Creating a social media presence is easy. Filling it with engaging content… not so easy. How many of us have seen pages that are stagnant, reminding us of an old western movie with tumbleweeds rolling across empty land? Rather than go six months to a year without a post or comment, let’s look at a few ways to keep eyes on your activity.
When creating social media accounts it is vital we only create that which we can handle. Feel like your swamped with work? Maybe creating and focusing on one or two pages is better than having seven simultaneously going at once. You will be able to actually act through your channel as a point of content for your clients and accurately utilize it as a customer service medium. The most important concept behind popular social media pages is creating engaging social media content.
What is the best way to accomplish this? By following a few guidelines that I've outlined below.
Stop the Sales Pitch
The top way to drive away your followers is to constantly try to shove company information and sales pitches to them. Nobody wants to be hassled with this all the time, and you would be taking up spaces on their news feeds that other friends’ posts could be in.
How do you get your customers interested in returning to your social sites and engaging? Give them content and comedy. Give them stuff to evoke reactions or sympathy for situational comedies. Give them timely news information or updates. Brian Carter offered his social media posting rule at Social Media Marketing World (SMMW13): Post curated content 50%, original content 30% and promotional material 20% of the time.
Do you know which posts get the best reactions? The most unrelated ones to your business! If you are thinking something along the lines of “Why do they call him Donkey Kong when he isn’t a donkey?” just write it! I know right now some of you are thinking OH MY GOD why didn’t I ever question that. Seriously though, those are the posts that receive the most interactions.
A few years back I worked in a university fitness center. Out of all of my posts/tweets/pins/etc. promoting healthy lifestyles, fitness tips, quotes, and wacky workout videos guess which post got the most shares. A random Meme (picture comic for those of you unfamiliar with the word) showing the “victory baby” excited because he got parking in the university lot in under five minutes. This simple comical post got over 10 times the amount of likes, shares, and comments compared to our regular posts.
Multiple studies have proven that longer posts are less popular and receive little user engagement. Shoot for a message 80 characters or less to get the best results and capture your mood with an image to get even better reaction!
Why did I decide to generate this piece of media to share? Simply because I was frustrated of spending 20 minutes in the parking lot each morning stalking someone coming out of a spot to ensure I wasn’t late for work. One morning I got my parking spot within two minutes and was ecstatic. I thought, others must have this feeling or thought too when going to class or work. Was it a gamble? Maybe, but look at the return! It is much better to gamble with a few posts than post boring typical stuff or nothing at all!
What do these random posts do? They get your readers to come back to your pages and engage in your entertaining posts, tweets, etc. Try implementing some timely topics or newsworthy updates. Everyone will want to interject their opinions or stances on the matters (just be careful not to side strongly on touchy stuff such as politics, social issues, etc. because it will reflect as an opinion generated by your company). Once this interest occurs, a little sales pitch or promotion every now and then will get more traffic than it ever got before. You have their attention, now you can see if your product or service appeals to them too.
Watch Your Timing
Ever heard the expression timing is everything? Well it is with social media. A post at the wrong time of day could result in little to no reach, where as that same post could go viral at a more opportune time. What is the right time? It depends on your industry and audience. Everyone is different. All of those infographs with the optimal times to post on each social channel look pretty, but it all depends on your target audience. It takes a little bit of testing different times and reactions to make a solid judgement on times. For a university, early times when students are going to classes might work best. For a small marketing company, perhaps lunch time is when most professionals will be checking their social media channels. It is all dependent on who you are trying to capture.
Making sure you are vocal on a regular schedule on your pages is essential to conveying to your audience that you are involved and there for them. If they feel that nobody is posting content or paying attention to the pages, then what use do they have for visiting them (or following them for that matter). Create a routine of so many posts per day or week or month so that followers get used to your presence on the social site. Once they feel you are consistently there, they will feel more comfortable interacting with you and relying on you for questions or concerns.
Keep it Short
My final insight is to keep the posts brief. There are multiple bits of information going out constantly all over the social media channels. Users are easily distracted and don’t want to read paragraphs of text. Twitter limits your length, but sometimes you see the posts on Facebook or Google+ that go on forever. Multiple studies have proven that longer posts are less popular and receive little user engagement. Shoot for a message 80 characters or less to get the best results and capture your mood with an image to get even better reaction!
Well, those are my insights for this post. Let me know which of your posts got the most reactions!
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