More people than ever are spending chunks of their day on social media. It’s critical for marketers to make sure their messages are there to access potential customers… and to keep them engaged.
Now that you have your article and video done, the next step is to take your message social.
I frequently hear the question, which channels? Use the channels where your target clients hang out. If you’re unsure, test several of them and focus on the ones that get the most views or responses.
The most popular are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It also depends on where that customer lives.
In the USA, Facebook is more social. Businesses that use Facebook tend to be B2C or D2C. LinkedIn tends to be more for professional connections and B2B. LinkedIn is more of a business hangout than a social hangout. In some European countries, this is reversed.
Social marketing time management
When I first started marketing on social media channels, I did everything the hard way. I picked a customized graphic shape/size for each unique social channel. So if I wanted to share the same message on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I made four different graphics.
I customized the written message with 30 hashtags for Instagram, three each for Facebook and LinkedIn, and two for Twitter.
So if I wanted to send out 12 shorts/memes per week to four channels, I was creating and publishing 48 unique posts. That takes a lot of time and interfered with other work tasks.
Ideally, you have a team member you can dedicate social marketing to. If not, you may find you have to make some adjustments. For myself, that included finding a shape that would work for multiple channels.
I’d post two versions of each message. One with three hashtags for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The other with generous use of hashtags for Instagram.
I also added a post scheduler so I could do the job more efficiently.
As a marketer, I notice how different businesses handle their social media marketing. It’s always clear which ones have a system and a plan that they follow.
Their posts are regular, relevant, and readable. They show a clear understanding of their customers’ needs and emotions, and they write and engage empathetically.
One secret to remember…
The more social posting you have, the more you build brand awareness. I’ve seen business pages where the most recent post was a year or two ago. That tells buyers you aren’t there and actively interested in them.
Some people put out a business-post every few days. The most successful put out multiple posts on their target channels daily. This is time consuming. It’s also why social media management is sometimes outsourced, and automated as much as possible.
Steps to Taking it Social
You can take it social in three easy steps. Select key points to share, create graphics, and schedule publication.
Select Key Points
Look for six or more snippets you can share from the article you wrote. Look for key points, memorable phrases, etc. Pick things that might be quotable. These should use just a few words.
In addition to those snippets, add some purely social conversation engagement. Ask a question. Start a discussion. Inspire. Engage.
Add these to your content calendar. I like to start with an overview post of the article, then take some quotes from it and schedule them on consecutive days. You can end with a “wrap-up” post if you like, or just move on to your next article.
This gives you sort of a “theme for the week”, and makes organizing your articles and posts much easier.
If you want to share longer text…use a plain colored background instead of an image. Too much text plus an image is harder to read.
Create a blend of a short and a meme
There are lots of apps that can help you create your posts. I use Canva and Unsplash. Unsplash is free. Canva has paid and free versions. If Canva doesn’t have an image I want to use, I use Unsplash or other free graphics sites.
I upload images into Canva and then create my visual. There are lots of choices for backgrounds, textures, and photos, and Canva has templates for different social media formats that you can use. You can add your text to support the image/background and share the message you excerpted from your article.
You can keep it simple, or get as sophisticated and creative as you like. Once created, download the graphics to your computer.
While there are animations available, use them conservatively as not all platforms accept them.
Some marketers individually customize each post for each social media channel. If you want to keep it simple, follow hashtag and length guidelines that will work for more than one. This allows you to send out a message to all channels at the same time.
Some people only use one channel, like Instagram. It will depend on your target customers’ demographics. Use the channel(s) where your clients hang out. Anything else is a waste of time.
Make sure the finished graphic will be easily readable when it shows up in the social feed. Fonts, color combinations, shape, size, and graphics should all be considered.
Upload to a scheduling program
If you are going to only share your graphics on one channel, you just need to make time on your calendar to get them shared. But if you want to spread the release of those shorts over several days or multiple channels, an app can make your life easier.
Finding a scheduling program that worked well was a total game-changer for me. I got my messages out there and wasn’t chained to the process. There are literally dozens of scheduling apps out there to choose from.
You’ll find the pricing is all over the place so if you don’t have a system or know exactly what you want out of it…take a little time to figure that out. I found that Hootsuite, Zoho Social, and Sprout Social were among the top contenders.
Based on price and needs, I went with Zoho Social. I’ve found it easy to use and it gets the job done quickly. Once I have the graphics ready, I prepare my shorts.
Short Posts have two parts – text and graphic
First, upload the graphic you created. Select which social channels you want to post to. Once this is set up, it is automatic.
Create your short introductory content keeping it less than 200 words. Since I post on Twitter, and it has character length restrictions, I use this as a guide.
Your message along with the image you selected both appear in the post. Be sure to include a link to the full article in the message. This drives traffic where I want it to be.
Once created, you’ll have a choice of “publish now”, “schedule,” or “smart schedule”. Publish now does just that. It sends your post out immediately.
The smart scheduler picks a time in the next 7 days it thinks will get the most views. Interestingly, some are in the middle of the night.
The third, scheduling allows you to pick the date and time you want it published. The repeat option re-posts your message giving it more views, likes, and traffic.
You can repeat your post once or schedule it for multiple repeats on a weekly or monthly basis.
So there are the simple steps to going social that I share with clients. Use key points from your article. Put them in a pretty package with your message. Schedule them for posting.
Be sure to share with me, I’d love to see what you come up with. Need a quick look at a proposed weekly list? You can take advantage of my 15-minute free consultation. Reach out to me at email@example.com.