Part 2 of Stephanie's Social Media Success Summit Series. Read Part 1 here.
Before one can truly reach social media enlightenment, one must let go of preconceived notions. While I like to think of myself open-minded and willing to adapt to the rapidly changing social media landscape, I was a bit skeptical when I heard I could perform social media magic.
Magic, you say? If you call making something out nothing magic, then yes.
Here’s the trick: Creating engaging social media channels without content.
I know, right? No content? I am a firm believer and big fan of content – in fact, sometimes I have so much content my blogs runnith over. What is there if there is no content? Being the good sport I am, I decided to find out.
As it turns out, you do need content, but don’t always have post-worthy ideas. Rather than commenting on the weather or reposting a dry news release, create the content magically organically through the tools you already have.
Act 1: Google+
Full disclosure: I really like G+. I have said before that G+ has the potential to take over Facebook, that was, until I became enamored with Facebook’s timeline. Since its launch, my Google+ devotion has faltered.
Thanks to Chris Brogan, I have been reminded why it is we should be paying more attention to this social media platform. Quite simpley put: IT’S GOOGLE. It pretty much owns the web. I could go into detail about the benefits of having all the Google-y features at your disposal, and don’t even get me started on how it can help your search optimization, but all that talk just enhances the point that Google is number one everything.
While the social aspect of G+ is a tea party to Facebook’s kegger, Chris did point out an interesting fact about the difference in creating content. Those engaging on G+ are doing so through meaningful posts. The conversations are rich and more thorough than other more popular social sites. If you are lacking content, this is the place you can really bounce ideas off your customers, fans and colleagues to get feedback that matters.
Really this should be 1.5 since it is technically part of Google. But like I said, Google pretty much owns the web.
Anyway, this is where the real tricks come into play. Paul Colligan’s presentation “No Camera, Content or Audience? No Problem!” caught my eye when I first looked over the SMSS schedule. He assured us that even if you have no camera, content or audience, you can make an excellent video. Or Super Bowl commercial.
How can this be? Well first of all, who really needs a video camera with smart phones in every pocket and computers equipped with lenses? Heck, the example went a step further and just used a series of screenshots. Google laughs at the notion of video camera.
As far as audience, if you YouTube it, they will come. Utilize key words and tags to drive the millions of YouTubers to your video. After posting a video, do as much promoting as possible in the first 30 minutes. Like, Tweet, +1 right from YouTube, embed into your blog, email your subscribers (when appropriate).
In many ways building content here is similar to that of G+, minus the high quality of comments. YouTube users rarely make engaging conversation, but what they do do is share.
Which leads to clicks.
Which leads to more money for Google.
Which leads your video up the search result ranks.
Which leads to more money for you.
Everyone is happy.
Act 3: Facebook
It sounds kind of funny calling Facebook a tool; sometimes it seems like the whole workshop. But it is a tool and a very handy one at that, with many smaller bits and pieces that you can work to your favor. Mari Smith, social media expert speaker and third party app extraordinaire, shared how to use the new Facebook timeline to keep the content fresh.
Change your cover photo often and make them beautiful, like Verizon. This is important and the most exciting new feature. Your cover photo is what is going to draw in your audience.
Add milestones from the past at times when your posts are thin (but do not add all milestones the second you set up a page.) Older companies can spend days upon days recapping the pre-Facebook page days so choose wisely.
Use your status to ask your customers engaging questions and let them create the content, something Walgreens does a great job of. Just be sure to monitor their responses and guide the conversation to stay on topic.
So there you have it: Google+, YouTube and Facebook. Not exactly well-kept secrets, but it is remarkable how much more useful these already handy social media channels can become when you know their full potential
It’s almost magical.