It seems like every day brings with it a new social media channel or trending meme.
What TikTok dance craze have you learned during the pandemic?
What are we going to do about our influencer programs?
Will a broom really stand up by itself on a particular day because of a hashtag trend (and, no, NASA didn’t really post about that).
And what the heck is this Vero thing all about?
It’s tough to keep up every day.
There’s something new and fun and cool that other people are doing on social media, leaving you with a sense of FOMO—or fear of missing out.
We all get FOMO, but it’s a terrible way to decide how to spend your time on social media and to allocate your content budget.
Instead, you need to fish where there are fish, in social media terms.
That means to be where your audience and your community already talk about you, your competitors, the industry, and then engage with them there.
Which Social Channels Should I Use?
So how do you know which social channels your customers and prospects use?
Here are a few foolproof ways to find out:
- Take your top 10 keywords and search for them on Google or through a social, social listening tools, such as BuzzSumo, where do conversations around those topics occur? Look for specific social media responses that turn up community sites, news articles and blogs.
- Log into Google analytics. I love Google analytics. Look at your referral report. Which social channels send you the most traffic?
- Conduct an audience survey and ask them to share where they get their information online and which social channels they use.
- Slip a simple question about social media media channel usage into your next conversation and asked your customer success team to do so as well. Once you know where your audience hangs out online, you can start to engage with them and build relationships.
In the course of those conversations, you can use unique URLs to understand what those visitors visitors are doing on your site.
Once they get there over time, you’ll be able to fine tune your social media activities to not only focus on the channel, sending you the most visitors, but the ones sending you the right visitors.
That’s where your shared media program will start to show serious ROI.
Getting Back to the “Social” Part
The gist of it is this: your newsfeed is overrun with articles and videos and opinions of people you don’t know while you may very well read, watch and listen to all of that.
It’s not engaging, meaning you don’t comment, react to it or share it.
You scroll right past it.
Some of the social networks want to you to get back to the social part of social media.
They want you to put your friends, family and loved ones back in your newsfeed.
Assuming, of course, you want them there.
And some of you may not them there, especially right now, but the only way the algorithms can determine if your content is worth showing is if it has reactions, comments, and shares.
If you create content that’s engaging and fun, your fans and followers and friends will react or comment or share.
Your Fans Are Not Your Own
I once asked on my personal Facebook page, how many gallons of milk people go through every week.
There were more than 500 answers.
To this day, it makes me laugh.
Apparently drinking milk in your household is a big deal.
These are the kinds of things we go to social media for fortunately, or unfortunately.
I’m not advocating your brand ask about milk, of course, but I am saying it’s time to rethink your strategy to be more active versus passive.
How do you create content that people want to see first while we all have control over what we see and what we don’t?
Very few of us actually change our settings though.
I know the unfollow and new buttons are pretty popular right now because no one tweaks their settings or updates.
Their favorites list is up to us to make sure the content is so good that people engage with it.
And that will ensure your update to show up in the feed.
That said…social networks are public companies that have to show a profit. Every quarter.
The idea that brands access to their fans for free is ludicrous.
They’re not your fans.
They belong to the social networks and the social networks can do whatever they want with them, which is why paid content now has to be part of your revised shared media strategy, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
We’ll talk more about that next week, which I also realize is a weird time to be talking about it during the big Facebook ad freeze month of July, but you don’t have to use paid media on Facebook—in July or at all.
The Value of Live Video
It can be the other social networks, as well.
At the same time, the social networks do love some live video.
Watching a video is passive.
Live video or livestreaming, on the other hand, is active.
You react, you comment as you watch, and you don’t have to leave the social networks to watch it.
You have to stay there, which is what they want.
Plus they’re not going to let Snapchat win at this game because, to the big guys is, they are seen as like the tiny dog barking at your heels.
Consider how live video will help you with the engagement piece and add it to your revised shared media strategy.
Also think about how to build and sustain conversation.
You know, how things you’ve already commented on or read or scrolled past on Facebook specifically continue to show up in your feed is because that content is so valuable to its viewers, that they keep commenting on it.
Creating a Community
As a brand, what kinds of content can you produce that will create that kind of conversation?
To do that, you might consider adding a group to support your social media efforts.
This doesn’t have to be on Facebook.
We strategically did not create a group for the Spin Sucks Community on Facebook.
Every single time I go there for a work reason, I look up 20 minutes later and have no idea why I opened it to begin with.
Don’t pretend that’s just me, either. I know all of you do that!
That’s why we opted for Slack over a Facebook group.
But I will tell you from my own experience, the groups I do belong to (that I check in the evenings because I cannot be trusted), consistently show up first in my newsfeed.
It’s good to have these wrenches thrown at us every once in a while—they keep us creative.
But you truly don’t need to stress and here’s why…in June of 2016, the New York Times wrote an article titled, “Facebook to Change New Feed to Focus on Friends and Family.”
At the time, everyone freaked out and there was a bunch of hubbub about what that meant for brands. We all adjusted and survived. It doesn’t matter what they throw at us—we’ll all survive.
Just create content that is interesting and valuable—and your fans, friends, and followers will do the rest.
How to Use Your Time Efficiently
How much time have you spent on social media activities today, including writing and reading blog posts, responding to brand mentions, posting status updates, and even getting lost in your own rabbit hole?
Too often we can fall down the hole—logging into social media to check for comments on the brand page, for instance—and emerging hours later with very little to show for it other than a rapidly filling email inbox and a daily task list without anything checked off yet.
(I mean, not that I’ve ever done that.)
To avoid this time trap, I allocate a set amount of time each day to reading and responding to social media.
The rest of the day? You will not see social media open anywhere around me. I know my weaknesses!
Social media is critical to our communications plan at Spin Sucks, but we don’t let it take over more than its fair share of our time.
And we make sure all social media activities are part of an integrated PESO Model communications strategy.
We find it doesn’t need to be much more detailed than that—and we use CoSchedule to keep it all in one spot. (I love CoSchedule so much, I asked it to marry me.)
You can use it to curate and schedule your social media, and to keep your editorial calendar and your marketing workflows and your emails and pretty much anything you will do in your PESO Model program.
It’s the bomb.
Shared Media Rules of Thumb
Now that my love affair is out of the way, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with what to include in your editorial calendar.
Shared media is definitely not a one size fits all, but there are some good guidelines.
Start with these rules of thumb…and then test for your audiences:
- Twitter. On the day your content is published, tweet the link four times (three hours apart). On day two, tweet it twice, and once on day three. CoSchedule will also allow you to create templates for specific kinds of content to be shared. I have a friend who has a template for an entire year. That’s some serious mileage!
- Facebook. While the algorithm at Facebook continues to change so only those who pay to get their content to show up in the news feeds of their followers, you don’t want to ignore your page. Post your content there once a day, and then consider sponsored content as part of your paid media campaign. Incorporating Facebook Live or a private Facebook group is another way to increase your opportunity to reach your brand fans.
- Instagram. While you CAN post the same thing to Instagram as to Facebook, we recommend you not do that. We find the best luck with Stories on Instagram first. Then something else related to our content that isn’t the same update as on Facebook. Video reigns supreme here so focus on Stories first.
- LinkedIn. Post once a day to your account, your company showcase page, and to the groups, you belong to. I also recommend repurposing your content on LinkedIn Pulse. We publish there and on Medium twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and repurpose the most popular content from the month before.
- The Others. It’s important not to ignore YouTube, Quora, Reddit, Pinterest, TikTok, Snapchat, Digg, and the others. Test post in those spots just once a day and see what happens. For instance, if you have a nice image on a piece of content and you pin it to a board on Pinterest, it could help drive a good amount of new readers.
The nice thing about shared media is you can use it to distribute your content and allow you to engage with customers, prospects, employees, and more.
It’s free to test, it’s relatively risk-free, and it gives you an easy way to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
As you build it into your PESO Model program, it’s one of the easiest things to implement while you work on everything else.
Shared Media In a PESO Model Process
That’s it for the shared media portion of our PESO Model series.
If you want to learn how to implement this for your clients or for the organization for which you work—and become certified, which tells everyone you know what you’re doing and have done the deep work to put theory into practice, click that beautiful button below.
And, as always, the comments are yours.