Today’s question comes from Tim Lu, who writes on our Facebook page,
“How do you grow your Twitter followers beyond 20,000?”.
I’ve got some great tips for you, Tim- so if you are wondering how to do that yourself, keep reading.
The first thing that you want to do is use the automated tool “Tweet Adder.”
Tweet Adder is a paid service that goes out and favourites tweets of folks in your target demographic—and thereby drives engagement. It’s actually a very effective tool, which I highly recommend.
Another thing to do is making sure that you are engaging with and acknowledging your existing followers so they don’t drop off and you get exposure to their networks.
Retweeting them, giving them shout-outs, thanking them for following you and including them in the #FF or Follow Friday hashtag are great ways to promote and engage your existing audience.
Also making sure that the tweets you are sending out are relevant to your audience is a great way to increase your followers. By focusing on the value you provide, ensuring that people are interested in what you’re tweeting and are actually sharing that—that will get you exposure across lots of other networks beyond the one that you currently have.
And the last tip is to do a little bit of research around the hashtags of your target followers.
What hashtags are trending?
What are popular in particular geographical areas and within specific industries?
If you can jump on the bandwagon of tweets that are trending, you can certainly again get more exposure to a larger demographic than you may have already. And you can get more followers that way.
If you found this valuable, please consider sharing with your network.
Today’s question comes from Michelle Bell, who writes, “How can I integrate all my social media platforms and measure performance based on engagement?” If you’re wondering that too, then keep reading for the answer.
Michelle, it’s a fantastic question. Measurement is absolutely critical to improving your engagement and your performance on social media. So how do you do that?
Gathering Social Media Statistics
We use a software called Sprout Social, which integrates a lot of the different social platforms and generates lots of valuable information around what the most popular types of content that we’re posting, who are the most active people in our network, and much more. It’s a fantastic tool & highly recommended. It is paid service, but well worth it!
Measuring your influence:
Another tool you can use is Klout. Klout will actually measure your influence by grabbing information from all your social profiles and then again measuring what types of content are getting the most engagement and how your influence is progressing, either up or down depending on your engagement with your community.
How about that website?
And then a very overlooked tactic, but one I always recommend, is to make sure that you’re measuring your traffic back to your website to see what kind of social properties are driving traffic to your site and what those folks are doing once they get to your site.
From humble beginnings, social media has grown from being a way for friends to share and stay in touch to become an integral part of corporate marketing plans for the majority of today’s businesses, and some of the most successful social media campaigns in the past have transformed their respective company’s fortunes.
Unfortunately, many companies still don’t understand the key elements of good social media practices, perhaps thinking instead that merely creating profiles and sporadically updating them is somehow enough.
If you’re finding your social media efforts are falling short of what you’d hoped for, you need to be thinking about why that is. While the various platforms are now used for business, we should never forget where they came from. With that in mind, and to help analyze where you might be going wrong, ask yourself this: would I want to be friends with my business social media account?
It’s all me, me, me
You’re at a party, and you meet someone new. They’re attractive, and you get chatting. Ten minutes later, they’re still chatting, and you’re still listening. Suddenly, they’re not so attractive anymore. Social media is no different. Constantly talking about your own company, products or services is a surefire way to receive zero engagement on your profiles.
Successful social media campaigns are built on likes, comments and, ideally, shares. It’s the modern day version of word of mouth. This means interacting with other people, commenting on their content, re-tweeting, sharing, and making them feel good.
Then, like meeting someone at a party and having a two-way conversation, they’ll start checking you out too. If the like what they see, they’re going to tell their friends all about you.
The boring friend
It’s not nice, but it’s a fact of life. We probably all have at least one friend who, while being really nice and a great person, is just a little bit boring. In real life, it can be hard to keep making excuses when they invite us somewhere every weekend. With social media, ignoring them couldn’t be easier.
To keep your audience engaged, at least 80% of what you post has to be entertaining, inspiring, or informative. If it isn’t, people won’t need to think up a reason to not interact with you; they will simply stop listening, and find someone who does amuse, charm, or interest them. Successful social media campaigns do this as standard.
A little less conversation
Some people just know how to hold a great conversation. They’re knowledgeable, witty, informed, and entertaining. It’s a pleasure to talk to them, and you usually look forward to their company. Occasionally though, you have to go out and find stimulation in other ways: A walk in the countryside. A movie. Rock climbing.
Successful social media campaigns will always offer more than just words. Visuals like images, infographics and videos all capture the attention more effectively than text updates ever will. They take up more screen real estate, and are eminently more shareable than simple words too.
Investing in a stock image license or making your own videos is a surefire way of getting you closer to your dream of emulating those successful social media campaigns you admire so much.
I’m washing my hair
When friends organize get-togethers, the first people that are invited are those who usually say yes; those that are consistently there. Those who often say no, who spend as much time out of the circle as they do in it, begin to lose some elements of the friendship enjoyed by those who are always there.
Social media is the same. If you want to keep your friends, your audience, you have to always be there.
Inconsistent posting leaves your profile looking half-hearted, as though it’s only updated when you have the time or inclination, and is not a priority for you. And if it isn’t a priority for you, why should it be for anyone else? Consistency builds trust, which is key in successful social media campaigns, so a regular posting schedule should be devised and stuck to. If you can’t post every day, even once a week is better than a flurry of posts together and then nothing for the rest of the month.
Start caring about what others think
If you’re going to remain friends with people, it’s important to know what they really think of you, and to know that your efforts in the relationships are being reciprocated.
Social media is no different, and tracking the results of your activity is vital if you are to learn how to improve your engagement. There are tools that enable you to check what sort of activity your social media posting results in on your website. Do visitors from Facebook stick around or bounce? Are people checking multiple pages? How much time do they actually spend on your site once you’ve managed to get them there? What types of social media posts get the best reaction?
Checking these metrics is essential for all successful social media campaigns. Only by knowing and then acting on this information can you hope to improve your relationships with your social media audience, and hope to one day turn them into friends of your business.
The world of online sales is constantly changing, constantly evolving, and constantly becoming a more competitive and crowded market for sellers who are all trying to catch the attention of the same group of potential buyers.
A good social media plan should be a part of any online marketing campaign, but even with the usual suspects of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, the message can still come across as being a touch faceless.
Fortunately, there is one social media platform that is perfect for making personal connections with potential customers. Unfortunately, it is often overlooked by sellers who may not understand the real value of spending time on their profile, networking, and content.
LinkedIn was designed specifically to connect professionals in a suitable, dedicated online environment, and top sellers know this. That is why they may spend up to six hours a week on LinkedIn. It’s part of their social media plan, and here are some tips to help make it part of yours too.
Look your best before your guests arrive
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and nothing looks worse on business social media than an incomplete profile. Like any platform used in your social media plan, the single most important thing to make sure of on LinkedIn is that your profile is 100% complete.
A photograph is essential, as nobody will want to deal with a profile without one. Remember also that LinkedIn is a business site, and you picture should reflect that. Professional headshots work better than a picture of you waterskiing.
Add a summary with all of your previous work history, including volunteer work and internships, and anything else you think might make a potential customer want to work with you. LinkedIn will even tell you on the right hand side how close to being complete your profile is.
Once you’re sure you’re looking good, you can invite anyone you know to connect with you. LinkedIn allows you to import your entire email contact list, which saves you the time and effort otherwise spent looking for them.
On LinkedIn, content is still king
Just like any other platform that is used in a social media plan, uploading content is a surefire way of being noticed on LinkedIn. Video or relevant images work well, as does linking to articles that you think will be valuable to your potential customers. They could be useful pieces you’ve seen elsewhere on the web, or links to your own company or personal blog. Sharing your own content should of course be another part of your social media plan.
If you have something to say but nowhere else to say it, it’s possible also to publish long form articles straight onto LinkedIn and have them show up in a very large sphere of LinkedIn members. Doing so can help you get recognized as an authority figure on a certain topic, and at the very least be a way of getting more eyes on your profile.
Whether posting links, long form articles, or just short status updates, remember to always add media. Even a simple image will be more eye-catching than just text, and will be far more likely to be shared into circles that you might not yet be in.
Professional social network is social
Despite being designed for professionals to connect with each other, LinkedIn is still is a social network, and that means you should be using it to be social.
This doesn’t mean taking vital time away from everything else you have to do in the working day. As part of your overall social media plan, just seventeen minutes a day spent liking, commenting on, or sharing your prospects posts will make them notice you, and encourage them to return the favor with your content too.
This has two main benefits; you will remain at the forefront of your prospects’ mind, and your content will be seen by people outside of your own circle, with a personal recommendation by proxy from your potential client.
Another way of interacting with people in your community is to make sure you give as many recommendations as you truthfully can. Similar to liking and sharing content, people will return the favor, and more recommendations for you will mean more credibility, increasing the likelihood of prospects taking you seriously.
With other social networks, it can be difficult to add a personal touch to business profiles without losing the professional message. For salespeople, LinkedIn is the perfect way to promote yourself personally as a respectable businessperson, and should be included in any relevant social media plan. Just make sure you follow our tips to maximize your LinkedIn potential.
Social media is many things to many, many people. It’s a way to keep in touch with friends near and far, current or past. It’s a means of sharing photographs, touching moments, thoughts, and videos of people falling over. It is also one of the most potent weapons a business has in its marketing arsenal, and one which can hit far more target customers far more easily than any other marketing method.
Unfortunately, many companies are still employing an uncoordinated scattergun approach to their social media marketing, meaning a lot of their ammunition is wasted. If they want to increase their hits, they need to shoot for a real social media plan and set their sights on some tangible targets.
Which platforms best fit your audience?
Not every social media platform was created equal, and the first step to crafting a social media plan is to decide which ones are likely to give the greatest return on the time invested in them. Visual platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram attract a different demographic to Facebook and Twitter, and it’s not uncommon to see a company succeed on one and relatively fail on another.
Identifying where your target audience hangs out online is crucial to finding them with your social media.
Although your social media plan won’t need to include activity on every platform out there, especially in the beginning, it might still be prudent to register for any you might use in the future, just to make sure you grab the handle before somebody else does.
Setting goals for your social media plan
Once you have your platforms chosen and profiles set up, you should define exactly what you want to achieve on them, and this means setting real, measurable and achievable goals. These goals come in two flavors: interaction on your activity, and the effect it is having on your business in the real world.
While likes, comments and shares are a decent indicator of whether anyone is interested in your efforts, the real point of your social media plan should be bigger than this; growing your business is the real target. Whether this means increased traffic to a blog, more email addresses captured, or more physical sales made, you can only hit your target if you have defined what it is.
What to post
Knowing what to send out is the key to keeping your followers engaged and in attracting new ones. Even on the less-visual platforms such as Twitter, images work well, although there should always be a mixture of post types. Successful social media campaigns may include images, quotes, links back to the related website, videos, or exclusive company information and announcements.
Social media should also be social, and this means not being selfish. As well as posting your own content, sharing other people’s content that you feel your followers will benefit from is an integral part of a respected social media presence. It will mark you out as an authority with your finger on the pulse of the whole industry, while also helping to network with those whose content you are sharing.
When to post
On certain platforms, the timing of your posts is everything. On Pinterest, people may be searching for specific posts regardless of when they were made. On Twitter however it’s all about the now, and people may not look too far back down their feed. This means if they didn’t see your tweet at the time you sent it, they probably never will.
Because of this, posting several times a day and then monitoring the optimal times for interaction from your audience is vital.
Analyze and automate your social media plan
Once you have been posting for a time long enough to have results you can analyze, analyze them. Find out which type of posts have seen the most interaction and which have led to the real world goals that you set being achieved, and concentrate on producing more of those.
Check also for patterns indicating the best performing times for you to send out your content and ensure you always post at these times.
With so many posts going out per day, no successful social media plan is implemented completely manually. By using services like Buffer or Hootsuite, you can automate and schedule your posts while also using their analytics tools to check your performance.
Of course, any interaction you receive on your posts has to be responded to in a personal, human way, and automating your posts allows you the time to do this every day.
A complete social media plan
Beginning with deciding which platforms to use and developing right through to having all of your posts automated, crafting a complete social media plan could mean the difference between firing posts aimlessly out into the ether or having them hit your target audience.
An ancient Chinese proverb advises ‘to know the road ahead, ask those coming back’. While it’s a safe assumption they weren’t talking with successful social media campaigns in mind, the sentiment remains.
For anyone wanting to develop their own campaign, analyzing and learning from what has worked before is an invaluable part of the preparation. Successful social media campaigns of course need imagination and originality in what the audience will see, but the philosophy behind the scenes contains some staples that have been proven to work time after time.
Plan your assault
Previous successful social media campaigns have all had one thing in common: a clearly defined goal. If you don’t know what you are trying to achieve, how will you know when you’ve achieved it?
Identifying your goals also helps you to tailor a campaign best suited to them; offering a free e-book download in exchange for an email will attract more subscribers if that is your goal, while spreading the word about a limited edition offer can increase sales, and a contest requiring the entrant to like, share, or use a particular hashtag can be great for raising your brand awareness.
Knowing your audience and the social media platform they tend to frequent is also essential.
Spread the word
If your social media campaign is to be successful, people are going to need to know about it. For those that already have a high number of loyal and enthusiastic followers, this is going to be far easier than for those just starting out.
If you are part of the latter group, there are still ways you can get your campaign in front of the eyes of people who may have never heard of your company before, and paid advertisements are an easy way to get your message out.
It is also a good idea to contact influencers in your field who may be willing to help you promote your campaign. If you can give them enough reason to share your campaign, it could be reaching thousands of their followers; thousands of people who listen to what this person has to say.
Ensuring that people are going to want to share your campaign is also vital, as is making it easy for them to do so. Incentives and prizes can help, but the most successful social media campaigns have always had more to them than that; they have gone viral due to people buying into the campaign itself, and whether the tone is fun or serious, generating an emotional attachment will always lead to a more successful campaign than any prize will.
Keep it simple
The vast majority of successful social media campaigns have been lessons in simplicity. If people are confused in any way by what you are asking of them, they will quickly move on to the next thing on their timeline. Simplicity comes in many forms, but the most important one here may be the action you are asking your audience to take. The easier it is for them to get involved, the more likely they are to do so.
Simplicity also extends to the design of your campaign. Keeping words and images consistent across the board will help people to recognize it, and if you’re offering a competition prize, making sure it is relevant to your campaign or your company will also help to keep the message clear.
Break new ground
The final thing we can learn from previous successful social media campaigns is that copying them will lead to failure. Nobody will buy into an identical campaign that is simply being rehashed by a different company to the original.
Everyone is looking for the freshest content online, and successful social media campaigns are often what they find. Learn the foundations from the masters, and use your own originality to make yours stand out from the crowd.
We've helped hundreds of businesses leverage the power of the web to boost their sales.
But don't just take our word for it. Click any of the links below to hear it from our clients.