All we need is more likes, right? Strange times we live in.
Social media has basically taken place of the trips to the mall with friends, the sleepovers talking gossip and the adventures of youth all over the world. We can’t stop it, we can’t hide from it and we certainly want to be a part of it.
Besides the fact that social media has us all addicted, what benefit does it bring to building a business? A ton.
Are we capitalizing on the addiction of social media? Probably? Do we care? Probably not.
Social media makes up 62% of new leads for businesses. That’s a pretty high percentage! Peep these stats from Pew Research Center and let me know if you think social media has gotten out of control:
- Facebook has 2.4 billion monthly users.
- YouTube has more than 1.9 billion logged-in visits every month.
- Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users.
- Twitter has more than 330 million monthly active users.
- LinkedIn has over 560 million registered users.
- Pinterest has 291 million monthly active users.
Sorry Google +, you died. What happened to MySpace? Ha!
With these staggering numbers, what does that mean for the safety of our children, the future of business and the fake lives we are trying to lead? It means so much.
I’m going to dive into the scary world of selling on social media. There are a few ways you can score major wins and a lot of ways you can have epic fails.
Sabotaging your Social Profile
The start of all social media selling begins with setting up your profile.
Your profile is like the cover of the book of your life, no pressure. There are a few criteria that should be met when you set it up, the rest is pure creativity. Don’t blow it.
Here is how NOT to sabotage your social profile:
- Add your official name and don’t change it often – people need to remember you.
- Upload a profile picture that you are proud of or a business logo. Don’t post something that isn’t quality. It’s a small photo – be big!
- Include a tagline or one-line sentence you are offering/service listing and check your spelling and grammar! There is nothing worse than a typo on a public profile.
- Add some personality! Emojis are fun but don’t use too many.
- Definitely include a link to your website. I like to clean up the URL taking out the https, it looks more crispy.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your profile bio!
A few more tips are…Don’t bore your audience with mundane information, you want to tease them a bit to get them interested. You want to lead them to want to learn more. Don’t give them too much information up front, it takes the excitement out of it.
Decide Your End Game
Where is this whole social media selling thing taking you? Did you think about the next steps before you make it big time?
Your website is your lead conversion magnet when it comes to selling on social media. If it’s not ready for the leads to come in, it’s considered a lost lead!
Your landing pages should have plenty of calls to action! Just like social media, you should have “share buttons” all over your website to link the two.
Any content created needs to have that call to action too! This is your portal to the social media world. What good is an article if it isn’t easy for your audience to share?
I also highly recommend that you follow Google’s guidelines on how to set up your website for on-page SEO. If done properly, you will be able to track your referrals from each social media account to see which one is performing the best.
What’s your end game? Hopefully, it’s not the same as Iron Man. JK, I love you, Tony.
Drop the Fake Fuss
What percentage of our lives is actually real on social media? I would guess it’s less than 50%.
Why do we post fake pictures that make us fake happy?
Notice how I said we. I have been at fault for posting pictures to see how many likes I can get, in the past. It’s natural to do so. Just please don’t be a fake social media person. You don’t always need a filter. You don’t always need to be perfectly placed. Be real. Try out a post without makeup or a pose. Just try it.
It is extremely imperative that your true passion shines through in your social media.
This is going to be hard because social media standards are high! I joke that I am not a Tumblr girl who has their hair perfectly tousled, with all the right angles. I choose posts about me that are real, raw and full of my CBCInked passion.
Your passion should shine through in every post. I try to be as creative as possible with every post. If I don’t feel it, I don’t post it.
PRO TIP: Candid is better than posed. Catch a moment without saying “hey look at the camera”, just take the picture when no one is watching. Capture the candids.
Robotic Repetition Never Works
Do you know the movie “Groundhog Day”? That is something you do not want to recreate on social media. I do love Bill Murray though.
I had someone follow me the other day that had 1756 photos and every single one of them was a selfie. Oh no. That just will not do.
Being spontaneous and keeping your posts different is the key to a successful social media experience. What keeps your social media audience interested, engaged and coming back for more? Not 1756 selfies that’s for sure!
Here are a few ways you can mix it up on social media:
- Adventures outdoors
- Family fun
- Pet poses (those are a fan favorite)
- Portrait mode selfies
- Still life (literally like fruit and stuff)
- Artwork (Check out my artwork lol)
- Memes + GIFS
- Reshares of friends/influencers (Check out my influencers post)
- Celebrity spotlights
- Homemade graphics (check out Canva)
- National holidays (check out National Day Calendar)
By providing your audience with a creative calendar, you are inviting them to come back for a surprise every day. You are encouraging a friendship with a total stranger! Be safe about it of course, but also be different.
Please don’t just post selfies. Please.
Internet Best Friends vs Trolls
The internet is a big place. It’s a great place but it’s also a scary place. It’s like you are a Jedi when you gain the ability to peruse the world wide web. You can choose to use the internet force for good or evil.
Ask yourself this question. Are you an internet troll or an internet best friend?
There is a person behind every social media post, did you know that? Of course, you did! Except for the fact that it’s easy to forget that when we are posting behind the safety of our keyboards.
We put our hearts and souls into these posts (at least I do) and there is a sense of transparent vulnerability in that.
If you are the person that trolls the internet to start fights, create drama or spoil someone else’s fun – shame on you!
If you are an internet best friend and you are out there lifting up strangers like you have known them your whole life, props to you. You are the ones that are using the internet force for good.
You are an internet Jedi. (Insert Baby Yoda quip here.)
Are You Over Posting?
Here is the biggest question of them all. When and how often do I post on social media? I know some people that post 10 times a day! Too much? Maybe.
Here is when I post on social media (I am not an expert but it seems to be working for me):
- 1 post a day on Instagram (including a few stories and regrams)
- 2-3 posts a week on Facebook (including lots of likes and comments)
- 3-4 posts a day on Twitter (including a retweet)
- 1-2 posts a week on LinkedIn (including 1-2 likes and comments)
When do you post? Oh boy, I definitely don’t follow any proper protocol at all. I post when the mood strikes me or when I remember to. However, if you’re a business, it matters.
Sprout Social recommends the optimal time to post on social media and here is some research (based in EST):
- Facebook – between 1:00 – 4:00 PM
- Twitter – between 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Instagram – between 8:00 – 9:00 AM or 2:00 – 3:00 AM
- LinkedIn – between 10:00 – 11:00 AM
The most important factor you need to know is that consistency is key.
Once you get into the flow of posting, you may need automation tools in order to stay ahead of the game. I love Buffer for automated social media posts. They really nailed it and continue to get better with their software.
Don’t over-post and don’t under post! Find your social media sweet spot.
Harness the #Hashtag
Ahh, yes, the great and powerful hashtag.
Do you believe in the power that is the “hashtag”? You definitely should! It has the ability to get your social post in front of more people daily.
Have you seen now on LinkedIn that they are “suggesting” you use of hashtags? Thanks LinkedIn people, we got this.
Hashtags have become more and more prevalent as the years go on. The problem is that most businesses are using them incorrectly. This, like the timing and frequency of social posting, is unique to each platform. This may require additional research as each hashtag pertains to each unique business.
If you are going to learn how to harness the power of the hashtag, you need to know the proper usage per social media network:
- Facebook – 1 or 2, relevant to the post. 1 for the topic and 1 for your services offered.
- Twitter – 1 or 2, relevant to the post. One for the topic and one for your services offered
- Instagram – 7 is the magic number, relevant to the post. 3 for the topic and 4 for your services offered.
- LinkedIn – 1 and only directly relevant to your services offered
There are several different companies that teach you the power of hashtags. You can evaluate, analyze and learn unique hashtags. Here is an in-depth article by Hootsuite on how to use hashtags.
Harness that hashtag! Don’t overuse it though. There is nothing worse than seeing a post overrun by hashtags – you lose the power of the post!
Comments are available on every single social media network. After all, the point of it is to be social, so that makes sense.
However, there are a few unspoken rules when it comes to commenting on other people’s posts.
Here are a few proper examples on commenting etiquette:
- “Love this! ? I love following along on your adventures. Thanks for being amazing! Keep going.”
- “This is truly awesome, friend! I am so inspired by your posts. Thanks for always providing great info. Can’t wait till the next one! ?”
- “Another stellar post! I would love to connect with you on some fun collabs, love! ? I would be so happy to support your journey. Reach out to me if ever you want to create something together. #supportlocal”
Here are few ways you can fail miserably on commenting etiquette:
- “Looks like you may be lonely! Need to meet people? Try out my dating app!”
- “Interested in making more money online? DM me for details and you could be making hundreds of dollars a day!”
- “OMG, you guys, this is CrAzY! Mashable is giving away a FREE iPad Air to the person who gets the most likes!”
Please tell me you see the difference there.
The first set of comments is being real, being human and being compassionate. The second set of comments is being fake, unreal and sales-driven yuck.
Social Media Success Wrap Up
Social media is a powerful tool if you can learn how to use it correctly. Harness the power of social through knowledge, etiquette, and compassion.
Choose a good and righteous path to social media success!
Here is the social media success wrap up:
- Don’t sabotage your social profile
- Be sure to decide your end game
- Drop the fake fuss and be real
- Robotic repetition never works, keep them on their toes
- Choose to be an internet best friend or a troll
- Don’t over or under post, find your sweet spot
- Harness the #hashtag
- Learn the commenting etiquette
I truly hope this education on social media will help you grow online. I do feel there should be a social media etiquette class so that there is less bad and more good out there.
Here are my social media channels – follow me and we can be internet best friends!
I sure hope you are a social media Jedi choosing the internet force for good.
See you on the social flip side!
Image credit: https://unsplash.com/@tonyxliao, https://unsplash.com/@epicantus, https://unsplash.com/@creativegangsters, https://unsplash.com/@ogelamar, https://unsplash.com/@joanjo65