What’s the secret of social media success? After nine years of managing social media marketing for a variety of companies, including my own, I’ve found these seven steps to be critical to success. Thanks for reading this blog post: Social Media Success – 7 Easy Steps.
Note: jot down notes while reading this post and you’ll get a LOT more value from it.
Step one: Define the magic of your brand.
You have a magical gift, a special talent. You perform this magic for yourself and for others, practically every day. What is it that you do for your customers? What’s the big problem that you solve? THAT is your magic.
Write it down.
No need to get too technical as you write down your magic because you want to intrigue people SO much that they’ll ask you how you do your magic after you’ve told them what your magic is.
Examples of magic:
- Here’s mine: My magic is making invisible brands MEGA-visible to their future customers.
- A mortgage broker’s magic: Making the dream of home ownership a reality. Or: making the dream of home ownership a dream-come-true.
- A building supply company’s magic: Providing beautiful building materials for DIY people to build happier homes.
- A talented wedding photographer’s magic: Capturing one-of-a-kind moments of a couple’s love on their once-in-a-lifetime wedding day.
- Colorado Tourism: Sharing a wide variety of the spectacular joys of living and playing in beautiful Colorado.
- A Skin Care Specialist’s magic: Making her clients feel confident because they feel more beautiful.
You get the picture, right? You create magic with your work. You do it all the time or you wouldn’t be in business.
Are you ready for the second of seven steps that make up the secret sauce of social media success? Read on, my friend…
Step 2: Show me the magic. Show – don’t tell.
The classic mistake almost all brands make when they first set foot into social media territory is that they do too much telling and selling and not enough showing. It’s easy to tell. It takes a lot more energy and creativity to show.
So, how do you figure out what type of content to show and share? It begins with a goal.
Create a Goal for Your Content Marketing To Get The Desired Result You’re After
Decide what should happen when people read your blog posts or watch your videos. What’s the goal?
Why Does This Matter?
If you don’t decide on your content’s goal, you’ll fail. It’s that simple.
Here are examples of Content Marketing Goals:
- Increase brand awareness
- Establish our brand as an authority in our industry
- Increase targeted traffic to our website – (to a specific page in your website is even better) (Which page brings you the most revenue when people visit this page and perform the action you want them to take?)
- Increase subscribers to your YouTube Channel
- And so on.
You get the picture?
How do you show and not tell?
One of the very best ways to show your magic is through video.
Video is a highly effective way to show and not tell.
- Video is the best and easiest way to show your magic because seeing you in a video is the next best thing to meeting you in person. People want to know you and see if they like you before they trust you enough to buy from you. This is called “know me, like me, trust me, pay me.”
- A powerful reason to implement video as part of your marketing is this: Facebook has wired itself to show posts with native video more than any other posts. Facebook competes with YouTube for your attention. Naturally, Facebook wants to make your time worthwhile so I believe that’s a top reason it made video so important that it purposely shows posts with natively uploaded videos more often than any other type of post. If you doubt this, just look at boosted posts in Facebook. Your video posts have the most reach and engagement. I have found this to be true in all my clients’ Facebook business pages.
- In June, 2016, 16 million videos were uploaded directly to Facebook, generating over 224 billion views for around 3.5M different creators. – http://tubularinsights.com/top-facebook-video-creators/ That’s an astounding beginning.
- Another effective way to show your magic, is to share interesting photos and/or images/graphics with brief captions. A short sentence is best. Use hashtags to help your post get found by people searching in Facebook for your topics. Example: a Colorado dentist with offices in two cities would use these hashtags: #dentist #Denver #AuroraIt will take a little experimentation to find out what types of images appeal or resonate with your Facebook community. Use Insights, Facebook’s Data & Analytics Center for your page. This resource for data measures Reach, Engagement, demographics and a lot of other useful data. You can use the data to improve your efforts.
- Words are the third best way to convey your talents/your magic. Words work best if they’re words from your customers and not from you/your brand. If you have lots of good reviews and testimonials: share, share, share and be sure to thank your reviewers. Why? 92% of consumers read reviews before doing business with a company. Customers who have taken the time to write you a 5-star review have just contributed to your future revenue.
If you use words, use them sparingly. Remember: when your social media tribe is in Facebook, they’re not there to read a book or a page or even a paragraph. They’re there to see what’s going on with their own tribe of family and friends; and maybe they’ll look at your Facebook business page if it’s interesting.
Ahhh… that’s the key: if it’s interesting.
So, how do you make your content interesting?
By putting some thought and research into your content ahead of time – that’s how. Your content should not be all about you. Everything you share should follow the rule of thirds. Hootsuite wrote a great blog post about this in 2014. Here’s the juiciest part:
⅓ of your social content promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit.
⅓ of your social content should surface and share ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry or like-minded businesses.
⅓ of your social content should be based on personal interactions and build your personal brand.
When you’re done reading my blog post, I recommend you read Hootsuite’s entire article here.
That 1/3 of your content that promotes your business, converts readers, and generates profit – here’s how you can easily do that: create your content theme – this is what Step 3 is all about.
Step 3: Create Your Content Theme To Lessen Confusion About What You Do.
Don’t worry: if you’ve never done this before it’s super easy. Simply create a list, long or short, of ways you do your magic.
Before you create your content theme, I want you to remember the three E’s of what content should do for your tribe:
Entertain: make them laugh or cry. Buzzfeed and YouTube Content Creators, like Casey Neistat, do this all the time. This strategy makes your brand memorable and shareable. Connect emotionally. That’s one of the top rules of good marketing.
Educate: help them think and learn something that will advance their lives. They’ll think of you as a trusted expert. This is good strategy for any expert to use. This is why I have a blog and that’s why many other experts have blogs. By the way, a blog is like having your own online magazine with content you have created for your audience. “Blog” is a word that was derived from “web” + “log” or a “web log.” Somewhere along the Internet way, the two words became “blog.”
Enlighten: help them see their world in a different and more positive way. This strategy works well for fitness, health, life experts to use. It also has worked well for any expert who shares tips.
You don’t have to do all three E’s in the same piece of content but when you do, you’ll be cooking with gas, as my grandma used to say.
A Case Study of Creating a Content Theme
Mary, the Realtor, decided her content theme would include two out of the three E’s of Content: entertain and educate.
Next, Mary wrote a short list of ways she does magic for her customers. She discovered that she could educate people about the city she sells homes in. This would be especially helpful for people who would be moving to her city for the first time.
She does the following magic for her customers:
- Showing dream homes to excited home-buyers.
- Staging homes for hopeful home sellers.
- Visiting pristine parks and safe playgrounds with her clients – those new residents who plan on moving here.
- Visiting hiking and biking trails, recreation centers and popular fitness centers with them.
- Visiting local schools or attending school assemblies or other events and activities so they see how fun this community is.
- Sharing a list of popular restaurants while actually at a landmark/must-see restaurant (like JB’s in Greeley, Colorado).
- Sharing a list of local coffee shops and tearooms to meet friends and clients for coffee or tea. Naming popular drinks.
- Meeting with a police officer or the Chief of Police, asking about how safe the city is.
- Meeting with the local tourism department to interview them about the history of the city and popular activities and events.
Those are a few of the ways Mary does her magic. They all add up to a Content Theme that conveys how much Mary cares about her customers; how much Mary knows about her community; and each magical thing could be a video, a blog post, an instagram story, a Facebook post or a whole video series, which could be shared via her social media.
Now What About Your Content Theme?
Did you write down a few ideas of your own? Good. Now I want you to map out one idea. (By the way, Social Media Success – 7 Easy Steps, is easy but does take time. Thanks for hanging in there and reading this entire blog post).
Here’s an example of how I mapped out an idea for Mary the Realtor:
Content Idea: Showing dream homes to excited home-buyers.
This could be as simple as one video and one photo or it could be a series of short 30-second or 60-second videos from our Realtor, named Mary, who uses video to share the story of a young couple seeking their first home to raise a family in. Or it could be one video and one “story-book-ending” photo with their testimonial as the caption.
Here it is, all mapped out:
Video #1: Realtor, Mary, is face-to-camera, inside the home or in front of the home – to set up the story and build a tiny bit of suspense. Mary records this video using her phone. She briefly tells about how honored she is to do this work because she gets to find special places for special people to live and thrive… we can hear and see her excitement. Wait. Are those tears in her eyes? Yes, Mary confesses to getting emotional because she’s so passionate about this special work she gets to do for her families. She refers to her customers as “families.”
Maybe she would do a Facebook Live Video and generate instant interest.
In her video, Mary says: “Today’s family is a young couple expecting their first child and looking for that unique, safe and comfortable home and neighborhood to move into and raise their family. This is big, folks. This thing I get to do is to bring them to their first home, and to their future good memories. (Mary stops to allow the emotion to run through her heart and soul. Tears come to her eyes; she smiles and says: “Wow! I’m honored to get to do that! Are you ready? Let’s go!” (That’s one Facebook post.)
Video #2: Mary is holding her phone camera (ideally, horizontally) to capture the look on the couple’s faces as they walk into their dream home. She has positioned herself ahead of time and told the couple to come in. She waits for the look on their faces and then says: “Welcome home! What do you think, so far?”
Here is where Mary has taken a chance and you will, too. Taking chances with your content ensures you won’t be stale and it can uncover more ideas. What if the couple doesn’t like what they see and the look on their faces conveys a bit of disappointment? That’s okay! Use it as a clip, edited into your video and say: “Well, today, my family didn’t quite like the home I showed them. [Cut away to clip of unhappy couple]. You might have seen that video. If you didn’t, I’ve got it posted on my Facebook page… You know… that’s okay that they didn’t quite like that one because that means I’m one step closer to getting them into their dream home. [Excitement building in her voice.] I just know it. I think I have the PERFECT place! Stay tuned! I’ll post another video soon or at least get a photo of my happy couple and let you know. Stay tuned, my friends! Be sure to Like my Facebook page if you haven’t already so you don’t miss the next video.”
Mary always ends with a call-to-action (CTA) to her audience and you should, too. In this case, she had two CTA’s: she asked her viewers to Like her page if they hadn’t already; and she asked everyone to come back and watch the next video.
As you create your own content, you might find that, well… sometimes your plans don’t work out like you envisioned. And that can be a good thing. Take a look at how Mary pivoted when her plan didn’t work out. She still got her storybook ending.
Part 2: Mary, the Realtor, listened to her customers’ requests and worked hard to find them several choices within their budget and came through for them with their dream home in a wonderful neighborhood. They were all so excited that Mary forgot to film them walking into their dream home. That’s okay! She took a picture of the happy couple and posted it in Facebook with their written testimonial. She tagged her happy couple’s names in the post, so they could know about it (Facebook notifies you when you’ve been tagged) and share it with family and friends.
Then Mary used $20 of her $100 monthly budget to Boost this Facebook post and got it seen by hundreds more people: current fans and THEIR friends (who have not yet Liked her page).
Though Mary is a Realtor, her content ideas can be adapted to almost any profession. Imagine how much more emotional connection you could generate with your tribe (the people who follow you in your social media) if you only did half of what Mary did.
More – Social Media Success – 7 Easy Steps…
The Ripple Effect of Tagging and Boosting a Facebook Post
What happens when “friends of fans” see Mary’s post? The Ripple Effect happens. I call this the Ripple Effect because it’s just like throwing a small stone into a big pond: the stone is small but the ripples expand outward over a wide area.
The post will appear in Facebook Timelines. Depending on the amount of your budget, this could appear in a few hundred or a few thousand (or millions) of Timelines.
On mobile: the post takes up the whole screen. You have to look at it, if only for a second.
Here’s where the ripples happen: friends of fans will also see this appear on the post: “Susie likes this page.” That means Susie is a fan of Mary’s Facebook page.
Susie’s friends will see the post in their Timelines and see that Susie is one of Mary’s fans.
Susie’s friends trust Susie – or they would not be friends with Susie. Though Susie’s friends might not know Mary, the Realtor, yet, they do know, like and trust Susie. If Susie liked Mary’s page, then Mary must be trustworthy. There have been numerous studies done on this subject of associated trust.
Before you know it, you’ll have your first spike of increased activity, like this Insights chart conveys:
Friendvertising: If Susie liked Mary’s page, then Mary must be trustworthy.
But even IF Susie’s Facebook friends don’t notice that Susie “likes this page”, if the post is actually a video, Susie’s friends will notice the video because Facebook makes the video play silently as it goes through the newsfeed. The movement captures your eyes. Most people will be so curious that they’ll click on it – especially if they see it’s only 30 seconds long and if it looks intriguing. And if it has captions.
They’ll look at this great video of Mary, the Realtor, sharing why she loves doing her work and they will think this:
“I really like how Mary shared in a video why she loves doing her work. I like Mary. She put herself in a video in Facebook for the whole world to see. That’s brave. I trust Mary because she seems so sincere and down-to-earth in her video. Hmmm…next time I need a Realtor or know of someone who needs one, I’m going to recommend Mary. Yep. I’m definitely going to recommend Mary, the Realtor, to my friends. I should Like her page so I can keep seeing her future videos… and I think I’ll share this video now with a few of my friends who are trying to find their own dream homes…”
That’s the Ripple Effect.
That’s word-of-mouth on steroids.
That’s the secret sauce of social media success.
Step 4: Figure out what’s working well with your tribe and do it more. Do less or stop doing what’s not getting engagement. Use Insights in Facebook to help you measure. Twitter also has analytics you can review. In fact, most social media websites have analytics. You can always refer to your Google Analytics from your own website – if you’ve installed that. It’s free. If you don’t know how to add the code to your site, Google this: “how to add Google Analytics to my (WordPress) website” (or whatever type of website you have).
Step 5: Be consistent. Be organized. Example: Monday Magic (a motivational quote). Tuesday Tips for whatever your expertise is. Wednesday Wisdom about whatever your services or products are. Throwback Thursday (share a nostalgic photo of a product that resonates with your tribe, like, penny candy for baby boomers or some other childhood product, toy, food, etc.). Remember to mix this up and not make it all about you.
Step 6: Wisely invest $75-$150 or more per month in Facebook Ad Campaigns. But don’t do that until you’ve experienced doing smaller, lower-budget FB Ad Campaigns. Goal: increase page views to your website landing page in which you have a special offer.
Step 7: Measure the effects of the monthly budget. Did you achieve the goal? Yes? Then continue with this strategy but keep measuring. No success? Identify which step you skipped or which part of the strategy you skipped. If you follow everything I’ve outlined in these Social Media Success – 7 steps, you’ll definitely increase your engagement and increase the number of people seeing your secret sauce in action.
What’s your secret sauce for Social Media Success – 7 Easy Steps? Share it in the comments below.