Social Networking Tips
Thursday, June 14th, 2012
Scheduling your Tweets can be an efficient way to maintain and grow your Twitter presence without devoting a chunk of time out of every day to creating new content. But there’s more to being successful with scheduling your Tweets than just writing a bunch of posts in advance, scheduling them to publish, and forgetting about them. If you want to have success with this tactic, you need to follow these important tips.
- Schedule Tweets based on evergreen content—When you schedule your Tweets in advance, you have to make sure they’ll still be relevant and useful by the time they go live. That’s why it’s a good idea to only schedule evergreen content—content that is always relevant and helpful. Examples of good evergreen content include famous quotes related to your niche, tried and true tips, and links to popular posts from your blog archive.
- Space them out accordingly—When I schedule my Tweets (admittedly, I’ve been slacking lately), I like to space them out so that a few of them publish at various times throughout the day. This ensures that I hit followers with new posts at different times, helping me reach more people than if I scheduled them all to post at the same time. It also looks more natural this way.
- Monitor responses to your scheduled Tweets—Make sure you pay attention to any responses or ReTweets that you might receive to your scheduled posts. I have my Twitter setup to shoot me an email anytime someone replies to me, ensuring I’m always in the loop and can quickly jump in the conversation.
- Take time to interact with followers on a regular basis—Twitter (and all social media) is all about interaction. You can’t just set a bunch of posts to publish and walk away. You still need to put in the time to interact with your followers and build relationships. This means setting aside time to occasionally reply to interesting Tweets, do some ReTweeting, and engage your followers in other ways.
- Mix in fresh, relevant Tweets, too—Show your followers that you’re always up to date by mixing in fresh, relevant Tweets, such as links to new stories, thoughts on current events, and live Tweets about the things you’re doing right now. This provides a good balance of content, keeping you relevant.
Do you schedule your Tweets? Why or why not?
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
If you want to gain a loyal, beneficial following on Twitter, you’re going to have to provide your followers with great content. I’m as tired of the old saying as you are, but “content is king” still remains true.
Don’t treat Twitter as a medium for constant self-promotion. Marketing yourself and your business is okay in small doses, but the bulk of the content you create should be about engaging visitors and providing them with useful content.
With that in mind, here are 15 great Twitter content ideas businesses from all industries can use.
- Tweet links to new posts as they go live on your blog
- Tweet links to other blog posts in your industry that you find interesting or useful
- Ask for opinions on industry trends and news
- Share famous quotes that have to do with your industry
- Respond to questions and comments from your followers
- Share an update on what you or your staff are doing right now
- Offer helpful tips related to your niche
- Share links to cool stuff going on in your community
- Get behind a cause
- ReTweet interesting things you come across in your feed
- Share interesting pictures of you and your staff
- Promote others
- Discuss any industry events you attend
- Share fun, entertaining videos
- Highlight your employees’ cool, personal stories
That should give you plenty of fodder for creating new, engaging Tweets. Do you have any more of your own content ideas? Share them by leaving a comment below.
Friday, June 8th, 2012
Pinterest has been the most hyped social networking site of 2012. Over the past several months, it has grown at an astronomical rate, reaching 10 million monthly unique visitors faster than any standalone site ever. And despite recent signs that growth may be slowing, it’s still a hot, trendy site that has gotten the attention of business owners and marketers everywhere.
The question I keep hearing is this: Should my company be on Pinterest?
It’s difficult to say, but here are 3 ways to tell if Pinterest might be a good fit for your business.
- You have a large demographic of female consumers—The truth is that most Pinterest users (about 80% from the reports I’ve seen) are women. Men have started taking to the site, but women still rule Pinterest. So, if your business has a large demographic of female consumers, Pinterest could be a great place to engage them.
- You have visually appealing content—Pinterest is all about the eye candy. Take a look at what people pin—pictures of tasty food, the latest fashion looks, unique creations, etc. If you have visually appealing content, Pinterest could be a great place to push it. What kind of content am I talking about? High quality pictures, infographics, memes…you get the idea. You need great visual content that resonates with Pinterest users.
- You have the time to work on it—Let’s face it, social media marketing takes time. You probably already have your plate full with Facebook and Twitter, so do you really have the time to grow a Pinterest presence, too? The good news is that Pinterest is a little more passive than other social networks, and content has a longer shelf life there. So, it takes a little less time and effort to manage than Facebook or Twitter, but make no mistake, work is still involved.
Does your business have a Pinterest presence? Tell us about your experience by leaving a comment below.
Monday, April 23rd, 2012
With social media outsourcing increasing 128% over the past two years, I think now is a good time to discuss some of the risks that come with outsourcing your social media marketing. This isn’t a post to dissuade you from doing so. On the contrary, I think that for many companies outsourcing social media just makes the most sense and will get the best results. But clearly, there are risks. Knowing these risks is important.
Here are 5 important risks of outsourcing social media marketing.
- Outsiders don’t know your business like you do—When you hire a consultant or company to handle your social media marketing, it’s important to realize that they don’t know your business as well as you do. They don’t have their fingers on the pulse of your business, and you just can’t expect them to keep up with everything that’s happening in your business and your industry on a daily basis.
- Times are always changing—When you hire someone to manage your social media, what typically happens is they create an editorial calendar with several weeks’ or months’ worth of status updates written ahead of time. That’s fine, but the world around you is always changing and you run the risk of your updates sounding out of touch when they’re planned out in advance.
- Your message could get lost in translation—Your social media marketing should be centered around key messages and talking points related to your business’ goals. You need a clear communication plan, and the party you outsource your social media to must understand your messages and communication strategy. Otherwise, your message will get lost in translation.
- You could get held hostage—When you outsource your social media marketing, you’re essentially handing over the keys to your brand. Someone else is now in control of your communications and brand image. Don’t let them hold your brand hostage. Make sure you create your own social media accounts and that you have the username and password to each of them so you don’t get locked out.
- You could waste a lot of money—Let’s face it, there are a lot of so-called social media gurus out there who don’t know their backside from their elbow. Hiring the wrong person could end up costing you a lot of money.
What are some other big risks to outsourcing social media marketing? Share them by leaving a comment.
Friday, April 20th, 2012
A new report from Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner has found that social media outsourcing has increased 128% in the past two years. In 2012, 32% of marketers said they are outsourcing social media marketing.
All sorts of social media marketing tasks are being outsourced, including:
- Content creation
- Status updates
- Community management
Maybe you’ve been thinking about outsourcing your company’s social media marketing. Should you? As you know, there are risks and benefits to doing so. You could certainly save a lot of time and resources when handing your social media marketing over to an expert, but if you hire the wrong person or company to manage your social media marketing, you risk doing severe damage to your brand.
So, when does it make sense to outsource your social media marketing? Every situation is different, but here are some general guidelines to consider.
- You lack the time to stay active on social media—Effective social media marketing takes time. Remember, social media is about connecting with customers and building relationships. This takes time. You can’t halfheartedly do it and attempt to build meaningful relationships with your target audience. So, if you already have a full plate, don’t add social media marketing to it. Consider getting some outside help.
- Your current social media efforts aren’t paying off—Have you been managing your own social media marketing with no success? If you’ve given your way an honest shot and it just isn’t working out, turning to an expert could be the smartest move.
- You don’t know how to leverage social media—Maybe you don’t know a whole lot about social media. Maybe you can’t understand how sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest can be used to build your brand. If you need help connecting the dots and making social media work for you, outsourcing probably makes sense.
- You don’t know have a strategy or a way to measure results—Like any other type of marketing, social media marketing is most effective when you have a strategy. What do you want to achieve? How are you going to do it? How will you measure your results? Outsourcing your social media to the right person or company can help with all of this.
Do you outsource any of your social media marketing? Why or why not?