How Businesses Should Use Facebook & Social Media

I recently wrote an email to a business owner who asked my advice on social media marketing. The following is excerpted from what I sent him:

Growing a Facebook account can be tricky. These tips should help.

A few common trends in viral content:

 
  1. I haven’t seen it before.
  2. It moves me.
  3. It shocks me.
  4. I feel like I’m doing my part in saving the world if I spread the word. (this should be suggested in post, video, etc.)

Regarding Facebook:

 
  1. You’re expected to put some money into a Facebook page to gain traction. It has become difficult to have a successful/active Facebook page without doing so in the beginning. Posts with images are estimated to be about 70% more effective than without.
  2. Prompting people to “click share” or “click like if you agree” works. They do it.
  3. Posting content that people are already familiar with is effective (incorporating quotes from public figures). I like Martin Luther King Jr so I’ll share your post about him.

Other typical marking tips & ideas:

 
  1. Piggyback on people who already have an audience, so you don’t have to start from scratch. (submit something touching to aplus.com  submit a interesting video to devour.com  get relevant bloggers to post about you, podcasts to interview you, submit a inspiring video to StumbleUpon, etc.)
  2. Piggyback on current events, pop culture, trending hashtags, etc. 
  3. Give as much opportunity to talk about you as possible. Make your content easily sharable. (maybe a “share” or “like” link in each email/video that you send out).
  4. Give me the opportunity to humble brag. (If I just did a marathon to save children, I want a shirt, pin, or Facebook cover photo that says I did. “I’m not bragging because I’m helping children,” so I’ll show it off)
 

Common Twitter/instagram marketing tactic:

 
  1. Search accounts that are similar to you (or in competition with you)
  2. Follow their followers (a reasonable % will follow you back)
  3. Unfollow people (or you’ll seem desperate with all your followers)

The value of twitter/other social media (G+, linkedin, snapchat, etc)

 
Twitter
Most likely the 2nd most popular social network for companies to be on. Small, frequent posts. One of the only places that you can post 2-5 times a day without coming across as desperate. 
G+
No value. Similar to Facebook, but nobody uses it, so you won’t have much interaction. Some companies use it to share their blog posts, but that’s about it.
 
Linkedin
The value here is in making connections to find jobs or business partners. I haven’t used it too much. Mostly professionals, networkers, and people over 30. Posts will not go viral here.
Snapchat
Send short pictures or videos to your friends. Businesses have no idea how to use this for marketing. I don’t think I do either because it’s more of a private messaging app than a social one.

Resources:

 
Easily create nice image + text graphics:
Free/great stock image to use for graphics:
More traffic to your website:
  1. http://snip.ly (any link you share will have a widget that links to your site)
  2. http://aplus.com/contribute
  3. http://devour.com/submit/
  4. https://www.stumbleupon.com/submit
 
Make your posting more automatic:
  1. http://ifttt.com (This one has an incredible amount of uses, and I love it. But it can be a bit overwhelming. A simple use case would be something like: if you post to Facebook, automatically post to twitter.
  2. https://bufferapp.com (schedule twitter posts)

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