Today I want to talk about social media. One of the questions I get all the time is, how do I post to make money? My answer today is, no, a social media post will not make you money, and here’s why.
What I’ve Learned In Over 14 Years…
What I want to cover is what really works when it comes to posting social media. First and foremost I’ve been on social media for over 14 years. I started on LinkedIn in 2004 and I’ve been on Facebook since 2006, 2008, I’m not 100% sure. I could go back and look in my history obviously, but it’s been at least 10 years. I’ve tried over the course of the years to do things in my business online, I’ve had a lot of fun talking to people and creating relationships, but ultimately it’s a business tool. It doesn’t have to be 100% a business tool but in the case of what I’m talking about today, we want to look at it from that perspective.
I have paid thousands and more on coaching programs, on swipe files, on lessons, on videos, on just about everything you can imagine. If you don’t know what all that stuff is don’t worry about it; I’ve spent a lot of money trying to learn the secret and I’ve seen this all the time. “With this easy posting formula you can make millions. Just follow my strategy.” I’ve tried it over and over and over and I’ve failed again. And I started to give up. It’s like, it isn’t going to work. And then throw in all of the algorithm changes and all the changes to the platforms that have happened. When Facebook started out, it was really easy to get your business found. Now the only way that people can find your business is if you sponsor posts. Well frankly, I block sponsored posts. If I’m blocking other people’s posts, what are other people going to do to mine? The same thing. We don’t go on there because we want get sold something.
So you have to kind of look at from a different perspective. And I’m a pretty thick headed dude! If my dad was still alive today, you could ask him. That’s what he used to call me, thick headed. Do you think maybe you could use a little help with your social media presence? Then this is for you.
What I started to do was take a deep dive and tried to learn these things myself. Everybody else was teaching this strategy and that strategy and I really need to kind of morph all of that stuff into something that would work for me, and once I figured out how to get it to work for me, then I could actually show other people how to do it. And that’s why I’m in the business of coaching people on how to market their businesses. You do that by creating great content that people act upon that ultimately lead to things.
Work ALL The Top Social Platforms
I did a deep dive into every social media platform I could find. I played around with everything you can imagine. I came up with the top six, and they’re not necessarily in order. First is Facebook, then LinkedIn, then Twitter, then Pinterest, then Instagram, and Google Plus. Google Plus is one of my secret sauces and that’s because Google uses Google Plus to index content. That’s for another day. I started playing with all of these and I started posting great audience-centered content. What do I mean by audience-centered content? Stuff that people wanted to pay attention to. Stuff that was short. Stuff that was funny. Stuff that was motivational. Stuff that made people think. And what I learned is that I started to get a lot more engagement. I started getting likes, I started getting shares. I started getting people really connecting with me as a person and vice versa.
When I saw what was going on, I started to figure out that different audiences were looking for different content on different platforms. Now you can’t post text on Instagram. You can on Twitter. But guess what? If you add a picture to Twitter, you get a little bit more engagement sometimes. You can add pictures to Facebook, to Twitter, to Instagram, to Pinterest, all that stuff. I found that really great pictures increase engagement.
The other thing was that I was keeping everything short, but what I’ve been playing around with is longer posts. I went to a training with somebody that I’m going to have on the podcast in the not-too-distant future, and what he talked about was the optimum post. He went through and started studying all these different things that he was doing and what he determined, and I’ve heard this before, was that the engagement he got started to rise when he started to see that read more button or see more button on any one of those posts. He would write ones that were about 1,300 words or less because that’s the maximum that you could post into LinkedIn and it seemed to be a good number in Facebook.
Post The Right Content On The Right Platform
I started playing around with the short posts and long posts and what did I discover? The long posts didn’t get as much engagement, but they got a lot more targeted engagement. And so things started to change. And not only did it change for me, but it changed in my business. And I figured out the secret. The secret to everything is consistency but it’s also talking to the right audience in the right platform in the way that they want to be spoken to. So, an example of this is, if you’re going to do hashtags, they work fabulous on Twitter, on Instagram, on Google Plus. So yes, use hashtags on those platforms. If you don’t know what a hashtag is, it’s simply a phrase all in one nice globule with a pound sign in front of it. And you can create your hashtags. Hashtags create links and so when people click on a hashtag, it displays related posts with the same hashtag.
Every single day I do my quote of the day. I call it Deep Bacon Thoughts. I have a hashtag called #deepbaconthoughts. Nobody else uses it and probably people aren’t searching it. So if I add #quote to it and I add #bacon to it, which are two very popular all of sudden my Deep Bacon Thoughts hashtag start to become part of the vernacular. What I’m hoping is that people will type in deepbaconthoughts and see all of my quotes of the day. If you want to, go to Twitter and try it. So that’s what a hashtag does; it organizes content.
But if you’re putting hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn, people are going to look at you like, what are you doing? ‘Cause it’s not part of the vernacular. It’s not part of the platform. It’s not part of the culture. So you’ve got to learn that certain groups are hanging out on different platforms. And if you listen to them based on the feedback, the engagement, the kind of comments you’re getting, the shares that you’re getting, you’re going to learn exactly what you need to do in order to create more engagement on those platforms.
Ultimately, this is the endgame. Be sure to try all the platforms. Try even other ones like SnapChat. Whatever you think is going to match where your audience is going to be: SnapChat, Twitter, Instagram is for younger audiences. Facebook is for soccer moms and older audiences and LinkedIn is strictly business. But it doesn’t hurt because business people have lives too. Soccer moms may have businesses. It’s hard to say which is the right platform. The only way you’re ever going to know by trying.
So number one, generate great audience-focused content. Number two, be consistent. And third, if you want social media to be part of your business, you’ve got to make business a part of your social media. And listen to your audience, they’ll tell you what’s working.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on your challenges with communicating about your business in this new online environment. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
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Author: Brian Basilico