FinCon 2018: Future Proof Your Social Media Strategy

Transcript for FinCon 2018: Future Proof Your Social Media Strategy

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Megan McMullin: All right, so I think we’re going to go ahead and get started today. Thanks for coming. My name is Megan and I work for a social media automation tool called Meet Edgar. Now, I know that when people hear social media automation, a lot of the time they’re going to start to tune out a little bit and say, “It’s a little bit spammy. Automation doesn’t work with social media”, et cetera, et cetera. But in these next 20 minutes today, I’m going to focus a little bit more on why automation is actually going to produce a way that you can future-proof your social media to have [00:00:30] really authentic connections with your community.

We’ll jump right in here and address that first part we were just talking about now. When you have these systems in place, whether you’re using an automation tool or whether you’re using your own system, it’s going to be one of the strongest ways that you can actually authentically connect with your followers because it’ll free up your time to actually engage with them. If you listen to the social networks today and what they’re telling us, everything that they’re gearing their algorithms towards and everything that they’re gearing [00:01:00] their terms of service towards is focused on authentic engagement and communication with your followers.

Going about the systemized process, you want to kind of have this lens and think about posting conversation topics and posting these topics that are going to get your followers really excited to engage and connect with your brand and your service.

Going along a little bit further here, when you’re starting to systemize your social media to future-proof it, we want you to start thinking about how you can do something called social batching, [00:01:30] and how you can do something that’s called scheduling your updates in a process that you’re able to know your updates are going out when your followers are online, not when you are taking the time out of your day and saying- driving along and having to say, “Oh my gosh, I know my community is so much more active right now. I should be posting,” If you have these systems in place, it’s going to then free up your time to authentically engage with your followers a little bit more.

As we’re going through all this, don’t you now [00:02:00] automation, whether it’s using a tool or your own sort of spreadsheet system, is really going to be the best way to get these authentic connections going.

Jumping in here a little bit further, when we listen to the brands’ algorithms right now, what is Facebook telling us? They’re telling us they want meaningful connections with our communities. They’re telling us from Twitter that you can no longer send the same tweet to one Twitter account more than once. LinkedIn is prioritizing videos so much more these days. If you put all of these rules together, [00:02:30] and you start looking at them, the future of social media becomes something that is keeping social in social. It’s keeping your followers wanting to talk to you. It’s keeping the relationship first and your business second in order to really rally your followers to want to have something to be excited about and continue following you.

Thinking about this a little bit more, social media is a really crowded space. The internet is a really crowded space, obviously. The longer you can have someone’s attention, and the more you [00:03:00] can hook them in and grab them, the more likely it is you can then get your brand message out in a way that they’re going to really be excited about. This comes from the idea that it takes about seven touch points for someone to get a brand affinity and to get that purchasing excitement going on. Social media is going to be your best way that you can get those seven touch points in a really authentic way.

We’re going to go through this systemized process now. Again, no tuning out because it’s not something [00:03:30] that automation is going to take away from that authentic connection. It’s going to give you more time to focus on creating that content and really developing a strong relationship with your followers.

Your first step to future-proof your social media and to really make sure you’re connecting with your followers, is to develop your brand voice and it’s to develop your audience personas. When you think about what really gets you excited when you’re on someone’s Facebook page or on someone’s Twitter account, is when you can relate to them, and when it’s you [00:04:00] can see yourself in their updates and their story talks directly to you. The only way that you can really do this is if you understand your audience and if you have those personas developed. It’s taking some time to sit down and deciding now, “Are we a brand that’s really funny on social media? Are we a brand that’s really more serious on social media?” And, knowing your followers and how you can speak to them so they can see that and say, “Yes, me too. I feel that too”, it’s going to keep them wanting to come back for more, and keep them really excited [00:04:30] to continue to follow your pages and have that really strong raving fan as a part of your community on social media.

So you can see here, this is one of the updates that we do for our Twitter account. We automate our social media, so it frees up time for us to then go into Twitter, go into Facebook and actually reply to people who are @mentioning us and actually reply to people who are commenting; signaling again to the algorithms that these are updates. People want to see we are a really active community on Facebook [00:05:00] and that’s going to make sure that your posts are seen higher in people’s feeds.

Having your brand voice established is also going to be a way that you can say, “Hey, when we’re replying to people, we’re always doing it in the same tone.” If you have a virtual assistant helping you and you have these brand guidelines established of who you are, it makes it consistent across every network so you’re recognizable right away and people on Twitter can find you and people on Facebook can find you and know your brand and you’re going to stay top of mind, while they’re going throughout [00:05:30] their social media feeds. When you think about people’s consumption habits, they are scrolling, scrolling, abandoning the site going through things so quickly, that if your brand colors, your brand tone can make someone see that really quickly, it’s going to make it that much stronger and easier for you to connect with people on social media.

Your first step, definitely sit down, take some time to develop those personas; you’re talking to people’s stories and they can see themselves as a part of your brand and have that relatability to make sure they really understand who you are because you understand who they are. [00:06:00]

Going along, after you’ve developed your brand personality and your personas for your social media accounts, your next step is going to be to start developing your content. So kind of how we were mentioning before, every single social network these days is really focused on this idea that they want to make sure it is a place that is social. Facebook wants those comments, those longer comments. Those comments between people. They want those shares. They’re deprioritizing posts are just getting likes. They want those kind of more engaged [00:06:30] statistics to show through. Twitter, again, the same tweet can no longer be sent to the same Twitter account more than once. LinkedIn, prioritizing video, which is one of the most authentic mediums you can produce.

However, you guys as bloggers, or you guys as content creators, also want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your content. When you’re developing your content, we want you to really focus to future-proof it in a way that it’s going to provide value to your followers no matter when it’s sent out, that’s known as evergreen content. [00:07:00] As bloggers, I’m sure you’ve heard this concept quite event. We want to make sure you can still send that content out to your followers more than once, based on this idea that only about 10% of your followers ever see anything you post on social media and you never know where someone is in the purchase process or in the decision-making process of wanting to sign up for your newsletter, or wanting to purchase your product.

Thinking about handing over your email address online, or putting in your credit card details online these days, it’s a big ask [00:07:30] for people because they do have so many different choices on who they’re giving their money to, or who they’re giving their email address out to. If you develop this content, that’s going to be more evergreen and that’s going to provide value, it’s going to provide you a little bit more time and a little bit more of an authentic way to get it out to someone’s message. Say they’re just in the decision-making process, they’re may be more of a cold lead, your social media can get that blog content out or can get your ask out to them, [00:08:00] in a way that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and produce more and more blog content, you can start recycling this through.

But again, we want you to do it authentically, especially thinking about the way you can reintroduce an evergreen piece of content on Twitter. Twitter’s rules, you can’t share that same post more than once anymore, but only 10% of your followers are seeing it and you want to offer that value to them more and more, creates kind of a catch-22 there. Thinking about ways you can future-proof your Twitter account, especially, you want to make sure you’re thinking about ways you can introduce that article [00:08:30] with a question or introduce that article with a new poll quote from it, or a new spin on it. It will really make sure you can continue to share that evergreen content out, but stay in line with those terms and service.

Thinking about these platform changes can be infuriating sometimes, being like, “I have to play to these platforms rules and stuff like that.” But thinking about why the platforms create these rules, you really want to think and say, “You know what, they want to keep more people in their application. They want to keep and do what’s best for the end user of Facebook, [00:09:00] of Twitter, of LinkedIn.” If you follow these rules, it’s going to make sure that you are also keeping more and more people engaged within your communities on these platforms. Rather than seeing it as this terrible thing we have to follow, make sure we’re looking at it as this way that is really exciting because people want to be on there more and your content is going to get engaged with by a more authentic community.

This is what evergreen content is really awesome for, when you share a blog post, typically this top graph here, [00:09:30] is going to be what happens. You put it out on social, everyone’s really excited to click that link, to go to your website, to go to your blog post, to subscribe to your newsletter. You share that once, you get all that traffic and then all the hard work you’ve put into that blog post is then lost in the ethers of the internet in that way.

If you’re able to re-share your content on these social networks, this bottom graph here, is actually what we’ve seen happen to our blog posts when we’re able to create them in this way that’s evergreen and re-share them out on [00:10:00] each social network. Every time they’re shared, people get excited to see it.

Now, your old followers who might not have seen it the first time can then start to develop this way of getting to know your past successes, and your past failures, and develop their way of knowing your story throughout their whole journey. Storytelling is one of the best ways to really hook your followers in and to get that really awesome content out. Sharing your past blog posts is one of the best ways, again, to really make sure you’re connecting with your community so they know who you are [00:10:30] from the start as well as introducing yourself to your new followers in that way.

Re-sharing your content isn’t something that’s going to bore your followers at all. Again, you never know when that message is going to hit someone at the right time in their journey. Not being afraid to re-share your evergreen content. As you’re doing it, we’ve seen awesome from this, whether you’re a broad product or whether you’re a blog, it’s a really great strategy to take.

Going along with this idea that you need to encourage people to actually click those links when you’re re-sharing them, [00:11:00] and one of the biggest things about social media these days, if you actually look at your own habits, you probably have seen this as well, is that headlines are the thing that hook people in the most. If someone sees a really strong headline, they’re going to say, “Oh my gosh, I’m so excited to learn this information.” Oftentimes, you’ll see people share an article to their Facebook page or to their Twitter account before they’ve even read the article. It’s just that headline that they want to produce on their page to say, “You know what? This headline describes who I am. [00:11:30] This headline is something that I want to share with my followers because it seems helpful to them.” People want to share things that are helpful or share things that are really important to them.

As you are developing your evergreen content, your blog posts, what we love to suggest you do is to create a headline generating machine. For every poster writing, take some time to sit down and write 10 to 20 headlines for it. This isn’t only going to get you the best headline and the best brainstorming session in order to introduce that post, it’s also going to get you [00:12:00] a way to pull those past headlines that you didn’t use and use them in your status updates for Twitter, for Facebook, introducing it in a different way. Again, you never know when your followers are going to have that language in that headline that really hits them and really hooks them strongly.

Generating multiple headlines for one article not only gets you that best headline for the article but it also takes care of the work of producing a lot of your status updates. Again, so you can then spend more time actually engaging and creating real relationships on these social networks [00:12:30] rather than just posting all the time. Sitting down, getting that headline out is going to be the best ways you can entice people to really click on those links.

Some of the things you can do to really increase your chances of people clicking on them is to make your headline really emotional. As humans, we like to think we’re really logical and that we subscribe and buy things in the logical way but the truth is we also do it in an emotional way, way more often. So if you can put emotional tone into your headline, you’ll see your click-through rates increase so much. [00:13:00]

Another thing you can start to think of of generating more and more headlines is that curiosity aspect. Curiosity is really funny for humans especially in this way that we have this need to fill an information gap. What that means is if you produced something that someone’s like, “Ha, I don’t know about that”, your brain almost is hardwired to force you to click on that because your brain wants to fill that gap of knowledge that you have. Anything that can produce some sort of curiosity or some sort of emotion in someone, [00:13:30] it’s going to be your strongest headline that you can produce.

If you are struggling to come up with the type of content that’s going to do well or a headline, start asking yourself some of these questions that will really help to increase that click-through rate, is, what’s something you’ve done or something you do that is different from everyone else in your industry? Niche is these things, anything that you can do that’s going to create a sort of a more unique spin on a concept that already exists or adding your own voice to it, it’s going to be a really strong way you can [00:14:00] start out generating those headlines.

What’s a big change that happened recently? Thinking about the fact that you know people want to stay up to date with everything that’s going on anything new or changeable is going to be really strong to share and increase your traffic to your site on social media. A recent experience that you’ve learned something from, again, this concept that people don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel every time. If you’ve learned a business lesson, if you’ve learned from money or failures, share that out there. Be authentic about it and you’ll see your community [00:14:30] appreciate that so much because they don’t have to go through that same learning process. Those sort of sharing past experiences, whether they’re wins or failures, do so, so well on social media.

Lastly, what advice do you have for the reader? Again, the Internet is such a loud place right now that if you can offer this valuable advice to them, it’s going to really show through in the way that they’re appreciative and continuing to follow you because they know when they do, it creates some really valuable content for them to consume.

If you’re struggling [00:15:00] a little bit beyond just wanting to share your social media updates, other things that you can do is share behind-the-scene stuff with your community.

People want to feel like they’re part of a tribe. They’re getting something that’s different than everyone else is getting, and social media is the best place to pull that curtain back and say, “This is who my business is. This is who we are.” People love to feel like they’re getting something different than everyone else out there, so that behind-the-scenes content is a great way to humanize your brand. Remember, people buy from people. People subscribe who [00:15:30] newsletters that are really human. Not from businesses or not from brands, so the more of yourself you can put in there on social media, the better results you’re going to start seeing.

Things that inspire you. If you look at social media these days, the most shared stuff is inspirational and humorous stuff. Things that inspire you, again, produce that emotional connection as well, and when emotions are involved that emotion is then attached to your brand. If you’re diversifying your content and starting to share quotes or starting to share memes, which might not [00:16:00] exactly have to do with the financial blog you’re doing or the product you’re serving, when someone sees that and they laugh about it or if they get really excited and inspired by it, that emotion is now attached to your brand.

Start thinking about things that can really get people excited and inspired by the content you’re producing out there. Sharing this sort of other content is also a signal to the social networks that you’re then going to want to see more of their content. If someone likes a funny meme you post, that doesn’t really have anything to do with your blog, it’s then a signal [00:16:30] to the social networks saying, “You know what, these people like to see this information they’re posting.” It makes it more likely that your other content will show up in their feed.

Going along, a little bit more, testimonials are one of the other ways that you can really produce a lot of purchase power and a lot of trust with your community because you want to increase that know, like and trust factor in order for people to want to keep following you and to keep following through with reading your blog or purchasing your product. We don’t want you to just create a testimonial for a testimonial sake, [00:17:00] we want to make sure that your testimonials are leading to something that your other followers are able to build that trust with you. What that comes down to again is that emotional aspect.

When you’re asking your community for social proof, and when you’re asking for testimonials, you really want to focus on the emotional side of saying, “Hey, what did it feel like before you subscribed or before you purchased my product?” That again is going to let your followers see themselves in that story and say, “Yes. I’m feeling that right now too.” Then, what did [00:17:30] it feel like when you pulled out your credit card or when you started typing in that email address, and then, those other people on your social networks that are going to say, “My gosh. I’m feeling that now too.”

Lastly, that hook part is going to be, “What did it feel like now that you have this product in your life or now that you subscribe to that newsletter?” That sort of a-ha moment is going to get people who may be on the fence a little bit to get over that jump and be that trusting authority of saying, “You know what, yes, look at these other people who had the same feeling of kind of doubting me and [00:18:00] what I’m excited about doing now.” So, if you’re asking your community for testimonial, make sure you’re not just asking right out for a testimonial but you’re guiding them towards leading you to getting testimonials that produce that purchase power for your future customers.

Social media is so visual these days, so if you are getting testimonials, make sure you’re using something to design them like a product like Canva. It’s also going to go back to that brand voice idea. So if you have a product like Canva, you can create a testimonial here[00:18:30] that has a layout that you can have your brand colors in it and that’s really recognizable when people are scrolling really quickly through their feed. They can see those colors. They can see then be like, “I like what this brand produces. Let me stop. Let me pay attention to this post a little bit more.”

Step three, developing your schedule. Once you get all your content out there, you want to make sure that it’s shared out to each of your networks. That is what a blog and that is what social media is so, so great for. When we’re going throughout this, we want to make sure that you realize that social media is a valuable [00:19:00] platform. That you want to be offering more value to your followers. A great rule to follow here is that 80-20 rule that is so, so powerful so 80% of your content should be value-adding content. Then that last piece, you’ve earned, the right to promote your blog, you’ve earned the right to promote your product a little bit more.

Coming up with this, say, you post four times a day on Facebook, you want to make sure that you’re educating in one of them. Sharing a blog post, sharing someone else’s content, getting that educational information out there, informing them [00:19:30] about the industry stuff that’s going or something that has a tip to them that’s going to be really great and valuable in the information sense. Entertaining people goes back to that way that social media is a form of entertainment. Keeping people’s attention on social media these days is imperative that you’re in this entertainment aspect as well.

Then that last piece to promote that promotion piece is going to be so, so much more well-received if they’ve seen you offer them value in those other senses that they’re like, “Yes, you know what, you have informed me [00:20:00] you’ve provided me all this value, so yes, I will take the time to then see what you’re asking for in return.” You’ll see it makes a much more elegant sale or a much more elegant ask for that email address as well if you’ve produced this sort of 80/20 rule in your content.

Going along with this a little bit more, when you’re producing your content, you want to make sure you’re categorizing it so that you can produce this 80/20 rule a little bit better. Coming up with categories like your blog posts, your inspirational posts, your tips, your promotional posts and [00:20:30] putting all of your content into these buckets also is a way that you can develop your social media strategy a little bit stronger because you’re able to say, “You know what, it looks like I don’t have a lot of tips right now, let me focus my time more in producing them.” Think about the types of updates and the buckets of updates you want to share in order to put that into these different categories.

This then makes your posting schedule on your system that much stronger in the way that you have the system set up that you’re able to produce that 80/20 rule so easy. [00:21:00] This is saying you know if you want to send six updates a day, five days a week, that’s going to be a month’s worth of fresh content. This is where that social batching aspect comes in that if you’re using categories like this, it only means you have to add 20 new updates per category, per month, which makes your time on spending social media so much more manageable when you’re able to sit down and say, “I only have to write 20 quotes or 20 tips to get some fresh content on social media.” Rather than thinking, “Oh my god, every day I have to [00:21:30] log into my networks and post all of this information.”

Categorizing it and having the system really allows you to free up time again to go and engage with your followers and create those authentic connections. Think about the times of the day and stuff that work well for your community so you can create systems like this and really produce a strong social media strategy.

The last step here is to analyze and adjust. If we’re not learning from what our communities want to see and the signals they’re giving us, then we’re never going to improve and gain those new followers. [00:22:00] Don’t neglect your insights and don’t neglect things that your followers are telling you, what posts they like, what posts they comment on, stuff like that. Twitter analytics, Facebook insights guys are so strong in telling us so much and the fact that they have demographic information telling you things like the favorite TV shows of your followers. If your followers are showing you they like comedy more than sports, maybe produce a more funny content for them, so you’re then again relating to them and having that stronger connection.

You don’t want to just be playing golf in the dark. [00:22:30] In this way, you’re swinging, not seeing where the ball is going and never making adjustments. As the system goes out, it really allows you to adjust and analyze your updates that much better as well.

Thanks for coming today and really make sure that you are again, making sure you’re producing these really valuable connections with your followers so you’re having customers who want to follow you and who want to follow your brand because they love you and you’re putting yourself into it so much and they believe in you and you’re producing that awesome know, like, [00:23:00] and trust factor that works so, so well in social media marketing.

Cool. Thanks for coming. I know that went on a little long, so appreciate your patience there. If you guys do have any other questions, we’re at the booth in the back over there so you can definitely come and stop on by.

[applause]

[00:23:22] [END OF AUDIO]

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