I've been doing a lot of Social Media Q&A around the web lately, and I thought you would be interested in these topics - and my answers. 🙂
I recently ran a special offer on my Social Marketing Results course, and I got a great question about that in response to my email:
"Are there any updates since its release? I know some things have definitely changed, on Facebook for example."
Interestingly, my methods haven't changed, and are still working exceptionally well! But that's because I do all "organic audience building". The paid methods have changed dramatically over the years, and are still constantly changing, but I haven't used them myself - and haven't needed to...
Her response was:
"Thank you for your reply. I totally trust you, as you are a beautiful example of hard work and success and you do what you teach and more!"
... which totally made my day. 🙂 When it comes to Social Media Marketing, or marketing your blog or business online via Social Media, I would love to hear what kind of changes YOU have noticed over the last few years - and how that's affected your business. After you read through this Q&A, leave a comment and let's discuss it!
Q: Do I have to spend money on ads in order for people to see my stuff?
The answer is no, of course. There are so many ways to reach and interact with your target market through various social media channels.
The key is to use each platform the way it was meant to be used, and to test a variety of social content styles to see what your audience loves. Image and video content currently does well across all platforms. But testing is key.
Pinterest users love lists, collections, how-to, eye-catching graphics & infographics. Instagram exposure is all about hashtags. Facebook relies on engagement, so you want to post hot topics & host topical discussions. Google+ is great for indirect search traffic, so you want to be sure to include a descriptive sentence or two when you share blog post links there, etc.
Q: How to get off it for 95% of the day
Q: Just the fact that it takes up my time.
Social Media can definitely be time consuming. Especially compared to marketing online prior to the "social media boom". That's definitely been a drastic change.
I use Time Blocks for my social media tasks, plus very specific objectives.
Tip: Don't log on without an objective! 🙂 I also do NOT read my main content stream - at all. Instead I use a combination of custom lists / streams that I create + subscribe to specific content, using the "Get Notifications" feature on Facebook for example. Setting up custom Twitter Lists and Facebook Lists is just plain smart!
Q: I hate to admit it, but I don't get how to do twitter!
Twitter is one of the simpler platforms, which many people find limiting or frustrating. It's a great place to pique curiosity, and share great tips & snippets. It's also a great platform for connecting, and also for leverage!
As I said in this recent post...
Learning to "matter" in 140 characters or less is a cool thing.
I mentioned "leverage". The fact is, the mainstream media is pushing Twitter HARD. Consider how you can leverage that. There are trending topics & hashtags, events and TV shows, and some of them are going to engage YOUR market.
Piggybacking on those trends is smart! 🙂
Q: I never really got how to use hashtags...
Hashtags are fun little things!
They are basically "keywords" that connect related content. Let's say you're watching a hot topic on CNN, for example. Often they'll share a hashtag for the topic, which allows you to "join the discussion" with everyone else that is watching that same story. You don't have to be friends on Twitter, or be connected in any way, to join in on these topical discussions - you can simply follow the hashtag.
When I went to my first NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway I found Twitter to be incredibly FUN. While I was watching the race I was following my driver's crew, as they were "tweeting from the pit" to get the REAL scoop. Otherwise it's just cars driving in circles for hours. 😛 You can interact socially with other fans, interact with the pit crew, and it takes the experience to a whole new level!
Hashtags can also be used to find interesting topics to blog about, or to find your target market on Twitter. As I'm writing this, the hashtag #PRWeekAwards just started trending. You can see the trends down the left side of Twitter, btw. This is HUGE if you work in PR or communications - as just one example.
Q: My biggest challenge I think is posting frequently and knowing how to make the most of the posts I do (like best times to post, should I boost it, share it, repost, email to my list)...
Post Frequency is important. You want to stay in front of your audience consistently.
Take special notice of social updates that get a lot of engagement. Those are the post types you want to do more of. 🙂 If a particular update sparks a great discussion, you can easily repurpose that into a blog post topic.
As for the best times to post, you'll discover that through your own social stats (like Facebook Insights), and also through your email marketing & website statistics.
Take special notice to the times of day you get the highest spikes in traffic, and when you get the highest rate of opt-ins. Over time you'll notice trends about when your market is most active online.
Repurposing your best social updates is smart. You can embed relevant social updates into your blog posts, invite your email subscribers to join in on the discussion on your Facebook Page, or turn a hot Facebook discussion into a live Twitter Chat even.
Q: How to deal with people and their attitudes. Ignore? Delete & Ban?
I take that on a case by case basis. I am quick to delete/ban if it's obvious someone is just being a trouble maker. Other times you can tell they need a gentle (or FIRM, lol) redirect. And in some cases it makes for a great discussion, or even prompts a great blog post topic. Don't run from controversy, disagreements or opposing opinions. Use them to your advantage when you can - again, unless someone is obviously just being a "troll", in which case you should get rid of them without a second thought.
Q: Overwhelm with all the channels and content creation and ...and...etc
It's easy to get overwhelmed with Social Media. I'm a true introvert, and it can really make my head spin - if I let it. Like I said earlier, don't read your main content stream. That's a surefire way to make your eyes bug out, and suck up HOURS of your time.
My advice: Get very strategic about the way you use Social Media. Always log on with a specific objective, go in, get it done, and get out - then move on to your next priority business task. Read: Why You Should Be A Social Media SNOB 🙂
Q: What to share/post - coming up with creative social content ideas
Consider things your followers would ENJOY or could USE.
Think "actionable" or "helpful" or "entertaining".
Assuming you are your own target market, and you should be, share everything you are: doing, thinking, buying, liking, disliking, deciding, etc. Simply "talk out loud" to your audience as you go about your day.
I also like to repurpose other content on my social channels, such as pull a quote or tip out of my blog post and share that - along with a link to the source (my post). Or I might share a great tip in a course I'm studying, with a link to the course. The same with videos I'm watching.
I share cool things I see while I'm out & about that are relevant too, so I always keep my phone camera at the ready to "capture the moments".
Q: If you were just starting out with social media to develop awareness and relationships for your brand, what platform would you recommend?
Facebook, Twitter or other?
Without a doubt, Facebook (because everyone is there) and Twitter - because the mainstream media has practically every market primed to use it.
Twitter is especially helpful for connecting with authors, podcasters, market leaders, bloggers, influencers, companies & brands - so it's ideal for joint ventures and collaborations that can really boost your business.
If women are part of your target market, add Pinterest. It's a no-brainer. It drives TONS of traffic! The "mindset" behind Pinterest is interesting. It's a collector's mindset, where your content becomes part of *their* collection. I barely scratch the surface (do the bare minimums) with Pinterest and it STILL ranks as one of my top 3 traffic sources. That's HUGE...
I hope you enjoyed these tips & discussions...
I would love to hear your thoughts, your favorite social marketing tips, what kind of changes you've noticed with your favorite social platforms over the last few years - and how those changes have affected your business. Leave a comment & let's discuss it! 🙂
p.s. You can still grab my Social Marketing Results training super cheap.
- Social Marketing Results Guide
- Detailed Screen Share Social Media Training
- Social Media Objectives & Goals Worksheets
- Social Profile Setup/Update Checklist
- Social Content Brainstorming Checklist
- Social Marketing Tasks Checklist
- Facebook Page Marketing Checklist
- Social Marketing ACTION List
- ... and more
That list is just a taste of what you'll get on the download page - which you'll get access to immediately after you use the discount link to get it. Enjoy! 🙂
Take advantage of the $60 discount: