For many this all seems like too much work. But with a bit of planning and the use of some great, and free, tools you can promote your content and provide your audience with valuable information from other sources. This is the start to making content marketing work for your business and these followers, likers, pinners and friends can and will, become buyers.
Blogging on your business website
- At least 1 post per week. (3-5 is proven to be more effective.)
- Choose to target particular phrases that you think your potential readers, customers, clients would search for. Use this in the title and write the post around this subject. Answer questions that you frequently answer for you clients or customers. Write “how to” articles, case studies, people profiles, op eds. Stick to one topic per post.
- Think about the value of the piece to your audience. Will it educate, inform or entertain? Would they be moved to share it with their friends or followers? Don’t just “sell your stuff”, though it’s OK to do this directly every few posts or in the context of a more informative post.
- Include pictures in your post whenever possible. If you use WordPress choose an appropriate “featured image”.
- Share the URL link found in the address bar of your browser when you are on the individual public page for your published post.
- Share this to Twitter and your business page on Facebook, (share “as your page” so switch from your personal profile if you need to). Share on your Google+ profile and business page and your Linked in profile and business page. You can do this in one go if you use a service such as Buffer (bufferapp.com) or HootSuite (HootSuite.com).
- Make sure to check for comments and replies to your post either on your blog or the social media channels. Reply, thank or otherwise engage these people, they are your audience and current or potential customers.
Social Network Actions
- Your customers and clients are probably on Facebook. Don’t either assume that they are or they are not, or that “doing Facebook” will or will not lead to more sales. Do Facebook like you mean it because the potential is huge. Test and test again, change your approach and re test. If you find that it doesn’t work then so be it, but don’t just post a “buy from us” status once a fortnight and expect any return.
- For the right business and customer Facebook advertising if very powerful. It is beyond the scope of this post but look into it.
- Find other pages that relate to your business that you would like to be associated with or just appreciate. “Like” these pages. (Like as your page, not as “yourself”. Change “Use Facebook as”, top right gear wheel.) Like about 5 per week.
- Post a new status update at least twice daily. (Buffer or HootSuite will help with this.)
- Mix in your own content, your blog posts, direct posts to Facebook relating to what you do. Don’t always post an offer, same rules as blogging apply here, post something useful.
- Curate articles that provide value to your audience. Could be a new app you’ve found, book, tool or just an article or video. As long as it relates to your customer/client/follower base.
- Don’t forget to ask questions and provoke comments. The more your audience engages the better ranked your posts will be. This has a value on Google as well as Facebook.
- Comment on other pages, (as your page), at least twice per week.
- Don’t forget a call to action on your own posts. Get your audience to do something. Preferably click through to your website to read more. This is where they may buy if they are ready.
- Encourage all users to sign up to your mailing list by leaving their email. This could be a form on Facebook or back at your website. Aim to have all your “Likers” on your email list.
- Remember “your” Facebook Page is NOT “yours”. It belongs to Facebook as does everything on it. Don’t use it as your main publishing platform, that’s what you blog’s for. Your blog on your website is yours and the content on it is your property, (or should be). Your Facebook page could disappear overnight and all your followers with it.
- A recent Social media Examiner post may help with engagement 4 Fun Ways to Improve Your Facebook Engagement
- Send out 3 – 7 tweets daily around the topic of your business. Like Facebook, link to your stuff but don’t always sell. Include mostly links to valuable content useful for followers. (See Buffer and HootSuite above)
- The frequency needs to be high for Twitter and the posts spread out. Your own published content tweets should be repeated in the same day and then again for a few days. Not everyone monitors their Twitter feed like they do their Facebook newsfeed.
- Don’t forget to re-tweet at least twice per day. Favourite a few tweets per week.
- If you think someone you follow might be a useful contact for your business in some way put more emphasis on sharing and re-tweeting what they post. They will become familiar with you and make a Twitter direct message more likely to get read and replied to.
- Follow people that interest you in the field of your business. However, don’t follow hundreds randomly. If you get too high Twitter will stop you following more people until your followers to following ratio decreases!
- Update your personal profile status regularly. Once or twice per day, though less is OK on Linkedin. Posts could be the same as for Facebook depending on your audience, but remember Facebook tends to be more B to C whereas Linkedin is B to B. So think what would be relevant to a more business orientated, (at least while they are on Linkedin), audience. They may of course turn into your Facebook audience in the evenings!
- Follow other companies occasionally, especially those you may want to do business with in the future.
- Connect with people. Linkedin requires you to know these people, or at least have their email. However, when Linkedin makes connection suggestions this is not the case and a request can be sent without knowing email or saying you have done business with them. This happens just after you have accepted someone’s request to connect with you, so take advantage of it.
- On acceptance of your connection request take time to say thank you and ask about their business based on the reading of their profile and website if they have one listed. Don’t offer your services at this stage. They can read your profile, they know what you do. If they want more they will ask.
- Join relevant groups to your business and contribute. Maybe set aside 1/2 hour a week to share, connect and post.
- If you’re really keen, start a group, especially if you’re a B to B business. If you see a gap in the market and you are prepared to do the work. It is a certain way to promote your business and position you as an expert in your field.
- Create a business account (yes, they have them). Link your website to it properly.
- Connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
- Pick relevant topics for your audience base and make boards named after these with thought about the keywords people search for. Curate content from around the web and post to these boards. Mix in new content and re-pinned stuff.
- Follow other people and hopefully they will follow you back. Like Twitter, watch your following to followers ratio.
- Don’t forget to invite your Facebook, Twitter or personal contacts to follow you. This can be done through Pinterest.
- Pin stuff regularly, more the better.
- If you upload your own pictures like product shots make sure they link back to the relevant page on your site, not just the home page. You can edit this once uploaded. Don’t just pin product shots from your site if they are not very big. Upload new higher resolution versions, but link back.
- Re-pin, like and comment regularly.
- Your Pinterest activity can be automatically published to your Facebook timeline. (Switch this on in settings).
- Make Pining easier by using the Pin It button for your browser.
- Tweet your pins. The above pin it button makes this easy.
- For the more advanced and avid Pinterest user try Pinstamatic.
- Don’t forget to add a “Follow us on Pinterest” button on your website.
- Make sure you have linked your blog, homepage, Google+ profile and business page for full authorship benefit. See this post for more details: The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup
- Post regularly, at least twice a day (see Buffer and HootSuite).
- Make sure posts are set to public.
- Add new people to your circles and follow company pages relevant to your business each week.
- Received wisdom has it the Google+ users are more technical or “in depth” orientated, so links to more long form articles might work well. Test your audience though by checking feedback, Plus 1s, shares, comments. Track click thorough rate to your website to test which of your own content types work best here.
This is a brief checklist to effective marketing on social media. Some will have found other strategies effective but use the above as a starting point and see what works for you.
I have left YouTube for a separate post in the future. Watch this space.
If you would like help with understanding or setting up any of this then give me a call or email me here.
Picture credit: Frau Hölle