In the world of social marketing, there are people who are exceptionally good at what they do, and there are people who aren’t. The people who are great at, for example, Facebook marketing aren’t working with some kind of insider information. They aren’t gifted with special tools or access to get them preferential treatment. They’re just willing to put in the work to learn what needs to be learned to succeed.
The rest of us, well, we have to ride their coattails. Which is fine. The Internet is all about collaboration and the spread of information. We all have our specialties. Those of us who don’t have time to be experts in one particular facet of the Internet can certainly learn from those who do. That’s what this is all about; learning from the best.
Who are the best, and what can they teach us? Here are five great tips from the pros to effectively use Facebook.
1. Storytelling from Kenneth Gillett
Kenneth Gillett is the founder of Target Marketing Digital, and he’s been featured on Social Media Today, among other places. This tip comes from a post on that site, and it’s all about storytelling.
Online today, there are thousands of businesses competing with millions of users for each others’ mutual attention. Years ago, all it took was an emphasis on the quality and volume of content you produced. Now that such high-volume, high-quality content is the norm, something else is needed to take a business from average to exceptional.
Enter the concept of storytelling. On Facebook, you can market using storytelling in a subtle, implicit way. You’re not starting your posts with “T’was a dark and stormy night,” but you’re certainly laying down a sort of narrative. You see it all the time with television marketing. Every business running a series of commercials featuring the adventures of a mascot is using storytelling. Kenneth’s example is the Geico gecko, which has been used to create a persona for their brand, telling stories along the way.
2. Collaboration from Laura Donovan
Laura Donovan is the president of The Word Pro, specializing in digital marketing, and her advice is to cheerfully collaborate with anyone you can online. Particularly in a social space, such as Facebook, collaboration is the key to success. You can collaborate with other blogs to promote your site. You can collaborate with other Facebook pages to earn featured spots in their feed, thus accessing their audiences. You can similarly grant space on your feed to partner businesses, for mutual benefit.
Too many small businesses, Laura says, end up forgetting about the purpose behind social media; to develop relationships. Facebook is a great marketing platform, but it’s also a great place to build and nurture brand advocates, gather customer engagement, perform exceptional customer service and generally build your brand.
3. Taking Lessons from Jason Keath
Jason Keath is the founder of Social Fresh, and he’s telling us about how we can all take lessons from social success, like JetBlue.
JetBlue put together a social media team that works amazingly well through their various marketing channels. Twitter, in particular, is part of their success, but we’re talking about Facebook here. The concepts remain the same, and some overlap the other advice in this post. Build relationships, build a team, collaborate.
I would argue that there are three lessons to be had from Jason’s piece. The first is to build a functional, aware, intelligent social media team. Having a team, rather than just one person, and having it high priority, rather than assigned to an intern, does wonders. You avoid those mix-ups that lead to a bot thanking people for their comments or asking for support in inappropriate moments.
The second lesson is to speak the language your followers use. The Oregon Trail reference is one such example.
The third lesson is the implied lesson; watch and learn from those achieving success. Figure out what it is they’re doing and emulate it.
4. Content Curation from Joshua Parkinson
Joshua Parkinson is the founder of PostPlanner, and the advice he gives is all about how to curate content for your audience.
On Facebook, you’re constantly faced with the need to post more often. Successful pages often post 2-4 times per day, sometimes even more. In addition to knowing what types of content – images, videos, links – to share, page owners need to struggle with the actual content. You can’t get away with just showing your own blog over and over, people will get tired of it.
The most successful Facebook pages tend to mix their own content in with a stream of other interesting industry content they find from day to day. Always keep a vigilant eye out for content that would be interesting or amusing to your followers, and schedule that content to be posted on your page.
Trending content, viral content, content on the cusp of either; it’s good the be the source people turn to for all things in your industry, rather than the page people only visit when they have specific questions about your brand.
5. Update Libraries from Leslie Samuel
Leslie Samuel is the creator of Become a Blogger, and his advice is to create a database or a library – even a simple one in Excel – of social updates. For every update you make, post the title, URL and copy in a document. If you like, add reach and engagement statistics a month down the line.
This does several things. First, it gives you a list of everything you’ve already covered, so you can avoid duplicating yourself. Second, it gives you a ready source of potential ideas. Every written a post and thought “Hey, I could write another about X” and forgotten it before you were done? This library will help jog those memories.
You can also build a similar library as a database of ideas; content your competitors have used, content you’d like to use, content you came up with but haven’t used yet.