Whether you are an individual or own a business, it is important to establish a social media presence online. This course is designed to provide you with the steps that you need to take in order to establish yourself on the different social media outlets that are popular today.
The main purpose of establishing yourself on social media is to provide you with more exposure. On top of that a positive social media presence can help you can creditability in your industry and become the expert in your field. In addition, social media provides an excellent way to engage with prospective clients. It is also a great way to engage with your current customers, providing them with excellent customer service so that they will return to your business again and again.
Once you have established yourself on social media platforms you will then learn how to automate posts so that you can spend less time working on your social media network and more time on the content and other strategies that are necessary for improving your online presence.
There are many ways that you can attract people to your website or blog, but many of these ways are out of your control, except for social media.
Search Engine Optimization is obviously important, but it is a game of chance as you never really know how or when the search engines will crawl your site. Word of mouth is a great way to gain exposure, but it is not something within your control. Social media can be controlled if you are prepared to put in some time and a little bit of effort, it is possible to build a large social media presence in a short amount of time.
What many people do not understand about Social Media
When it comes to social media there are no new fancy tricks to learn, social media is all about engendering interaction. Using social media is about compelling people consistently to engage with you and then share your content. This is the main purpose of social media and it applies across every network. There is no secret formula necessary in order to become a social media success story, all you need is compelling human interaction.
What does compelling human interaction mean? The exact definition depends on your website or blog, but generally speaking it means that you want to involve people in a conversation that is related to your topic. It is really nothing more complicated than this.
It is not really complicated. The key to social media is being social. By pure definition, social media should be a two way street. If someone is commenting on your posts, take the time to comment back. You should be having conversations with the people who are following you.
Many social media enthusiasts are simply obsessed with the number of followers or likes that they get on their posts as much as they are with the amount of traffic their website or blog receives. In reality, these numbers do not have much to do with the true metrics of being successful.
Instead of focusing solely on the number of new likes that you get, you should focus on the number of people who are commenting on and then sharing your content. This is the true measure of engagement. When more people are engaging with your content the more likely they are to share it, which will increase your exposure.
Knowing what to post
It is important to try new things all the time. Once you determine what posts are gaining high levels of interaction and engagement you can repeat them. The key is to always be experimenting and noting the things that work best. You can read all sorts of information about what has worked for others, but you would really be missing the point of social media because in reality social media offers a personal way of communicating with your audience and what works for another business or blogger may not work for you and what works for your audience may not work for them.
No matter how much advice you read about engaging your users, it will pale in comparison to the effectiveness of doing what you think is right for your readers, measuring how impactful it is and then adjusting your techniques accordingly.
What is the Point of Social Media?
Many people end up wasting a lot of energy on social media. They will try to drive their readers and consumers to their social media profiles, which is the opposite of what you want. The ultimate goal of a social media profile is to drive people from them to your website or blog and not the other way around.
Social media profiles should be used as outposts for attracting people to your website or blog. Your website or blog should not focus on sending individuals to the outposts. Social media profiles need to stand solidly on their own.
Building your Social Media Profiles
As mentioned before, the best way to build your social media profile is to create compelling content on a consistent basis. However, this is not going to build an audience. If no one is reading the content that you write then no one is going to be sharing them.
To get the best leverage through social media you will need to get to the point where the number of followers that you have is enough to provide you with growth through sharing. Getting to this point is easier said than done.
Directing people from your email list to your social media sites is important. However, if you are not getting a large number of new email subscribers each day, this is not going to help you get more than a few new fans and followers. If you have had an email list for quite a while, take the time to ask existing subscribers to join you on your social media sites. Beyond this you will need to tap into the current social media networks in order to get new subscribers and followers.
Now that we understand the importance of social media and its role for your business, let’s take a closer look on how to establish yourself on Facebook. This includes setting up your Facebook page, identifying your audience, creating content, advertising, and measuring and adjusting things as needed. It is also possible to focus your Facebook activity in order to meet specific business goals.
Setting up your Facebook Page
Your Facebook page is extremely important as it will make your business more:
• Discoverable: when a person searches for you on Facebook they can find you easily
• Connected: Facebook provides you with a place to have conversations with your audience, who will be able to like your page, read the posts, and then share them with their friends.
• Timely: your Facebook page will help you reach out to a larger number of people more frequently as messages can be tailored to meet the interests and needs of your customers.
• Insightful: analytics of your page will provide you with a further understanding of your consumers and your marketing activities.
When setting up your Facebook page you may request a web address such as facebook.com/yourcompany, which will make it easier to find. Facebook has made it quite simple to set up a page on the site. To increase the impact of your Facebook address makes sure that it is included on your business cards, your website, and all of your other marketing materials.
When choosing a name for your Facebook page it is important to choose wisely. You will only be able to change the name one time, so be careful here and try to choose a name that best reflects your company. Typically, using your business name is the best choice if at all possible.
It is important to remember that your Facebook page is an extension of your company. It will provide you with an easy way to share updates and more information with the people who really matter to your company. This page is ready to help you engage with your consumers on a more personal level using both desktops and mobile devices.
How to Create a Facebook Page
1 – Go to www.facebook.com
2 – Choose a category for your page
3 – Use the drop down menu to choose a more specific category. Fill in the required information
4 – Click on the Get Started tab and follow the instructions provided on the screen.
Identifying your Audience
Once you have a Facebook page set up, the next step is to identify your audience. Not only does Facebook allow you to reach more people, you can reach the specific group of people that are more likely to become your customers.
In order to connect with your target audience you should consider what your ideal customers have in common, how old they are and where they live, and how your business can help them. You also want to consider whether a particular group would be more interested in targeted messages, services or products or maybe a timely offer or sale.
In order to build your audience you will need to encourage your current customers and supporters to like your new page. These are the people that are more likely to see your posts throughout their newsfeed. It is also a good idea to explore the options under the build audience button:
• Invite your Friends: this is the way to let the people that you know about the page so that they will be able to offer their support by liking it. This initial audience will help establish your credibility and spread the word about the page.
• Share the page: make sure that you like your page yourself and that you share it with your friends. You will need to be a spokesperson for your company.
• Invite business contacts: upload a list and send people an email to let them know about the new page.
It is important to remember that it is not about the number of likes your page has, but rather about genuinely connecting with people. If you take the time to connect they are going to help you tell your story and grow your business.
Creating Compelling Content
Now that you have set up your Facebook page it is time to make your business come alive on the page. When you post photos, updates, and other content you should really think about what your readers will find inspiring and interesting. How are you going to talk to them? What do you want to consistently communicate about your company?
It is important to experiment with different types of posts in order to find out what works and what does not work. Does your audience prefer pictures or useful links? Using Page Insights (www.facebook.com/insights/) will help you determine which of your posts are doing the best.
When creating content it is important to be authentic. If you are sharing things that you are excited about, your customers are likely to be excited as well. It is also important to be responsive. When a person comments on your posts make sure that they know that your business is listening. If you need to take more time to find the answer to a customer question, respond that you are looking into it.
It is also important to be consistent. Posting regularly will provide you with the most opportunity to connect with people and build trust. You can set a schedule for your posts in order to maximize your time.
Consider what works and continue to do it. When you have a successful post, turn it into a successful promotion. When a specific post is receiving a lot of engagement, promote it in order to reach more people. When a person likes, comments on, or shares your post, their friends will be able to see it as well.
Remember, in order to be successful you will need to create posts and ads that are interesting and valuable for your customers. It is also important to target your posts so that the right people are seeing them.
Facebook Ads to grow your following
Once you have started to connect with your customers, the next step is to find other people who are likely to be interested in the products or services that you offer. Facebook ads are a good way to get the right message to the right people at a time when they are open to discovering your business.
An ad can be created from the admin panel of your Facebook page in order to engage more people. You can also use the ad create tool (www.facebook.com/ads/create).
Once you have built up a community for your page, use ads in order to target the friends of the people that already like you. This is a natural way to grow your presence using a word of mouth technique.
It is important to target specific audiences with different ads. You can create different ads in order to target different audiences. A person is more likely to respond to a message that has been created for them.
Measure, Test and Track
There are many different tools available through Facebook to help you measure how well your page is doing. Page insights is one of the main ways to see how your page is performing and you should use this on a regular basis in order to look for trends so that you can develop more of the content that is performing the best.
When using page insights look at the age, gender, and location of the people that are the most engaged with the page so that you will be able to continue to engage with them using promoted posts and targeted ads.
Try out different images for your ads and headlines to determine what works. Facebook automatically optimizes your campaign so that the majority of your budget will go to the ad that is providing the best performance.
When people call or email your company make sure that you ask how they heard about you. Make sure that you track the results as this will provide you with supplemental data for the tools that are on Facebook.
The next step in building your social media authority is to create a Twitter account for your business. Currently there are over 330 million active monthly users on twitter and more than 500 million tweets are sent out each day. Of the active users 80% use mobile devices to access their Twitter feed. With these numbers it is easy to see why it is important to get your business on Twitter as soon as possible.
Get your Twitter Handle
The first step in creating a Twitter account is to choose your Twitter handle or in other words your username.
Your Twitter handle will look like this in the URL http://twitter.com/YourUsername.
Many of the prime domain names, especially those that end in .com have been desirable for a long time and are hard to find and can be extremely expensive. If you do not reserve your domain name your personal brand or business is at risk and once it is lost reclaiming it can be difficult. The popularity of Twitter has made account names on the site similar.
If you do not claim your Twitter handle you can risk having imposters tweeting using your brand, which could become a major issue for your brand. The popularity of Twitter has led to an exchange market where handles can be bought and sold. It is important to get the Twitter handle for your full name as soon as possible. You will also want to claim handles for any company or products that you currently own or that you have plans to create. You will not be able to truly own your personal brand if you cannot access your own Twitter handle.
To create a Twitter handle, simply go to the Twitter > Click your profile > Settings and in ‘account’ > Username, choose your username.
The next step to take before you begin actively using Twitter for your business is to come up with a strategy. The first step to take in doing this is to fill out your user profile completely. Gaining followers is one of the main goals of having a twitter account and no one will want to follow an account that does not seem legitimate.
Look over your websites and profiles and use them to draft your Twitter bio. This is how people will find you on Twitter and recognize you from now on.
It is important to be honest, do not brand yourself as an expert in an area, unless you are one. You do want to brand yourself based on your skill set and passions.
Once you have filled out your profile focus on your Twitter background.
This will provide you with a chance to extend your brand image on the site. There are several sites that will be able to help you develop customized backgrounds for your Twitter page such as www.twitrcovers.com. It is a good idea to create a background that is similar to the format, colors, and logo of your company. When creating your background make sure that you add in additional information that is not found in your profile such as contact information, pointers to your websites, or information about services or products that you sell.
Techniques for Branding
When branding your company on Twitter you should always lead with your company. Use the name of your company as your account name, but make sure to use your own personal avatar and biography.
Many companies realize that many of their employees are on Twitter and they can use them to promote their initiatives. Many of the accounts are mutually branded so the avatar will have the person’s photo combined with the corporate logo.
If your goal is to build a strong personal brand then your handle and avatar should be 100% about you.
Become known as a resource or expert
When it comes down to it, Twitter is a shorter form of blogging, so many of the same rules apply. You should constantly write or tweet about your expertise in a specific topic. When you do this you will be known for it and people will begin following you. If you have a blog, use dlvrit.com so that you can sync your posts on Twitter automatically.
Many people use Twitter as a filter. A trusted expert is expected to send their followers relevant and interesting links. Subscribe to keywords and blogs using www.google.com/alerts. You will then be able to act as an arbiter for the topic by constantly pushing out only the best content on your subject. Think about what you want to become known as and then take those interests and establish a Twitter feed to deliver the content to your followers.
Another great way to establish your Twitter authority is to have question and answer sessions with your followers. The more that you tweet about the topic that you want to be known for, the more people will remember you and when they need answers in your area of expertise they will be more likely to contact you.
Establish a Marketing Plan
Twitter Marketing Plan Elements:
• Email signature: chances are that you already place your website URL or blog and contact information when signing emails, add in your Twitter handle as well. This is a free way to promote your Twitter account with every email you send.
• Website: if you currently have a personal or corporate website then you have a platform for promoting your Twitter handle to people that are likely interested in following you.
• Blog homepage: your blog offers a great place for Twitter promotion. Put your twitter address in the side bar and also promote it in your posts every once in a while.
• Presentations: if you give presentations include your Twitter account on the last page of your presentations.
• Business Cards: make sure to add your twitter account to your business cards.
• Networking through Twitter: using the @ symbol when you communicate or retweet on twitter will get you responses and more followers.
Just as with any social media network the more people that follow you, the easier it will be to grow your community. As with most social media sites, content is king so you will want to make sure that you are consistently providing your followers with quality tweets.
In May of 2003, LinkedIn was launched as a social network for professionals.
Since this time there have been many design and functionality changes made to the site, but the primary purpose of the site has not changed in anyway.
There are over 630 million users on the site. LinkedIn is definitely a social media site that you do not want to overlook when establishing your social media authority.
LinkedIn is a powerful network for any business that is looking to hire employees, find new suppliers, generate leads, and increase the awareness of your brand.
Getting Started on LinkedIn
First, you want to make sure you have registered for an account at www.linkedin.com
You’ll be required to fill some basic details such as your name, job title and company.
Once you’ve completed registration, you’ll be taken to your profile page where you can edit your details.
Edit as many details as you can to complete your profile:
Your photo, name, and your headline are the 3 items that will show up first across LinkedIn. Remember, first impressions are important so when you are creating your LinkedIn profile make sure that you focus on these areas.
Your headshot should always be a high quality, focused headshot of your profile. Do not ever leave the photo area blank as people will automatically see this as untrustworthy.
Make sure that you use the name that everyone knows you as. You should not use your full birth name unless this is what you go by. For example, if your name is Christopher, but everyone knows you as Chris, use Chris. You should only use your first and last name.
Your headline needs to be informative. There can be quite a bit of information added to your headline. This information can be separated using dividers. Make sure that you list the name of the organization that you work for as well as the position that you hold.
Update Contact Information
It is important to make sure that all of your contact information is up to date. Your IM user name, phone number, email address, and address will only be visible to your connections. Your Twitter name and any connected websites will be visible to everyone. All of this information is extremely important on your LinkedIn profile.
The summary section should be used to tell your personal story. This includes who you are, your life goals, your career goals, and what your passions are. The rest of your user profile will provide you with the space you need to list your skills, expertise, and career accomplishments. Your summary should be used to reveal a bit about your personality and to discuss what you are looking for on the site.
Work through your entire profile carefully to make sure that it is completed and add new information as you go. You will be able to include everything that you have worked on, your experience, your skills, etc. Fill out as much of your profile as possible.
One of the most important components of LinkedIn, as with any social network, is creating connections. The more connections that you have the more often you will appear in the search results. This does not mean that you should try to connect to as many people as you can. Connections on LinkedIn should be approached in the same way as networking in real world situations such as conferences and seminars.
You should connect with people that you have met recently or that you already know. The search function can be used to find those who are not in your network already. When inviting someone to Linkedln take the time to write a personal note. Once you start exploring different groups on the site you will begin interacting with new people.
As with any other social media marketing, LinkedIn will help you find new prospects and increase your sales, but you will need to put a bit of effort into it. Remember, when on LinkedIn you are interacting with other professionals.
Many people make the mistake of not thinking of YouTube as a social media site. The fact is that YouTube is actually the third largest social media site in the world. Activity on YouTube takes up nearly 20% of all social media activity. With these numbers it is impossible to ignore YouTube when you are trying to establish social media authority in your niche.
There are some important steps that should be taken before you put your first video on YouTube.
Define your purpose
The first thing that you need to do is to define your purpose for the video. This will save you money as you will be able to create targeted videos with simpler messages. With messages that are well crafted and more targeted you are more likely to get a return on your investment. When your purpose is clearly defined it will be easier for potential customers to find it. In addition, you will not be competing against larger budget competitors to have your video ranked for a larger and broader search term.
When considering your purpose you will want to think about what you are trying to achieve with your video. In addition, you will want to consider the metrics that you will use to judge whether or not the video is a success. For example, you may want videos that:
• Make sales
• Generate inbound leads
• Build brand awareness
• Position your brand
• Demonstrate new products or services
• Educate the market
• To entertain
Once you have determined what you want the outcome of your video to be and how you will measure its success, the second purpose you will need to define is the audience that you want to reach.
For example, you do not want to make a video that will appeal to junior executives who do not have any purchasing power if you are trying to close a sale and you do not want to create an educational video if the majority of the decision makers already know the topic.
The best way to come up with the answer to who your audience is will be to imagine that you are talking to your perfect customer at an event. What would you say to them? What manner would you use? This is a rough outline of how your video should be portrayed.
Types of Video
The next step is to pick the type of video that you want to create. Some choices include:
• Time lapse
• Talking heads
• On location
• Case study
• Product demo
Once you have decided on the type of video you then must think about the tone. Do you want it to be:
• Colloquial or technical
• Informal or formal
• Irreverent or traditional
• Competitive or collaborative
• Serious or humorous
• New entrant or market leader
• Creative or corporate
The list will go on and on, which is why it is important to come up with your purpose and target audience first.
When you are considering the format for your video think about your current brand and what it is like. You will want to make sure that your video matches your brand. This can help make some of the choices easier. For example, if your brand has a cartoon chipmunk as its mascot, a cartoon may be a good choice. However, if your company is trying to save the world from hunger, a more serious documentary style may be a better choice.
Length of videos is important, but it is somewhat difficult to pin down exactly what length is best. Generally speaking, a video that is between three to five minutes will be best. However, when you search through YouTube and Google the videos that have the most clicks tend to be between 90 to 120 seconds long. This search does only show that these videos are generally popular and does not show the desired outcome with a targeted market.
When considering the right video length for your video, it needs to function within your purpose. There is no way to provide enough information about thought leadership in a minute and a half, so you may want to consider a longer length of 10 to 12 minutes. If you are creating a humor video, you can get it completed in 30 seconds, a product demonstration can easily be covered in 90 seconds. Once again it all comes down to the purpose of your video.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when creating YouTube videos is to be you. You want to match your existing brand with your video content. This is important when developing the narrative for your video including what your call to action is.
Uploading your videos
Once you have created the perfect video for your brand, the next step is to load it onto YouTube. There are a few easy steps to follow to get your video out to the masses.
From a computer you will need to sign into your YouTube account. Creating a YouTube account will only take a few minutes. Make sure that you use the name that you want to appear with your videos. Once you have signed into your account click the upload button that is located on the top of the page. Choose the privacy settings for the video and then choose the video that you want to upload.
When the video is being uploaded you can edit the basic info as well as the video settings. You can also decide if you want to notify your subscribers. Once the video is uploaded, click publish and you are done. It is really as simple as that.
Establishing a presence on YouTube will take some time. You will need to come up with videos that are engaging and interesting, the same as you would any type of written content. YouTube is the second most used search engine and one of the major social media outlets, which means that you should definitely consider posting videos that are relative to your brand.
Pinterest and Instagram are great ways to promote your business and improve your social media authority through pictures. Using images is a great way to promote your business and each of these social platforms provides you with many different options.
Setting up your Pinterest Account
The first step will be to create a Pinterest and Instagram account. Let’s start with Pinterest.
First visit www.pinterest.com/business/create/. Here you will be prompted to enter your name, your business name, and to select your business type. You also have the option of adding a website. The whole process takes less than 20 seconds.
When creating your account you will want to choose a good user name and business name as this will be one of the most prominent items on your brand page. In addition, your name will be good for SEO purposes.
Make sure that you take the time to write a quality about section. You are given 160 characters to describe your business. The purpose of the about section is to let people know what your business is and what you will do on your Pinterest page.
Next, make sure that you link your social media accounts. You will also want to add your website and get it verified. This is an important step as your full URL will appear more prominent, which will encourage more people to click on it. In addition, by verifying your website you will be able to use the analytics tool that is available.
It is also important to choose a profile image. This image should represent your brand so that your followers will be able to recognize your page more easily.
The final step is to create your boards.
You should give your boards unique names to make them stand out. The names need to be short, between 2-4 words. If they are longer people will not be able to see them in full and will have to click on the board. This extra step may deter them from looking at them. Make sure that you choose board cover images. Choose the best pin from each board to represent it.
Setting up your Instagram Account
Next, let’s look at setting up an Instagram account for your business. Getting started on Instagram is actually quite simple.
1 – First, install the app on your mobile device via the App Store or Play Store.
2 – Next, sign up for an account. It is a good idea to use the same username as your Twitter handle to keep the branding consistent.
3 – Next, you will add a profile picture, once again using the same one that you use for Twitter is a good idea. Connect your Instagram account to your other social media accounts and let your users know that they can follow you there.
The next steps are where many businesses struggle with Instagram. When creating an Instagram page, remember that it is all about images. Your images need to be a mix of fun combined with pictures of your business.
Try to tell a story using your images. Post some fun images that your users will enjoy, such as dog and cat photos. Then add in some of pictures of your office, your brand, and other business related items.
You can also now post videos on Instagram. These videos are not like the ones that you will be posting to YouTube, but rather short, 15 second videos that are fun and entertaining for your followers. These videos can be imbedded on your website or blog. This is a great way to increase the reach of your content.
When creating your Instagram page, it is important to share a distinct view of the world or to create a unique visual sense. You need to get past the inherent need to make sales and focus on things that are interesting to your brand in order to target your customers. Focus on what makes images provocative, engaging, and good and choose to share these on your account.
Now that you have learned how to set up accounts on all of the major social media sites, the next step is to learn how to get followers and boost engagement. Many people will approach social media marketing with a step by step process that has to be carried out each day. For this reason, you will see many webmasters posting a set number of status updates and sharing a set number of articles each day.
Social media is more about engaging with your followers to generate lifelong customers. It is also a way to gather market research that is necessary for keeping your products and services new and fresh. Here are a few ways that you can use your social media accounts to gain more followers and boost your engagement on each site.
1. Add featured stories to the timeline of your company on Facebook. The stories that run across the width of your profile’s timeline tend to generate more interest and engagement than a standard post. This is a good way to highlight the milestones of your company.
2. Offer Incentives for likes: create an app that will lead your visitors to a special discount code or a free product in exchange for liking your page on Facebook.
3. Rotate your Ads: when you are running the same Facebook ad day in and day out, people will get tired of seeing it. Make sure that you create several different ads that can be switched in and out regularly to avoid burnout.
4. Customize your graphics: adding your own images to your Facebook Timeline will create a consistent brand image for your company. Make sure that you use these same images across your social media accounts to ensure brand recognition.
5. Respond to Comments: show your customers that you are listening to what they say. Try to respond to all of the comments that are left on your page in a timely fashion. Host question and answer sessions on Facebook or create an event and invite your followers to join in.
6. Follow new people daily: on Twitter you should use authority figure follower lists and choose new people to follow in your industry each day.
7. Pre-Load Tweets and Posts: even if you cannot be on your social media accounts each day, you should pre-load tweets and posts so that you keep your engagement on the networks high. The Buffer App as well as several others can help you schedule these posts to occur when you want them to.
8. Discover users most active times: an app such as Tweriod for Twitter will allow you to view your users most active times of the day. You can use this information to schedule your tweets and posts accordingly.
9. Use follower lists: segmenting your followers into different lists is a great way to be able to send out unique messages to each of the groups. This can result in higher levels of engagement on your social media sites.
10. Customize a Landing Page: each of your social media accounts should lead to a customized landing page on your website. This page can provide offers, deals, discounts, etc. to the consumer for following the link from your social media site to your website. This is also a great way to get followers to sign up for your mailing list.
11. Content Recommendations: look through the content that is being recommended on your social media sites and share them on your profile. Sharing unique, quality content with your followers is a great way to engage with them and can also help increase your credibility.
12. Comment on Content: not only should you share content with your followers, but you should also make sure to comment on other people’s content. On Twitter use your hashtag so that a person who reads your comment can follow it back to your account. You can also link to your information in your comments.
13. Monitor Activity: this is perhaps one of the most important things that you can do when it comes to your social media account. You will want to closely monitor your activity on each of your social media sites to learn more about what is working with your target audience and what is not. You should always be changing things to make it more engaging for your consumers. Additionally, these analytics can provide you with new and interesting ways to engage with your consumers.
These are just a few of the simple steps that you can take to make your social media sites more engaging. When it comes down to it social media is about one thing, interaction.
Treat your social media sites like networking events.
You want to get your name and information to as many people as possible. The best way to do this is to start conversations with people who might be interested in your company’s products and services.
After you have your social media profiles up and running, many people forget to pay attention to their profiles. It is easy to do as you are focused on posting, tweeting, and uploading videos. However, in order to maintain a positive image on social media networks a bit of maintenance is required. You need to make sure that you keep your social media profiles up to date at all times.
The social media profile is extremely important, so here are some things that you can do to make sure that you are getting the most out of your profile.
Adhere to Image Size Requirements
If your customer comes to your Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media page and sees a profile picture that is too large, too small, or out of focus, they are going to get a quick first impression that is not good. Most people will immediately think that if they cannot get their profile picture right, what else are they going to mess up? Make sure that you check the size requirements for each page and keep your photos at that size so they look their best and you make a good first impression.
Social Share Buttons
There is no real way to know the preference of our consumers for sharing content. For this reason, you want to make it as easy as possible for your consumers to share your content on whatever platform that they prefer. Use the buttons for the different social media sites so that if your customer likes Facebook they can share it there, if they want to pin an image to Pinterest, they can do so easily. Remember, you want them to share your information and in order for them to do this, you will need to make it as easy on them as possible.
Descriptions for Upcoming Events
When a person hears about your event on a social network it is important for them to know how to buy tickets or register. When you are creating descriptions for your event make sure that it is clear where the official registration for the event will occur.
Many users may click on the I’m going tab and not have any idea that they actually need to register for the event. Include easy to follow links when you are promoting your company events online.
Despite what you may have heard, SEO is not dead and keywords are not a thing of the past. Social profiles are included in search engine results, which mean that your profile should include keyword rich text. The more that a keyword is used in your profile; the more likely you are going to be associated with that keyword on the social media platform. Make sure to use a keyword tool such as Google’s in order to make sure that your business is associated with the appropriate industry keywords.
Remember, social media is all about engaging your consumers. You will want to make sure that you are encouraging your customers to leave reviews about their experiences with your business. They may leave reviews directly on your Facebook page or on other review sites such as Yelp or Urbanspoon.
Hashtags, phrases or words that are prefixed with the # symbol provide a way to group messages on social media sites. This is a great way to make your content or event stand out. Your hashtag can be anything from the name of your event to a special promotion to something simple. Make sure that your hashtag is descriptive so that it will keep your followers interested.
As your social network communities begin to grow it is easy for your customers to begin to feel as though they have been lost in the crowd. One way to avoid having your consumer’s feel this way is to use their names when you are responding to their comments or questions.
Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
The title tag and Meta description of your blog or business needs to include your business name. If you do not include your name, a person that is searching for you may have difficulty finding you. For example, Whole Foods has a blog called Whole Story. This is a catchy title for their blog, but a person that is searching for it may have difficulty finding it as they do not know to search for that name.
To avoid these problems make sure that your company name is a part of the meta description and title tag for your blog so people that are searching for your business can find it easily.
Optimize Your Presence on Social Media
Just as you optimize your website for your business, you also need to optimize each of your social media sites. Businesses may add new social profiles at different times, which make it easy to create different profiles that are not cohesive.
It is important to make sure that your social media presence is optimized. If you are just starting out, focus on one social media outlet at a time. Facebook is typically one of the easier social media sites to set up. When you are ready to move on to one of the others, make sure that the information that you are providing is similar in style and format on all of the other platforms that you create.
Your bios and profiles should be kept up to date at all times. Make sure that you complete each of the profiles and clean them up as necessary. A clear and concise description of your business, your logo, and the URL of your website should always be included.
Put a regular housekeeping check on your calendar. Once a month or so make sure that you check all of your social media profiles to keep the logos, images, and information up to date.
Once you have created your social media pages, you will start to realize how much time it will take to keep them updated with new information. Fortunately, there is a way to make this process a lot easier and less time consuming. Social media management companies such as Hootsuite will allow you to schedule Facebook posts and tweets, monitor your conversations, and even more. This can save you hours of time each week.
There are a number of efficiencies available to unlock for your social media sites. The question is, how do you automate your social media sites, but still remain present with your audience? The answer is to make sure that you do automation correctly. You should not have a social media marketing campaign that begins and ends with automation.
Social media should not be treated like a rotisserie oven where you set it up and forget about it. Instead, consider your social media presence to be more like baking cookies. When you put the cookies in the oven your job is not over, you wither prepare the next batch, check in on the process, and make sure that they are cooking the right way.
Instead of forgetting about your social media sites when you set up automation, you need to automate what you can and still remain engaged consistently.
Work Smarter Not Harder
The purpose of automation is to help you work more efficiently. Automation can help you take your daily work time from several hours to 30 minutes or less. This can allow you to use your time more wisely. Once you realize that conversion and automation go hand in hand, you can work to create a more efficient process.
Understanding when to Engage and when to Automate
When you first begin to use an automation program such as the one offered by Hootsuite, it is easy to become addicted. Once you have become more efficient in one area it is easy to keep going until you have mastered your entire amount of work. When it comes to social media it is important to resist this temptation. There are certain things that should be automated while others should not.
One useful way to build your brand is by finding and sharing quality content. Automation can help this process as it will provide a way to post these updates during the best times for your audience even if you are not around and it will free you up to find more great content to share.
A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to sharing content is the 5-3-2 rule. Five of your posts should be content from others that are relevant for your audience. Three of the posts should come directly from you and not be a sales pitch. The other 2 posts should be personal and unrelated to work. This will help humanize your brand. Maintaining a schedule like this will allow you to focus on your audience and helps you stay on point with your marketing plan.
Non urgent social media posts can be automated as well. Many social media users find that they share quotes, tweets, thoughts, and other items through their social media accounts. If these posts are not time sensitive they are perfect for automation.
Your RSS feed can be automated as well. This will allow you to share your posts across many outlets all at once. It is a good idea to check the formatting of each site before you set up this process.
Choosing your Automation Tools
Hootsuite is a great resource and works with many of the top social media management tools including YouTube, Tumblr, WordPress, and Instagram. You can easily set up the program within your website so sharing your content across all media platforms becomes automatic.
You can set up releases any way that you want by choosing the content that gets shared as well as the times of your posts. Using these tools can be extremely beneficial as you will be able to place everything that you find within a queue so that it will be sorted and ready to go when you are.
Finding an Ideal Posting Schedule
The next step is to create an ideal posting schedule. Most of the tools such as Hoot suite will allow you to put all of your great information into a queue so that you will be able to space out the times of your posts throughout the day or week. You should try to hit your audience at sensible times during the day. However, if you want to be specific about the times that you post there are certain criteria that you may consider:
• The time where most of your fans are located
• The times when your posts are most often clicked and shared
• The time you are available to respond to interactions
You can use tools such as Tweriod to analyze your followers in order to tell you when most of your followers are around and when they are engaged on social media. When it comes to determining the times where most people are online to chat here are some stats to consider:
• Twitter engagement is 17% higher on the weekend
• Twitter users are 181% more likely to be on twitter during their morning and evening commute
• The highest number of retweets occurs around 17:00 h (5 pm.)
When it comes to setting up times to be able to respond it is really up to you. When you are scheduling you want to consider that it is not fun to miss out on conversations that are relevant to the content that you are posting because you are sleeping. Schedule times that not only have a higher user rate, but also correspond with when you will be able to respond.
Have a System for Staying Involved
As mentioned time and time again, social media is all about interaction. Even if you are setting up automation it is still important to make sure that you stay involved. It will be quite easy to just let things go once you have set up posts and tweets for automation.
One way to stay in touch is to use Google Alerts. This will provide you with an updated email every time you receive a mention. You can then respond as necessary. You can receive daily updates to show you who are saying what about your brand.
You should keep your notifications on so that you are aware of any opportunities for engagement as they occur. You do not need to opt in to every email from your social media channels, but you should definitely take the time to look at what notifications and alerts would be helpful.
Most importantly, set aside a time each day or at least a few times each week to visit each of your social media profiles and engage with your audience. You can use this time anyway that you see fit.
When it comes down to it, social media is here to stay and if you are going to establish any type of presence online you are going to need to be established on each of the main social media sites.
When first starting out, you may want to choose a favorite and create your page there. Once you have it running smoothly you can then go to the next social media site of your choosing.
Most people will typically start with Facebook or Twitter as these are two of the largest sites. While it is important to become established on both of these sites it is also important to not forget about the other social media sites as well.
LinkedIn provides a great place to meet likeminded business associates and Instagram and Pinterest provide a great outlet for photos and even short video clips.
Many people overlook YouTube as being a social media site when they really should not. Not only is YouTube the 3rd largest social media site, it is also the second largest search engine. Make sure to establish a presence on YouTube if you want to be successful.
Spending some time on each of your social media pages will ensure that in just a short amount of time you will be able to establish your authority for your niche, which can lead to higher profits for your company or brand.
Here are some top resources and guides that we’ve gathered.
General Social Media Marketing Resources
Social Media Examiner
Social Media Examiner is the number one social media marketing blog where you can find lots of experts sharing their tips and experience.
HootSuite allows you to automate and sync various different social media accounts from a single dashboard meaning that you have one place you need to check and post instead of 50…
Shareaholic is a ‘content amplification’ tool that makes it easy for people to share your site content across a number of different sites.
IFTTT stands for ‘If This, Then That’ and allows you to create recipes that enable an event on one social media account (or web app) to trigger an event on another.
Buffer is a post scheduling tool that works with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
The Official Facebook Blog
If you’re looking to get the latest and most up-to-date news on Facebook then you might as well get it from the ‘horse’s mouth’ as it were.
If you’re looking for inspiration for what kind of content to share on Facebook, then Buzzsumo can help by showing you the most popular content in terms of shares.
Meltwater offers solutions to help you analyze your social channels and uncover insights to inform your content strategy.
Moz ‘Driving Traffic from Facebook’
A very in-depth recent post on how to do Facebook marketing properly and how much traffic to expect from Facebook. A good up-to-date overview.
Fanpage Karma is a tool that gives you even more metrics for Facebook pages including growth, engagement and response time.
Tweetdeck is excellent for helping you stay up-to-date with your followers and the topics that matter to you. Instead of spending a long time looking around Twitter or relying on the main feed, you can use Tweetdeck to see tweets from specific users, with specific hashtags and more at a glance.
Not all Twitter followers are made equal. With Social Rank you can see which of your followers is most ‘valuable’ in terms of their engagement with your posts and in terms of the number of followers that they have.
Audiense is a ‘Twitter management tool’ giving you access to tons of analytics and information about individual posts and followers.
Twitter also has its own official blog if you want to get the most accurate information ahead of the pack.
Followerwonk gives you tons of useful information regarding your followers which includes such things as the time of day that they’re most active.
The official blog for LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
A separate blog for LinkedIn’s ‘marketing solutions’. If you’re thinking of doing paid B2B advertising on the network then this is a useful resource.
The Official YouTube Blog
A good spot for news as well as advice.
Another official blog from YouTube focusing on its partners and creators.
Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite is not cheap by any means but if you’re going to create truly high quality, professional videos then you really will need Premier and After Effects at least.
Shawn Barry Creative
Shawn Barry is a web designer who provides some truly excellent advice that makes complex topics understandable and interesting.
Of course Instagram also has its own official blog for staying up to date with the platform.
Compfight is a tool that makes it easy to find creative commons images to use that only require you give credit.
Creative Bloq (that’s not a typo) is a site that provides tons of information and advice for photographers.
Pixlr is a great piece of photo editing software that can help you get even more from your photos before you stick them on the site.
Buzzoid gives you in depth analytics for your Instagram efforts as well as helping you find influential users in your niche.
The official blog for Pinterest.
Web based photo editing tool for all your images. Great tool for editing before publishing your images on Pintrest.
Tailwind is the social media scheduling tool that gets real results in less time. Pinterest & Instagram Scheduler, Analytics & Marketing Tool.