Everyone wants a shortcut to social media success, but sadly, there is no “easy button.” I want to share seven proven little tricks to achieve the best results in social media. They're sure to give you a boost in your social media results.
Sometimes, I share practical, step-by-step social media articles, but this one is more about the bigger picture on creating meaningful social media that will result in success. I'll share some tools at the article's end to ensure you're ready to roll.
1. Be helpful
Best-selling social media author Jay Baer says, “Youtility is marketing so useful, people would pay for it (if you asked them). It’s marketing customers actually want, instead of marketing that companies think they need.”
Providing help for people for FREE can lead to paying customers down the road.
2. Be a problem solver
“Solve problems daily and always put your best foot forward. Be a giver first – give of your knowledge, expertise, and experience.” from social media strategist Rebekah Radice
Social listening can help you find frustrated people in need of solutions in your industry. Create hashtag or keyword searches to connect with people who may turn into grateful clients down the road.
3. Be brief
Brevity beats verbosity on social media. You’re competing with millions of posts every day. People make snap judgments and move right along if you don’t capture their interest quickly. The sweet spot for Facebook posts with 150-200 characters performed the best in tests by BuzzSumo and 100 characters on Twitter.
The sweet spot for created content is 500 to 1,000 words.
Data from Orbit Media says, “Blog posts vary in length from a few short paragraphs (Seth Godin style) to 40,000 words (Neil Patel style). If your goal is search engine traffic, longer is better. The ideal length for a search-optimized blog post is 1,500 words.”
4. Be bold
Success favors the bold as well as the interesting on social media, so don’t hesitate to express your feelings. Guy Kawasaki's theory is “that if you’re not pissing people off on social media, you’re not using it right.” While I don't take as bold a stance as Guy does, pushing the boundaries is a good thing.
If everyone loves what you're doing, you might be too bland.
5. Be visual
Every post—literally everyone—should contain “eye candy” in the form of a picture, graphic, or video. According to a study by content marketer Skyword, total views of its clients’ content increased by 94% if a published article contained a relevant photograph or infographic when compared to articles without an image in the same category. A great graphic or embedded video is as important for the success of a post as the text.
Some stats from BuzzSumo and Mari Smith:
Image posts get 179% more interactions than the average Facebook post.
Videos are the most shared post type, with 89.5 average Facebook shares. BuzzSumo counted only shares, not likes + comments.
6. Be found
Hashtags are a beautiful thing. They connect posts from people all over the world and add structure to an otherwise unstructured ecosystem. When you add a hashtag to a post, you are telling people the post is relevant to a shared topic. For example, #socialmediatips connects posts that are about social media. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook all support hashtags, and I recommend adding two or three to your posts. (If you use more, you look like an #idiot who’s trying to #gamethesystem.)
The sweet spot for Instagram hashtags is higher. Track Maven found “a steady increase in average interactions up through four to five hashtags per post, after which the average interactions per post actually drops.”
The jury is still out on hashtags on Facebook. They do work but they can look spammy. Do not, I repeat, do not send all your Instagram posts to Facebook and leave all the hashtags on your Facebook post. It smells of lazy social media. I like to use hashtags that are trending on Facebook and my branded hashtag which is #thanksalatte for my weekly Q & A show.
7. Be interested
Being interested in other people helps you maintain your connection online. Remember people's names and read their content.
Sprout Social has a great feature that you can see all the interactions with a person when you click on their profile. This is super helpful when you haven't had a conversation with someone for a very long time.
A few tools for social media success:
- Trello keeps my life organized and you can color code! It's an essential item for people working on a team.
- Adobe Spark lets me create gorgeous graphics on the go. It's free and super fun to use. Everything looks 100% professional and they have free images that you can use in your designs. I used it to design my social media graphics for this article.
- Planoly is my favorite tool for Instagram management. You can create your posts as well as track and respond to comments.
- Buzzsumo is a great place to find content to share on social media.
There's always a shiny new toy or tool popping up but you don't have to spend a lot of time testing things – don't pull your focus from getting real work done. It's more important to be consistent and engaging on your social media than it is to spend too much time testing tools unless that's the focus of your job or blog. If not, read reviews and fill in the holes in your social media plan as needed.
I hope you got some new ideas for your social media. It's an individual process to plan and implement your social media. You won't find a blueprint for social success that would work for every person, small business, and large brand. Take the time to work on what will make your social media unique and inviting and then put in the work.