Today I'm talking about something that I haven't talked about before: growth hacking. Growth hacking is basically how to quickly create a robust social presence on a newly launched effort in a short amount of time. I have had a few companies reach out to me for advice on this subject, and was recently asked what my first steps to start building a big presence would be. The ten tips I'm talking about today are great not only for social media newbies, but also for folks who maybe need to take a step back and make sure they haven’t missed these important steps.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media Author, speaker, consultant, founder of Maximize Social Business, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Shaper Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to maximize your social. I really hate to rub it in because I know a lot of you on the East Coast of the United States air facing a snowstorm as we speak. I even had a conference called Canceled this morning because of that, but we are heating up here in Southern California. It is in the eighties today, in early February, which it's normally not this hot here. Believe me, I know it sounds like it's hot all year round, but hey, I am in a short sleeve shirt in early February for the first time in a long time. So it's feeling good and I'm feeling productive because today I want to talk to you, and I haven't really block yet about growth hacking and how to launch a robust social presence from zero is actually, a few companies recently reached out to me and I'll probably be helping them with. How do you reach brand recognition on social media from zero In a very, very quick time that helps you achieve specific business objectives will call this social media growth hacking for lack of a better term. But it was actually a to a vendor that reached out to me. You know, these thes block posts of Hey, here's 10 experts and what they say, So I don't respond. All of them I first looked at. Do I have a relationship with this person or company? Do I want to make a relationship with this person or company or create some sort of report for whatever reason? And that's advice. If you're trying to reach out the influencers, obviously, build report before you reach out if you want to increase your probability of success with them. But I was actually very much challenged by the question. So it's focused on helping newbies, whether you are a new social media marketing professional or a company that's relatively new to social, or you want to do a reset on what you're doing or your company that wants to launch a new brand or new product in social, and therefore you're sort of starting from scratch. So the question was imagining You own a small business and you're thinking about promoting that through social media channels. Having in mind my experience, what would be your first steps to build your brand presence? Great question, right? And I think the advice will speak to not only newbies but also to reaffirm whether you've done these things. Or maybe you need to spend more time doing them just to try to get to the next step in your social media. So I actually, you know, I don't know if you've been on any of my webinars, and I've done with experts connection or read any of my E books, like maximizing Lincoln for business. But I prefer sort of a 10 step approached everything. Can we cut down a process in the 10 Steps? It's probably why I use, like, 10 different tools to schedule and post the social media. But that's another story. What are the 10 steps here? So let's start with step number one. Creating this is a no brainer. Come on. You know the name of my podcast is maximize your social named after the book, which is all about my experience with social media strategy consulting, but create a social media strategy that defines what specific business objectives you want to use social media for right. It starts with your business objectives. Come on, you're not using social media for the sake of using it, and you're not doing it because everyone else is doing it. I hope not. You're doing it because you want it to help complement whatever you're doing to help you reach that business objective, I wrote, Maximize your social to help everybody do that on their own without needing higher. A consultant. Yeah, it's a bad business model. I get it, But I did it moving on new level. So that is the first thing you should be doing if you haven't done that, because without the objective driven strategy, you're just wasting your time and social. So let's move on to step number two. That's the easiest one. Determine who your target audience is for your social media presence and what platforms they use. This is also a no brainer. Not everybody uses social media well. Most people do, but not everybody uses social media equally. There's certain demographics that they have a profile on Facebook, but they really spend their time on linked in there, others that are all over Twitter. But you rarely see them on Instagram. There are others that are only on Instagram, and yet there are others that are only on Snapchat. So you really need to understand the unique demographics of these platforms, and you need to be able to understand, which are the platforms where your target audience is. So obviously, that's part of the social media strategy. You need to have a channel strategy and house to be determined by who your target audience is. You should know this right, whether it's a range of, you know, male between 31 to 34 college educated. Whatever it is, you can plug those variables into Facebook ads in the Lincoln ads into Twitter ads. Not as easy to do on Pinterest and unfortunately, instagram. We cannot do that, although weaken push our ad to instagram in those demographics. But needless to say, you need to understand where your target audience is and, well, why they use social media the first place. Because if you can't dance or that no matter what you do, no matter what engagement you create, it could just go for waste. If it's the wrong target market, right, that's number two. Number three. Determine what your primary content you'll be creating. The share is including the hashtag you want to own and the primary content mediums you will own. Let's separate that in three different sub topics here. What's gonna be the content that you're gonna create to share now? Social media comes down to content and communication, right? As a brand, it's really, really hard to communicate with others because social media is made for people. That's why brands leverage content, sometimes the leverage, the content of their fans, sometimes they lovers the content of influencers. But the leverage content. And for most companies, that content is primarily created by themselves. Whether it is a blogger, whether it's YouTube videos slight your presentations Well, used to be flicker photos, but maybe instagram photos. Whatever is as part of the social media strategy, and I covered this, maximize your social. In addition to a channel strategy, you need to have a content strategy. This is different than concept marketing. This is gonna be the content of feed your social media program very, very distinctly different from content marketing. Now, once you understand what that is because you understand your target audience and what needs they have, what solutions they're looking for, they may not even know they're looking for right is what are going to be the mediums and I'm skipping. The hashtag is I go back to that again. What are gonna be the mediums that you're going to use? And I say this because now it's pretty clear there are some networks and focus on the video, some on the audio, some on live stream, some on long form content, someone short form content. So what is it going to be that you're gonna share? And obviously this often comes down to your product? This is why ah, lot of you know, fashion companies e commerce will be using photos. They may not use live stream video unless they're doing fashion shows, which is actually a great idea. But they're going to choose that others might choose life stream as their primary or celebrities. I can see choosing life stream as their primary medium for content for others that might be long form Blawg postman, Who knows? But it's gonna come down to your company. Your product and service is in the way that you think you can cut through the noise and actually be heard be seen, be engaged with. So think about that, because obviously it's gonna go together with whatever social network you're on. But you want to be thinking about different mediums. I told you, if you listen to my podcast last week that I wasn't doing enough to maximize their social with the different mediums. I started a podcast in 2015 and I'm really happy about the results of that. But I've done very little with video, and it's just another essential component I think I need, especially because I am a social media speaker, right? It is a natural medium to have more content in, so I'll be doing a lot more video 2016. I'm excited to share those plans with you as I roll them out, and then we have the hashtags. Okay, so whatever social network you're on, Lincoln's an exception. You can't really search my house tags Pinterest. Not as important. Sometimes you can search by hashtags. Other times you can't. It's sort of wishy washy Facebook. I don't think house taxes that important. I don't think people do a lot of searches or posting a lot of house types. But Twitter and Instagram are the places where I think the hash tags make the difference. Instagram is a no brainer. It is the default way of searching. So unless you have a hashtag, no one's gonna find your content. And I believe on Twitter. More, more people are searching my hashtag and more more tools are leveraging hashtag to help discover people. And therefore obviously the inbound side of social is important. If you want to get found, Twitter is critical. And I'm gonna talk more about this in social media marketing world in April in San Diego, and I hope you'll be joining me there. But regardless, I want you to think of hash tags. Is what is the hashtag I wanna own? It's a TV channel. It's a radio station. When people tune into the hash tag, are you gonna be featured? Are you gonna be seen? Are you gonna be on top or are you gonna be invisible? That's sort of the way I want you to think about it. And I want you to look your competitors. You're role models, right? And determine what those hostels are gonna be primarily for Twitter and instagram. But it's gonna help you sort of define your content, focus, to help you to categorize your content and to help you become more efficient at both managing your content in blood format as well as on social media. So let's move on the number four. And when I talk about Hashtags and I sort of mixed this idea of content buckets that I wrote about and maximize your social as a way of organizing your block categories, Well, the other way of organizing was obviously through hashtags. Maybe there is a type of content that oxygen has multiple house tags for it that might mean to different things. For instance, one of the hostiles. I want tone, but let's look at two of them, okay? And this is part of my own 2016 focus is S M M, which is for social media marketing. And then there's a general on for social media and they're two different things because social media encompasses news about social media s mm. it's specific to social media marketing. That's just one example of how you could have two different hashtags for a similar category of content or an overlapping two categories of content. Social media marketing obviously, is all part of social media, but it's not necessarily social Media is not necessarily restricted to social media market. I'm getting very technical here. Let me take a step back here. Okay. Number four prepare an editorial calendar and have enough original content. At last, you at least a month. Um, Guilty of this is well of always having Thio get podcast, get block post ready the week before even the week of when I want to publish them. And there have been times were not been able to get ahead by a few weeks, But I sometimes fall behind. Now for me, I enjoy more spur of the moment. At this point in time, these the hot things that I want to write about. I wanna record audio about so it is a little bit different for you. It might be a little bit different, especially if you're in a larger organization where you have a more systematic approach. You have larger infrastructure more resource is to work with. There's no reason why you can't have a month's worth of this. Is original content ready to publish? Because without original content, I don't think you're gonna be able to make as much splash in social media as you would like Thio. But this once again depends on your business objectives, so it's possible to do without it. But this would be for any given average situation. This would be my recommendation. Number five. This is a no brainer. Create a branded both in terms of visual and text presence on the selected social networks. So this means you have to have a visual voice. You have to have a voice created and read. Maximize your social for more details on how to do that. But you need to be able to translate that brand into visuals for your background of your Twitter profile. Arlington Company paid your Facebook page, your instagram account, and also what texting you gonna use to describe your company in the limited bio that you have? It sounds really easy. It doesn't necessarily require a lot of work, but you should be very, very strategic in what you have there, and this is all part of building out that infrastructure. Now we move on to number six, and there's one thing that I forgot to mention. But, you know, I figured you figured out by now when I talk about understanding what has tagged you wanna own, that's part of listening, right? You don't just jump in without listening. That goes without saying, but just want to make sure I covered that check box off here. So now we're on to number six. Published a week's worth of contact for you, go out engaging with others, have a well branded profile and a week's worth of content. And I say content, very broad sense of the definition on your profile. You're not gonna go out there with zero tweets and all of a sudden start engagement. Others write them. You're No. One show that you are participating in the community and that if someone was to find you, they would be able to understand what you are. And your company is about number seven. Finally, the engagement start to engage with other targeted users on the selected social networks through a combination off following follow back, sharing their content and or commenting on their posts. Okay, let's break this out again Following follow back. If you're, uh, you know, famous celebrity, you don't need to follow a lot of people in social. But if you're just getting started or you're creating a new brand or you wantto do a reset of what you've been doing on those networks that allow you to follow others Okay, Lincoln Company pages Facebook fan page is cannot follow other people Twitter accounts, instagram accounts can, and that's really what makes them extremely powerful. You'll want to make sure that you use that to your advantage, and it's gonna help you cut through the noise because people are gonna see that they have a follow request from you. They might ignore you. They might go to your profile in order to find out more about you, or they might accept it right off. But it is a way of engaging so long as obviously you're engaging with you're targeted users. You're not just following anybody, and you're not gonna follow back anyone either. But as you get started with more content, you have people following you. You know it's the same thing with linked in. Should I accept that connection request? Well, it comes down to Are they in your targeted user market? Do they have potential value for you? If not, you don't need to accept right now with Lincoln. Obviously, you have this power of introductions. If you connect with them and they can connect you with the decision maker, you can ask him for an introduction. But if they're not gonna respond your introduction request, it really makes no difference. Twitter some other platforms. Not as important, because we don't have that aspect of leverage and for introduction requests. But if they're on your target market, obviously it increases the chances that they're gonna engage with your content if they're following you. So I would definitely consider following back sharing their content. Okay, so you're publishing content. If you're just talking about yourself, no one wants to listen. If you want to own a hashtag, you're gonna have to tweet post on instagram, whatever had a decent frequency, and inevitably, you're gonna have to curate content. If you're gonna curate content, why not curate content from your targeted users? Whether they're following you or not, If you have enough following you like Ideo and I try to share. You know, there's a lot of different social media content out there. I try to find good content from my followers first from those that support me first, and I think you should have the same approach. I think you're gonna go really far with it and comment on their post right. If they're in your target market, you could follow them. You could also comment on INSTAGRAM or on their linked in profile. If you're doing it from an individual basis or find them in a Lincoln group or, you know, respond back and Twitter share their post and add some insight to whatever it might be, there's different things you can d'oh. But that is something that you'll want to consider doing, especially with your target user base to really help you. Like I said, cut through the noise and be heard. Number eight. Do this on a daily basis and also be sure to engage back when people begin to engage with your own posts. This is a no brainer, so you now you get into this rhythm of creating. It's what I call the social media workflow that most of us that are very active in social media do this without even thinking this workflow of creating content, of finding content to curate and share. So you're publishing. But you're also being reactive in your engagement as people begin to engage with your content. And this is critical to help you build those relationships. Number nine. And this is what a lot of companies missed at the end of doing this. For 30 days, I talked last podcast and I'm not a scrum master, I I honestly don't even know what that means. But anyway, it is about Sprint's Do a sprint focus. Get data analyzed. Tweak. Do it for seven days, 14 days. I'm gonna recommend 30 days review how things have been going. Look at the data that you've been measuring to make sure whether or not you hit your objectives and understand, ascertain what affects your social media have on your business as one of the amount of time needed for this exercise. The amount of time needed on the curation side doesn't have to be a lot on the engagement side. Doesn't have to be a lot, but invariably the content creation side and maybe the analysis side is where you're gonna be spending a lot of your time, but you need, you know, in the spirit of Professor Roberts Demming, you need to be pdc a plan to check action. You need to be analyzing this and make sure you're on the right path. If you're not on the right path, would doing it for 30 more days. Would you improve or not? Is something up to consider before doing a reset or radically changing things? Then you have some past data yet benchmark data to compare with this, see how you're doing, and at this point and this gets to number 10 I would recommend Officer, you should tweak your content. Some of those hashtags content category is going to be more successful than others. Well, why don't you put a little bit more weight on those places were successful in a little less weight on the other categories or hashtags were you're not a successful, you know, you're gonna look at your engagement your time spent, and this is where you want to consider only after doing this for a month of slowly adding a paid social component to help you accelerate your goals. So if your goal was easy to understand why his website traffic and you're not hitting your KP eyes, you know, paid socials to spigot, turn it on for a little bit. $20.50 dollars. $100.500 dollars, $1000. Your time is money, and that can, through paid help foster and accelerate organic engagement. And that's really what the way I want you to think about paid social. So that's it. This is obviously targeted towards beginners or doing a reset on what you're doing. Hopefully, even if you already have a robust presence, this served you some reminders. I mean, I've had a Twitter account since 2008 and I'm doing things this year that I've never done before and and re tweaking and doing these sprints on very, very specific things to understand if they have value and what value that might be and helping me to reach my business objectives. So this ends another episode of Maximize your social hope. You enjoy this one. If you have any follow up questions, something you want me to talk about in this podcast, please reach out to me. You can find me anywhere on social, and I also want to thank those of you that have posted reviews. This podcast on iTunes reviews are the golden currency of the online world. So I'd appreciate if you found this value that you can add a review as well and help share this podcast with your friends, your network with your company peers. All right, everybody, that's it for another week of Maximize Your Social will be at the next week again. From Boy it's gonna be. Hopefully, it's hot next week, as it is today, but we'll be back in your next week from sunny Southern California for another exciting maximizes social. Until then, where we are, the world make it a great social day. But thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. Please. Also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Centre of Excellence at Social Media, c o e dot com, as well as meals. Social Media Conference, The Social Tools Summit coming to Boston on April 12