More people will see your social media content if you post as much as possible. Right?
Wrong, says Veronika Baranovska, Inbound Marketing Manager at Sendible, most social platforms will penalize you for posting too frequently. Posting frequently doesn’t translate to higher engagement.
In fact, by adopting a few key tactics, you can see more success on social by posting less, says Baranovska.
Veronika and the team at Sendible — a social media management solution — shared these tactics, plus ways you can creatively pair your social media strategy with your email marketing, during our recent interview with them.
1. What’s a “rule” in social that people still follow but probably shouldn’t?
Social media networks are still mainly being used as content distribution channels. Don’t get me wrong — you can still use social media to encourage people to visit your website and promote a new product. However, if we follow the trends and see how platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are changing their algorithms, we can see that they much prefer content that makes people stay on their platforms. To take advantage of this, include a mix of posts that encourage people to stay on the social platform and posts that direct people back to your site.
Social networks are also implementing ways for users to shop without leaving the platform. Instagram Collection Ads and Facebook Dynamic Ads are making headway and Pinterest Buyable Pins are also gaining traction. These are paid options but social media is increasingly becoming pay-to-play. So it’s worth experimenting and looking into these ad types early, especially for e-commerce businesses.
2. What advice would you give someone who is just starting to build their social media presence?
The social media market is becoming increasingly crowded. To break through, you need to stand out from the crowd. It will take time to learn how your brand can do it, but you can start with these four fundamentals:
- Set goals for your social media plan and align it to your business objectives. Always focus on one goal at the time for best results.
- Decide which networks to focus on. Less is more, and it’s impossible to have multiple flawless feeds without a big team or an agency behind you.
- Stay true to your brand. The wrong tone can alienate your target audience, and you can’t build a strong presence if your visuals and messages are inconsistent.
- Plan ahead as as much as you can. Have a structure in place to avoid the last-minute scramble of not knowing what you should post next, and schedule your posts.
3. There are SO many social channels now. And more are coming. How can a company decide which ones to focus on?
It’s better to do a few really well than spread yourself too thin and do a mediocre job on all platforms. Focus on quality over quantity. It’s quite common for businesses to think they need to be on every social media platform, but in reality, it’s quite rare that their potential customers use all of them consistently.
Here are 4 questions you can ask yourself to help find the best social platforms for your business:
1. What social networks does your audience use? To find out where your audience might be consuming social content, look for demographic data for each social media network.
2. What kind of content do you already have available? If you have almost no visual images, it will be tough to get traction on Instagram or Pinterest. If you have a lot of blog posts, you can share them on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Or, you could even repurpose your blog posts by turning them into short videos for Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. If you do webinars or video, try shortening the recordings for YouTube or transcribing them to create written content on LinkedIn or Facebook.
3. Does your company market to other businesses (B2B) or to consumers (B2C)? LinkedIn is a great network for B2B businesses while B2C companies often use it for recruiting purposes only.
4. What social platforms will help you reach your business goals? Keep your strategy and goals in mind when making a decision on whether you should join a new network, because it will be a big time commitment which you will need to justify.
4. What’s worse: posting too often or not enough?
It’s definitely worse to post too often, especially if you’re posting duplicate content. Duplicate content means posting the same link, text, or image over and over again. Often, businesses do this when they run out of fresh content to share.
But you can actually be penalized for this. Social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, are cracking down on content that’s being shared too many times without getting any engagement. On top of that, duplicate content can also bore your social audience.
But this doesn’t mean that you need to post fresh links or images every time. Instead, you can get creative with how you share the same content.
For example, the same blog post can be tweeted multiple times as long as you:
- Switch between a link preview image and an image attached to the post.
- Change the text and hashtags. For example, if you’re sharing a blog post on Twitter three times, one tweet could hint at key details in the post, one could highlight the author, and one could focus on partners or brands mentioned in the blog post.
When it comes to ideal posting times and frequency, we believe there is no perfect formula that works for all brands. It all depends on the social network, your audience, and of course, the type of content you publish. We have a great resource if you’d like to learn more about how often you should post on social media in 2018.
5. Should brands post different content to each social platform?
Posting different content to each platform is no longer a nice-to-have. Each platform has its quirks, so you should focus on the features and strengths of each to make the most of every post you publish. Instagram is all about visuals. Twitter is great for striking up conversations. LinkedIn needs a more serious business tone, and so forth. Here’s an example of how we promoted the same blog post uniquely on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter:
On LinkedIn, we aim to be educational and provide valuable information in the post instead of using click bait techniques.
On Twitter, we use hashtags to get more exposure and write with an informal tone.
For Facebook, we write in a conversational tone, keep the content short, use emojis, and try to encourage engagement.
6. What’s the best way to grow your social audience without paying for followers?
Focus on building a community instead of vanity metrics, like your number of followers and likes. If you have a small audience to start with, actively participate in conversations about your brand and reply to every comment you receive.
Use other channels to invite your customers to follow you on social media — this could be your website, blog, email, or even your business cards if you add your social handles to them.
You can also experiment with paid social. While Facebook recently updated their settings to favor posts from individual people over businesses or brands, you can still create an advertisement and target it to people who took a certain action on your website. Here are a few ways you could target your audience with ads on Facebook based off their activity on your website:
- Create a cart abandonment ad for those who visited your cart page but didn’t purchase.
- Display an ad to people who visited a certain page on your site. For example, if someone visits one of your feature pages, you could target them with an ad that highlights that specific feature.
- Show an ad to prior customers to encourage them to purchase another product or service.
7. Facebook has been in the news a lot lately. What changes, if any, have you seen in terms of engagement?
Facebook is a major player in social media, and so, any change they implement is felt throughout the world. We’ve seen a small drop in engagement on our Facebook page, but that’s not the case for all businesses.
While it may seem that Facebook has changed their algorithm a lot, they have actually always tried to push for best practices and encouraged good posting behavior. And that’s good for engagement! By encouraging businesses to post better content, Facebook is building trust with their members, which increases overall engagement with the platform.
If you’d like to learn more about the best practices for posting on Facebook, our team wrote a thorough, 3,000-word guide on how to make the most of the recent News Feed changes.
8. Do you have any time-saving hacks to help businesses more easily manage their social media channels?
Invest in proper social media management software. It takes a lot of time to manage social media networks properly. You need to create unique content for every platform, post that content on each platform, respond to your social audience, and measure your results. So being able to plan in advance by scheduling your posts is a game changer. The right tool will save you a lot of time in the long run and can often feel like an extra pair of hands.
I’d also recommend having a structure to how you approach social media management to be more productive, for example:
- Create your images and videos in bulk for the next weeks or months.
- Save the list of hashtags you use so you don’t have to look them up every time.
- Do your monitoring checks at the same time every day.
- Set up instant alerts for @mentions so you can get back to followers immediately.
- Carve out ‘creative time’ every week to try something new.
9. What new, up-and-coming platforms do you see people using nowadays?
Vero had some decent time in the news after Instagram announced its algorithm changes earlier in 2018, but the app kept crashing so it wasn’t successfully adopted by users. Peach — an app that lets users post status updates, images, and drawings — got a lot of media attention when it launched in 2018. However, users found the interface was difficult to use, and it was too similar to Twitter. Vine, a once-popular video platform, failed to monetize the app for advertisers and couldn’t compete with Instagram and Snapchat anymore.
To succeed, a new platform needs to offer a completely different experience from any of today’s key players and have a way to monetize it. At the moment, I’m not aware of any rising social platforms fulfilling both of those requirements.
10. How do you stand out in your followers’ feeds?
It’s a challenge, but if you always strive to provide value and respect your followers’ time, you are more likely to succeed.
Social media feeds are becoming increasingly more visual. So it’s a good time to invest in high-quality images and videos to create content that attracts attention.
Skinnytaste, a healthy food blog and an AWeber customer, uses beautiful, high-resolution images and videos to stand out on Instagram. These mouth-watering visuals stop viewers in their tracks and encourage them to visit Skinnytaste’s blog to read the full recipes.
11. Why do social media and email make a powerful marketing tag team?
No marketing channel should be viewed in isolation. Customers might find you on social media but purchase directly on your site after receiving a promotional email. Or, they might find out about a new offer via email, visit your site, and finally make their purchase a few days later when they see a cart abandonment ad on Facebook. Email and social media marketing each have unique advantages:
- Social is great for having conversations in real-time. You can engage with people who are already talking about your brand or ask your email subscribers to create new content on social media (e.g., contests or chats).
- Email is perfect for staying in touch. There’s a good chance an individual won’t see all of your social posts. With email, you’re in control of what you send to your subscribers and when. For example, you might decide to send a subscriber an automated sequence of emails that gradually leads them to a purchasing decision.
12. What are your best tips to encourage social followers to join your email list?
Make it relevant to them and offer exclusivity! Ask yourself: “Why should they be on the list and what will they gain?”, then, use the benefit-driven copy in your social media posts.
You can also highlight how email can be a much more convenient channel for ‘being the first to know’ than social media and entice followers to subscribe on that basis. Make sure to create engaging images and videos for your promotions, waiting lists, or content downloads.
(Ready to start growing your email list? Create your sign up form for free with a 30-day AWeber trial. Then, share it on social!)
Here are a few ideas on getting more social media followers to subscribe to your list:
- Create an irresistible offer and make it available only via email.
- Schedule bi-monthly posts to remind your followers about your newsletter.
- Add an email sign-up form to your Facebook Page.
- Try paid advertising on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
- Pin a Tweet about your sign up form to the top of your Twitter feed.
On Twitter, Ann Handley (copywriter and Chief Content Officer at MarketingProfs and an AWeber customer) shares a link to her newsletter sign up form Total Annarchy and explains why people should subscribe. She even pinned this Tweet to the top of her feed to highlight it.
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Who is Sendible?
Sendible is a social media management solution that makes it easy for SMEs, corporate marketing teams’ and digital agencies to promote, analyze, and track their brands across all social media platforms.
They provide a one-stop shop for your social media marketing needs, helping you build brand awareness by integrating social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest into a single dashboard.