Social media is all about being quick and responsive these days. If you are not sharing quality content regularly, then you are missing out on customer engagement and returning customers.
However, you do NOT want to rely on social media for your business. If you do, social media platforms are your boss and they dictate what is right and what is wrong, and without warning at any time, can shut your account down - losing all the customers, data and branding built up by hard work. As they say, do not put all your eggs in one basket.
This post will go through getting the most out of your social media accounts, automating most of the repetitive tasks, and how this helps build a following outside of social media platforms using your website.
The most time-consuming part is setting up a system that works for you and your business.
What Is A Content Asset?
A content asset is really just some piece of content that you can use as a business tool, either by monetising it directly (purchasable book) or using it to attract new customers (free article). Often, this content asset is repackaged and distributed in numerous formats and mediums.
Content assets are typically articles, e-books, podcasts or videos. These anchor content assets can be broken up into smaller chunks and used as blog posts, tweets, Youtube videos, email chains and even search engine ads.
The point is, you develop it once, and if it’s a valuable tool to generate new business, you’re going to want to break it up and use it across as many mediums and channels as you think you can without diminishing its value.
What Is Social Media?
Social media is websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. This includes your big social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - but it also includes websites like Linkedin, Youtube, and Pinterest.
They each have different reach, engagement, and conversion values so it is important to know where to focus your investment.
76% of people use their Facebook feed to find interesting content.
While not social media, platforms like Google have sub-interactive platforms like Google Assistant and Google Search which can also be included in the content sharing process.
But with so many platforms and so little time, how do you know which ones yield the best return on investment? I'm not talking about paid advertisement, I am talking about time investment.
Start by Defining Your Goals and KPIs
Your objectives will help determine not only the social platforms you choose, but also the content you create, the audience you target, and more. You will want to know about the needs, wants, and habits of your audience and customers. You will want to be exposing your business to new social media users while still happily engaging current users.
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. An online shop KPI would be product sales with a secondary KPI of returning customers. These help track if what is done (marketing and website updates) works, needs improvement or needs scrapping and starting anew.
Look at what the current KPIs are and set a goal to improve that by a realistic percentage.
The average conversion rate for Facebook ads across all industries is 9%. Fitness brands have the highest average conversion rate for Facebook ads (14.3%), while technology brands have the lowest (2.3%)
A quick way to find statistics on current KPIs is by using Google Analytics. Note, you will need to already have this running for a few months to collect any valuable data.
Creating Top-Level Personas
The purpose of personas is to create reliable and realistic representations of your key audience segments for reference. A persona is generally based on user research and incorporates the needs, goals, and observed behaviour patterns of your target audience.
Personas contain information like (only those that apply to your business):
- Age and Gender
- Location and Work
- Family, relationship status etc
- The purpose of using your business
- The main device they would use (Desktop, mobile, tablet etc)
A quick way to find statistics on consumer demographics is by using Google Analytics. Collect data on the origin, age, and marital status of those currently visiting your site or interact with your company on social media.
Personas can also help:
- Stakeholders and leaders evaluate new site feature ideas
- Information architects develop informed wireframes, interface behaviours, and labelling
- Designers create the overall look and feel of the website
- System engineers/developers decide which approaches to take based on user behaviours
- Copywriters ensure site content is written to the appropriate audiences
You take all this data and overview on how it applies to your KPIs. This will be used in helping you decide what to produce with your content.
Picking Your Best Social Media Platforms
Each platform has a variety of users of different ages, locations, and purposes.
Social users ages 18 to 24 are substantially more likely to use platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter even when compared with those in their mid- to late-20s. While LinkedIn remains especially popular among college graduates and those in high-income households.
The average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes on the site per month.
Using your personas, head over to Spredfast's 2018 Social Audience Guide and select your main platforms for your business.
As each platform has different criteria for content, note down the types it accepts. For example, Facebook accepts website links, videos and images, while Instagram only accepts images and 1min videos, but Youtube only accepts videos.
Also, include non-social media platforms like email, push notifications and chatbots (which can appear on Facebook Messager). But only choose those that apply to your business and audience.
Content Asset Creation
So you have your target audience (personas), and your platforms to create content for, now you need to create it. But it has got to be of value to your audience. You also have to be producing enough content regularly as to keep your hungry audience happy or at least aware you still exist.
Plus, the content you create has to be high quality, reusable across multiple platforms and time, while moving your customers closer to your KPIs.
Most businesses seem to publish content only because they have heard that “Content is king” or because they saw competitors trying to put out some content too.
You need a plan... and topics to talk about...
Content Asset Ideas And Data
If you don't already, keyword research data is a great start. Try using a free tool called Keywords Everywhere. It shows you the search interest (by monthly search volume) of topics that relate to your business. Make sure you are also prepared for predictable trends (those you know are coming) using Google Trends.
Creating a spreadsheet with topics and keywords can help put it into perspective.
Picking Content Asset Types
Now you have general topics to use for your content. Now you need to pick the types of content to be produced. Remember how Youtube online accepts videos while Facebook can cover almost any content type?
Product videos can increase purchases by 144%.
As stated before, content can come in many forms. From simple images to ebooks and apps, each type has both a time to create and value to your audience. You wouldn't create an app for a one time customer, while you would create an app for a repeat online buyer. Videos are great for entertainment and education while Guides and handbooks are good for information and education. Sometimes multiple types of minor assets can be created from a major asset such as a Video can be transcribed to create a blog post, and the still images are used as backgrounds for short text social media posts.
Automatic Asset Systems
Part of the problem seems to be that quality content is really difficult to create. Writing an informative blog post or creating a well-designed infographic takes hours of labour.
Sadly, AI is not at a stage to automatic write great content or put together awesome videos on the fly.
But tools like Pablo, Buzzsumo, and Grammarly, greatly help reduce time in the content creation process.
Content curation is easier than creation. It’s a time-saving tactic that allows you to leverage quality content from other creators while sustaining your audience’s attention. Automated tools really shine here. Tools like buzzsumo.com and Buffer help with this. This keeps the stream fresh and relevant while giving teams more time to focus on creating high-quality content.
The last step of any content cycle is distribution and monitoring. Scheduling tweets, posts, and videos so that your readers can see them when they’re most likely to be online is a great way to drive engagement. While Facebook has a scheduling tool, this is where Buffer really shines.
So you now have your content - you also have a major and minor version of that content ready to share with the world. You also know your platforms you are sharing your content on. The content is of a topic that is interesting to your audience and it somehow links back to your website so that it helps move the customer closer to your KPI and goals.
Automation Sharing Tools
here are a few sharing tools already out there that are great, but a few free tools to take note of are:
- Buffer - Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter etc schedule sharing.
- IFTTT.com - Automation with sharing from one platform to another while also tracking social media submissions plus heaps more.
From likes to sharing to comments, if your posts are not being engaged, that can tell you that either the post was not relating to your audience, or you are not reaching enough people. There are some tricks you can use to help engagement.
Hashtags are great for generating awareness on all social platforms. Without them, your content may never be viewed.
The top three most common hashtags used in Instagram stories in 2018 are #GOODMORNING, #WORK, #GOODNIGHT
A nice number of hashtags to have is about 10, ranging from very broad topic hashtags to specific topics related to your post. You can use online tools like hashtagsforlikes.co to help get you started.
posts with emoticons receive 33% more engagement than those without! So add in 1-3!
Encourage commenting or liking
While trying not to be spammy with "Like my post if you agree" sort of comments, you can ask questions or promote discussion with your audiences. Questions like "Did you have a similar experience?" or "Do you think this is the right action to take?" can help.
Putting It All Together
This is where you get smart with how you produce your content.
A Major to Minor Content Asset
For example, while a video can only be uploaded to Youtube (where at the end of the video you yell out "don't forget to like and subscribe!"), you can also transcribe that video and put it on a blog post on your website with the video from Youtube embed (which is displayed on Google Search). You can then take a short version (1min max) of that video and share it on Instagram (using Buffer) with a link back to your blog plus some great hashtags. You submit that blog post to Facebook and Linkedin using Buffer, while sending an email to your subscribers and followers.
Two-thirds of consumers prefer videos under 60 seconds. The most important types of videos for consumers are how your product is made, customer testimonials, and about your company
That would be a major content piece turned into minor content assets, used across multiple platforms to both re-engage previous customers as well as generate awareness for new customers. This also brings customers to your website (The blog) where they can subscribe to your email system as well as you tracking valuable user data of your site with Google Analytics.
The content is not only reused on multiple platforms but if you picked the topic right, should help bring in new and repeat customers for months and years to come.
Some variations could be instead of sharing the blog post, you share the short video on Facebook and Linkedin (as video is known to have a higher engagement rate) where the video comment/description might have the link to the blog post or full version of the video. You could also create different variations of the minor content to help target different personas which all lead back to the same major content asset. These could be scheduled over a period of a month or so using Buffer leaving you with more time to focus on the business.
Repeated Minor Content Assets
Using Pablo by Buffer, you create up to 10 images to schedule and share (because 10 is the max a free buffer account will allow). When you share this images with Buffer, Buffer allows you to add in a description which shows up in the social platforms so hashtags and emoticons are included along with a question to help with engagement. Setting up Buffer Schedule system so that it posts Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8am will allow your posts to last just over 3 weeks. These go out to Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin - which you worked out were the 3 main places your audience hangs out.
While this is not an effective as a Major and Minor asset combo, it does help give you some time while producing the major assets. It also helps keep your audience aware that you are still out there as well as getting new follows (which will later be served with major assets that help with your goals and KPIs.
Bonus: Using IFTTT.com, you can download any images you upload to Instagram to your Google Drive account. You can then access these images from your phone or computer and use them with Google My Business or even as images within your blog posts!
Tracking The Data
This is important for assessing if what you produced was useful to you with meeting your KPIs (or at least help you along).
Google Analytics set up on your website will tell you stats like where visitors came from, how long they stayed and if they converted (bought something or some other goal on your website).
Using IFTTT.com, you can automatically add lines to a Google Sheet document with what was posted, when, and form which platform. Useful for keeping track of everything you have done as to not repeat (if it failed) or repeat sharing it again (if it worked) at a later date.
Social Media accounts (Facebook pages, Instagram business accounts etc) allow you to see user engagement data which is useful to see what worked and what did not.
Random Tips and Ideas
With emails that go out the first time (or first few times), add in a link that allows them to add you to their contacts as so your emails do not go to spam. This not only allows your emails to stay out of the void, but it also helps you appear as a suggested friend or follower in social media accounts (if you have the account). Just one more platform for them to get the latest and great content assets from you.
Push notifications is a sort of new technology where you can subscribe to notifications to your phone or desktop from a website. Often used as an email, you can send notifications of your new blog posts directly to the customer! You can also segment customers so you can target them with personalised content (if you have the time to create).
Open your arms to Skynet as you allow your website visitors to chat with an A.I. Well... sort of... You can create chatbots that link up with your Facebook Page which can be added to your website that can answer questions from your customers. However, the larger the "chain" of conversations the more complex the setup is.
In-app messages are 1.5 times more likely to be opened as emails, and 6.7 times as likely to receive a response
Though you can use Facebook Messager to broadcast to your subscribers (to Facebook Messager) where your chatbot can answer some basic questions as well as flow the customer to complete an action.
There is a very basic chatbot setup on this website. Click the Facebook Messager icon to test it out.