What’s new in social media, and what is broken
At least quarterly, it’s a good idea to find out what’s no longer working in different parts of digital marketing, particularly in fast-moving areas like social. This week, we’ll talk about what’s no longer working in social media, then we’ll move on to what’s new. And in our next series, we’ll also talk about search.
Before we proceed though, it is worth mentioning that participating in social media without a plan is asking for trouble. Really think about why you’re using social and what you hope to achieve. More visibility? An increase in website visitors? What are they supposed to do when they get to your website? Is your blog connected to your lead capture system?
Also think about the role of social in your overall online strategy, whether it’s part of branding, marketing or customer service.
It’s often forgotten that blogs were among the first social media tools – the best we’d had available since the online bulletin board or forum.
The ramp-up to slow-down theory of blogging is no longer working. You can’t blog daily for six weeks, then slow down and blog when you “have time” and expect the same results.
Studies are now showing that ramping up to posting even every other day increases sales. So wake up that dead blog.You can start by asking people who have subscribed via email what they’d like to learn about.
Try doing more shorter, pithier posts, then one in-depth post a week.
There was a time you could get away with broadcasting links into the general noise of Twitter, and be noticed due to the curiosity factor of Twitter’s firehose, and the fact that Google would pick up your tweets in real time, and even show them in real time on trending searches.
Now, not only has the Twitter firehose been hidden for years now, but Google’s relationship with Twitter has changed – no more real time tweets on hot searches.
Besides, Twitter was never meant to be a broadcast medium and most people ignore much of what is on their incoming streams, or whittle them down to a manageable level, full of only the people they most want to interact with frequently. Instead of trying to manage my full incoming Twitter stream,
I look at my Twitter lists, hashtags, and people who I’ve set to mobile notifications first.
Most people on Twitter now have a system similar to this or a custom timeline – being followed is no longer enough to get noticed.
You must provide value, and shouting “LOOK AT ME AND MY STUFF” isn’t doing it anymore.
Pick some non-competing colleagues (or even the competition if you’re confident) and share their most helpful content 6 to 8 times for every time you talk about yourself. I personally find that I get a lot more attention when I’m ready to talk about myself if I share my community with others.
Screen some Twitter chats related to your topic if you have trouble finding out who these people are.
Oh #facepalm. Where do I begin with what doesn’t work on Facebook?
I’m tempted to say “everything”. For Pages, reach is down, because apparently Facebook differs from Twitter in that it either doesn’t see the value, or doesn’t have the capability, to show you everything you or your connections are subscribed to in the the public stream.
You’ve got to pay to play and even that can give you dismal results.
Ever since Facebook began to take away some of pages killer features, I haven’t been the fan I once was. It used to be easy to get prospects to opt-in to be contacted outside Facebook, to create posts natively using the Notes app, and many other things personal profiles have been able to do, or still can.
If you’re using your personal profile for personal interaction, it’s best to keep it that way. But if you’ve been using your profile’s ability to make certain information visible or hidden to certain groups via the refreshed Lists feature, that may be your best bet for visibility of informational posts that aren’t commercially heavy.
LinkedIn used to have a kick-ass section called LinkedIn Answers. You could get a crazy amount of visibility by logging in once a quarter and answering questions until you were one of the top three in a sub-niche. I used to get very high quality client leads this way.
Now LinkedIn is letting more people into its Influencers program. Many don’t see the appeal to writing to an audience they already have. However, if you promote your LinkedIn posts as you would any other content marketing item or guest post, you will find that your audience expands outside the contacts you already have.
Test this out by applying to their program – if you’re accepted, test with a reworked blog post if you don’t have any new content on hand.
Trying to grow your YouTube audience without interaction is much harder than it used to be. In years past, you could get away with just optimizing for search and exposing your videos to your own subscribers or your blog audience.
Now, the action on your page is part of the criteria for getting ranked, according to my favorite source on video SEO, ReelSEO (get it? Why can’t I think of things like that?)
A dead channel is an ignored channel. Get out there and find the active users in your space. Delight them and lure them to your channel.
So here’s a weird one for you – the main thing not working for Google+ is ignoring it.
If you’ve hated Google+ for years, you had good reason. With lots of abandoned profiles and few of the features that now exist, 2011 was way too early to speculate about its potential.
However adoption among more regular people, business owners, bloggers, and even Android users is making Google+ the place to be, not to mention the ability to leverage additional spots in Google’s universal search rankings, or the personalized rankings of people you’re connected to via the site.
If for no other reason than to get your OWN blog more personalized rankings by being connected to more people than your nearest competition, Google+ is a must if Google search is part of your marketing strategy.
You may hate it, but even though we may hate accounting, we still make sure it gets done. Build out your profile and invest just 5 minutes a day making new connections on Google+ – if you do it right, it’ll be worth your while.
Sometimes it feels like our social media efforts are failing. And sometimes, this is actually true. The key question to ask isn’t IF there is failing but WHAT is failing. Before you give up, make sure the point of failure isn’t your strategy or technique.