5 Steps to Better Social Posting
You run a small business. You manage your social media accounts when you can, and link them to save time and effort. Here are 5 ways to do it better, get more reach/ impressions/ engagement, and see some return on your time.
1. Post natively
This is the most important rule. When in Rome, don't try speaking French. Same with Twitter and Facebook. Unhook your social channels. They don't work the same.
Here's how they work (in brief):
Short, funny, lots of retweets. You get 140 characters, but please don't use them all. Stay short. Add a hashtag or two. #perfecttweet You can now use twitter video, which means that (like Instagram), you can natively add video to your tweet. Play with this for behind-the-scenes video, or short clips that add atmosphere to your business page.
If you're linking to an article from Twitter, use a chrome plugin like TwitShot to load a photo from the page you're sharing. Photos will increase your engagement.
BUT watch out -- Please don't post to Twitter from Instagram. I won't see a photo, I'll see a link. If you love a photo so much that you want to share it on both, take the time to share it on both individually. You'll get better engagement - more favorites, retweets, and @replies, if you load the photo natively.
If you're a B2B business, you want to use Twitter a lot. It's great for meeting new businesses. It's also great for immediate customer service.
Links to articles, helpful graphics or quotes in my industry, that's for Facebook. Don't hashtag. Tag people in photos. Post at least once a day, but not more than 4 times (see below). Don't just link to your blog or website. If I like your page, I want to see varied content - links to news articles that are industry-specific, photos, text updates, poll questions, video (loaded natively, and NOT shared from youtube).
Pro tip: you can upload your email list and create a custom audience that you target for page likes (more on this SOON).
Beautiful photos of my product geared towards exactly my perfect audience, with 20 hashtags to extend my reach, that's Instagram. Search for people talking about your product, and like or comment on their photo. Start a conversation.
You probably don't want to deal with Google Plus, Snapchat, Vine, SoundCloud, YouTube, LinkedIn or any of those other platforms if you're managing it all yourself. Stick to the big three. Unless you're a musician or artist (more on that SOON). Most small businesses can make a good start just focusing on these three platforms, though.
2. Don't flood my feed
On Facebook, don't post more than once every 4 hours. You'll either annoy people or get penalized by the newsfeed algorithm. Facebook will actually show your posts less. Think of it this way: Facebook will show an average user 300 stories in a day. 200 of those are friends. a whopping 100 of those are from brands. All brands. Brand pages have to compete with each other for those spots. If you're putting out a million Facebook posts in a row, say you're live-Tweeting the Oscars on Facebook (See what I did there? Why would you live-Tweet anywhere but Twitter?), you'll see a drop in reach and probably engagement. Facebook wants to give users a good experience, so they've developed a formula for figuring out what posts are valuable. In the rare case where you're posting every hour for three or four hours a day, make sure you're getting enough engagement to warrant continuing this (It's possible. It's not likely, though.)
On Twitter, don't be the person who retweets forty things in a minute.
3. Be helpful
Give me information. I love secrets; I want behind-the-scenes action; I need to know when and where events are happening; offer me discounts; make it super easy for me to contact you. Give me tips on how to do something tangential to your product. Run a bike shop? Give me the 5 things to look for in a new helmet, or post maps for local trails.
Social is more about listening than speaking. Yep, more. That means you're looking for people tweeting at you, responding within a reasonable amount of time (you can set an alert on your phone for when someone tweets at you). A reasonable amount of time depends on what you want to get out of it. The faster you respond, the more likely you are to draw that person into a conversation. Don't like negative feedback? I love it, because it gives me this opportunity: to take someone who's frustrated and venting, and turn them into an advocate for me and my brand. I've seen it over and over. Address the need behind the bluster, and you'll be amazed at where you end up. Make sure someone feels (and IS) heard, and you're half way to solving their problem.
5. Don't sell
There's so much written about this. Basically, think about your own Facebook account. If someone keeps yelling at you to buy their product, you tune them out. You hide them. Don't do anything, from your business page, that you as a consumer would hide you for.
Of course, after all of your sharing, your giving, your added value, you have to make the ask. You have to give the right hook.
Here's what that's about. Gary Vaynerchuk's "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook." It's an excellent read, detailed in each platform, with photos on exactly how your posts should look.
Here's Gary's Twitter handle. Tell him I sent you.
Here's mine. Let me know how I can help you.
(PS - I have a lot of blog posts coming, specific to posting in these social media platforms, with lots of how-to details. If you want to get better, sign up below for these free tips.)