Do the words Social Media Strategy stir up frustration? There is so much going on with social these days it’s hard to know what to do and who to trust. It seems the only thing many people can agree on is that there are a lot of smart people who use social media that know very little about how things actually work.
The biggest frustrations bloggers have recently expressed to me sound something like this:
As with most things, finding a solution to a frustrating situation isn’t easy. If you do a search for social media strategies, you will find a massive amount of information, but how do you know which ideas to implement? It’s possible you’ve encountered a one hit wonder, but you won’t know until you spend time trying to implement things.
There is something else to consider. Let’s say you implement an expert’s strategy and have great success gaining followers. Is that the end goal? Just to add numbers? Or do you want to build a social following of real people who want to learn from you and engage with you?
With a little creativity, a good dose of patience and a choice to stay consistent you can create and implement a simple social media strategy that will organically connect you to the right followers.
Although most marketing experts I’ve found insist on a posting ratio of 3rd party content to self-promotion, the ratio rules themselves vary greatly. Whether you choose The 1 in 7 Rule, The 4-1-1- Rule, The 10-4-1 Rule or some other combination, the point is that you need to post fewer self-promotion posts than anything else.
If the only social posts you see from someone involve them asking for your email address you aren’t going to find many ways to engage with them once you’ve given them your email address. Further, if you are asking for an email address without establishing a relationship there is little trust established and little chance of increasing followers on social or your email lists.
It will take some time to find the right balance, and it might feel counterproductive to share other people’s content on your feed, but if you think about how you interact as a social user and set your goals to the side for a little while you will realize you also prefer content that isn’t always asking you for something.
Alli Worthington suggests only posting things that encourage, educate, or engage your social media followers. These “3 E’s” create a healthy boundary and help you select what to post or share. Alli’s reasoning for this strategy is that as a blogger your social media pages serve a larger purpose than connecting with your friends.
While it’s important to be social and personable, this isn’t the place to share all your inner thoughts or the details of your day. Your blogging platforms are for your readers and you should stay consistent across all channels including social media, blog posts, emails, offers, and videos.
Posting content that is encouraging is easy when you are in a positive frame of mind, but we all wake up grumpy from time to time. It’s easy to post or retweet something that matches your emotions when your feed is filled with similar sentiments.
Ever scroll through your Facebook feed and unfollow someone who was rude and critical? I have. Psychologists have presented data that proves social media affects our emotions. Keep your posts upbeat and your followers will associate you with happy feelings. Happy people are more likely to engage in positive and engaging ways as well as share the posts that make them laugh or smile.
It’s likely your blog includes educational and informational posts you can share. If not, that’s ok! You can still post content that falls in the educate category. (Remember your posting ratio!) Try finding a blog article that taught you something. Highlight the part that stood out the most.
Even if you aren’t a food blogger you can still share a great recipe. This is an easy way to highlight another blogger that you love. You can also share content that supports a point you have recently made or an opinion within your niche you support.
It’s okay if your readers see things differently. They may be curious to learn why you think the way you do. This can lead to engagement. It’s also how you establish relationships with your readers.
Engaging content is the easiest category to succeed with if you have the right followers. By starting a post with a quote or picture created with your reader persona in mind, you will likely find your strategy succeeds in creating conversation. Creative titles that aren’t click bait will help, too. When people follow you because they share similar beliefs or work in the same industry they will be more likely to read your content both on social and your blog.
Engagement includes being social. Ask questions, like posts, and comment on other people’s content. By interacting socially, you start conversations, let people know you see their posts, and that they are appreciated.
Engaging with people on social media is the most important part of any strategy. It is why these platforms were created. Seize engagement opportunities to be personable and prove you aren’t fake news. Check out this post Why People Share: The Psychology of Social Sharing for a better understanding of why relationship building must be a part of your simple social media strategy.
Being consistent across all social media platforms is not easily accomplished and requires a lot of time. There are too many different styles of posts to create to stay actively involved everywhere. Keep things simple by choosing one platform to focus on and learn how to use all the features available. When you feel comfortable and have a good routine you can move on to add another platform if you are interested and have the bandwidth.
Here’s an example of how to use all the features of a social platform. Even if it’s not something you do all the time if you are going to stay active on Instagram or Facebook post a video occasionally. Don’t overthink things, just have fun. Pay attention to hashtags and always give credit when due by tagging or naming people.
Side note: If you find that you don’t like one of the social platforms don’t use it. It’s not worth your time to do something you dislike. There’s a strong possibility that your reader persona won’t be on that platform anyway.
We’ve developed a Reader Persona and a Buyer Persona. While there is some overlap, we had bloggers in mind while researching and creating the Reader Persona. Your persona information isn’t something that changes often, but it is a good idea to review things every six months to a year.
There is a lot that changes in twelve months. You may find that your original social media strategy has changed due to new algorithms. Something new in your niche could develop leading you to expand the focus of your content or you may decide to set a subject aside for awhile if burnout is developing.
As you review your persona be open to considering new information you’ve learned about yourself and from your social engagement. This all combines to give you a more well-rounded idea of who your ideal audience encompasses.
Developing a simple social media strategy takes some thought as well as trial and error. Doing too much too fast can jump the line from personal to annoying and that’s not going to help anything.
We'd love to hear what challenges and successes you are having with social media. Feel free to contact us or leave a comment.
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