We love seeing small businesses doing their own social media. It’s authentic. We love that too. Wanna know what we don’t like seeing? Wasted effort.
The single biggest mistake we see being made repeatedly is well-meaning businesses taking the time and effort to create original content and failing to reach their intended audience. Messages, blog posts (like the one you’re reading right now), fancy Instagram photos, and articles all take time to produce.
Only a tiny audience can see that post from your Facebook page if all you do is post it and hope. Engagement through Twitter can be even more dismal, unless you’re already insta famous, of course. Posting a blog article on your website with the hope that someone will actually find it and read it is actually sad.
So what can I do?
Fortunately there is a solution. Boost your posts. Leverage the hell out of them. Invest in gaining some serious reach. We encourage businesses to use a few simple and proven strategies to make sure they’re not putting in all that effort for almost no return. Here are some ways to make social and content marketing work for your business:
Spend some money. Facebook is “pay to play” these days. When you have a post that lets people know something important about your company, boost it. Are you hosting an event, having a sale or launching a new product? You can get your message in front of literally thousands of people for a very modest spend. And you can target it to reach the audience you want to reach using demographics and geotargeting. It’s Facebook, after all, right? Facebook also owns Instagram, so you can reach audiences on both platforms with a Facebook ad.
If a blog post falls in a forest, does anyone read it?
Balance your time. Spend as much time and effort sharing and promoting your content as you do creating it. Make sure you share it on all your platforms. Modify your content to suit each platform. Share a link and a brief, catchy description of your latest post on LinkedIn (both your personal and your business profile), Twitter account, Facebook and Instagram. Send it directly to your clients and prospects that you think might be interested. Personalize the message. Tell them WHY you thought of them.
Create genuine interaction. This is an important strategy to successfully get your content out to a wider audience. Have you ever created a post you thought would get lots of attention, only to watch it “die on the vine”? That’s because social channels use algorithms (basically a set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations) to rapidly determine if your post is valuable and of interest to others. Unless you generate some engagement within the first few minutes, your post won’t be released into other people’s newsfeeds; even people who already like your page won’t get to see it.
Reuse. You’ve spent all this time putting blog articles together, only for them to end up buried six pages back on your blog. It’s great you’re being consistent, and providing meaningful content. But make your content work for you, over and over. You have an article you wrote two years ago about changes to Apple updates. Apple releases a new update. What a perfect time to share it on your Facebook page again. Don’t let your efforts go to waste!
How do I create engagement? Get the ball rolling by tagging or messaging specific people. Build a core group of loyal followers who agree to set your social channels to “See first”. Ask them to like, share, and comment on all your posts when they see them come up. Don’t forget to ask your employees, friends and family members to support your efforts on social. Make them your brand ambassadors. They want you to succeed and will be happy to help you build audience engagement. Make it a team effort instead of trying to go it alone. Share your successes and milestones with this group and let them know that “we did this together”.
Need some help? Like I said, Muse loves when small businesses run their own blogs and social media channels. If you think you could benefit from a little professional help, we can get you set up with a strategy and show you how to do your own promoted posts, boosting, and targeting. If you don’t have the time or the expertise, but know you really should be sharing great content regularly, talk to us about our social media and content creation services.