The world is connected now, more than ever. While this brings many advantages, the way people connect can actually impose limits on how they interact. These limits can be seen as layers or constructs. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and so many other networks have their own independent content schemes and social structures. These limits can be overcome through the creation of habits and “automation”.
Habits to Make
The infamous “hashtag”
Nearly every social media platform shares this feature. The ability to categorize posts and information through the use of tags, or #hashtags. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus all utilize this feature, so it’s important to include at least one tag in each of your posts. Find and use common tags relative to your business, products, and services.
Planning Your Posts
Living a 140-character universe. Twitter and many other social networks limit their users’ posts to 140 characters or less. While it is almost impossible to get the entire scope of your posts congested into 140 characters, the gist of your post can be compressed to target those specific entities who might be interested. Not only can you use #hashtags, you can also use other keywords. Reducing the number of filler words like “like” and “and” will significantly aid in compressing your thoughts. While not grammatically sound, your posts will convey the fundamental information essential to your marketing strategy.
You can plan your posts on WordPress (as an example) so the first paragraph summarizes the content for the post, like an introduction for an essay. Even if the paragraph gets cut off when posted to Twitter, the topic and the gist of the message will still make it (most of the time). Many WordPress themes, as well as most other Content Management Systems utilize an “excerpt” block. This is where the magic happens for your Archive pages and SEO.
Pipes & Automation
The list of “automation” tools for connecting social networks is not a small one. Many of them are unnecessarily complicated. There is a simple way to Get Things Done (GTD).
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a way to “pipe” or connect nearly every social network through simple IF statements. Select any two social networks to share content between. Each time a new post is detected on one, it will immediately perform an action on the other. Automatically share posts between dozens of social networks, by simply posting on one network, one time.
These recipes or “apps” can be cloned from other users in a vast library, or you can create your own from scratch. Automatically download any photos you are tagged in on Facebook to a Dropbox account, synchronize your profile photo between accounts, auto-post from RSS feeds, and so much more. When a post is made on your WordPress site, for example, a new post can be automatically created on Twitter with a link to the WordPress post, and your featured image.
Try as you might, you may never unlock the full potential of IFTTT for your business, but you can start by auto-posting across multiple networks. You can also connect smart home appliances like Philips Hue bulbs to social network notifications. Change your lights to a different color when you get a new Twitter follower, for example.
Availability of Information
The target audience for your marketing stratagem should be somewhat flexible. People in specific regions may leave their region if they find more desirable products and services elsewhere, for example. Marketing to the niche consumer is harder than marketing niche products and services to a broad consumer base. Finding the scope of your business is important when starting out. Expanding your scope to entice people to come out of their comfort zone will be the key.
When you influence a consumer to come out of their shell and buy a product they are not familiar with, they rely on you to supply information and resources and necessary to be successful with it. Documenting everything you can in an easy-to-use knowledge base is key.
The tools to provide support to your customers are plentiful. Social Networks are often excluded as a support system. This is a critical mistake.
Facebook is used by millions of people worldwide, as well as Twitter, and Google. Creating a support system which utilizes Facebook’s login system, Groups and Pages will propel your image forward. The ease-of-use for many customers who likely found your product on one of these networks will also be increased.
When a prospective customer begins perusing your site for content, the first thing they will look for is the frequency, or how often you write.
More often than not, we find ourselves with large chunks of time to work on projects. The rest of our time can be taken up in meetings, traffic, training etc. It’s important to make the most of your time while you have it. If you operate a WordPress site you have the ability to schedule your posts. You can write a post days, weeks, even months in advance, and it will automatically be published on the date and time you select. This is important for company milestones, holidays, giving the image that you are active on days when you can’t actually be there to post things. Tying this in with IFTTT and social networks means you can almost always keep an active website, even when you only have a few hours every couple of weeks to write.
The truth is, you’re not fooling anyone. Any savvy reader can tell you wrote this in advance. The point here is to keep your customers or potential customers engaged. The more they are encouraged to read on, the more likely they are to return. This also means greater interest in your products or services.
In a Nutshell
- Use #hashtags
- Plan Your Content
- Automate Whenever Possible
- Document Everything
- Scheduled and Automated Posting
This doesn’t cover everything. These are just a few of the steps you might find essential when developing your online marketing strategy.
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