Michael wrote a great blog post last time about how organizations often fail to connect the dots to create successful communications campaigns and why it is so important.
In this post, I would like to give some examples on how this relates to social media in particular.
Businesses and non profits have a story to tell. It can be about their latest product or service, events within the organization, or how their organization or non-profit helps people. There is no better place to tell this story than on social media.
Social media is where most conversations about everything and anything happen online. People check into their Facebook profiles an average of 8 times and mobile users up to 14 times per day, racking up an average of about 50 minutes each and every day. And that is only one of several popular social media sites people use day in and day out. With so many opportunities to engage an audience, social media should be given the proper attention it deserves in your marketing to connect the dots.
Mix It Up
The story your business or organization tells can be seen by an audience if it is compelling and interesting enough, educates and informs, makes them laugh or touches on their emotions. Companies and organizations often fail because they believe they need to continually sell sell sell. Nothing kills growth and engagement on social media than creating content that only serves to sell!
Sales come from social when content resonates. If your business provides chimney and duct cleaning for example, posting articles about how to light a fire, or ways to keep ducts clean between professional maintenance provides valuable information, making you a welcome resource. Mix it up with some funny meme’s or stories about fire safety. Once in a while pop a post about a special discount or something specific about your services. We typically advise that posts should be around 7 to 1, whereas 7 posts are everything else, and 1 being the sales pitch.
Content should be rich, utilizing video, photos, and articles. Again mix it up!
The Time Is Now
When do you post? Well, first of all let’s talk about consistency. We typically advise to post about every other day on most social networks, with the exception of Twitter which can be once or even several times per day and on Instagram once per day. These are good guidelines for generally maintaining consistency, and is typically easy enough to create content within this framework.
Avoid posting too much. Unless you have content that is simply awe-inspiring, people tend to get tired of hearing from a company or organization daily. There are exceptions of course, such as if you provide updates for activities or events.
Timing is everything in social media. Generally, good times to post are early morning before 7am, right before lunch, and in the evening starting at around 7pm. Mondays are typically terrible with people back to work. Friday and Saturday nights are typically not a good choice (people tend to be “posters” on weekend nights) while Saturday and Sunday mornings are usually great (people are checking what everyone did the night before). Think about your audience and when they are active based on their lifestyle. We laid out some generalities, now sit and think about when YOUR audience is most likely present.
We are big fans of calendars! Calendars for content keep you on track for providing consistency. It also alerts you of upcoming events that need special attention. For example. if you are a non-profit and have a fundraising event coming up, having a monthly calendar with that as a target date helps provide framework for creating resonating content. Starting a month off, you can build a calendar with content that goes from a teaser of the upcoming event, increasing information and anticipation leading up to the day of the event and finally following up AFTER the event by posting pictures and videos and thank you’s to the attendees, donors and other people who showed up. Don’t forget this follow up, especially if you are a non-profit! Going a step further, you will want to make posts continually after an event to show how those donations actually helped!
Social media is fun! Think about your social media presence as a networking party. This also helps to keep from selling too much! No one likes the guy at the networking event that walks around handing his insurance card out to everyone with minimal conversation. Think about events you have attended. The people who you got to know and created a personal relationship with are the people you most likely did business with. When you apply this to social, it becomes a place where you can build these personal relationships with the people who most likely want to try your product, utilize your services, or donate to your cause. So have fun, be consistent, be a resource, be entertaining and informative, and the sales and donations will soon follow.