If I had a dollar for every time I said the phrase "Content Is King" in the past handful of years, I would likely be writing this from a beach somewhere... Unfortunately (or fortunately...), pennies don't flow like Nickelodeon slime by mentioning Content is King. We stress the SEO implications of writing great content in great volumes all the time and our clients and prospects get it. They see how having great content in a large quantities means having great link bait, and a much larger SEO surface area. The impact is clear.
Yet, we still have many clients and prospects that say that they don't have the time to keep up with everything they need to do (social, video, blogging, etc...) to stay competitive online, even though they know it will positively impact their small business.
A Flock Of Birds With 1 Stone
To make keeping up with all of the various web channels much easier for businesses without dedicated web staff, we use a model that focuses on getting the most mileage out of what you CAN do.
Most businesses and non-profits can make time to write a blog post at least once a week. If you tell me you don't have time to write 3 paragraphs about a news story related to your industry, or about what's going on at your organization, I will slime you like Ross on You Can't Do That On Television. Especially if you have a full week to fit it in. You can do it!
Write A Good Post, It Will Run Forever
OK, so you have your weekly blog post as a basis for your weekly web marketing activities. Now, we need to make it work like a Volvo 200 series from the 70s and 80s. We need this post to work in social media. Specifically, it would be ideal to have it play nice with Facebook, Twitter and maybe even YouTube.
Link To Your Post On Facebook
This one is relatively simple at first glance, but you need to think about what you want folks on Facebook to do with your link. Remember, social media is "SOCIAL", not just media. Your blog and website are fairly media-like. We want to take advantage of the social aspect.
Using this post as an example, I might post it to Facebook and ask a question with the post that appears to genuinely want responses such as:
Are any of our followers struggling to keep up with all of the web platforms these days like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc...? Shout in the comments with some specifics...
Hopefully (no guarantees), this comment will get some of the people that Like our brand to get involved with the conversation. This is NOT where it ends though. I need to monitor my email inbox (something everyone already does), to look for emails from Facebook indicating that someone has posted a comment in response to my solicitation for comments. In many cases, I can simply just respond to that email to comment back. And you MUST comment back. That part is vital to getting the conversation flowing.
If your post sits for a 3-4 hours with no one getting involved, comment on your post or call out a good customer that you know won't mind you getting them involved. Something like, "One such example I can think of is ABC Company. In speaking with so and so, they said their biggest hangup is XYZ....". Many times this will bring them into the conversation and get the ball rolling. It always helps to mention that your readers should checkout their Facebook page as well.
There will be times when you are left talking to yourself. That's OK. The important aspect is that you learn and evaluate why people may not have gotten involved. Also, consider when you post the link to your blog post on Facebook. If you do it at 2am, chances are it will be at the bottom of your followers' news feed by morning. Learn when the best times are for your audience.
If you need some pointers on using Facebook, we have written a whole series on Using Facebook For Your Small Business.
Tweet All About It
Next, let's tweet the link to your blog post. There's probably some overlap between your Facebook likes and Twitter followers. That's A-O-K. Some Facebookers completely zone-out posts from businesses. Those same people tend to consume items like this more frequently on Twitter. It also may serve as a reminder of the post that they saw from you on Facebook that they forgot to follow up on.
Twitter, as you are probably aware is a little different of an animal. Here we want to elicit retweets, get people to use a hash tag (example: #reusecontent) and reference your post, or simply reply to you. All of which should be followed up with by a thank you or the continuation of a conversation.
Your tweet itself will likely be a bit different than your Facebook update, but carry the same theme, such as:
Know someone or work with some that struggles with social media and the web? Pass it on! http://goo.gl/VOlg5 #reusecontent
You want to keep in mind here that you have 140 characters and you should NOT use all of them. Why? Because people that want to retweet your update will probably want to share a few words as well. If you use all of the characters, they can't.
With Twitter, you will want to have a FREE app installed like TweetDeck or Seesmic. I prefer TweetDeck. They will both give you Outlook-like notifications when someone replies, retweets, etc... something that you share on Twitter. Both clients integrate with Twitter and Facebook to allow you to manage both sites as well.
See our series on Using Twitter for Your Small Business for more tips specific to Twitter.
Use Video In Your Blog Post And Add YouTube To The List
Before you roll your eyes and say that video is too hard or too expensive, please consider that all you need is your laptop's built in webcam and microphone. You don't use a laptop? That's OK, use the webcam and microphone to the right. Both options are super easy and fast. Videos on YouTube do not need to look like a major motion picture. They just need to get the point across. What's more, most web cams now come with simple editing software to add text over the video and even a splash/intro screen.
Like the other 2 social media sites we discussed, YouTube should be monitored. This doesn't take any additional time out of your day. You will get an email if someone posts a comment to your video. Make sure you reply to any comments people leave.
YouTube provides embed code so you can copy and paste your video into your blog editor. They also provide direct links to your video for use on Twitter and Facebook or wherever else you want to share your video. I don't recommend this. It is much more measurable to link to a blog post on your website (not to mention the possibility of a prospect noodling around your site when the video is done) that contains the video than to just link to the video on YouTube.
We've written several posts on using YouTube for your Small Business, if you need some help getting started.
Do NOT Set And Forget
This is no time to go all Ron Popeil on me and post to the social media sites and not think about it until your next weekly post. No, you need to keep an eye out for commenters. You don't want to leave them hanging or waiting. Again, this is not a very big time consumer because you get the notifications in your inbox or social client as mentioned above.
Treat those comments or retweets or messages as an inquiry from a new prospect. Follow up as soon as possible, and show your best face.
Looking To Start A Content-Driven Social Strategy?
Give us a shout! We can help you get rolling with some training or complete management of your social activities.