One of the most frequent questions I get during talks on social media marketing have to do with the never ending (and seemingly always expanding) situation of having to post your content to the variety of social networks that currently exist and continue to pop into existence like mini galaxies.
My normal stream of advice goes something like this…
1) Don’t post your content to every social network.
2) Pick the social networks where you want to focus and do your homework. This requires time. However, much like my 7th grade science teacher always said, “proper preparation prevents poor production.” Figure out your intended audience within that network, what your goals are and develop a timeline so that you don’t suffer “two week fatigue” when you don’t see the results you think you should be having.
3) Engage and don’t just post links. There’s an old social media guideline that goes something like 70-75% of your content should be comments, plus 1’s, retweets, replies or likes. Only 20-25% of your actual business social networking should be you broadcasting and posting (and even that is sliding further down towards the 15% range in 2013-2014).
4) Be entertaining. Social media is not TV or radio or a PDF brochure. Social media is for personalities. Even if you’re selling paper products for Dunder Mifflin, there’s space for a company personality. Be quirky and let the kimono open up a little.
5) Try not to automate your posts. There are many good reasons for this but the best is that in a time of a national or international event and/or crisis when everyone turns to Twitter or Facebook, NO ONE wants to see your latest coupon offer. Plus, real-time marketing is red hot. Oreo got it right at last year’s Superbowl.
I always recommend three tools if you do want to participate in multiple social networks with yoru business or marketing campaign… IFTTT, Buffer, and ShareThis.
Briefly, IFTTT is a fascinating tool for moving your content from one place to another on the social web. While not every “recipe” (their nomenclature for instructions on how to move data from one place to another) might be applicable to you or your business, there are some really valuable and time-saving recipes available. Even Twitter has come back to IFTTT. Here are a few of the recipes I use personally and professionally (there are others, but you can choose what to make public and private).
Second, Buffer is a more traditional broadcasting tool that includes nifty features including apps and connections to multiple Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. There are analytics included but for a quick and easy way to get your word out on multiple networks in a free (or cheap with their paid plans) way. There are more heavy duty social media dashboard services or WordPress plugins that do all of this, but in my experienced opinion, Buffer does it much nicer and without the overhead that plagues many of its competitors.
When you’re ready to do real analytics and measuring of your social media engagements, look at ShareThis and their SQI tool. ShareThis makes it incredibly simple to include sharing links on your site (whatever platform you’re using from WordPress to Drupal to Joomla to Tumblr etc). That allows for more organic sharing and ties directly into your efforts. However, once you are sharing and engaging via organic networking, IFTTT and Buffer, a tool like ShareThis is indispensable and you shouldn’t discount its powerful analytics-of-the-share potential.
So, follow those five points then get rolling with IFTTT and Buffer and top it all off with ShareThis. You’ll be happy you did as the social web continues to drive not just traffic but qualified leads to your site.