Time for our next post in the Increasing Engagement Series: Twitter!
Twitter was one of those platforms that I was slightly reluctant to use. I remember my senior year of college in my Emerging Technologies class that we had to create our own Twitter account.
I thought it was dumb at the time. “What the heck am I going to tweet about? Nobody cares about what I eat for lunch!”
Turns out, people still don’t care what I eat for lunch but they do care about what I tweet about.
I’ve made so many connections on Twitter that have brought me legitimate clients so I am totally pro-Twitter now.
It may seem like a struggle to increase engagement in 140 characters, but it’s easier than you think! Let’s get to the good stuff.
When you’re sharing an article or product that could be helpful to your business, take that extra step and tag the journalist or product’s Twitter account.
Many times, especially if they are small businesses themselves, they will take the time to check out your profile and give you a shoutout back. That could lead to their followers checking you out and getting you new followers.
When you retweet someone, go the extra mile and give some sort of feedback on the tweet instead of just hitting the retweet button.
I don’t do this every time, but the times I do I see so much more engagement on my tweets than the run-of-the-mill retweets you see.
Twitter chats are a great way to communicate to a specific audience. Find Twitter chats that are related to your industry (here’s a great place to look for Twitter chats). If you can’t find any on there, just search “your industry + twitter chats” on Google and you’ll most likely find several.
Participating in a Twitter chat can help grow your followers as well as a great way to show yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Come prepared, Twitter chats move fast!
Ditch the robot sounding chit chat and tweet like you’re human. When you’re scheduling your tweets, imagine that you’re talking to a friend of yours. Thinking about it from this conversational mindset will help you come across as relatable and someone easy to talk to on Twitter.
Your followers shouldn’t feel scared or intimidated to talk to you, so be open, honest, and friendly while tweeting.
People like to follow and engage with other people who are consistent. Consistent with their values, business, and yes, even social media platforms.
If you are only tweeting when you feel like it, you won’t see as much engagement as you would if you consistently tweeted.
The great thing about Twitter is, even if you’ve been out of the game for a while, you can easily jump back in, no one the wiser.
The best times for me to tweet aren’t necessarily the best times for you to tweet. And what you think might be the best times for you to tweet might end up being the worst!
Twitter brought us the world of hashtags and they are still a powerful way to interact with your community.
Hashtags are a way to communicate with a specific community, whether it be for Twitter chat, or discussing the latest episode of The Walking Dead, hashtags can expose your brand to a group that may not know of your business.
Don’t go hashtag crazy, keep it to one or two per tweet.
According to research, tweets that are around 110 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate than those over 110 characters.
Because there is enough room for people to add their own commentary when retweeting your tweets!
People are lazy and if they have to take the time to re-configure your tweet to add commentary they won’t do it. Having your tweet short enough for them to retweet and add commentary is ideal for increasing engagement.
Did you know that Twitter has a free way for your to view your analytics? All you have to do is log into your Twitter account, go to this link, and boom: analytics!
It gives you all kinds of information:
All of the information above, plus your top tweets, followers, and media you’ve shared. Over time, take a look at your top tweets. Those are the types of tweets you should be sharing with your audience, since those are the ones that resonate with your audience the most.
Research has shown that tweets with photos get 313% more engagement than tweets without photos. Say whaaat?!
It becomes more and more apparent that we’re living in a visual world (and I am a visual girl –> sang to the tune of Material Girl, of course :-)).
Using photos also helps you get around the 140 character limit by including text within your image, like Caitlin Bacher did with a recent tweet:
She doesn’t have to waste space in her 140 character explaining the date and time because it’s included on the photo. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
This may be shocking to some of you, but I’ve heard the question “What should I tweet about?” over and over again.
Twitter can be an overwhelming platform because it moves so quickly. To some, it’s not even worth the effort because it gets “lost in the feed.”
Twitter doesn’t have to be like that though. Like every other platform, you need a mix of content and a strategy. Below I feature the types of content you should tweet about. Hope it helps!
This is your Twitter profile, so you definitely should be tweeting about your products or services. Some people feel slimy doing self promotion because they don’t want to come off as too sale-sy, but if you aren’t tweeting about your business, how are your followers supposed to know what you can offer?
There are ways to tweet that don’t come off like a slimy salesperson. Your business is helping solve someone’s problem, right? Well tweet like you’re solving someone’s problem!
If you’re being helpful and caring to your customers, they won’t be turned off if you’re promoting your business. If anything, they will be thankful you shared your helpful product/service/blog post.
Your followers on Twitter will mostly consist of two of the following audiences:
For both of these audiences, they will love to read about industry insights. You will be seen as a thought leader in your industry, which serves you in the long run. Building this trust with your audience will help them remember you when they need the particular service or product you offer.
For two, you will keep up with the changes going on in your industry so you are better prepared to make effective changes to your business as time goes on.
We’ve discussed how you never know until you ask and the same is true with Twitter.
Twitter is a great platform to ask shorter, to the point questions. Since you are working with 140 characters, you don’t want to ask questions that lead to long-winded answers.
Some general examples you can use to ask your audience:
1) What is your biggest pain point regarding ________ (related to your industry)
2) What do you like most about _____________ (related to your industry)
3) What’s something you’re working on in your business?
Strategically spread out when you ask questions to your followers. You don’t want to ask 10 questions in a row, otherwise you aren’t providing much value in your tweets.
You should also be answering your followers! Many people fall trap to sounding like a robot on Twitter and only tweeting out automated articles and questions, but you need to be interactive and answer other people’s questions.
If you don’t see any questions on your feed, type in a keyword related to your industry into the search bar and search for through the tweets that pop up.
I get most annoyed with Twitter accounts seem to only push their content or products. Sharing other people’s content is great for many reasons. For one, it shows that you want to be helpful to your audience, which at times may mean pointing them to another business on Twitter.
Another reason is you can begin to develop a relationship with the people that write these blogs and articles and they could end up pointing people in your direction for business. It’s a win-win!
I don’t know about you, but I can be somewhat nosy. I’m always interested in what products (whether it be physical products or services) other entrepreneurs and small business owners use.
I am definitely a person that values word of mouth recommendations, and many other people are the same way. Sharing other people’s products and businesses you love is a great way to give an inside peek into your business, as well as sharing the love of another business owner. We’re all in this together, so pay it forward!
Sharing bite size tips is easy to do on Twitter, since you’re limited to 140 characters. Giving your followers quick wins will help them move further in their business.
Sharing quick wins with your audience can help your business grow exponentially. By giving them something small and easily attainable that helps them in their business or life can turn mediocre followers to raving fans instantly.
Their business winning from a tip you gave equals your business winning. They will likely continue to read your blog posts, sign up for your email, share with friends/family/co-workers how awesomely helpful you are and in turn that grows your brand, gets you more email subscribers, and even more raving fans.
Small wins can lead to big wins for your business.
Howdy! I’m back for another post for my Increasing Engagement Series, this time featuring Facebook!
I see a lot of complaints all over the internet about how Facebook is the worst social platform and how it’s impossible to get any sort of reach without paying for ads.
While Facebook has certainly changed its algorithm making it more difficult for your fans to see your posts unless you pay, there are free ways to at least help optimize your posts to get in front of a larger audience.
Keep in mind, Facebook could change tomorrow making this information obsolete, but this is currently what works in early 2016.
If changes do happen, I will try my best to update this page, or direct you to a blog post to keep you all informed.
Okay, here we go!
Video is on the rise, if you haven’t heard, and if you aren’t using some type of video format to promote your business, you will be left behind.
I know, I know. I don’t like how I sound on video either, but we’ve gotta do it. I have plans of launching a Q & A video series so if I can do it, you can do it.
Anyways, now that we are over the fact that we have to do some video, you need to upload videos directly to Facebook versus uploading to YouTube or Vimeo and then putting a link to your video on Facebook.
Facebook hasn’t outwardly admitted this, but they definitely do not put any preference on updates that are linking to YouTube. They want people to stay on the Facebook platform for as long as possible, so you need to upload your videos directly to Facebook for the most exposure.
Did you know you can segment your status updates as a Page to only be seen by certain individuals of your audience? Many people don’t know about this option, but I think it’s a great tool.
Here’s how it works. If your page already has this featured turned on, it’s easy.
There should be a compass looking like object where you can select a specific audience to see a particular post.
You can either choose “Preferred Audiences” or “Audience Restrictions.”
A preferred audience lets you segment by interests. You can get very granular with your selections: segmenting by people interested in entertainment, weddings, fitness, shopping, sports, etc.
Audience restrictions lets you segment using the following information:
This could be great for bilingual pages, if you have an event in a particular city, a product geared specifically for men or women…the opportunities are endless.
Why post when everyone is sleeping, that doesn’t make sense!
Oh, but it does. According to a recent finding from BuzzSumo, posting at night gives you more exposure to your audience because there is less competition to get into the newsfeed.
Think about it, everyone else posts during the day (including not only other pages but people updating their personal status updates too, which you are also competing with).
Take advantage of the downtime when everyone else is sleeping to post your content and watch engagement increase.
My dad has always said, “You never know until you ask” and even though he’s certainly not an expert at social media (don’t even get me started on the questions he asks me about it…) his comment is totally true.
You never really do know what your audience thinks until you ask.
Asking them questions about their opinion on something is one of the best ways to increase your engagement on Facebook.
Pairing it with an image is a match made in heaven, as pictures hold more weight in the Facebook algorithm than text.
This suggestion goes along with posting at night. Overall, posts that go out over the weekend get more engagement than during the week.
It could be because more people have time to be on social media during the weekends, or that there is less competition from other businesses posting on social media during the weekend. Either way, posting on the weekends certainly won’t hurt.
With people consuming so much information, they only have so much time to read updates. Reading your Facebook page’s update might not be high on their priorities, so you need to keep it short and sweet.
Why does Facebook love Instagram? Well for one, Facebook owns Instagram.
And for two…well, that’s actually the real reason.
If you have a business Instagram profile, you should definitely be sending your Instagram photos to Facebook. Especially since it’s only a one tap task to complete, you have no excuse!
Got something you’re struggling with in your business? Or even your personal life?
Ask your audience for help! People love helping other people out. Especially a small business they follow and care about.
Crowdsourcing for information not only will increase engagement on your Facebook page, but will also help humanize your small business, reminding the followers that you too are human and sometimes need a little guidance.
Here’s an example from Pat Flynn:
This post garnered 127 responses from Pat’s audience. 127 is a small number compared to his follower count, however think if you had 127 people in person giving their response. That’s A LOT of people, right?
Crowdsourcing for information helps your audience feel like they are genuinely helping you out, giving them a more emotional connection to you as a small business.
I hope you found some value in this post! Next time, we’ll be talking about Twitter!
Hello, hello! I’m so excited to bring you today’s 1st post in a new Increasing Engagement Series here on the blog! To me, the most important part of social media is engagement. It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of fans and followers if nobody is saying a word.
Especially as a small business, you want your audience engaging with you. Many people like and purchase products from small businesses because they are more personable and fun to interact with.
Engagement is key to being more personable on social media. I’ve rounded up my best tips for increasing engagement for each social platform and plan on sharing these posts in the upcoming weeks.
First up is Instagram!
Can I share a secret? Instagram is my favorite social media platform. You can follow my business account here.
One reason I love Instagram is the visual format. As a visual learner, many times I can interpret an image I’m seeing much faster than I can reading an article. It also feels like a mini-blogging platform where you can be a little bit more personal than you can on other social platforms.
Alright, well I’ll stop my gushing about why Instagram is awesome and we’ll move on to the meat of this post, getting you more engagement!
Hashtags. If you’re a super celebrity then hashtags aren’t nearly as important to getting your images in front of new eyes. But I’m assuming no Kardashians are reading this post, so it’s probably safe to say your celebrity status isn’t going to get you the engagement you want.
But hey, that’s okay! Who wants to be super famous anyways?
Anyways, hashtags! Hashtags are a great way to get recognized by followers who wouldn’t have normally found you in the first place.
Search on Google for “your niche + Instagram hashtags” and I bet you there would be at least one article out there detailing popular hashtags in your niche. You can also check out this top hashtags list for ideas too.
If you want to be an ultra pro, add your hashtags as a comment on your on photo. Steph Gilbert does this with her Instagram posts:
Why do people do this? One main reason is to help keep your picture description clean and clutter-free. Some people are turned off from your Instagram posts if you have 30 hashtags on the photo description. Adding the periods and then the hashtags let the followers who aren’t as into hashtags read your comment without seeing a zillion hashtags as well as let new followers find you.
One of the quickest ways to increase engagement? Ask a question! It sounds so simple, but people will respond to questions if they are asked.
People want to feel a part of the conversation and that you as a business owner care about what they think (as you should…they are your potential customers!). The key here is to make the question conversational. It doesn’t need to directly relate to your business or products, but it needs to feel like a question you would ask if you were speaking with a person, face-to-face.
Whitney English had a great example of how to use a question to get your community involved:
Whitney primarily sells planners, so while this Instagram post isn’t directly about her business, it shows some of her personality while asking her followers a genuine question.
Asking questions isn’t limited to the comments section either. Your visual image can also be used as a way to pose a question. This will grab the attention of those visual learners out there (hey, girl, hey!).
Another reason why I love Instagram is that it doesn’t always have to be perfectly curated. Yes, there are plenty of accounts that only post the most perfect photos and that have a pristine looking account but what I love most is when someone shares a personal side to their business.
People need to remember that there is a person behind your small business. A real, live, hard working, caring person that only wants to serve their customers the best products. Giving them a reminder that “hey, I’m not just a faceless corporation trying to get rich” will help your customers make an emotional connection with you.
Melyssa Griffin recently posted this photo. She gets real and explains how she’s started to miss interacting with her followers on Instagram in a more natural way. Instagram doesn’t need to be all business all the time. In fact, I would suggest the opposite of that. People want to connect with other people, not brands.
Another “duh” suggestion but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t do this (I can admit I’m one of them too!). Sometimes, people need to be told what to do. And I don’t mean in a “clean you room or else you’re grounded” way.
They need a call to action (CTA) from you so they know exactly what you want them to do. If you have a new product out, how are your followers supposed to know unless you tell them about it?
Nesha from Nesha Designs shares an upcoming webinar she has including driving people to sign up from the link in her Instagram bio. She could have easily not shared this on Instagram but why wouldn’t she? Her followers want to know when she’s doing webinars and selling products so they can be a part of them and use them.
Tell your followers exactly what you want them to do and they will follow.
People often look to Instagram to be inspired by an account. There are many ways to share inspiration, whether it be a quote, sharing a healthy recipe (if you’re a food blogger), or sharing your story.
Heather Crabtree recently shared this post and how can you not feel empowered by it? Giving those motivational mantras give your audience a boost in confidence, and most times they will share their own motivational message back to you!
Since Instagram is a visual platform, your pictures need to be on point. Here are some things to remember when choosing a photo to use for Instagram:
Some people have a very strict schedule of how often they post, and while I don’t think that’s absolutely necessary, you should have some sort of goal of how often you will post in a week. Once or twice a day is perfectly fine. If you’re posting more than once a day, space out the time between you post your other photos, so they aren’t all posting to your feed at once.
I hope this post was helpful! I can’t wait to share the other engagement series posts!
P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!
Everybody talks about how you need to “create a social media strategy” for your business, but what does that actually mean?
Simply put, a social media strategy is defining the “why” behind your social networks. Why are you using Twitter? How does pinning to Pinterest build your business goals? You get the idea.
Creating a social media strategy doesn’t have to be difficult or take months and months to figure out. Today, I share how exactly to create a social media strategy that will work for any type of small business.
Your why is the most important aspect of your social media strategy. If you take anything away from this blog post, please let it be to not just be on social media because somebody told you to.
That is not a good reason to be on social media and you will most likely end up failing.
Questions you need to answer to define your why:
After deciding on your why, you’ll need to then think about how you want your business represented. This is an important step because it helps you define your brand for your customer. Customers like reliable products and businesses, they like to know what to expect whenever they come to your store or come to your website. Deciding how you will handle unhappy customers, what type of personality your business has, and the values your brand stands for helps customers know upfront if they want to interact with your business.
Questions to answer to decide who you want to be:
Okay so you know your why, and you know how you what your business represented, next up is doing your research. This task might take a little longer than the other two, depending on how big or little your niche is.
Questions to answer regarding research:
Now is when we can finally decide on which social platforms make sense for our business.
Review the answers to the questions above to determine which platforms you should be on.
If most of your competitors are on them, that’s a sign you should probably be on them too. But make sure the platforms you choose line up with your business goals.
What’s most important to factor is where your audience spends time. Logically, you want to be on the platforms where your audience spends time the most. For some businesses, that may be Instagram, for others it might be Twitter. Doing the research should give you a clear picture of where you should spend your time promoting your business on social media.
Questions to answer to decide your social platforms:
Whew, we are moving right along aren’t we?! Once you’ve decided on the social platforms you will be using for your business, you’ll need to decide what type of content you will share. This will make it easier for you in the future when you are thinking about what to post on your accounts.
Questions to answer regarding content:
Once you’ve got a grip on the type of content you’ll share, you can then make a social media editorial calendar and automate your posts.
Questions to answer regarding automation and scheduling:
You gotta make sure everything you’re doing on social media is worth the time, right? You should be continuously evaluating your social media strategy, testing what resonates with your audience and what doesn’t. Social media is always changing so it’s important to assess what you’re doing because you want to make the most out of the time you’re spending.
Questions to answer regarding social media measurement:
Phew, we covered A LOT in this post. This may seem like a lot of work you don’t necessarily have time to complete. Let me help by setting up a consultation call with me so we can discuss your business goals and get your business recognized on social media!
We’ve already discussed where to start when you have zero time for social media, but where do you go once you’ve started? Setting up systems helps you streamline your social media scheduling leaving you with more time for focusing on your small business.
By streamlining your social media, you won’t have that dreaded feeling that comes when you think about social media and how you aren’t doing “enough.” Use these tips and you’ll be on your way to less stress and more success!
Making social media a habit is one of the best ways to help you streamlining your process.
Think about it. You get up every morning and brush your teeth, right? The reason why you don’t even second guess brushing your teeth (besides the whole hygiene thing!) is because it was made a habit for you since you were a small kid. You were taught to brush your teeth every morning when you wake up.
It’s the same mindset for social media. You need to make it a consistent habit to be able to see results and eventually streamline it.
Pick the same time of day each day to focus only on social media. Nothing else. It’s tempting to want to do 10 different tasks at once, but that way of thinking is slowing you down and making you even less productive.
As a small business, you don’t need to be on every single platform from the beginning. Choose the one or two where you know your audience is, and master those. Once it is made a habit, you will find that it’s much easier to do the task, which in turn you will end up spending less time completing it.
If This Then That, better known as IFTTT, is an amazing web-based service that sets up “recipes” that creates a chain of events to happen.
For example, you can set up a recipe to share a new blog post automatically to your Facebook page. Or automatically pin your Instagram pictures to a particular Pinterest board.
These are just two examples, there are many other already curated recipes set up for you, or you can create your own.
Creating templates is an easy way to streamline your social media maintenance. I suggest creating a template for each social network (as they have varying suggested sizes).
If you don’t have a designer or photoshop, Canva is a great free tool that has pre-loaded templates appropriate for each platform.
You are able to upload your logo, change it to your brand colors, use pre-loaded backgrounds…it’s amazing. Once you create a template, you can just copy it when you want to make a new post.Streamline your #socialmedia scheduling with this free checklist from @brittneyllynn! Click To Tweet
Using a social media scheduling tool is the quickest way to streamline your social media posts. There are many programs out there, but here are the ones I use and recommend.
Buffer is an easy to use tool where you can connect the following accounts to schedule:
I currently only use it to schedule tweets but it is such a time saver. You are able to select pre-set times for your scheduled tweets to go out, so you can capitalize when it’s best for your account to post.
I currently use the free version of Buffer, so if I want to schedule more than ten updates, I start scheduling Twitter updates in Hootsuite. Hootsuite also allows you to connect your Facebook page, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Instagram (though it doesn’t technically automatically schedule your post, you still have to click to approve it to go through).
Hootsuite is also nice to look at multiple different streams at one glance.
Social media is obviously a great way to connect and engage with current and future customers, but how should you use social media to promote your products?
People seem to carry a negative connotation with promotion. They don’t want to come off as too “sales-y.” Which I totally get. Nobody wants to be inundated with advertisements everywhere they go.
But part of the reason why you are on social media as a small business is to promote your products. Getting the word out about the latest and greatest you have to offer is a great way to get new customers.
There are ways to promote your products through your social channels without being too annoying to your audience. Let’s take a look at some options below.
With Twitter cards, you can attach a photo, video, or media link (think article preview) to your tweets. This helps catch a follower’s eye, as we are more naturally drawn to visual images versus straight text.
For driving traffic back to your website for a product you are trying to sell, you would create what is called a summary card.
Here is an example of a summary card:
Do you see how the content is expanded to include a title, a brief description and image? This essentially gives followers a visual preview of your product, before clicking over to your site.
Getting started with Twitter cards only takes 15 minutes to set up. Read more on how to get started with these tips.
Ah, Facebook. I know a lot of people say Facebook is dead, how bored they are with Facebook, and you might have even threatened to get off Facebook forever when they made the last big update (isn’t it funny how so many people say they’ll get off Facebook when a big change is made and then…they never do? I always laugh :))
The truth of the matter is, Facebook still works. People are still spending a ton of time on Facebook.
The key factor to remember is, how you should use Facebook for your business. And if you’re selling products, Facebook ads can have a huge influence on your sales.
The most important aspect of your Facebook ad is not the ad itself, it’s the target audience for the ad.
Your target audience for your Facebook ad should not be a random selection of people in your target demographic. You are wasting your money having a broad audience like that.
You want to target people who are already coming to your website. Why? Because they are already familiar with you. So familiar, that they have already been to your website or better yet, they have already looked at your products on your website.
How do I target those people who are already visiting my website?
Inserting a Facebook ad pixel. It may sound complicated but I promise it’s not. Facebook does a great job explaining how and where you should place your Facebook ad pixel, as well as tracking any conversions.
Rich pins, like Twitter cards, give a little extra information on a pin, giving a follower all of the information they need about a particular pin. There are 6 types of rich pins: app, recipe, article, movie, place, and you guessed it: product.
Here is an example of a successful rich pin for a product:
See how it has the price of the cardigan listed at the top of the pin? As well as more detailed information about the cardigan at the bottom (style, color, brand)? That is the type of information included on a rich pin.
Setting up a rich pin is even easier than setting up a Twitter card or Facebook ad pixel (I swear!). It takes only seconds of your time, and it’s definitely worth it.
If your target audience is on Instagram, working with popular users is a fantastic way to get your products in front of the right audience.
Having an Instagram influencer use and share your product on their account gives their followers a feel for what your product is actually like. Most times, these influencers have had these followers for awhile and they trust the opinion of this person.
Instagram is neat because people can share products in a non-sales-y way, so the promotion of your product won’t come off as an ad, just a way for someone to share a product they genuinely love.
Make sure to only work with quality influencers, ones who you are proud to have represent your brand.
A quick description of social proof, in case you aren’t familiar with the term: Social proof is simply an influencer sharing your product/business on a social platform. Providing “proof” on social media that your product actually is as awesome as you say it is. This proof gives consumers a boost in confidence in your product and in turn, ends up buying it.
Here are a few examples of social proof:
With new social media networks coming out what seems like every other day, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.
“Well I have to be on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook!”
“Might as well throw in Twitter too.”
“Oh, what about Instagram? Yeah, gotta share those filtered pictures to my audience for sure.”
“What’s this Snapchat thing? And Periscope? So I just record myself talking and people will want to see it?”
By the end of the day, you spent all of your time on social media, and zero time actually doing the work required for your business!
My hope is to help ease your mind and explain how not to get overwhelmed managing your social media. Let’s get to it!
Everyone claims that you need to have a “social media strategy” for your business, but what does that mean?
In simple terms, it means answering this question: Why are you doing whatever you’re doing on each social platform? What is your goal of participating on being on a particular platform?
There needs to be a “why” to everything you do for your business and the same goes for social media. Do not be on social media just because “people tell you to.” There needs to be a reason, otherwise you’ll lose motivation to continue engaging.
I’m a big fan of batch scheduling in different facets of my life, but especially with social media.
Yes, I work in social media, so shouldn’t I always be socializing on these platforms? No.
For one, I have to write this blog right? Two, I need to meet and discuss with clients, which also takes time. So even I’M not on social media 24/7.
Here’s what I do:
Each Friday, I look at my calendar for the week ahead. I first notice any social engagements, appointments, meetings, etc.
I then plug in my workouts into my calendar.
Then, I schedule out my work week, scheduling chunks of time to just schedule social media posts or find content to share. I could easily spend hours on social media, but having those chunks of time dedicated helps me remember to save it for then.
Just do it. Nothing monumental will happen, I promise. To get a notification on your phone every time someone likes your Facebook page, or tweets at you is distracting and not doing you any favors.
I check my social platforms around three times a day: 1) once right when I wake up, 2) around lunchtime, 3) before going to bed.
Your audience understands that a human being is responding back to comments on these platforms and they know you might not respond immediately and that’s okay. You’re a small business, not a huge corporation that has 10 team members watching its social platforms.
Yep. I said it. You don’t need to be on every platform as a small business owner. Figure out where your target audience likes to hang out, choose those, and lose the rest.
Having a Twitter page just for the sake of having one but never posting on it does you no good. In fact, I think it actually hurts your business more than if you just didn’t have one in the first place.
I’ll use myself as an example. For growing my business, I’m currently only focusing on building my Pinterest and Twitter accounts. These two are where I’m getting the most value for my time right now, so I don’t promote on Facebook or Instagram.
Now that doesn’t mean eventually I won’t move onto those other platforms, but I’m only taking on what matters most to my business while I’m still building.
Pick one platform that you know your target audience is on. Just one. I know it’s hard to ignore all of those other ones but this will save you time and will also save your sanity.
Why focus on just one? So you can master it.
Have you ever heard of “just in time” learning? It’s this way of learning something right as you need to learn it, versus trying to learn allthethings at one time.
Focusing on one account (ideally, the platform that your audience is on the most) will give you time to learn everything there is to know on how to grow that account and make it sustainable. Once you’ve mastered it, you can move onto the next.
Alright, so you have a strategy, you’ve turned off your notifications, and you’re ready to handle multiple accounts. Now it’s time to automate.
There are many systems out there to automate your social platforms. Some are free, some aren’t. Some only handle certain social accounts.
My best advice is to use what system that works best for your budget and your business. It might take a lot of trial and error but once you find the right match, it will keep you from getting overwhelmed.
If your small business is growing at a rapid pace (awesome job!) then it might be time to outsource some of your social media tasks.
It can be hard to hand over part of your brand to someone new, but it could help grow your brand exponentially if you’re then free to do what you do best in your business.
Pinterest is all the rage these days, isn’t it? What was first just a way for people to pin recipes they will never try, has now grown into a full blown search engine.
Did you know that Pinterest is the second most used search engine that is non-Google owned? That is insane!
Maybe you think your Pinterest strategy for your business is currently working. I mean, you pin your blog posts, re-pin a few other people you follow, and you’re done.
WRONG. To get the most out of Pinterest, you need to have a consistent strategy. There should be a reason behind why you do anything for your business, including how you use Pinterest.
Today, we talk about five ways to improve your Pinterest profile and how to be seen by more followers.
You mean I have to spend my Saturdays stuck on Pinterest?! Not necessarily, but we’ll get to that later.
Think about it. A majority of the U.S. population have a typical 9-5 job. They are busy during the weekdays because they are at work. They aren’t browsing Pinterest (unless they’re killing time…) during the day because their focus is elsewhere.
Pinning during other people’s down times is the most ideal, because it will make their Pinterest feeds when they are browsing.
Does this mean you have to spend your Saturdays pinning content on Pinterest? Nope! There are programs out there that can automatically pin for you on a schedule. Check out Viral Woot, ViralTag, or Tailwind for scheduling your pins.
Tutorials, guides, DIY and recipe pins have a 42% higher click thru rate than any other pin. You can create a tutorial or guide for practically any type of small business.
A great way to come up with a topic to use for a tutorial that people are interested in would be to use Google Trends.
Google Trends is a free and easy way to figure out what is trending on Google (i.e. what are people searching for).
Say you are a DIY blogger. Before the holidays get into full swing (think end of October/November), search “DIY christmas,” as pictured below.
See how people are searching for DIY gifts? Use this information to craft your next blog post. Put together an ultimate guide on DIY gifts to give during Christmas. If people are searching for it on Google, they are most definitely searching for it on Pinterest too.
This is a major must-do if you don’t already. You might be sitting there thinking, “alt text…whaaa?” Yeah, I did too. It’s actually pretty simple though!
The alt text is what pops up as your pin description when people pin an image from your website.
Here’s an example:
See where it says “alternative text?” That is where Pinterest pulls in the pin description.
Here is an example of what it looks like once you pin it on Pinterest.
Your profile description is the introduction to your Pinterest profile. This brief, 160 character description should summarize what your business is and what type of topics you will be pinning. Below are a few great examples:
See how they each describe what they do and give a sense for what they will pin? Viewers want to know what type of content you pin before deciding to follow you or not.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but you gotta give up the cutesy board names. I know, I know. But you worked so hard on crafting the most clever board name! Well, the bad news is, you’re making it harder for people to find your boards.
For one, people want to know what’s on the board before they start following it. If you have a board entitled “yummy food for my tummy” that’s great and all except…it’s kind of a mystery what exactly will be pinned on the board. What type of food? Any type of food? What’s yummy to other people might not be yummy to others. See how their could be a confusion?
A better way to name the board would be “Healthy Dinner Recipes.” Descriptive and to the point – healthy dinner recipes. No confusion there!
I’m sure you know by now that you need to not only share your own content on your social platforms but that you also need to share other people’s content. For one, you don’t want to be pushing your products constantly to your followers, that gets old. Plus, providing extra valuable content to your followers will give your readers an extra incentive to follow you and trust you as a reliable source.
There are many articles out there that detail out the percentages of how much of your own content you should share and how much should be outside content. For my clients I suggest the 70/30 rule. 70% outside content, 30% your business related- content.
That doesn’t mean 30% needs to be you pitching your product/business, but a mix of promotion, personality, photos, videos, etc.
But what about the other 70%? Where are you supposed to find great content to share on social media? Below are the ways I use for finding great content to share on social media for myself and for clients.
People are sometimes intimated by leaders in their own industry because they think “I could never get where they are” but I think that’s a bunch of bologna. You can’t ignore industry leaders, because, well, they are a leader for a reason. Clearly they are doing something right, otherwise they wouldn’t be a leader. Take a look at their social media platforms and see what they post.
Are they posting more videos to Facebook? What pages are they following?
Are they more personal on Instagram? What types of photos are getting the most interaction?
Are they interacting more on Twitter? What publications do they tweet about?
By watching industry leaders, you can start to become familiar with the types of content they share and what gets the most interaction. This will then give you an idea of the types of articles and content you should share on your platforms.
Along with following industry leaders, you should also follow your peers. These are the people and organizations that are on a similar playing field as you. Now you may be thinking, “Wait! But these are my competitors!” and perhaps in some instances they are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find value through following them. Heck, maybe you will end up having a business partnership with them at some point!
The point is, people who follow your peers on social media are most likely the same type of people you are looking for get to follow your platforms. It doesn’t need to be a competition, we’re all in this together as small businesses.
Pinterest is one of the largest search engines in the world now. People are browsing Pinterest on their mobile devices more than ever, even while they are shopping in a store! What is popular on Pinterest is sure to be popular to the world, so browsing what is popular on Pinterest is a guaranteed way to find great content to share with your followers.
To find the “popular on Pinterest” section, all you have to do is:
Creating Twitter lists is something I feel that is underused on Twitter, but can have a major impact. If you aren’t sure what a Twitter list even is, here’s your quick rundown: A Twitter list is curated list (you can create your own or you can follow others) where it only lists Tweets from the people that are put on the list.
For instance, say you want to make a Twitter list of local non-profits in your area. You would search on Twitter for all of the non-profits near your location and add them to your list. Here are some screenshots to help make this a little easier to understand:
How to create a Twitter list
2. Click on “create new list” on the right hand side of the screen
3. Give your list a title (for my example, we will do “non-profits in Dallas.” You can make your lists either public or private, depending on your needs. I made this one private to just show an example.
4. Find people to add to your list.
Once you add people to your list, you can go to the stream of your list to find the content that only they are sharing. It’s a great way to filter out your entire Twitter following to just a certain topic and industry.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of tools out there to help curate the particular types of content you are looking to share. To list every single one of them would be exhaustive, but I’ve curated ones I have experience with and have loved or that I have seen highly recommended by others.
Google Alerts: Google alerts gets a bad rep now since there are many other programs out there, but I still set up Google alerts for each client I work with, just in case. Remember when setting up keywords to use quote (“) around phrases otherwise your inbox will be quite full by the end of the day 🙂
IFTTT: The best time saver ever. If you’ve never heard of it, might I suggest reading this article to get a really good overview (although I don’t agree with it completely crushing Google alerts! :)). Essentially, it’s a tool that allows different online programs and software talk to each other, without you having to do a single thing.
Here’s how it works: you can set up a “recipe” (their terminology) for the types of content you would want to share to be emailed to you. Say you’re in the technology industry. You can set up a IFTTT recipe that emails you anytime there is a popular article has been shared on the New York Times.
There are many more recipes you can create, this was just one example, so put your thinking cap on!
Pocket: Pocket is great for when you find an awesome article you want to share but aren’t ready to read entirely through the article yet. Pocket saves the article to view later. The best part? Once you save it to pocket, you can even read it without having an internet connection!
BuzzSumo: BuzzSumo is a great program to see what is getting shared the most on the web on a particular topic. You can also see topics that are currently trending, benchmark against competitors, and find key influencers in the keyword you selected to search.
Theneeds: The reason why Theneeds sticks out to me the most is that it not only pulls in relevant news, articles, and videos but also relevant social posts too!
Flipboard: Flipboard is a beautifully designed app that curates your interests from articles around the web. The design layout is drool-worthy!
Finding great content to share on social media doesn’t have to be hard. Once you set up a few of these suggestions listed above, you are bound to have great content surrounding you.