Social Media presence is critical to the success of your web site. Social Media posts drive traffic to your site without requiring you to spend advertising dollars on placements, can go viral and provide a bigger impact, and are easy to maintain once you’re in the habit.
It’s not difficult, but it’s a lot more work than most people realize before they’re immersed in it. It’s mostly about consistency.
The following is a to-do listgiven to the manager of a fledgling “internet television” community site. Step 4 below is crucial, because it defines what’s meant by “Success”, but every step is important.
Create accounts/pages on every major social media network.
The accounts should:
- All use the same contact name and email address
- All have the same name or “Title”
- All have the same info/description
- All link to the same website
- All have the same “custom link” – most networks allow you to customize your URL
Set up a CMS-driven site that links to all the various accounts through “Follow Me” and “Like Me” links.
Your site should also:
- auto-post to each of the networks whenever there’s an update
- allow “Share This” functionality
- ideally, generate 10+ posts/day that go out to all the social networks – realistically you’ll probably do 1-3 every few days, but anything is better than nothing.
- the more intelligent effort you put into it, the bigger the return on investment.
Automate your social media presence – but carefully.
- Use tools like Buffer App, HootSuite and others to schedule posts – these posts should predominantly link to marginally related content that would interest your audience, NOT simply self-promoting calls to action. Give people something entertaining or that they can use, and they’ll reward you by purchasing your product or service, or spreading the word.
A maximum of 30% of your posts should be “conversion targeted” self-promoting posts with an EXPLICIT call-to-action, trying to get users to take an action like:
- “Sign Up For Our Newsletter”
- “Join Our Community”
- “Follow/Like us on _____”
- “Fill Out Our Survey”
- “Add Your Review”
- “Create An Article”
- “Participate in Our Forum”
- “Leave a Comment”
- Encourage User-Generated Content!
… and other “engagement” metrics that can be tracked so you know what works and what doesn’t
Social Media accounts need TLC as well as automation.
- SCHEDULE time for managing social media accounts – or assign a staff member time to do it – base the amount of time allotted on the ambition and importance of your goals.
- spend that time scheduling posts and responding to people’s comments, etc.
- If you’re managing it personally, limit your time investment to what you can afford in the context of your other obligations. Social media can be a rabbit hole unless you’re disciplined about it. If you don’t have time for it, delegate it to someone who does.
- this is best done in “down-time”, like an hour each evening on weekdays or something, but can be crammed into a single block if that’s difficult
Have a DAILY newsletter that goes out at the same time every day, AND a weekly newsletter that’s just an archive of the week, AND monthly highlights.
Allow people to subscribe to each or all of them. If you’re actually doing the rest, it’s not really much more work, since it can be automatically generated from your other activities.
- Daily Newsletter is best if it goes out first thing every morning or last thing every night, OR during high-traffic/response times as determined by your logs.
- Should contain 1 full day’s posts, or a “curated” sampling and/or content targeted by user data/selection.
- Do NOT put full posts into the newsletter, just use excerpts with “read more” links that lead to the site.
- Subject line/post titles should be engaging – ask a question, offer a solution, make a provocative statement etc.
- Offer placements in the newsletter for $$$ once the mailing list grows – either “advertorials” or just allow members or advertisers to pay to get their content into the newsletter
- Either use your own private mail server to send the newsletter, or a robust service like aweber, Mail Chimp, etc. – all of the major services play well with almost any CMS. If you want to keep it in-house, all the major CMS tools have plugins for this, but having a dedicated mailing list server or using a subscription service is best.