I regularly hear social media advice that doesn’t sound realistic to me–and I say this as someone whose workweek is dedicated to a corporation’s social media presence. This same advice must sound downright ridiculous to local business owners, where social media is just a small part of a much larger overall job.
So when preparing for my “Hit the Refresh Button on Your Social Media Presence” webinar with SCORE, I thought in terms of what local business owners would really, truly find practical and useful. The final result was advice that often deviated from typical social media best practices. Below find three of the more unusual tips from my webinar.
1. Don’t Worry About Reach
People like to tout reach–an analytics number you’ll see across social media platforms–because these numbers are typically large and, quite frankly, make them look good.
Here’s what that number beside “reach” means: The post you’re analyzing went through a certain number of unique feeds. Or put another way: That many people could have seen your content.
As a social media manager, I have a Facebook tab open on my computer most of the day. Am I looking at it most of the day? Absolutely not. But I’m counted as “reach” for all the content that’s flowing through my feed during that time.
Now don’t get me wrong–reach can be a useful metric, and when I do serious number-crunching, I use it to determine what percentage of people who may have seen our content found it interesting enough to engage with.
But it’s less valuable to me if I look at it singularly. So if I’m taking a quick peek at what has performed well on social media, reach isn’t the number I look at.
Pro tip: Instead, I recommend you look at clicks. When you post content leading to your website, did people click through to the spot you wanted to send them to? Here’s an example from one of our Facebook B2C presences.
What’s interesting here is that 364 people clicked on this post within Facebook, and 341 of those people clicked through on the link. That means 341 people, or 93% percent of those that initially engaged, went to the page our B2C presence was pointing them to. And we didn’t spend a cent on this post. That’s huge!
So if you want quick, useful info, look toward clicks.
2. Conventional Wisdom Isn’t Always Practical Wisdom
When someone asked about creating different content for different social platforms, I surprised even myself by replying with the statement above.
The conventional wisdom in the social media world is to create distinct content for each of your social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). And yes, in an ideal world, all your content would be unique and perfectly tailored to each platform.
But we don’t live in that world.
I don’t even find that advice practical, and unlike local business owners, the bulk of my job time is spent on social media.
The likelihood that an individual interacts with each of your platforms at a time when they’ll see that same content on each is so, so low. So low that you shouldn’t worry about it.
Also, I’m a big believer in not creating unnecessary work for yourself. Sometimes a piece of content works in all spaces. There’s no need to find different content or write different text only because you feel you ought to.
Pro tip: That said, I tweak content from channel-to-channel as needed. For Twitter, I’ll add hashtags and @mentions. Not all the content I post on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn goes on Instagram because the latter doesn’t support linked content. So I do adjust content from platform to platform, but only in an organic way that makes sense to me–not just for the sake of it. I recommend this as a guideline for you too.
3. If You Hate It, Don’t Do It
Social media is similar to exercise in some ways. If you really hate running, you’re probably not going to stick to that New Year’s Resolution to run three days a week. But if you create exercise goals around something you love, say dancing, you’re far more likely to stick to it. (Super-obvious confession: I love dancing and hate running.)
Social media is similar in that if you find Twitter annoying, you’re probably not going to be good at maintaining it. But if you love taking photos and sharing them, I bet you’ll keep up an Instagram presence.
All this is a long way of saying: You’re allowed to dislike things, and there’s no need to torture yourself by doing them. It’s not a recipe for success!
That said, please be open to trying social media platforms. As a writer and editor in my pre-social-media-manager days, I was dragged kicking and screaming onto Twitter. It seemed mostly like a whirlwind of noise, smoke and mirrors to me. But as I got accustomed to it, I enjoyed it more.
Pro tip: Give things a chance, but also don’t be afraid to give them up if it’s just not working for you.
BONUS TIP: Don’t Go It Alone
If you found these tips useful, feel free to check out my full-length webinar, hosted by Thryv partner SCORE, on the topic. Click Register Now to watch.
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By the way, if you hate social media, we can take that off your hands and run it for you! Tap the button below to ask for help.
Special Thanks to Guest Author – Christine Landry
Christine Landry is a Senior Social Media Editor at Thryv where she oversees corporate social media strategy and education. When she isn’t tweeting, posting or gramming, you may find her writing full, multiple paragraphs. Or drinking tea.