Social media tips
The badge of honor is displayed on my Twitter profile: I joined in December 2007. At the time, we were still at 140 characters and link shorteners weren’t there. Retweets and replies were manual. That’s right: to retweet someone, you had to type “RT @[user], then copy and paste their tweet.
Not the new kids on the block, Twitter and Facebook are teens. And Instagram? It’s 10 this year.
Pick any social platform and you will find that as it grows older users come and users go. New features are released, while others are removed. As these platforms advance, it can be difficult to know how your own brand or personal brand can get the most out of them.
To help, I reviewed CMI’s 2019 posts on social media marketing and came up with some key ideas for comprehensive reading.
Jodi Harris shares Instagram tips from Wally Koval, former CMI team member, Content Marketing World presenter, and owner of the popular Instagram account @AccidentallyWesAnderson. On his Instagram account (857,000 followers), Wally shares photos and comments that recall the visual style of Wes Anderson’s films.
Although some Instagram users use up to 30 allowed hashtags in a post, Wally recommends creating an intentional hashtag strategy.
As Judy writes, “Wally says that following too many audiences at once will weaken the impact of your content and reduce returns. He recommends targeting five to 10 relevant hashtags—including two or three distinct ones for your brand.”
Two other social media tactics from Wally caught my eye. First, comments showed him that fans wanted to contribute their thoughts, prompting Wally to invite them to submit their photos for publication.
After that, Wally chose to forego automation (for example, Instagram scheduling tools) so he could come in to respond to comments right away. If you are a fan of the popular Instagram account and get a quick reply to your comment, chances are that you will pay more attention and be more likely to comment again.
CMI’s Standards, Budgets, and Trends 2020 – North America finds that 72% of B2B marketers have used social media advertising in the past 12 months. This was the most cited category of all paid content distribution channels, surpassing sponsorship offerings (66%) and search engine marketing (61%).
Ann Gynn recommends a data-driven approach to social advertising. First, evaluate the traffic coming to your site from organic social media traffic. It’s like having your own focus group. For example, if a blog post is getting a lot of traffic from Twitter, it would be a good idea to run Twitter ads to give that post an extra boost.
In other words, use data from organic social posts to inform your paid posts strategy. “Instead of spending less on everything, you can spend more on the parts of content that are more likely to produce desired results,” Ann wrote.
At the start of CMI’s post, Brad Smith wrote, “Facebook pages with more than 500,000 ‘likes’ average an organic reach of 2% or less per post, according to research from [email protected] reported by HubSpot.”
Brad’s post was published at the beginning of the year. For now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average organic reach was much lower. What is one way to combat this downward trend? Facebook ads. To reach your target audience on Facebook, you need to spend money on Facebook ads.
You can run Facebook campaigns to attract and convert, but the question is are you getting the most out of your investment? You can if you follow Brad’s advice – select ad placements that match your campaign objective.
For example, to drive traffic to a blog post (say, a low-value conversion in your content marketing strategy), a News Feed ad might not be worth the cost. As Brad writes, “Facebook News Feed placements often come at a higher price tag. They are front and center, where people can’t miss them. This makes them great for conversion-based campaigns. However, they don’t make any sense to promote content for the same reason: You are overpaying for what you need.”
I have an Instagram account, but I use it much less than Twitter. I classify myself as a beginner on Instagram.
In Susan Mueller’s Instagram post, I had an aha moment when I read, “The good news is that accounts with at least 10,000 followers can give viewers of their Stories the ability to swipe up to get a link.”
There is a way to share links on Instagram! You just need to get 10,000 followers. Hmmm. Well, Susan’s post offers a great strategy on how to get there – the VALUE Framework:
- Value: Useful or educational content that your audience can learn from
- Ambition: exemplary, tangible content to help achieve a vision or goal
- Life Cycle: Content builds awareness, nurtures relationships, or encourages action
- Unique: owned and branded content focused on your business
- Evergreen: Relevant, timely and useful content for years to come
Susan recommends that users consider batches of nine because Instagram shows the nine most recent posts on your profile. Shen writes, “Think of it this way: If someone finds one of your Instagram posts due to a hashtag search and clicks to see the rest of your profile, will they be a fan?”
Susan shared an approach used by Mike Alton, creating a checkerboard pattern that swaps out black and white photos on his profile. Love her.
About a year ago, Instagram tested removing “forward likes” in Australia. Recently, this update rolled out to users in the United States. CMI’s Anne Jane was insightful, writing a previous post about how to think about – and respond to – this change.
While you might get a warm haze from seeing high “like” numbers on your post, clicking the “like” button at the end doesn’t mean much. It’s an unclear sign. Did someone “like” your post as a way to bookmark it? Was it a bot that “liked” your post? You don’t know why “like”. However, you can get more context when someone replies. You get their opinion and point of view. To validate your content in general, Ann recommends these alternatives to Likes:
- Organize blog posts based on comments on social media posts.
- Post testimonials on your social media platforms.
- Encourage more engagement on your blog in the comments section by asking readers for their thoughts.
We discussed “Likes” as part of a broader conversation about participating in the Talking Points feature in Chief Content Officer magazine last fall.
Several years ago, I ran split testing tools on websites and managed Facebook ad campaigns. Until reading Dmitry Dragilev’s post, I didn’t know you could do split tests directly in Facebook Ads Manager:
Dimitri shared Nextiva’s Gaetano DiNardi tip – don’t test everything at once. Instead, use the split test to find the winning text. Next, use the test to find the winning design. Put them together for a win-win combination.
In addition, make sure that you get useful results. Dmitriy wrote, “Don’t finish split testing before you have time to collect the results. Likewise, don’t test it for so long that you’re wasting money. The breakpoint varies by campaign; just use common sense.”
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Joe Forte encourages brands to stream live video on social media.
He writes, “Live videos are often more effective for ads, behind-the-scenes look, and product information videos.” Before getting started, Joe recommends you get the logistics right: technology, lighting, sound, etc. It also suggests that you promote your live broadcasts early and broadcast at the same time every week.
Promote live streams early and broadcast at the same time each week, says @realjoeforte via cmicontent. # Social media
At Content Marketing World, Brian Fanzo talks about the advantages of live video – it helps you be transparent and authoritative, making you stand out in a crowd of content.
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let’s be social
Enough for me to summarize and enough reading for you. Let’s be social. Share with us the best takeaways for social media marketing this year and how you plan to implement these takeaways next year.
Also, let me know what I missed. What social media post resonated with you this year? Let me know in the comments.