Social Media Hacks for the Clueless

social-media-colalgeLet’s get serious – social media (to me) is one giant guessing game.  For the last month, I’ve been experimenting with our social media at work to figure out a pattern of what people like to see from us, what they interact with regularly, time of day they are online reacting, and what increases followers.  So, here is what I’ve learned:

  1. The same type of posts/articles never do as well as the first – You would think that patterns in your shares, likes, and retweets would be a sign to keep riding those inspiration video trains, quotes, action photos…etc, but what your viewers really want is variety.  They don’t want to come back and return to a page to see a similar post from yesterday or even last week.  Be sure to use various types of posts (videos, photos, articles, quotes…etc.) and mix it up when it comes to the types of posts you do.  Sometimes inspirational, connect with what is going on that day (national dance day or national boss day), or even something that your audience can learn from that relates to your clientele.  Whatever you do constantly be mixing it up.
  2. What works on one platform will not work on another – The three social media platforms we focus on are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  We are a very visual company so keeping our Instagram relevant with consistent activity is vital to the growth of our national and international events.  Unlike Instagram, Facebook is looking for content, while Twitter is looking for 280 characters or less.  One of the best posts I put on Twitter this week was a random thought I had about why I walk so fast and I related it to dance (type of industry I work in). It said, “I 100% blame dance for why I walk so fast. You can only have “walk with a purpose” said to you so many before you walk everywhere like you have 8 counts to make it.” This posts got one of the highest interactions we’ve had on that platform. People like a little sass in their tweets. A quick thing they can respond to is key to success there.
  3. There are dry spells – Unless you have original content you can pump out daily there are dry spells where not much interaction is going on. That has partly to do with sharing others content and not your own. We usually share at least two pieces of original content on each platform per week. I try to focus on videos, creative stories, or relevant info to our events.  As it gets closer to our event we have more original content that gets a lot of attention.
  4. Use as much new and relevant content as possible – Be clever in your posts. On Instagram I used an old image from West Side Story to talk about Justin Peck being announced as the choreographer for the upcoming Steven Spielberg remake of the film. We had a large number of likes plus numerous comments about excitement for the film and their favorite songs from the movie. Granted this content wasn’t original because it had been announced in a major dance publication, but by putting a twist on it and asking about people’s favorite song or memory it got people to talk.
  5. All videos need to be 2 minutes or less – Anything longer than 2 minutes for a video you lose people’s attention. Be sure that all videos that are original create the ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out) mindset in your viewers. Make them want to check out your content regularly as well as sign-up for whatever you are selling.
  6. Post regularly, but stay innovative – Try to post at least 1x per day on Facebook and Twitter. For Instagram as long as your consistent with how much you post it doesn’t affect your numbers. There are numerous free sites to help schedule your social when you are not in the office like Later (for Instagram) and Hootsuite (for Facebook & Twitter). These are great tools to really layout your ideas, but be sure to save room for new posts that may come up that day.

Final advice – don’t over do it. Posting more than 2x a day on any platform doesn’t increase your followers or interactions (unless it’s on-site at an event). From personal experience I’ve seen our numbers go down (particularly on Facebook) when the event isn’t happening and we are posting random material.

I’ve learned over the last month that you have to constantly be looking for a new edge with your social. Just like our events, always having the mind set of what makes us different is the key to success.

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