Marketing guru Seth Godin says, “Safe is boring and boring is bad.” You only need to look at Donald Trump’s unbelievable success in driving his brand through social media to see the truth in that statement.
Social media isn’t rocket science, though it’s more complicated than most people believe. You can’t fake social. Every single day you need to bring it and create engaging, original content within a limited window of time. Get distracted with other priorities or decide you deserve a holiday? The reports on social media don’t lie and tell an in-depth story about whether you have been nurturing or neglecting your network. Red metrics with negative signs and downward trending graphs are bad. There is no setting and forgetting. Social media is a commitment that needs frequent, strategic and tactical attention.
Content is king. To be successful on social media, you need to pick your platform and appeal to your audience’s interests. At first it’s easy, but once the content dries up, you need to get creative. Easier said than done. If you are suffering writer’s block, seek out social-savvy suppliers and customers, share their content and build a partnership. Chances are their people will notice the support and return the love. Sharing is the core of social media. Tag the hell out of everything. Both Facebook and Twitter use ampersand (@) symbols to tag organizations that have accounts and hashtags (#)to identify topics and trends.
Every image or video that you post online (social media and your website) should also include your company name and strategic keywords in the title. Do not use IMG_0125.jpg. Search engines index photos by their files names, so if you have a generic file name it will be lost by Google. However, if you use keywords in the file name and add descriptions to your captions, the images and videos from your website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are much more likely to show up in Google Images/Video.
Not every caption needs an exclamation point! Avoid the words “Here is...” or “Here are...” It’s tempting but don’t do it.
Timing is everything. There is a sweet spot for every social media post depending on who you are trying to reach. The rule of thumb for B2B posts is to avoid evenings, weekends and holidays and to consider time zones. With that said, if you are trying to reach sales professionals, for example, some marketers swear that Sunday evening is a good time to reach them as they are getting prepared for the week ahead. Holidays are so important, you should plan your posts during holidays two or three weeks out. Your chances of attracting interactions such as Likes and Follows go way up on holidays.
Sharing photographs of a product or project is a great start. Images with people in them almost always track higher than without. This isn’t a print brochure or corporate website so it’s okay to have fun with them. One of the most viral images I’ve shared was a service tech from Binswanger Glass taking a selfie in the brand new mirror and shower enclosure he had just finished installing.
Even better than photos are short video clips. With over three billion searches every month, YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. Owned by Google, YouTube has a place in your business and you don’t need a big budget or to be Martin Scorsese. Shooting and uploading short video clips is easy with smartphones and compact cameras and the opportunities are endless. Take some video of new equipment being installed or in operation.
People love watching things smash or blow up so next time you do a destructive test, film it and upload it. Buy a drone and run it through your shop, at a company BBQ for a memorable team photo, or over your latest project. Once you post it on YouTube, you can easily share it on all your other channels. Some are a hit, others not, but it’s low-hanging fruit and easy to measure so you can see what works and what doesn’t. It’s okay to be rough around the edges on YouTube (within reason) as long as it gets you views and Likes.
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