Social media is your ticket to a broader following, more exposure, and improved online ROI for your brand.
Your content marketing strategy can really get a boost from a strong social presence, in particular.
In fact, BrandWatch calls social media + content marketing “the dynamic duo.”
For example, the more engaged and the bigger your social following, the more readers you can draw in with every new content piece you put out and promote.
That’s exactly what you want from this powerful combo.
You want social media to serve your content marketing, and your content marketing to enhance your social platform.
Of course, for the partnership of social + content to work this way, you have to build up each on their own.
That’s why we’re going to tackle how to build a strong social media presence today on the blog.
Ready? Grab a latte, coffee or tea and join me. Let’s start with the first steps.
The First Steps for Scoring on Social: Know Your Audience, Choose Platforms, Set Goals
Ready to get going with a content marketing strategy that includes a strong social presence? Ask yourself key questions and begin with these steps:
1. Go Where Your People Are
“Where does my audience live?” is the first question you should ask yourself when you’re ready to start building up your social media presence.
Of course, to answer it, you have to know your audience. You need to understand who they are, what they do, and where they hang out online. Thus, at this point, you should be relying on your audience personas, or those imaginary human beings who are composites of your target audience.
Here’s a sample persona from Hubspot:Based on what you know about them, which social network(s) do your personas use the most? Go there.
2. Choose Your Platforms Judiciously
Maybe your personas are social media gurus who have accounts on nearly every channel. In this case, where should you go?
Do you create accounts for your brand on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest? Do you set up an account on that new network that hasn’t gained much traction yet (these come and go, but there’s always one out there)?
The answer is no, you shouldn’t. Instead, ask yourself this question:
“Where can I reach my audience effectively?”
If you sign up for every social media account you can, you’ll just spread yourself too thin. Instead, choose a select few, ones where you can have a demonstrable impact on your audience.
According to Inc., quality is better than quantity for social media, especially if you don’t have the funds for a dedicated social media manager. So, stick to one or two platforms, and get the hang of them before you add any more.
Choose platforms that will support the kind of posts you plan on doing, too. For instance, if your posts are going to be image-centric, Instagram could be better for you than Twitter.
Once you figure all this out, go ahead and secure your accounts (using your brand name as your handle) on your chosen platforms.
3. Set Goals to Stand Out
Here’s the final question you need to ask yourself on this quest for social media victory.
How can I stand out above everyone else while reaching them?
For one, plan the content you will post on each platform, and optimize that content for ultimate success.
Don’t just share links to your other content on the web. Create content just for social media, too. Think video, images, interactive content, and more.
Don’t just regurgitate links. Give your followers a little more reason to stay connected to your feed.
Finally, plan that content with a posting calendar, and set goals for yourself. Will you try to add X number of new followers per week? Will you aim for a base level of likes on each post? Will you try to engage with others X times a day?
Planning and setting goals can help push you toward success on social. It’s just that simple.
3 More Tips to Rock It Out on Social Media
So, you’ve got the basics of how to grow your social media presence on lock. Now you may be wondering: How can you go the extra mile?? (like Forrest Gump?)
1. Go Live
Going live means pushing “record” and rolling with it. It’s just you and your audience – no script, no text, just your face and your voice, talking to them.
It sounds scary because it is. I tried it myself for the FIRST time ever recently, and I’ve been in content marketing for six years!
To get myself comfortable, I went ahead and say “yes” to going live two days in a row in the middle of September. Once I got past the nerves of “going live,” I really enjoyed it.
I went live on Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang’s show, Classroom Without Walls, speaking SEO content tactics. She is a social media professor that holds a FB Live every Wednesday at 5 PM.
The NEXT day, I was live on Madalyn Sklar’s awesome #TwitterSmarter afterchat, sharing Twitter strategies to earn more business.
Each appearance racked up over 500 views, and, my Facebook page went from 600-odd page likes to over 800 that week. Wow! It was well worth it.
The fear, of course, is tied to the “live” part of the deal, and it understandably holds many people back.
However, it can be HUGELY valuable for your brand’s reach on social media, because platforms serve live content first – just like I found out!
Look at Facebook, for instance. They know that people are more likely to stop and watch a live video, or watch it longer, so they serve that content to you first. Crazy, right?
To get a taste of the difference between live and standard video posts, think about some stats. On average, people watch Facebook Live videos 3x longer than other types of video. Users also comment on them at a 10x higher rate.
Going live can be a powerful way to build a stronger presence on social media. You just have to work up the nerve to hit “record.”
2. Creatively Engage Your Followers
If you want to boost your presence, another strategy is to creatively engage your followers. Give them opportunities to interact with you and the community you’re targeting.
Here at Express Writers, we went the extra mile on Twitter to engage our followers and created a Twitter chat, #ContentWritingChat.
People have really taken this chat and run with it. I have been shocked at the amount of engagement each of our chats gets! (In a really, really good way.)
Along with running the chat itself, we also post weekly recaps that condense all of the great ideas shared, featuring fantastic community responses to the questions we throw out each week.
Engaging our followers through a Twitter chat has really been fun – for both us and them.
Why not try creatively engaging your own followers with a similar idea?
You could start your own chat around a topic relevant to your brand. You could create your own hashtag and encourage followers to post with it, hold contests and giveaways through your accounts, and more. The only limit is how far your imagination can go.
TDLR; – A “Worth It” Social Presence Requires Elbow Grease
If you want traction on social media, you can’t just post a couple of links once in a while and expect anything good to happen.
Instead, you need to plan, set goals, do your research, and implement it all.
Once you start growing your presence on social, your content promotion and marketing will grow, too. The relationship is symbiotic – content marketing and social media can help each other out, and that’s ideal.
It’s also so, so worth it.
If you’re looking to take your social media presence to the next level, Express Writers can help you rock it out with expertly crafted social media posts and visuals. Get yours right here.