Do you post and hope for the best? Is your aim at social media more like a brick shot or all net? Some of you may even be throwing up air balls!
To become proficient in the game of social media, we need to incorporate timing, coordination, and repetition.
Is all this social noise making a difference? Do you find yourself wondering if your messages are stuck in the never ending Twitter feed or have fallen in to the Facebook black hole? Will anyone even notice if you skip posting for a week?
I recently played basketball with my children. My daughter was throwing the ball up with her arms towards the hoop, but had little aim and relatively any opportunity to make the shot. The ball truly never had a chance to go in the basket.
She had the the initial components for making a shot:
Hands on the ball
Jump and release
However, her hands weren’t placed correctly, she didn’t power through her legs when she jumped, and her follow through was out instead of up.
A few minutes spent showing her the correct form and approach, and she drilled the next one (proud Mom moment!). Actually, she drilled the next three and royally impressed her older brother.
Does your social media strategy need a form adjustment?
Are you just throwing content out for content’s sake? Throwing a post up or a tweet out just to have something posted online? People are able to smell inauthenticity a mile away, especially on social media. Would you agree there is a lot of noise across various social media channels these days?
In 60 seconds, Google receives over 4,000,000 search queries, YouTube users upload 71 hours of new videos, Pinterest users Pin 3,472 photos, Facebook users share 2,460,000 pieces of content, Twitter users share 277,000 tweets, and Apple users download 48,000 apps.
[Data Never Sleeps created by DOMO]
Clients want to know how many times a day one should post, how many days a week, and how to get that content noticed. Are you investing your time and resources to be on the social media court and play ball? Let’s look at some drills to help you in the game.
First we’ll spend a couple of minutes talking about your form.
Step 1: Preparation
Are you posting QUALITY content? I don’t care how much you can pump out, if it’s not the good stuff, please save the rest of us from having it clutter our streams. The key I’ve found is this: if you’re posting quality content, people aren’t going to really mind how often you post.
Take for example productivity expert Neen James. She takes her well formed shots over and over. She’s repetitive in her strategy. No one’s going to say “Neen, I so appreciate your helpful tweets on productivity, but seriously. Can you slow down? I am just getting WAY too much work completed and do not need any more tips and tricks on how to get twice as much done in half the time. Seriously, I’d much prefer to continue being a day late and a dollar short, play catch up on all my to-do’s, and never spend quality time with those I care about because I can’t get it all done. Sound good?”.
Of course not! This woman knows what she’s talking about. She’s living proof of how to get things done. I want to learn from her. Not only is her content helpful, it is presented creatively. She uses blogs, video, graphics, images, and plain text in her mix of social media shots. Keep it coming, Neen! Her bubbly personality shines through as bright as the champagne she fondly speaks of.
— Neen James (@neenjames) February 17, 2015
Step 2: Release
Got to get that post up. I hope it’s the right time. Let’s see – some of our fans are on the East coast, some international and some on Mountain time. They’re actually all over. What time of day is best? Should I not post in the evenings? What about at lunch…do people really check Twitter at lunch? HELLO! Have you not seen how (sadly) most people eat these days with one hand on the fork and one on their iPhone? Regardless of how tacky this is (we’ll save the social media manners post for another day, but bet your bottom dollar I’ll write one!) people are doing it.
Insights and analytics on your social media accounts enable you to see the more favorable times your audience will be reached. Why not take advantage of that information? The idea is to play with it. Test different times of day and check the results at month’s end.
Warning: don’t become paralyzed trying to figure out THE perfect timing and end up not posting at all.
Inaction does not serve you or your brand. You don’t want someone checking out your social channels and seeing huge time gaps of days and weeks on end with zero content. Why should they listen to you? The key is consistency. Repetition. Do it over and over and over.
We’ve discussed the set up and release: creating and curating your content, then posting it. The next drill we’re going to practice is one of the components that’s key in basketball and often overlooked in social media: the follow through.
Step 3: Follow Through
All day long you can shoot the ball with the best mechanics of part one in strategy and taking the shot, but if you don’t have the right follow through, your work is worthless. Why waste all that preparation?
Just like in basketball, in social media you need to follow through.
Here are three tips to help:
How do you answer someone who pays you a compliment face to face? We’ll use Neen as our example. Assuming the compliment is largely on her productivity tips or her fabulous shoe collection – do you think she just stares at them blankly? No! She says thank you and interacts with them. It’s the same online. She engages. Did someone comment on your Facebook post or reply to you on Twitter? Be sure to show your appreciation.
Neglecting to acknowledge comments on social media is a foul in the playbook of community management.
In basketball, you get five chances. In social, not so much. My bet is you’d get tossed much sooner with a big click to the UNFOLLOW button. We could raise the stakes to a technical and even have negative comments written because we hacked someone off by not responding to their inquiry or less than stellar experience with our brand (aside from those crazy one-offs that do occur). Acknowledging comments = validation, and everyone wants to feel validated.
You have every opportunity to monitor your brand online. With paid services through SMMS tools, to free ones like Google Alerts or Mention.com, even the notification in the apps themselves…you should always know when someone’s talking about you. RELATED: Checklist for Setting Up Your Social Marketing Command Center
You can’t respond to what you don’t know is being said. Mentions can be sent to you as they occur, daily, or weekly. You decide what’s right for you (however we highly suggest responding as soon as possible). People on social media expect responses in a timely manner.
What happens after you make the three pointer? High fives! Are you walking about and high fiving your brand advocates? Go to their Facebook pages and like an interesting post. Comment on a photo. Tag them in Twitter saying why you like to do business with them. Social media is meant to be social, so let’s applaud and cheer after those shots are made. Your teammates (i.e. employees, partners, advocates, customers) will thank you for it.
“Anyone can be a great shooter, but to do so you must be prepared to commit to many repetitions of the correct way to shoot.” – 94fifty.com
Are you targeted with your aim and your follow through? Be the person/company/brand on social media who is all net when you shoot. SWISH!