5 tips: New ways to achieve social media success

5 tips: New ways to achieve social media success

Five social media tips, plus a bonus, based on real-life experience. Tips I wish someone had given me – and some tips you may not have read on other websites.

First, let’s set the record straight; social media is not free. The amount of time you spend building content and distributing it on ‘free’ social platforms has a cost – your salary. So it’s important to squeeze as much value out of your efforts.

Much of the advice about social media is offered by firms that have a vested interest in pushing you in a particular direction, or that have based success on ‘Likes’ rather than sales.

I’m not a fan of Likes; they’re too ephemeral. People Like a social media post and 10 seconds later they’ve forgotten about it. You also have to question what they are liking; it’s unlikely they have clicked a link, gone to your website, read an article and then gone back to the social media platform to click the Like button (!).

Here’s some advice that will help drive traffic to your website, which is a more valuable outcome.

1. Produce quality, not quantity

There are some commentators that advise posting regular content, some even put a number on it – “you must post at least 15 items per week”.

This creates a production line, and that’s the wrong type of behaviour. You end up posting low-quality material simply to hit your production target. Nobody cares that Sally in the Finance Department runs marathons at the weekend. This type of post is not going to drive relevant traffic to your website.

So if you don’t have anything interesting to say, say nothing. You will not lose heaps of followers if you fail to post anything for a few days or weeks.

2. Check your followers

Do you know who is following you? My experience is that you will be surprised how many are your competitors or people that are entirely irrelevant to your organisation.

This is particularly true if you are paying for followers on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms that are not business-focused (so LinkedIn is an exception). These platforms have identified people that are more likely to follow organisations, and they submit your posts to them. The result is lots of followers in a short space of time – and few of them will buy from you.

So don’t be fooled by the number of followers you have, check them and if necessary, perform a cull to remove competitors and those that are irrelevant. This will give you a much more accurate picture of the true value of each platform.

3. Think video

If you have read this far, well done. Fewer people are reading online material; videos are what they want. So how can you produce numerous videos on a low budget? Check my video ‘7 tips for better production of B2B videos‘.

4. Create an Activity Grid

You can promote the same content several times; I recommend five times per item. If you do it on different days and at different times your audience will not get bored. But you need an Activity Grid.

For example, I created five tweets about this blog and promoted it as follows:

Social Media Activity Grid
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
8.13amA1A5
1.17pmA2
3.16pmA3
6.14pmA4

Here are the five tweets, all with a hyperlink leading to this page:

  • A1 = Five #SocialMedia tips, plus a bonus, based on real-life experience. Tips I wish someone had given me – and some tips you may not have read on other websites. Get the tips here http://www.marketinggraham.com/5-new-social-media-tips #Marketing #MarketingTips #B2Bmarketing
  • A2 = Let’s set the record straight; #SocialMedia is not free. The amount of time spent creating content and distributing it on ‘free’ platforms has a cost – your salary. Squeeze more out of it with my 5 tips http://www.marketinggraham.com/5-new-social-media-tips #Marketing #MarketingTips #B2Bmarketing
  • A3 = Much advice about #SocialMedia comes from firms with a vested interest in pushing you in a certain direction, or that have based success on ‘Likes’ rather than sales. Here’s meaningful, independent advice http://www.marketinggraham.com/5-new-social-media-tips #Marketing #MarketingTips #B2Bmarketing
  • A4 = I schedule tweets for specific hours, but odd minutes. Hours based on peaks in social media engagement. Odd minutes are because most people schedule tweets on the hour, too crowded (this tweet was sent at 6.14pm) Get more tips http://www.marketinggraham.com/5-new-social-media-tips #marketing #marketingtips

I schedule tweets at specific hours, but odd minutes. The hours are based on when I know we have previously had peaks in social media engagement. The odd minutes are because I don’t want my tweet to appear at the same time as everyone else (most marketers schedule their activity to occur on precisely the hour or half hour).

Posting at odd minutes gives my tweets a better chance of being at the top of my audience’s Twitter timeline, avoiding the stampede of other tweets.

Try to produce four pieces of interesting and relevant content every week – but don’t be a slave to it, avoid a production line (see Tip 1).

5. Be careful where you send your followers

As marketing managers become desperate for content, they are tempted to become curators for other organisation’s material. But all they are doing is driving traffic to other websites. This makes no sense.

If you are continually sending your followers to a particular website, they will eventually sign-up for updates from that site and cut you out of the process. You still record them as a follower, but they stop visiting your page.

Remember that one of the key functions of social media is to drive traffic to your website. When they land there, you can be far more persuasive and give them good reasons to download content, sign-up for your newsletter or complete an enquiry form.

Bonus: Do what is actionable

It’s easy to get carried away with the sexy new toy called ‘social media’, and many marketing executives have fallen into the trap of trying to do too much. The result is inconsistent activity or low-quality content.

Be realistic about what you can achieve in your working week and recognise how much time you currently spend managing your social media platforms.

I recently made notes every time I managed social media and was shocked by how much it consumed my day. As a result, I have cut one social media platform that was underperforming, so I can concentrate on more productive activity.


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