How much time are you spending on Social Media?
How much of that, is reading other people’s posts or being distracted by all the bright shiny objects that are now stalking you, until you eventually take a look at them?
We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious – Gollum
But what about the time you are actually spending on creating, posting, reporting and analysing your own social media – whether that be in your own name, or as your business?
What are your results so far? Are you getting traffic? Are you getting conversions?
If you are not getting the results that you want, then the time has come for you to do this more efficiently!
You see one of the biggest challenges I had faced, was ensuring I was focused on all aspects of my business, of which Social Media, is just one of many. However, in the early stages, Social Media was consuming a significant proportion of my time and I really had to take a hard look at this to weigh up the ROI (returning on investment).
So that’s why I developed 5 hacks or tips, which have helped me to be more efficient, but just as important, be more effective with Social Media.
I also teach these 5 hacks to my students and clients for their own startups and businesses so that they can drive more traffic into their social media platforms.
If you implement these 5 hacks, you will also drive more traffic across your Social Media.
Hack Number 1 – Create
My first hack is about making sure you are using tools such as Google’s Key Word Planner to ensure you are using the words and phrases relevant to your niche of which people are searching for. This is a big topic, so if you are not familiar as how to go about it, then get in touch and I will point you in the right direction (yes that is a cue to opt in!).
Hack Number 2 – Curate
My next hack is about making sure I have access to the latest news around my specific niche or topic. I learned this one from my academic research where I set up Google Alerts on specific words and phrases and received an email from Google every day with the latest content published. Then, using Microsoft Outlook, I set up filters so that these emails are directed into specific email sub folders. I am not looking at them each day, but I have a rich repository or curated information, which I can draw upon at any time for future articles.
Hack Number 3 – Publish
Depending upon your Content Management strategy, you could be using multiple Social Media platforms. What this can mean, as it did for me at the beginning, is a sense of overwhelm to keep up with it all. So I decided to investigate various automation tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite. What these tools can do is to post the same articles across multiple Social Media platforms, as well as allowing you to add additional comments or graphics and post them automatically over time – in other words schedule your posts.
Apart from the efficiency of it all, it allows you to publish your content at the most optimal times and days without you necessarily being there to do it.
How does that sound to you? Pretty darn cool I think! Tim Ferris eat your heart out!
Hack Number 4 – Listen
OK, quick one but you still need to do it.
I mean check out what people are saying, whether that be as comments on your posts (please acknowledge them as well with a response) but also what are people saying in your niche and the specific Social Media platform.
Twitter is a great tool for this as you can see what is trending in terms of current topics but the other platforms can show this as well. There are also numerous other ways as well and if you do use a tool like Hootsuite as I do, you will be able to monitor other people’s platforms as well such as your competitors!
Hack Number 5 – Measure
At the end of the day, it is about results.
Sure there may be some self-indulgence of seeing your own articles online – but unless there is action taken, you are not a serious player.
Now of course when you are starting off, you are an unknown, but if you are consistently publishing content and doing this strategically, you will be progressively developing an audience.
Therefore to determine your effectiveness, you need to measure five things…
- How many people have subscribed to you, or are following you?
- How many people read your article?
- How many people “like” your article?
- How many people leave a comment?
- How many people (if relevant), do something like opting in to your subscription list as a result of a “call to action”?
Then, when you start analysing this information, you can make small changes – maybe you notice that the time of day, or day of week, impacts the number of people who read your article. Perhaps it is the title of your article that made a difference. What was it that drew more readers for one article in comparison to another article that drew less readers?
If you are still feeling a little bit dismayed by the “traffic”, well cheer up because even the “Gods” of social media have their bad days for example…
Sir Richard Branson on LinkedIn – 8.5 Million Followers
2nd November 2015 published “What does it take to be the boss” which resulted in 339K readers, 9.2K likes and 1K comments.
9th November 2015 published “Answering your questions on work life balance” which resulted in 9.3K readers, 1.4K likes and 100 comments.
Now obviously many of us would be really happy to get the same amount of traffic Sir Richard’s gets on a bad day, but the point I am making here is there are many factors and you need to keep measuring and analysing to assess your effectiveness – that’s how you drive real traffic.
To sum up, if you want to be efficient and effective in driving traffic across your Social Media platforms then my 5 hacks of Create, Curate, Publish, Listen and Measure will help you.
How important is it for you to get your message out there?
In other words, how much effort are you prepared to put in, to reach your targeted audience and generate interest?
With multiple social media platforms these days, deciding which ones to use, ends up being no comparison to the amount of time which the ongoing management of your social media can be.
In fact, all your time working on social media can take away your real social life!
This is why you need to be strategic and systematic at the same time.
For example, many of us use LinkedIn as a key platform to communicate with.
Where do you currently rank in LinkedIn?
You see this ranking is driven by your activity, what you like, what you comment on, what content you add and who you are connecting with – the greater the activity, the greater LinkedIn rewards you by ensuring your profile is being put in front of your targeted audience. In other words, creating traffic.
So really what all this means is that you need to get moving!
When I accepted the fact that social media was key for me to get my message out there, I needed to think how I can do it in a way that fits into my day but not be too demanding and obviously meet my overall objectives.
I needed to be strategic, efficient, organised and disciplined.
When I refer to being strategic, I am referring largely to the platforms you use and the content you share.
Remember, choose the platforms where your ideal audience (client avatars) are.
With content, it is not random posting – you must have a publishing schedule based upon your message. This is a daily schedule where you already know in advance the topics or themes you will write about. For me, it is twelve weeks in advance and that is what I also teach my clients to do as well.
Think of it as having your own production centre – it may be just your laptop, but you need to think what is the best process to follow to optimise your time.
For example, on a daily basis, based on my publishing schedule, I start with writing an article and then add a photo and post them on my web blog and to LinkedIn Pulse. I then convert the same blog photo into a quote card on Pinterest which can also shared on Facebook. At the end of the week, I create the videos and post them on my YouTube channel. YouTube has a great feature which allows the newly uploaded video to be shared on my Twitter and Google+ accounts!
I also use social media automation tools (Hootsuite) that allows me to do my posting in bulk and schedule it over a day and over a week if need be. Further freeing up my time.
You can easily be overwhelmed with the amount of material you are accumulating across multiple file formats particularly if you are using images, videos and audio – so you need to be organised. Do this by implementing you own filing system today and of course use cloud technology such as DropBox to prevent any losses.
Yes, we love being disciplined don’t we!
This is the secret to ensuring you get the results you are after.
So if you are going to commit to a daily social media schedule, then you do it daily! No excuses OK?.
When you first start off it is challenging, but keep at it. Set yourself some goals – maybe consider doing it first for just 12 weeks and break that down into three sets of four weeks. Celebrate each milestone as you are making real progress.
But remember being disciplined is key.
So to sum up, social media is the way we get our message out these days but if you want to do it you need to be SEO-D, that is, Strategic, Efficient, Organised and Disciplined!
Do You Know Which Social Media Platforms You Should Be Using?
You have created all this knowledge and information to share and are starting to put in place an ongoing program to ensure it is maintained, now you need to figure out which social media platform you should be using.
Or are you still thinking about whether you should be using social media full stop?
Well there are some businesses that are yet to use social media and they have their reasons, but for most of us we realise that a social media strategy is essential if we are to generate interest in our business (or ourselves) in other words generate traffic!
Now obviously it does not stop just with interest and traffic, we need action taken and that could be as simple as informing and educating through to converting our leads and prospects into becoming high end clients. It just depends upon your strategy, but lets first get the traffic!
But How Do You Choose The Best Social Media Platform?
The answer to this question is another question and that is, which platform do your targeted customers (or audience) use on a regular basis? Because it is no use putting in all your effort into one specific platform if your “prospects” do not use it.
Now this may mean for some of you, your strategy is focused on just a few specialist blogging platforms for example, whereas others, it will be much broader.
You Also Need To Consider The Medium – Words, Sound, Video, Pictures, Graphics Etc.
Certain businesses or organisation, will be more suited to a specific medium such as Pinterest versus LinkedIn. The main thing you need to consider is that social media extends across all medium these days so again you need to take this into consideration.
Remember, keep asking yourself – who is your audience, who is your client avatar? What do they use?
The Power Of Re-Purposing
You also need to be efficient when using social media. That is why the power of re-purposing will be so critical in your strategy.
What this means is that for the content you create, you are being strategic in that it is being used in different formats and mediums across multiple platforms.
Post Your Articles To Your Website Blog
Establish your own website with a blog and with your defined a publishing schedule, posts articles on the topics you want to share (note that they need to be strategically defined upfront). With your posts, you can also add an image to complement them. Remember not to infringe any copy right and you prevent this happening by using your own images, or those that you have purchased for this specific use,
Set Up An Automated Weekly Newsletter
Now that you are writing articles regularly, you can integrate your email list with what is called a RSS Newsletter that automatically takes your most recent posts from your website and sends that out to your list.
Have Share Buttons On Your Website Blog
You should be also including the ability to share the articles from your website blog with the relevant sharing buttons – if you are not sure how to do this, just ask a technical person but it is straightforward to do.
Share Your Website Blog Links
You can also copy the website article blog link to your social media platforms and can add comments like “check out our latest articles on x, y, z” etc.
We All Love Picture Too!
You can take the pictures from your website article and post them now into Pinterest with links back to your article, if this medium is relevant for your business. You may even consider overlaying quotes on these picture to generate more impact.
Video Is The New Game Changer In Town
With high speed internet, mobile devices and HD and 4K, video is now taking off in a big way. So what you can do is convert your articles into video and since you have written your article, you have basically also written the video script that you either learn, or use a small teleprompter and then post your video on your YouTube channel or equivalent.
Do Not Forget The Podcasts
Once have made your video, you can then take the audio track and convert it into a podcast and post on another platform like ITunes!
You Are Building A Social Media Ecosystem
So to summarise, from writing an article you have converted it into a picture, a video and a podcast as well as the links to each medium being shared via social media. With little effort, but doing it strategically, you have created a social media ecosystem which will not only drive traffic, but may even create grid lock – and that’s traffic we all like to have!