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Create the Perfect Social Media Strategy

Create the Perfect Social Media Strategy

by kobura02
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1 – Start Here

From the Author

julie-chewningHi everyone and welcome! I’m Julie and I’ll be your guide as we navigate through the organic social media waters.

As a long-time fan of all things social I began working in social media marketing professionally about four years ago. I perfected my marketing knowledge over the past couple years at Hawk Group Media where I served as the Social Media Director. Most recently, I consult. Helping small, independent companies create social media marketing plans that fit their needs and their budget.

It’s been a passion of mine to create organic social media plans that cost very little, yet yield huge results. I’m excited to share a bit of my expertise with you and hope this execution plan is wildly helpful in all your social media endeavors.

You can find me on Twitter – I would love to hear how you implement these strategies and hear about you results!

Let’s get started!
~ Julie Chewning

Introduction

This execution plan will be the building blocks for your organic social media strategy. These steps have been tested and have proven to be the incredibly effective. It will be important for you to fully understand and implement them in order to see successful results.

In this execution plan you will learn how to find followers and fans, how to post to your social media accounts at the best times, how to find the most effective content for your followers, and how to analyze your profiles to help you create the best strategy you possibly can.

You ready to step up your organic social media game and see some serious results?!  Let’s do it!

2 – Getting Started

How to Use This Section

Before you dive head first into posting on your social media timeline you need to take a step back and evaluate your online brand.

The first step to constructing your social media plan is understanding how your brand should be presented, who your online audience is for each channel, and more.

Follow the steps in this section to learn who to evaluate, what to look for in their social media plan, and how to record it for future use.

List Your Competitors and Similar Companies

Start by drafting a long, comprehensive list of companies:

Now is the time to open up an excel sheet or grab a piece of paper and write down all of your known competitors.

Include companies that are similar to yours, companies that are in direct competition with you, as well as companies that market to the same audience you are wishing to reach.

We will learn later in this course how we can use the information you are about to collect  from these competitors  as you study what they’re doing and find what is effective and what is not.

Record Competitor Information

Now that you have your list:

Once you have compiled a list of all your competitors visit their social media profiles and make notes of the following:

  • What social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Etc.) do they use? Grab the links to all these accounts and save them
  • How many followers do they have on each profile?
  • What type of content do they post?
  • How many times a day do they post on each social profile?
  • How much engagement do they get from their audience?
  • What other companies do they connect with on social media?

Below is a great example of a spreadsheet that will help you organize this information. Use the tabs below to create a new tab for each social media profile and record the information in each one.

Competitor List Template

Note: Check out the different platform tabs already created for you in this template!

We will be referring to this information down the line.

Now that we have all this information stored away, we will move on to understanding how we can use find awesome content for your social media posts.

Use Google Analytics

Understand that Google Analytics is a must-use tool for anyone hoping to expand their organic social media success. The information provided here can reveal a wealth of knowledge about your social audience and give you necessary information about your site content and its performance socially.

Try this awesome Google Analytics Dashboard on for size and see what new information you can learn about your site content and social performance.

Google Analytics Social Media Dashboard

If you want to alter this dashboard — learn more from Google here:https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1068218?hl=en

Not only can you learn a ton through your new dashboard but by simply navigating through the Google Analytics reports you will find what website content you have that would be great for social media.

One way is to login to your Google Analytics Account, click ACQUISITION on the left side navigation panel, expand the SOCIAL drop down menu, and click on LANDING PAGES.

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Once you have done so, scroll down and study the list of pages on your website that receive the most traffic from social media. You know now the pages on your website that have already proven to perform well on social media.  By clicking on the “shared url” listed you can see which social channel these performed the best on. You now have a list of quality content from your website that will be GREAT urls to share again and again with your social audience.

Understand Why Measuring Is Hard

In this step, Russ Henneberry explains what you CAN measure and why it’s difficult to measure social media.

No more excuses.

It’s time that we justify the time, energy and money spent on social media in the same way we justify all of our other business activities.

But it isn’t easy.  In one case — it’s very difficult.  In another, it’s actually very simple.

We’ll talk about both and, in the end, you’ll have a framework for measuring the impact social engagement is having on your business.

Measure what matters

At the end of the day, only two things matter to the success of your business:

  • Revenue
  • Costs

Don’t believe me?

Open your accounting software and show me where Facebook Likes appear on your Profit and Loss statement.  Show me Retweets on your Balance Sheet.

Your accountant, the IRS and the bank don’t care how many Retweets you are getting.  Businesses succeed or fail based on how much money comes in the door and how much goes out.

That doesn’t mean that Retweets don’t lead to sales.  It doesn’t mean that discussions on your Facebook page aren’t a cost effective way to communicate with your market.  They might very well be.

What it does mean is that simply measuring the number of Facebook Fans, Twitter followers or Retweets you are getting isn’t ideal.

But it is possible to start measuring social media’s impact on your business.  You just need to know where to concentrate your effort.

Let’s start with the bad news…

Measuring revenue from social engagement is hard

In some cases, it’s impossible.  But don’t let that deter you.  You can get close enough if you understand the problem.

The problem can be summed up to a single word that makes marketing analytics professionals shudder: attribution.

Sales attribution is defined as the identification of the actions a buyer took that contributed to a sale and assigning a value to those activities.

19th century business man John Wanamaker had attribution problems too.

The attribution problem isn’t new.  Marketers have always struggled to pin a sale to any particular marketing tactic.  You’ve likely heard the quote from 19th century business man, John Wanamaker:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Attribution is still a major issue in digital marketing, particularly when we try to measure the impact of social engagement.

Sure, we have access to tools like Google Analytics where we can track sales and see the source of traffic, but even the most expensive analytics tools struggle with attribution.

Don’t use this model…

Most analytics tools give 100% credit (attribution) to the last click.

For example, let’s say that a prospect…

  • Searches Google for ‘digital camera bags’ and lands on your website.  They browse your camera bags, Like your Facebook page and then leave your website.
  • Two days later, the same prospect sees an article from your company on Facebook that compares popular camera bags.  They click on the link, visit your website, read the article and then leave your website.
  • One week later, the same prospect searches Google for ‘buy digital camera bag’ and sees a Google AdWords ad from your company.  They recognize your brand from prior interactions, click on the ad and buy a camera bag.

The order of interaction with your website looks like this ORGANIC SEARCH > SOCIAL NETWORK > PAID SEARCH.

In most analytics tools, including Google Analytics, the default attribution (or credit) for the sale will look like this,


The initial Google search and the interaction on Facebook would get zero credit while your Google AdWords program will get full credit.

This might lead you to believe that your time/money spent on SEO and on Facebook are useless.

This model is called Last Click Attribution.  The last interaction gets all the credit andit’s a terribly misleading way to measure your marketing.

There is a better way

It’s not perfect, and won’t likely ever be, but there are better ways to deal with the attribution problem.

There are other attribution models available — even in the free version of Google Analytics.  You just need to know where to look.

First, you will need to have goals set up in Google Analytics.  If you don’t, read this support document from Google to get Goals set up.

Open Google Analytics and then click on CONVERSIONS > ATTRIBUTION > MODEL COMPARISON TOOL.  You’ll then see a number of attribution models to choose from.

You can change the way that Google Analytics is attributing credit to Goal Conversions.

Here’s a description of each of the available attribution models in Google Analytics,

  • Last Interaction – The last click gets 100% attribution
  • Last Non-Direct Click – The last click (excluding Direct visits) gets 100% credit
  • Last AdWords Click – The last click from an AdWords ad gets 100% credit
  • First Interaction – The first visit within the Lookback Window (up to 90 days prior) gets 100% credit.
  • Linear – Each visit within the Lookback Window gets equal credit.
  • Time Decay – More recent visits within the Lookback Window get more credit while older visits within the Lookback Window get less credit.
  • Position Based – The First and Last visits within the Lookback Window split attribution.

In our example we sold a digital camera bag to a prospect that visited via Organic Search (SEO), Facebook (Social) and then ultimately converted after visiting through a Google AdWords Ad.

There are only two models above that would give a shred of credit to your social media engagement — Linear and Time Decay.

In fact, these are the two models (Linear and Time Decay) you should be using if you want a true understanding of how your different marketing channels, including social media, are performing.

Google Analytics allows you to compare up to three models side by side.  Below is a comparison of the Last Interaction Model to the Time Decay and Linear models for a start-up software company.

As you can see, when you look at Time Decay and Linear Models, it becomes clear that Social Network’s have contributed up to 36.39% more to goal conversions than we would have thought viewing only the Last Interaction model.

For this company, engaging in social media is clearly better at “assisting” in conversions than it is at being the last touch before a conversion.

By understanding attribution modeling you will get a clearer picture of how social engagement is affecting the first of the two critical measurements in your business:revenue.

Is it perfect?  No.   Is it better than looking at Last Click Attribution only?  You betcha.

Now, it’s time for the good news.

Measuring the cost of social media engagement is easy

Measuring revenue isn’t easy.  I get it.  But the other critical measurement in your business is well within your reach: cost.

How much are you spending on social engagement?  We need that number.

Are you paying graphic designers to build awesome graphics for Facebook?  Are you buying prizes for contests and giveaways?  Are you paying an employee, agency or contractor to engage in social media?

If it’s just you tweeting and Facebooking (is that a word?) you are still spending money.  What value do you place on your time?  $50 per hour?  $100?  $200?

Multiply that amount by the number of hours you spend engaging on social media, that’s your cost.  For example, If you spend 20 hours on social media sites per month and you value your time at $100 per hour, your budget is $2000 per month.

Now, at the very least, calculate a measurement called Cost per Engagement over a particular period of time.  You do this by adding all social media engagements together and dividing your spend by that number.

Your spreadsheet might look like this,

$2000 spend / 2682 engagements = $0.75 Cost Per Engagement

It’s not easy to add up all of your retweets, Likes, shares, etc.  It’s a manual process.

As a result, this might be a calculation you make once a quarter or twice per year.  That said, it might be exactly what you or your boss needs to see.  In that case, it’s worth taking the time to calculate this metric on a regular basis.

The next step is to compare across channels, time periods and tactics.  Based on what you’ve gathered, you can see how you can easily get to metrics like,

  • Cost per Twitter engagement
  • % Increase In Social Engagement (Month over Month)
  • Cost per Facebook Contest Engagement

The latter might look like this for a T-shirt content,


Hmmm… this contest cost only 35 cents per engagement while the overall Cost Per Engagement from social media is 75 cents.  Maybe we should run more contests.
When you start comparing across channels, time periods and tactics you will be able to make informed business decisions like,

  • Should I pay an agency $2000 per month to manage our Twitter account?
  • Did adding the graphic designer in November improve our social media engagement?
  • Should I run more contests on our Facebook page?

And that’s what it’s all about folks.  We measure so that we can make decisions that affect our revenue and costs.

Learn Your Content Categories

Before we dive headfirst in building out content schedules it is extremely important to learn the three types of content we will be referring to in this course.

  • Call to Action Content
  • Engagement Content
  • Goodwill Content

Call to Action Content are social posts that require a specific action. They are posts asking the reader to click a link and visit your website, posts requiring the reader visit your campaign in order to obtain more information, etc.

Engagement Content are posts that solicit the reader to take steps to interact with your fanpage within the Facebook platform. These steps would include the reader clicking the like button, clicking the share button and sharing the content with their Facebook friends, or commenting on your Facebook post.

Goodwill Content are posts that share another person’s or website’s content. It is sharing a link with your Facebook fans that does not directly and positively impact you with online social traffic. These types of posts are not necessary and some companies choose not to include them in their Facebook content plan. Thought for some websites this can be a great way of maintaining an actively engaged audience.

BONUS: In this Office Hours webinar, Julie explains the concept of content categories and shows examples. We also dive into a number of other important social media concepts.

[Article] How to Reengage Your Social Media Followers with the Perfect Social Content Mix

In this post, Julie breaks down the 3 categories under which all social media content falls and how they work together to engage social media followers and drive traffic.

Read the original post here.

I’ve seen it far too often…

Companies are eager to drive traffic from their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc) to their website so they post link after link after link.

Don’t make this mistake.  You need to mix it up or soon your status updates will fall on deaf ears and get fewer and fewer clicks. It’s an understandable mistake… and a frustrating one!

So what do you do?

Here’s the truth — it can be tough to know what type of content you should share and when you should share it.

Different types of posts will elicit different actions from your fans and followers. For this reason it’s important to understand the categories under which all social media content falls and how they work together to engage social media followers and drive traffic.

There are 3 different types of social media content…

  • Call to Action Content
  • Engagement Content
  • Goodwill Content

Let’s take a look at each of these in turn and some examples of these types of social media content done well.

Social Media Content Category 1 – Call to Action Content

These are social posts that require a specific action. They are posts asking the reader to click a link and visit your website, posts requiring the reader visit your campaign in order to obtain more information, etc.

CTA Content Example #1:

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This is a fantastic example of a Call to Action (CTA) Facebook post. DIY Ready is asking fans to click the link to view these makeup tutorials – the phrase “check out” being a strong command. And bonus, the copy also communicates a sense of urgency with “…hacks you need in your life RIGHT NOW”.

CTA Content Example #2:

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As you can see in this tweet, Design Love Fest is directly asking her followers to sign up for her workshop. The message is clear, concise, and to the point. And when they mention there are only two spots left it creates a great sense of urgency!

CTA Content Example #3:

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Check out this pin from Martha Stewart’s Pinterest account. It’s fantastic. The copy is excitable and she asks the readers to “click through” for inspiration. It’s a great way to remind pinners that when they click through this pin they will see more of this pin they already love so much!

Social Media Content Category 2 – Engagement Content

These are posts that ask the reader to take steps to interact with your fan page within the Facebook platform. The goal is to increase engagement and the virality of the message by getting the reader to…

  • “Like”
  • Share
  • Comment

Engagement Content Example #1:

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The Oreo Facebook page has long been famous for posting some of the most amazing engagement content that keeps their fans excited. And lately they’ve stepped up their game even more by posting short videos to their Facebook page. These guys really know how to keep an excited fanbase.

As you will see here, there is no link in the copy of this post. Oreo isn’t aiming to get traffic to their website as they would with Call to Action content. They are simply trying to provide their fans with a fun video that will get liked and shared!

Engagement Content Example #2:

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Here you have a tweet from Men’s Warehouse that is simply asking a question. This brand is trying to start a conversation with their Twitter followers.

Engagement Content Example #3:

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Engagement content on Pinterest looks a bit different and is often under-utilized. Some companies however are able to implement this particular type of content well by sharing inspirational photos with their followers. These photos are simply there to get repined and help the brand gain more followers and brand awareness.

Big-time NYC blogger Joanna Goddard’s Pinterest account emulates this well. She peppers in beautiful images and recipes along with her call to action content.

Social Media Content Category 3 – Goodwill Content

These are posts that share another person’s or website’s content. It is sharing a link with your Facebook fans that does not directly and positively impact you with online social traffic. These types of posts are not necessary and some companies choose not to include them in their social media content plan. Though for some websites this can be a great way of maintaining an actively engaged audience.

Goodwill Content Example #1:

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The Facebook team at Chasing Delicious does a great job at using Goodwill content. In this Facebook update they have posted an image and link to a person’s food blog. This helps them continue to share awesome content with their fans as well as build meaningful relationships with other influences in this industry.

Goodwill Content Example #2:

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Here, Martha Stewart shares a link to a movie she likes and she believes her followers will like as well. Now that’s a pretty big shout out!

Goodwill content on Twitter varies. It could be retweeting another person’s tweet, including a group of influencers in a Follow Friday (#FF) round up, or it could be sharing a link to another person’s blog or website.

Goodwill Content Example #3:

OrganicImg12 OrganicImg10

TED News is a pro at Goodwill content. Here you see two pins that not only share another person’s content, but also gives them the credit for the content right in the copy. Pretty nice!

Goodwill content on Pinterest can look an awful lot like engagement content. Goodwill content here means you share a pin with a link to someone else’s website or content. This helps mix up the content you are pushing out to your Pinterest followers as well as aids you in creating meaningful relationships with other influential pinners.

So there you have it… the three types of social media content and examples of them at work.

Calls to action, engagement, and goodwill content all play an important part in your social media strategy. Using a healthy mix of these three content types will ensure your social audience doesn’t get bored with your content.

Rather than tiring of the same calls to action they see repeatedly, this mix will ensure they stay entertained – keeping them engaged and helping your audience grow over time!

[Template Download] How to Build Highly Engaging Images for Your Facebook Page

In this article, Bridget O’Reilly  explains how to increase engagement on your Facebook page using one of the oldest (and most effective) image posts in the book. Template included.

Read the original article here.

Ok, so it’s tough to get engagement on a Facebook page without paying.

We know, we wrote about it here when our engagement dropped to nearly zero.

In short, Facebook has put a hurt lock on Facebook pages — making it difficult to reach the audiences they’ve spent money and time to build.

But there’s no “quit” in us — in fact, we like it when the going gets tough.  It gets rid of all the knuckleheads that don’t test.

So, we’ve been working in the Lab to find Facebook post types that work.

And, of course, once we found a good formula — we documented the best practices and had it templatized (Is that a word?  I’m thinking not…) so we can crank out status updates like this at will.

You’ll get that process (and the templates) in just a second…

… but first let me show you the post type I’m talking about.

The Good Old Quote Post

For years, Facebookers have been uploading images of famous quotes like…

Example Quote Image from Facebook

And these work… sort of.

People like them, share them and engage with them.  Don’t lie… I know you do too.  🙂

But smart marketers realize that posting quotes from Steve Jobs, Maya Angelou and Michael Jordan might get solid engagement but they don’t…

  • Advance their own brand
  • Advance their own message
  • Drive traffic to their content

If you’re going to share quotes… why not share your own?

Brendan Burchard gets it…

QuoteImg2

So does Tony Robbins…

Example Quote Post Image on Facebook - Tony Robbins

I know what you’re thinking…

“Pffft.  I’m NOT a rock star like Brendon Burchard or Tony Robbins!”

But you’re wrong… you DO have something to say.  And to YOUR sphere of influence you ARE a rock star.

And, if you’re part of a larger company — you likely have a public facing figure (the CEO, Founder, owner?) that can communicate key messages through quote posts.

And don’t worry… I’m going to make it real easy to test these quote posts on your Facebook page.

Here’s what one of ours looks like…

quote-posts-image4

What is so engaging about this post?

  • Visually appealing text
  • Relevant content
  • Link, Link, Link!

Where To Find Content For Quote Posts

No matter what niche or vertical you’re in you’ll find quotables for your Facebook posts.

Here’s where to start looking…

Resurface your old content

Do you frequently post your newest content on Facebook while your old content dies away?  What a waste!  Revisit this content and see if you can use or revise it for your quote box. This will expose new followers to your stuff that’s old but still great.

Look at the data in your email marketing program to find old posts that did well to your mailing list and resurrect that content with a few quote images and links to drive more traffic to those golden oldies.

Or, check your Google Analytics to find highly trafficked content that could be resurfaced.  Use the BEHAVIOR > SITE CONTENT > ALL PAGES report.

quote-posts-image5

Use What’s Already Worked on Facebook

Find posts your followers have already engaged with on Facebook using Facebook Insights and breathe new life into them using a quote box. Come up with 3-4 different quotes for the content to use it multiple times.

Access Facebook Insights and then the POSTS reports.

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Export the post data to Excel and find highly engaging content by sorting and searching through the “Lifetime Post Organic Reach” column in your data.

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Look everywhere… I mean everywhere

You and your organization have content… somewhere.  Is it on a YouTube channel?  In PowerPoint presentations?  Scribbled in a moleskine notebook?  Find it and surface it with quote boxes.

Lead into new content

If you don’t want to go back and create quote boxes for old content — use them to draw attention to each new piece of content you share on your page.

How to Build Your Own Quote Box

First, review all the content that you want to expose to your audience.

  • Remember, this content can come from a blog post, a video, a podcast, a webinar… the possibilities are endless.
  • Record 2-3 worthwhile statements that quickly summarize and make your content worth reading.
  • A quote box should serve as a quick insight into your content. Ultimately, your audience will decide if the content is worth reading and sharing with others.

Categorize your information in Excel. This provides you a library of content that you can pull from. Organize your content by:

  • Type: Blog Post/Video/Podcast?
  • Headline: The headline of your content to reference.
  • Quote Content:  2-3 ideas of quotes to go in your quote box template.
  • Copy: The copy that will go above your quote box on your social media.
  • Link: Include tracking to see how many clicks you’ve received.

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Don’t forget to set up tracking before you set these posts live…

  • Use Bit.ly to shorten your links and monitor click data
  • If you’re tracking organic social campaigns using Google Analytics use UTM parameters on your URL’s.

Check to see how many clicks you’ve received on a post after 3 days. Record this for a month and see how you’ve done.

Repurpose Your Quote Boxes

Sure — Facebook is the social media king but you can share these quote boxes on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram as well.  Visual information does very well on all of these social sites.

Keep these quote box sizes in mind for the various networks…

QUOTE-BOX-SIZES

Quote Image Tips

  • Keep it short – Quotes should be, ideally, no longer than one sentence.
  • Format –  Emphasize positive and negative words using bold and italics, but don’t overdo it.
  • Keep it clean – Don’t use an image heavy background. It’s better to keep the background a flat color or simple pattern with text that stands out. The emphasis here is on the message, not the image.
  • Find the face – Quote boxes perform well with public figures. If possible, use quotes from the face of the company.
  • Upload as a link – Linked posts get further organic reach. Enter your link, change the link picture to your quote image, and enter your copy.

how-to-change-link-image-to-quote-boxhow-to-replace-image-and-add-copy-

Download the Quote Box Template

We’ve made some templates you can use in PowerPoint.

  • Download the templates, add your own quotes
  • Click on FILE > SAVE AS and save the slide as a JPEG.
  • Upload that puppy adding text and links to your content.

Download Your Complimentary Quote Box PowerPoint Templates here

3 – Using Facebook

Assess Your Target Audience and How to Engage Them

Now that your Facebook page is set up and you are ready to roll out content it’s important to learn what your competitors are doing on Facebook.

Now is the time to break out the trusty competitor analysis spreadsheet we created earlier.

Don’t have a Facebook Page?  No problem — Digital Marketer Lab Members can access the How To Set Up Your Facebook Page and Get Your First 100 Likes Execution Plan here.

While using Facebook as your fanpage visit all your competitors’ Facebook pages andfan them from your company’s fanpage. This will ensure you can find a steady stream of useable content that your audience is really going to enjoy.

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Take the time to study again what these competing fan pages are doing to identify with their audience. Are there types of posts that work particularly well? It is important to make notes of these as you will want to incorporate the same or similar posting strategy of the your most successful competition.

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It is also important to make notes on their fans and how they interact with your competition’s Facebook fanpage. This will give you great insight into your target demographic, what they find funny, what type of content they enjoy engaging with, and more.

Create a Useable Content Calendar

It’s imperative to create a content calendar that works for you. Once your Facebook page boasts a large audience and you’re pumping out large amounts of awesome content you’ll thank me for this tip 😉

It streamlines the work flow and allows you to stay super organized. It also makes it amazingly easy to make sure you are posting a healthy mix of engagement posts and call to action posts at the times of day that will work the will perform the best!

Here… this is the two-week rotating calendar that I use for all my Facebook content organization. Try it on for size and see how it works for you:

Facebook Content Calendar

Determine When to Post Specific Types of Content

It is important to check your Facebook Insights for the optimal time to post your traffic driving content. To do so, click “Insights” at the top right of your Facebook Page Admin Panel.

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Then click “Posts”

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You will then notice a curve graph depicting when your fans are online. Post your most engaging or most important content when it will hit the largest amount of users.

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Note that this graph updates weekly and reflects the data from the previous week. So it is important to check back regularly to ensure you continue posting important content during the best time.

How often you post is relative to your industry and the type of content you are creating. I recommend you begin with three Facebook posts per day for two weeks – posting one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and the third in the evening.

If these three posts do well then increase to four posts per day for 1-2 weeks. Continue increasing until you notice the amount of posts negatively impacting your engagement rate.

Schedule Your Facebook Posts

Now that you have a good idea of what content you will be posting and when you will be posting, it’s time to schedule them!

Load your Facebook page and find the Post Box. Once found, choose “Status” to post a link or simple text update, “Photo/Video” to upload media, or “Event/Milestone” if you would like to celebrate a particular event.

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If posting a link – use the “Status” option and draft your copy in the text box. When you insert the link a link box will appear as you can see below:

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If your link does not bring up a larger image click “Upload Image” and select an appropriate image from your computer (Google Commons [LINK] is a great resource for finding images if you currently do not have any for the post). By selecting a large enough image your post will look as shown below:

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If you would like the post to go out to your Facebook fans immediately click “Post”. To Schedule the post to be published a future date click the small clock in the bottom left of your post scheduler. Select the date and time you would like your content to post and click “Schedule”.

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Double Check Your Scheduled Posts in the Facebook Scheduler

I always like to view all my posts once they are scheduled to make sure they are good to go at the correct time and typo free. And Facebook has made it extremely easy to do so.

Click “Activity” at the top of the Admin Panel. Click “Scheduled Posts”. Here you can view all the posts scheduled to publish. To edit, reschedule, push a post live, or even to delete a scheduled post simply click the “v” arrow in the top right of your post and choose which action you would like to perform.

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Moderate Your Facebook Community

Check the Wall Posts

Visit your Facebook fan page and find the “Posts to Page” box on the left of your page’s timeline.  Click the “>” to view all.

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This will bring up your wall posts by others where you can read what other people have written directly on your wall.

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Scroll down, reading all posts and comments. Are any offensive? Do they speak negatively about a product or your brand? Are they great engaging material that you should “Like” as a brand? Respond accordingly to the necessary posts.

If at all possible, try to resolve issues with upset fans. If there is no way to resolve issues that appear on your wall the conversations can be hidden, deleted, or marked as spam (if it is, indeed, spam). Click the x toward the right of the wall post and select the option you would like to take care of the issue from the drop down list.

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It’s good to note that while deleting comments may be your best option, it is important to try and help the fan first… simply deleting all negative posts can infuriate a Facebook audience and cause a negative experience with your brand for many people.

Check Your Posts’ Comments

Find the post you would like to moderate and scroll down slightly to view comments. Click “View More Comments” in order to view all comments.

Read through the comments. Click “Like” for the great ones, and it never hurts to comment on a few!

If you find a comment that defames the brand or product OR that is absolutely negative you can delete or hide these comments.

To “Hide” a comment click the x to the right.

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To “Delete” a comment click the x to hide à click the “Delete” option once it is hidden.

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Very rarely should you ban a person from your page. However, you may find a particularly angry fan whose amount of negative comments may be hurting your brand. In this case click the x to hide the comment. Click the “Ban” option to ban the user from visiting your page in the future.

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Check Your Facebook Messages

Click the “Message” option to the right of the admin bar.

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Click on the message to open and read it. Use the text box to draft a reply to the fan. Once done click “Reply” and your message will be sent!

Assess Your Facebook Engagement Rate

Engagement rates show what percentage of your fans are actively using your Facebook page. This is the percentage of your total fans who like, share, and comment on your posts. It is important to keep a highly engaged audience, because this is the type of audience that will see call to actions (discussed below) and engage in a positive way to the CTA posts.

To calculate your engagement rate click the number of likes that appears below your page’s profile picture (under the PEOPLE header).

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(# talking about this  /  # likes) x 100 = Engagement Percentage

*We aim to always keep this engagement rate above 15%. The higher this rate the better!

Calculate your engagement rate at the same time every day (mornings work best here). Enter your daily engagement rate into a spreadsheet for easy reference and ability to watch increases, decreases, etc.

Use Your Engagement Rate to Determine Quality Content

One way to help you determine what content is really resonating with your audience is by closely watching your engagement rate.

To monitor this visit your Facebook page’s insights.

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Then click posts and scroll down to view all your past Facebook posts.

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Come here daily to monitor how your Facebook posts over the last 3 days have been performing.

Take note of the posts that are performing the best (these are the posts your audience would LOVE to see more of). Also take note of the engagement/virality posts that are not performing well (these are the posts your audience is not enjoying as much). Record these findings in your spreadsheet along with your daily engagement rate.

Use these notes to determine what works best for your audience. Do they like questions? Memes? Inspirational quotes? By following these steps you’ll be able to easily see what type of engagement content to choose for your audience. Easy Peasy!

Create

In this article, Digital Marketer’s social media manager Bridget O’Reilly gives us a simple way (there’s even a downloadable template) to create engaging posts on Facebook.

Ok, so it’s tough to get engagement on a Facebook page without paying.

We know, we wrote about it here when our engagement dropped to nearly zero.

In short, Facebook has put a hurt lock on Facebook pages — making it difficult to reach the audiences they’ve spent money and time to build.

But there’s no “quit” in us — in fact, we like it when the going gets tough.  It gets rid of all the knuckleheads that don’t test.

So, we’ve been working in the Lab to find Facebook post types that work.

And, of course, once we found a good formula — we documented the best practices and had it templatized (Is that a word?  I’m thinking not…) so we can crank out status updates like this at will.

You’ll get that process (and the templates) in just a second…

… but first let me show you the post type I’m talking about.

The Good Old Quote Post

For years, Facebookers have been uploading images of famous quotes like…

Example Quote Image from Facebook

And these work… sort of.

People like them, share them and engage with them.  Don’t lie… I know you do too.  🙂

But smart marketers realize that posting quotes from Steve Jobs, Maya Angelou and Michael Jordan might get solid engagement but they don’t…

  • Advance their own brand
  • Advance their own message
  • Drive traffic to their content

If you’re going to share quotes… why not share your own?

Brendan Burchard gets it…

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So does Tony Robbins…

Example Quote Post Image on Facebook - Tony Robbins

I know what you’re thinking…

“Pffft.  I’m NOT a rock star like Brendon Burchard or Tony Robbins!”

But you’re wrong… you DO have something to say.  And to YOUR sphere of influence you ARE a rock star.

And, if you’re part of a larger company — you likely have a public facing figure (the CEO, Founder, owner?) that can communicate key messages through quote posts.

And don’t worry… I’m going to make it real easy to test these quote posts on your Facebook page.

Here’s what one of ours looks like…

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What is so engaging about this post?

  • Visually appealing text
  • Relevant content
  • Link, Link, Link!

Where To Find Content For Quote Posts

No matter what niche or vertical you’re in you’ll find quotables for your Facebook posts.

Here’s where to start looking…

Resurface your old content

Do you frequently post your newest content on Facebook while your old content dies away?  What a waste!  Revisit this content and see if you can use or revise it for your quote box. This will expose new followers to your stuff that’s old but still great.

Look at the data in your email marketing program to find old posts that did well to your mailing list and resurrect that content with a few quote images and links to drive more traffic to those golden oldies.

Or, check your Google Analytics to find highly trafficked content that could be resurfaced.  Use the BEHAVIOR > SITE CONTENT > ALL PAGES report.

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Use What’s Already Worked on Facebook

Find posts your followers have already engaged with on Facebook using Facebook Insights and breathe new life into them using a quote box. Come up with 3-4 different quotes for the content to use it multiple times.

Access Facebook Insights and then the POSTS reports.

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Export the post data to Excel and find highly engaging content by sorting and searching through the “Lifetime Post Organic Reach” column in your data.

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Look everywhere… I mean everywhere

You and your organization have content… somewhere.  Is it on a YouTube channel?  In PowerPoint presentations?  Scribbled in a moleskine notebook?  Find it and surface it with quote boxes.

Lead into new content

If you don’t want to go back and create quote boxes for old content — use them to draw attention to each new piece of content you share on your page.

How to Build Your Own Quote Box

First, review all the content that you want to expose to your audience.

  • Remember, this content can come from a blog post, a video, a podcast, a webinar… the possibilities are endless.
  • Record 2-3 worthwhile statements that quickly summarize and make your content worth reading.
  • A quote box should serve as a quick insight into your content. Ultimately, your audience will decide if the content is worth reading and sharing with others.

Categorize your information in Excel. This provides you a library of content that you can pull from. Organize your content by:

  • Type: Blog Post/Video/Podcast?
  • Headline: The headline of your content to reference.
  • Quote Content:  2-3 ideas of quotes to go in your quote box template.
  • Copy: The copy that will go above your quote box on your social media.
  • Link: Include tracking to see how many clicks you’ve received.

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Don’t forget to set up tracking before you set these posts live…

  • Use Bit.ly to shorten your links and monitor click data
  • If you’re tracking organic social campaigns using Google Analytics use UTM parameters on your URL’s.

Check to see how many clicks you’ve received on a post after 3 days. Record this for a month and see how you’ve done.

Repurpose Your Quote Boxes

Sure — Facebook is the social media king but you can share these quote boxes on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram as well.  Visual information does very well on all of these social sites.

Keep these quote box sizes in mind for the various networks…

QUOTE-BOX-SIZES

Quote Image Tips

  • Keep it short – Quotes should be, ideally, no longer than one sentence.
  • Format –  Emphasize positive and negative words using bold and italics, but don’t overdo it.
  • Keep it clean – Don’t use an image heavy background. It’s better to keep the background a flat color or simple pattern with text that stands out. The emphasis here is on the message, not the image.
  • Find the face – Quote boxes perform well with public figures. If possible, use quotes from the face of the company.
  • Upload as a link – Linked posts get further organic reach. Enter your link, change the link picture to your quote image, and enter your copy.

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Download the Quote Box Template

We’ve made some templates you can use in PowerPoint.

  • Download the templates, add your own quotes
  • Click on FILE > SAVE AS and save the slide as a JPEG.
  • Upload that puppy adding text and links to your content.

Download Your Complimentary Quote Box PowerPoint Templates here

Your turn. How do you plan to use quote images on your Facebook page or elsewhere?  What post types are working for you on Facebook and elsewhere?  Don’t be stingy — let’s share! 🙂

4 – Using Twitter

Assess Your Twitter Audience

It’s time to break out the trusty competitor list we created awhile back. This time it will help you get a good idea of who will be following you on Twitter, what they talk about, and what they like to interact with.

Here is where I recommend you use a free Twitter analytic tool to help you sift through information on your competitors. Followerwonk is my go to tool. Using their tools, you can get in depth analysis’ on your competitors’ follower demographics, when during the day your competitors tweet, and more. You can also run a comparative analysis of multiple user accounts.

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These are some exciting analytics that will be super useful as you find the build out your content plan!

Build a Targeted Twitter Following

The Follow Back Strategy

Once again visit your competitors’ Twitter accounts and view the list of their followers.

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Follow as many of these followers as you can. The idea is that if these Twitter users are interested in your competitors they will most likely be interested in your content as well! Your follow back rate may be low (some studies show anywhere from 12% – 30% users will follow you back) but the ones that do will be a highly targeted audience.

By Finding Topical Similarities

By using Twitter aggregate websites like Twellow.com you can find Twitter users who are interested in your industry or topics you tweet about.

By simply creating an account and searching they keyword of your choice Twellow will deliver a list of Twitter profiles that include that keyword in the user description.

Follow these users.

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By Community Engagement

Another way to find followers on Twitter is to use the search function with the Twitter website. Search Twitter for the keyword of your choice.

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From here Twitter will deliver a list of tweets that include that keyword. “Favorite” great tweets. Respond to tweets that warrant a response naturally and attempt to engage the user. Chance are, once a conversation gets started the Twitter user will follow your account!

Types of Twitter Content

The Twitter content categories are exactly the same as Facebook content categories:

  • Call to Action Content
  • Engagement Content
  • Goodwill Content

Please refer to the Learn Your Content Categories section for a further explanation into each type of content.

Create a Solid Twitter Content Schedule

For scheduling tweets I’m a big fan of Hootsuite. There are quite a few Twitter management tools out there that are awesome and just as great, I just happen to be very familiar with Hootsuite. So, while I’ll be using Hootsuite as the example here, these practices can be applied to whatever management tool you choose to use (as long as it offers a scheduler function).

Tweetdeck is another tool you could opt to use that will give you the same management options.

Ready to dive in? Let’s create a Twitter schedule that is chock full of awesome content and yet takes very little effort to maintain.

As new content posts to your website all you have to do is schedule it to tweet according to the following plan:

  • Twice the day of publish
  • Once two days later
  • Once a week later
  • Once a month later

By referring to the “Scheduled Tweets” column Hootsuite offers it is incredibly easy to find a time slot that is open for the tweeting.

Note: Overall, more Twitter users are online checking their Twitter stream in the afternoon and evening. As well as on the weekends.

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(images via BufferApp)

While this is GREAT info to get you started, I always recommend testing the best times to tweet out for yourself, as oftentimes it will vary depending on your audience.

Manage Your Community

Community management is another reason why I love using a Twitter Management Tool. Hootsuite allows me to pull in any @ mention I receive on Twitter, any Direct Message, as well as any mention of my brand or company. And it delivers it into an easy to use stream within the dashboard.

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Within this feature I can find conversations I need to respond to and immediately do so within the Hootsuite interface.

Use the Twitter

One of the strategies we use in social media is called “The Short List.”
Here’s the problem:
Social media, and particularly Twitter, is notorious for being difficult to manage because of the sheer number of people and status updates to pay attention to.
If you’re following 100’s or thousands of people on Twitter you aren’t likely able to use Twitter effectively.
The solution is “The Short List.”
In this Office Hours Molly and Russ show you how to use Twitter lists to finally make some sense of Twitter and use it to move the needle for your business.

Here’s a link to the blog post referenced in this video from Social Media Examiner:

How to Find Influential People With Social Media

Watch the Office Hours by clicking here

5 – Using Pinterest

Assess Your Target Audience

Finding and assessing your target audience on Pinterest is not much different than the Twitter process we just learned.

Pull out your trusty competitor list and look up all of your competitors on Pinterest. Once again make notes on the following:

Who is following them?
Scroll through their followers and take notes on the demographics.

  • Are they mostly women?
  • Are they mostly men?
  • What age group do their followers fall in on average?

After you feel that you have a sufficient idea of their followers visit a few of their followers (at random) Pinterest accounts and see what they’re pinning taking notes of anything that pops out.

  • Do they like recipes?
  • Do they pin hilarious memes?

All this information implemented into your strategy will help you get noticed andrepinned by your target audience – therefore increasing your reach.

What are your competitors pinning?
Finally, when you visit your competitors’ Pinterest accounts click on “pins”. Here you will find all of their past pins.

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Take a look at what they’ve been pinning, taking notes on

  • Photo style
  • Engagements (the number of likes and repins)
  • Pin copy

You’re going to want to emulate the style of their most successful pins.

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Build a Targeted Pinterest Following

This is actually an incredibly easy process and the most successful one I’ve found. Follow these easy steps daily and watch your follower count grow!

1. Visit a competitors Pinterest account and pin a few of their pins

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2. Click on the “Followers” tab to view your competitor’s followers.

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3. Follow as many as Pinterest will allow you

4. Visit your Pinterest stream and repin as many of your new streams pins as you feel  appropriate.

Having tested this on numerous accounts, I’ve found the average follow back rate to be about 30%. This is wonderfully high compared to other social networks where the follow / follow back method can sometimes fall a bit flat.

This works well for a couple reasons.

The first being that you are gathering your followers from an already qualified list. The pinners you are following have already expressed an interest in your competitor – which means, they will most likely be very interested in your content as well.

Secondly, when you go back through your new pin stream and repin some of these pinners material you start an online connection. This increases the chances that pinner will follow you back!

Pin Your Site’s BEST Content

Time to visit Google Analytic again!

Chances are, if your website is already producing new content regularly, some has wound up on Pinterest and therefore, Pinterest is driving some traffic to your website. To find out which pieces of content people have pinned visit Google Analytics Acquisition – Social – Network Referrals. And finally, click on Pinterest.
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This will produce a list of pages that receive traffic from Pinterest. I recommend adding these pages into your pin rotation since they have already proven to perform well as a traffic driving source.

A second way to find out what people are pinning from your website is to visit the following URL:

www.pinterest.com/source/ your-web-address-here.com

Pinterest

This will deliver a page of pins that have come from your url. This has been super handy to me as I’m looking for new followers (I follow all these guys who pin our content), and seeing what pins perform the best!

Note: Pinterest is a largely visual site so it’s important your content is presented accordingly. Keeping images large, clear, bright, and colorful will increase your chances for repins and further exposure exponentially.

Schedule Your Pins

Pinning can be time consuming. And for awhile, before there were any decent pin schedulers it created a ton of work that was hard to keep up with. Fortunately, there are quite a few solutions out there now. While many are incredibly expensive I recommend giving ViralTag a shot as it is very affordable.

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I recommend scheduling pins during peak hours in 15 minute intervals. It has resulted in increased traffic and engagement on not only our pins but on our websites.

Here’s a great video tutorial on how to use Viral Tag:

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_qe6ETBZ-4

6 – Using Instagram

Assess Your Target Instagram Audience

You’re going to need your competitor list again. Figuring out who your target audience is on Instagram is very similar to what we’ve done in the past. We’ll be studying our competitors for this…

Who is following them? Scroll through their followers and take notes on the demographics – much like you did for Pinterest. What age group do their followers fall in on average?

What are your competitors posting? Finally, when you visit your competitors’ Instagram accounts make notes of the type of content they post. Especially they type of content that receives the most engagement in the form of comments and likes.

 

Build an Engaged Instagram Following

Instagram is unique in that it allows for highly personal interactions and generally extremely loyal followers. The most effective way I have found to acquire new and highly engaged followers is to engage with the users to begin with. Since Instagram is so personal simply liking and commenting on a user’s photos will often times result in return engagement from the user and many times even a follow.

There are a couple ways to find users to engage with:

Competitor List

First, you can visit your competitors on Instagram and scroll through their followers list. These people will most likely be interested in the pictures you post if they are already interested in your competitors.

Hashtags

The second, and possibly more effective, way to find people to engage with is through hashtags. Hashtags are used to categorize photos into topics, searching a particular hashtag will deliver a stream of photos that have been tagged accordingly.

Search hashtags relative to the content you post on Instagram and engage by liking and/or commenting on the photos hashtagged.

Analyze Your Instagram Performance

One handy tool I use to study my competitors’ accounts, find hashtags, check my statistics, and so much more is Icono Square. Previously Statigram, Iconosquare allows you to review your Instagram content and your engagements with handy graphs that help assess how your posts are performing. It also delivers reports of new followers you received, best times of day to post for your audience and more!

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Understand the Best Time of Day to Post

It’s important to make sure you’re reaching the most people you can when you post. The chart below is one study of the best times to post:

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Rather than taking this at face value, I again recommend you check the analytics.

Iconosquare will generate a graph (example below) that is unique to your posting habits and your users. I encourage you to check this out and determine when is the best time for YOU to be posting to reach your audience and harvest the most engagement.

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Engage with Your Instagram Community

Once you have acquired new followers and created a top-notch posting plan, don’t forget to consistently engage with your followers. Doing so will ensure they stick around with your brand on Instagram for the long haul.

Do so by responding to comments on your Instagram that warrant a response. And take some time every now and then to visit your followers Instagram accounts – like and comment on some photos to show them you take an active interest in them as your customer.

A Final Note

Beginning a whole social media strategy can seem daunting, I know, but with a usable and effective organic strategy you can start off on the right foot. Focusing on a strong plan, you can stay organized and make the most efficient use of your time. That’s something we all want, isn’t it?
Facebook boasts over 1.4 billion users, Twitter has 560 million active tweeters, and Pinterest has 70 million pinners and counting. It is clear social media is a necessary marketing tool for any company. And while social sites like Facebook offer many paid marketing options, it is incredibly important to understand how to get the very most your social strategy can offer organically.

By following the steps listed above you will create an effective plan and shape habits that will be useful time and time again.

Good luck and happy socializing!

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