Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.
Today, social media is prevalent and necessary. Not essential, maybe — it is possible to do business without it, but it certainly is better to embrace it. Luckily, there are hacks that will make the social media engagement process a seamless part of your overall marketing initiatives.
Making it Simple to Go Viral — or at Least Get Shared
Let’s face it, everyone wants to offer the next viral video. But it can be hard to predict what will go viral, — take a look at this list from top 10 viral YouTube videos of 2016. However, there are some safe bets — a video celebrating the anniversary of an iconic ad, for instance, will do it. If you are connected at all with the channel on social media you probably saw in your feed this video of Xerox’s iconic Brother Dominic celebrating 40 years— I saw it all over Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Are you a Xerox Channel Partner? Maybe you don’t have a big ad budget, but fortunately, your partner does, and what better way to promote your brand?
If you clicked on the link to that Brother Dominic video, you may have noticed a couple of other great examples of social media best practices. If you didn’t, go ahead and click now. I’ll wait.
OK, done tearing up at the fond memories of Brother Dominic? Me too. Onto the technical details. This particular example contains a YouTube video embedded in a web page. See that little curved arrow up at the top right? That’s a “share” button – hover over it and you’ll see the word “share.” Click it and you’ll see a number of social media channels on which it can be shared — easily and automatically.
Easy and automatic is key to this hack. YouTube makes it simple, so whether the YouTube video is embedded in your website or being clicked on from your YouTube channel, viewers can easily share it across a host of social media platforms.
Tip: Make sure both your document title and description contain the information you want shared (at the very least, your company name). Some social media platforms, like Twitter and Pinterest, will pick up the title, whereas others like LinkedIn and Facebook will grab the entire description.
Now, going back to that Brother Dominic blog, if you scroll a little further down the page you’ll see another neat way to encourage sharing — a “Click to Tweet” callout box:
This is a great resource if you are hosting content on your site (and you should be, but content marketing is the subject of another blog). Offer readers not only a simple way to share information from your site, but take away the onus of having to think of 140 snappy characters. Resources such as Click To Tweet offer website plugins, or simply the ability to plug in text and create a customized link. Including your company’s handle and URL in the automated link means you’ll get plenty of traction and potential follows, all from one simple click.
Posting Regularly and Frequently, and Interacting With Followers
Tweeting, posting LinkedIn or Facebook updates and sharing on Instagram is only a great brand strategy if you do it more than once in a while. In a vast ocean of content, one little wave will quickly go unnoticed. Stick to a schedule and use tools to help make sure you’re posting frequently and regularly. Hootsuite allows you to preschedule messages on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. Choose a specific time and date for each message, and bulk upload for a “set it and forget it” experience.
For Twitter-only simplification, TweetJukebox allows for random posting of up to 10,000 Tweets (depending on the plan). Load up those evergreen, non-time-sensitive posts into the “jukebox” and let it roll — you can Tweet more than 100 times per day. Just be sure to check in on your jukebox every once in a while to ensure the content is still relevant — and don’t let it take the place of timely, relevant posts.
TweetJukebox also automates engaging with your followers to an extent. Again, this is not something that should be completely left to the ‘bots, but it’s another “better than nothing” solution. Every Friday, the “Thank You Tweet” tool will thank the top followers who mentioned you during the week.
Make it a Team Project
Perhaps less of a hack and more of a good practice, nevertheless there is something to be said for the concept of “divide and conquer.” Particularly for smaller businesses without a designated social media manager, enabling more than one team member to post to social media is a great way to ensure it actually gets done. Before you hand over the keys to the car to everyone, however, make sure they know the rules of the road — set some basic standards for the various social media platforms on which you interact. But imagine a field service technician posting a picture or video of a particularly gnarly paper jam on Instagram, or a sales rep posting a “before” picture of the world’s most inefficient workflow on Twitter. The opportunities are endless.
Although the platforms continue to evolve, social media appears to be here to stay — at least for the foreseeable future. You can avoid it or you can embrace it — and (#SpoilerAlert) there is more success to be found in the latter. However, it doesn’t have to be painful, and with a few good hacks, the process can be made much simpler. For channel partners that are concerned about receiving negative comments, or social media backlash, read How To Prepare For When Social Media Comments Go Bad to learn a simple strategies to handle them.
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