By Dave Brown
Thanks to social media, becoming a successful self-published author, YouTuber, or content creator is possible. Not only does it allow you to stay in touch with your audience, but expand your reach day by day. In this blog, we cover six essential social media strategies that can work for any independent publisher.
1. Set SMART KPIs
Make sure that your KPIs are objective. Your measure of success should be:
Specific: You should establish strict parameters for your goals, i.e. how many more comments, interactions, shares, do you want?
Measurable: Your success should be based on measurable metrics like increased mentions, more shares, etc. You should also focus on which interactions are the most positive. They will tell you what you’re doing right.
Attainable: Don’t aim for a 100% increase in all interactions. Look at your current engagement rate and try to improve it by 10% or 5%. Start small and let consistency snowball your efforts into success.
Relevant: Make sure the posts that are receiving engagement are relevant to your success. If a post greeting your audience on Christmas receives a lot of engagement, it won’t necessarily drive sales. Focus on the posts about your content that have generated maximum sales and gotten the most mentions.
Time-bound: The best way to ensure success is to put a timer on your goals. You shouldn’t get done with a goal you set last month, in the next six. Otherwise, any amount of success is meaningless since you missed your target.
2. Use Original Content
You don’t need to be wholly original in your social media strategy. Good artists copy, great artists steal. However, always try to put your own spin on it. Don’t blatantly lift from someone else. While it’s fine to take inspiration from different sources, blatantly copying something often backfires. Original content not only sets your brand apart, it creates a unique voice for you.
The way that you deliver your message may resonate with people strongly enough that they may recognize your style immediately. So always publish original content to try and establish a name for yourself with your audience.
3. Use Multiple Media Accounts for Maximum Engagement
Not all your audience is going to use one platform. Some people enjoy using Facebook, while others prefer Twitter. Some enjoy Snapchat and others like TikTok. Having a presence on multiple social media platforms will improve the likelihood of fan engagement.
This is not to say that you need to start a profile on all social media platforms. You may or may not connect with an audience on one platform. However, trying out all of them is worth the effort. Who knows what kind of audience you may find? Your stories may receive a lot of attention on Snapchat, but not on Instagram. Conversely, your sponsorships may convert more on Instagram than on Snapchat. Every platform will be different because of its user base and the etiquette. LinkedIn, for example, has a no-nonsense atmosphere where only work is discussed. Hence, you should get some professional LinkedIn profile writers to design a profile for you.
4. Respond to Fans
It’s disheartening when a fan doesn’t get a response from their favorite content creator on their social media handle. Whether it’s a direct message, a comment, or a tweet, fans like being responded to. It shows them that you care about them.
Their message or comment can be about an issue they had with your post, or a genuine compliment. It can be about a previous video or article, or even just a question about your journey. Whatever it is, responding appropriately will show your audience that you’re not disconnected from them. You don’t have to reply to every comment; just a few replies here and there is enough.
5. Post Consistently
Consistent posting is the basis of a social media handle’s success. If you don’t keep a steady flow of content going, people will eventually get bored and leave. That’s true for YouTubers, Instagram influencers, Snapchatters, etc. Social media is based on timely engagement. If you lose that, you may lose your audience forever.
Posting consistently also doesn’t mean you have to post something every day. By all means, you can go a week before you post again. However, the schedule of posting on one platform has to be consistent. You can tweet daily, and put up a product image on Instagram only on Wednesday if you want. Just make sure that you follow a schedule that doesn’t change too often.
There are exceptions to this, of course. If you’re making a big announcement, promoting a new partnership or collaborating with another creator, post immediately. However, those moments are uncommon. To keep their interest, you have to give your audience something to look forward to every week or every few days.
6. Experiment and Research
This goes beyond just catering to your niche audience. You need to realize what kind of content your audience expects from you. For example, a beauty channel should focus on what kind of videos or articles their audience responds to. A vlogging channel should focus on the places or activities that are the most popular among its viewers.
Social media messaging is never going to be successful all the time. Hence, continuous research into what your audience loves, hates, or is lukewarm to, is necessary. Take Wendy’s, for example. The restaurant’s Twitter account started to roast people online and it was a huge success. Now, it’s an annual tradition. People ask Wendy’s to roast them on National Roast Day, January 4th.
Successful social media strategies tend to be the result of experimentation. These types of experiments are necessary if a brand is to expand its audience and attract more fans.
Dave Brown is the Content Manager at Content Development Pros. He’s responsible for the content writing service at CDP. When not supervising blogs, he likes to play his guitar, spend time on social media, and put his culinary skills to the test!