10 quick reminders for social media momentum in 2018
Two of the biggest rural social media issues I see on a weekly basis are: 1. People who are discouraged that their followers and fans aren’t organically growing fast enough; and 2. Start-and-stop users who never post to social media consistently, sometimes going dormant for weeks, yet complain that social media is not generating results.
Here are my top 10 reminders for being consistent with using social media in 2018:
Beat the cramp!
“I don’t know what to post?” I hear this comment over and over again. Luckily there is a simple solution. When you have social media cramp (yup, the same affliction as writer’s cramp!), just go ahead and post items that celebrate your community. It can be praise. It can be observations. Being a community champion usually draws in other users for conversations (yes, that’s engagement!) and retweets and shares. Also, check out these other easy tips to beat content cramp!
Stop trying to be on every social media platform just because….!
Let’s be clear, again, heading into a new year. Just using Facebook is rarely a strategy today. Different demographics use different channels more heavily than others. So, with that in mind, do up to three social media platforms that are efficient for your time and target the audiences you serve or wish to serve. And do those channels well. If the platform isn’t popular in your target demographic, stop wasting time using it. But please remember: because you don’t use a platform or like it, it doesn’t mean it’s not a relevant platform.
Video, video, video!
If you’re not making and posting videos on social media, you’re already falling behind, way behind. Even Facebook predicts that its platform will be almost entirely videos within five years. Video is the easiest way to tell stories and digest information. Why? It’s a well known fact we remember 80% of what we see and hear, and only 20% of what we read. Social media channels are all adopting video-first mentalities these days. It’s the future. You are warned.
Stop the push marketing on Twitter and Facebook
Please, please, please stop with the obsession about using social media to push out advertising. Social media is not a traditional advertising platform like a newspaper, TV or radio station. Yet I still see businesses every day pushing messages out and praying that someone will see it, read it, hear it, and interact with it. Usually, the result of that praying is zilch. Start thinking social. Start thinking conversation. Start thinking about bringing your audience into a virtual-visit experience that makes them feel a connection. When you do these well, the spinoff will be earned business because people grow to like you in a genuine way, not by having ad crap jammed into their faces in their social media feeds!
Develop your story!
You have a story that intimately connects you to what you do. Think of it as a long narrative, that when it is pieced together over time, it all contributes to making you stand out as genuine and authentic. Big Box stores don’t have these unique stories. You do. Develop them. A great story is memorable and gets retold often by fans. Plan your social media strategy around your stories. Your stories will make your audience gravitate to you. Folks remember great stories.
Stop focusing on only posting links upon links upon links to other content
Businesses and organizations which do this — and only this — are nothing more than serial share robots. Just sharing links, and nothing else, gives audiences no insights into you. Audiences are following you because they are interested in you. Create your own unique content too.
Be human. Use your true voice. Have a personality
In other words, the person we see on social media should be what your audience will experience in person. Stop coming across like a press release or a guy/gal stuffed with marketing schtick. Here are more simple tips to be more human on social media.
Have a social media plan
Yes, an actual plan. You should have a goal, a story that you want to tell as the overall connecting theme, and clear strategies to see traffic through your doors as a result of social media. P.S. That plan also needs to start thinking about precision targeted social media ad campaigns.
Even if it is the same time every day. Put aside a block, however much time you can spare, and commit to it. Use post scheduling. Stop saying you have no time. Social media is now just the same as answering the telephone or checking emails. It is no longer optional (yet so many businesses and organizations still think that way!).
Think about an even balance between posts, replies and engagement
When you do all three, you clearly show the ‘social’ in your social media use. It will also help you grow your audiences far faster than people who just post items. wait and hope for engagement, yet rarely do engagement of their own.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in the woods and working far beyond, Gregg McLachlan is recognized as a leading trainer, marketing rethinker and rural social media strategist in southwestern Ontario. He works with small businesses and organizations who want to elevate their branding. He has been a conference and workshop guest speaker for rural downtown business associations, provincial government agencies, municipal economic development departments and tourism organizations, as well as provincial and national nonprofits. His new conference and workshop talk for 2018 is entitled, 2017 Is Sooooo Yesterday, and helps organizations understand how social media is evolving and how to stay ahead and be effective. Contact Gregg at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Your Town Rising, a new initiative co-founded by Leslie and Gregg McLachlan and find out how you can bring them to your town