There are dozens of social networks and while some marketers believe that signing-up for each and everyone is well-worth the effort, others agree that following that practice is rather futile.
In the following article, I am going to talk about the three big social networks – Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter.
As you certainly know (unless you’ve been living under a rock), those three social mediums are currently the ones marketers pay most of their attention to.
And it’s no wonder – each works on a different principle but either way the potential is there and if you are serious, you can also get some serious traffic.
Leaving that aside, below I will share some of the common practices people seem to follow on this social media trio, which ones are worth and which are plain myths.
Facebook Dos and Don’ts
1. Do Share Your Own Content Every Day
That is the golden rule. There’s really nothing bad in self-promotion. But unless you’ve spent hundreds of dollars to advertise your fan page or to create sponsored stories, generating a buzz around your fan page and turning it into traffic is no easy task.
The Facebook page is yours, so there’s really nothing bad in sharing posts from your own blog. I’d say doing so is actually obligatory if you want to make Facebook a worthwhile time-investment.
Don’t expect that just the link in the fan page about field will get people clicking and reading your blog.
2. Be Careful not To Bore People
Yeah, your articles (or articles from other blogs for that matter) might all be interesting and they might all provide information, that’s worth the read.However sometimes people just want to have fun.
And as serious as your niche might be, there should always be place for that.
Stories, comics, pictures – you need to mix things a little.
Those are the kinds of posts that get the bigger part of the likes, shares and comments.
3. Be a Real Person, Not a Just the Next “Brand”
A Facebook page can either be very impersonal OR it can be a place where all kinds of folks come to share their own points of view on different matters. What you make out of it is all up to you and I’d highly recommend you the second option.
The first step is to start writing descriptions to each and every story you make. It doesn’t matter if it is an image that you are sharing, your latest blog post or an infographic you just came across. Whatever it is, make sure to tell people why you are sharing that specific piece and tell them why they should take a minute to check it out.
Additionally you should also pose different questions, reply to those who comment on them and thus create a discussion. Whenever someone leaves a comment, be it a positive or a negative one, you should always have a standpoint.
In short, show people you are a living, breathing organism, just like them!
4. Don’t Irritate Your Fans
Especially with the notification system that Facebook made available for the fan pages, you should pay even more attention to what you share.
Since that feature allows your fans to subscribe for your updates i.e. to get notified via the notifications icon on the top bar, you must make sure not to irritate them.
Basically consider factors such as how much stories per day you post (I wouldn’t recommend more than 2-4), how much promotional content you share (for instance reviews of products with affiliate links in them) and also what the ratio between publications with links, text only and images is.
Also make sure not to post too many images and quotes – although they tend to get lots of attention – they shouldn’t be the focal point of your Facebook marketing strategy.
Google Plus Dos and Don’ts
5. Don’t Fall for the “Ghost Town” Rumors
There are thousands of inactive accounts on Google Plus (well, on Facebook and Twitter too). There are thousands of folks, who have less than a hundred followers and no posts at all.
However that doesn’t make Google Plus a dead space. Not even close to it. Whatever your niche, you can be sure that lots of guys, covering the same topics will be waiting for you on Google Plus… well not waiting, but they will be there for you to find.
So right now reading this article, if you are one of those fellas, hesitating to give Google Plus a shot, I’d suggest you to change your thoughts and go for it right now. Google Plus is a great place to come across new folks along with great content and to also get others to discover your own work. Don’t wait any longer!
6. Once You Get Going, Keep Pushing
If you decide to sign-up for Google Plus, there’s one more problem. That problem is consistency. You need to be there day in and day out. That’s namely what lots of marketers, who decide to try out Google Plus fail to do. They register, then they publish a story, which ends up not receiving any engagement. So they publish another one and maybe another one. And if their second or third attempt doesn’t pay off they simply conclude that the network doesn’t work.
Well the reality is things don’t work that way.
It is kinda discouraging seeing that what you shared hours ago hasn’t gotten any reactions, but you just have to live with it and keep going until that one guy finds you and spreads your word.
7. Don’t Directly Share All of Your Updates
On Google Plus, there is the option to share an update with one person only or with a limited number of users. That might seem like a powerful way to create some buzz around your start-up, but it seems like there’s more use than abuse.
Whenever someone uses that feature and shares something directly with you, you receive a notification. Since there’s no way not to see one such notification, people tend to share all kinds of things that you don’t really care for most of the times.
So my advice is not to use that feature at all unless you have something really really important to tell others and of course unless you know them well. Otherwise you risk being unfollowed and reported for spamming.
8. Do Take the Time to Follow New People
Aside from a good way to increase exposure to your brand, Google Plus is also a great place to get the right content, whenever you want to. The circles that you can add people to allow you to fine tune what content you see. But first you need content, right?
The thing about Google Plus is that a good lot of the users aren’t consistent (about which I talked above). This basically means that one day you might have lots of compelling content in your stream and the other day you might be left with the same posts and nothing new and exciting.
That is the reason why you have to constantly follow new people in your niche.
But how do you find relevant Google Plus users?
Make a list of the links to the profiles of some of the best content curators and bloggers in your niche. On daily basis, visit those profiles and look through their updates. More specifically, pay attention to the list of people who liked those stories. Most of the times, you can find at least a dozen folks with interesting content that way.
Have you already connected with me? If not, please do it now:
Twitter Dos and Don’ts
9. Don’t be Afraid to Use Automation
Over time I’ve seen lots of different opinions on the automation topic. It seems like lots of marketers don’t think of it is a genuine way to make progress in the social media realm.
But in the end, I can’t really see why so much criticism revolves around automation…
As bloggers our priority should come down to creating content. Looking from that perspective, every saved minute that goes towards writing, should be valued.
That is why I believe that there really isn’t anything bad in using services like Hootsuite to manage your social media profiles.
10. Use Twitter for More than Sharing
Blog post ideas, new connections and lots of interesting discoveries are some of the things you can achieve by paying attention to Twitter not only when you need traffic. One of the biggest issues with the microblogging platform is namely self-promotion – it seems like everyone’s there for that and nothing else.
The system can’t function that way. There’d really be no point if everyone would be to log-in, tweet their own post and log-out. You also have to see what others have in store!
As a matter of fact you might be surprised by how much new things you can get to discover thanks to Twitter.
Adding your favorite bloggers to lists and taking five minutes to check some of their shares every day might turn out a doorway to new discussions with new people, new content for your to-read list, new blog post ideas and more traffic.
That’s how Twitter marketing should be done!
11. Don’t Waste too Much Time on It
There’s no doubt – engaging with others is a crucial component to every successful social media campaign. However one counter-intuitive advice from me is don’t get carried away.Discussions are a great thing, as they lead to new ideas. Saying thank you to those who’ve supported you is also important, since it helps you build trust. In the end of the day however, that is not the key to success.
Social media is just how you spread the word.
I would recommend you to set a schedule of some sort.
It’s simple the more time you spend on this, the less productive you actually are.
12. Care About Both Quality and Quantity
Quality over quantity – that seems to be a trend nowadays. Indeed one should focus on quality. Having inactive followers, who don’t even share your interests is worthless – there’s no denying.
But then again, why not keep the quality and ramp up the quantity factor simultaneously?
Namely because, as I mentioned above, people rarely take the time to check others’ work, tweets don’t get much exposure. It’s logical that the more followers you have, the more people will end up seeing your tweets and acting upon them.
So let me tell you one thing – start working on your following! As of now I have over 60,000 followers and Twitter traffic is going up with each and every new follower I get.