effort. It is advisable to go the smart way by taking up the services of a Social Media Virtual Assistant. Most entrepreneurs are now doing exactly that anyway.
Spend your time and effort in the core activities of your venture like bringing in new accounts, mentoring the managers and designing growth strategies
A social media virtual assistant is an extension of you. At just a fraction of cost of what an in-house employee charges, a virtual assistant for your social media
- Takes care of all your social media platforms
- Researches and creates content
- Posts and interacts with the audience on your behalf adhering to the image of your brand
- Creates campaigns for you
- Monitors the growth and progress of your social media influence
There are more compelling reasons to work with a social media virtual assistant. But we will not discuss them here. In the post Your One-Stop Guide to working with Social Media Virtual Assistant, many critical issues associated with the subject are addressed.
10) Encircle your target audience
How are you going to create content unless you know who you are creating it for?
And even if you do, what impact would it make?
Take note of the following:
- Who are your biggest buyers?
- What age group do they fall in?
- What sort of occupations are they into?
- Their gender?
- Their ethnicity?
- Their political beliefs?
When it comes to encircling your audience, no detail is unimportant.
PayTm India lost a considerable chunk of users, when after the recent demonetization, they brought out an advertisement that was politically a bit right winged. They had to take down the ad and the CEO issued a public apology.
11) Schedule your content
Posting content arbitrarily wouldn’t yield as much as posting content when most of your users are online.
This is very important in case as because you wouldn’t want your content to get lost in an ocean of a million other posts, right?
The best times to post depending on your social media platform of choice, according to Hubspot are:
12) Content Creation
Positive & Optimistic Content
Jonah Berger co-authored a research paper with Katy Milkman called “What Makes Online Content Go Viral?” writes that “Positive content is more viral than negative content.” Well, that much is obvious for sure – especially if it’s content for a marketing-centric blog or website.
Weaponize your content in a way that it benefits you while it benefits your users.
Are you trying to direct the people to your website through the content or do you simply want to increase your followers? It helps to create content while keeping your end goal in mind.
Be weirdly innovative
KFC is the number one restaurant brand on social media. The reason is simple. KFC acts on some of the best ideas, one of which was “currycature” where people could create and share cultural caricatures of their friends & even of themselves and it’s worth mentioning that it was a grand hit!
Savanna Cider also did a great job with “Lemon Love Letters” on Valentines day. People could write interesting lines for their loved ones and share with them. There are many other things that you can do for your brand, you just have to find the right fit and it has to be just the right amount of weird to be truly innovative. Have fun!
Follow these 12 rules to build a dominating presence on social media. Let me know how much they benefited you.
Anupam Rajey is a seasoned marketer and sales expert. He is the CEO of Acelerar Tech, a leading KPO that offers virtual assistants for social media, Internet research, email & chat support, and more.