Chuck Your Social Media Strategy – Or Start Doing These 3 Things

Is it time to Chuck Your Social Media Strategy? 

If you're spending more time out and about on Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter than on your own real estate, then it's time you came home and checked your foundations.  

In this post, I show you 3 areas of your social media strategy that you need to turn your attention to.

These are 3 things that you already own. They form strong foundations for the rest of the social platforms.

Get these right and you don't need to chuck anything when it comes to social media strategy – instead, you will enjoy not just likes but more importantly, engaged fans, clients and raving brand advocates.Here's the thing.

We don't own social media. We don't own the platforms.

We don't own our Facebook Page.

Or our Twitter Account.

Or our LinkedIn Profile. Our Instagram profile. Our Pins on Pinterest.

None of it we own. In fact, at any given moment, it could disappear…

Poof!

Stranger things have happened.

Of course that is unlikely, but what is more likely to happen.. is change!  All of our social platforms are subject to constant change, and we see that week after week with the new changes to the Facebook platform and seemingly more and more changes to other social platforms too.

So what can you do about it?

Nothing.

You can't change the platforms – you can build a community on them…of course, I highly recommend it.  Just don't rely on it.  Anyone who only relies on social platforms like Facebook is skating on thin social media ice.

This is why some businesses are upset about declining reach on Facebook and others don't mind so much.

The ones that don't mind have essential strategies in place (that involve more than just Facebook). They diversify their online marketing.

So, if you are mainly focusing on Facebook, then, yes, you may need to rethink things a little!

If your foundations are right – your website, email and content – are sound, you don't have to worry about what Facebook is doing tomorrow, next week or next month.

If you look after what you OWN first, then your social media platforms will have a solid foundation on which to grow.

And Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest…all those other platforms that you don't own, can be viewed as tools – tools that you can use to build your reach, referrals and results … by working WITH what you own – your website, email and content.

So let's take a look at these 3 highly important pieces of real estate that you need to focus on, and how to give them the time and attention they deserve:

#1 Optimize Your Website

Your website is your home base. Your mothership. It is, ideally, where all traffic should be directed. Some simple things you should have in place are as follows:

  • clear calls to action on your content on social platforms, indicating how people can find out more – directing them back to your website.
  • Great quality content on your website (we will get to that in a moment)
  • Clear ways for visitors to sign up for more information/content/email list (we will also get to that in a moment).
  • Great navigation so that people can easily find you out more about you and your business, how to work with you, your content and what you offer, and a way of contacting you
  • Portals to other places they can find you and your content on the web (the same places they like to hang out).  For instance, someone might be a huge lover of Pinterest.  They might prefer to find your blog posts from your “Latest Blog Post” board on Pinterest than your blog itself.  Or they might love to watch your videos on YouTube vs reading content. Or they may be a twitter user and prefer to catch your tweets rather than visit your site.  All of the above might mean that they come to your site  at some stage, even if just initially….but you need to let people find your content where they like to hang out. Giving them options on your website is important.  (this may seem like a contradiction of “make your website your home base” but see the next point >).
  • You should base as much of your content as possible on your website.  You own it.  Nobody can take away content that you own.  Once you settle it nicely on to your blog, then share it out to social media platforms that you want to focus on.  Like I said in the previous point, people will find you where they like to hang out.  Don't think you can tell them where to do that.  Sure, direct them to your website as much as possible, but at the end of the day they will have a preference for how they like to consume your content – and it might be somewhere you least expect it.

When thinking about traffic, there are really 3 ways we can look at it.  Traditionally we have all been very focused on driving traffic to your website. And for the most part that is correct. It's your home base – you should be driving traffic to your website. But with the advent of sites like Pinterest, things have changed:

4 Mistakes You are Making with Your Visual Content - Apu Gupta Quote
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Apu Gupta said it well.  We need to think differently about how content is shared.  Consumers drive how content is shared, and this has also means that no longer is traffic to your website the only traffic that is important. In fact there are three types:

#1 Traffic to your website

This is where you focus on people finding you, signing up to your emails/list and buying your products and services. It is also where they find your content in most cases after they click through from another social site.  They might click through from a blog post on another site, a tweet, a pin, a Facebook or LInkedIn post or your YouTube Channel.  This traffic comes from somewhere else to your site.

#2  Traffic on your website

what is it that will keep them on your website? Great content, clear navigation, enticing headings, offers for more information… all contribute to them staying “on site” and moving from post to post, from your about page to your work with me page. What is it that makes your website “sticky” and keeps them there?

#3  Traffic away from your website 

This is the one that we often neglect. People are sharing your content (especially your visual content) from your websites to sites like Pinterest. While you sleep they are sharing your content, and you don't have to do anything to make it happen. Well, maybe one little thing.   Let's take a look at what you can do to encourage this:

  1. Make sure you have one engaging, highly shareable image on every page of your site.
  2. Try to have at least one image in a “Pinterest-ready” size – images of 2:3 aspect ratio (ie 400 x 600) stand out more on the Pinterest newsfeed.
  3. Encourage your community to share your content – don't wait for them to read your mind. Ask them to share!
  4. Include a hover “pin it” image button over your image.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Images that your community pins from your website to Pinterest are more valuable than images you pin yourself.  Tweet This.

Not only does having an optimized website with pinnable images allow your community to take over and market your content for you – but it allows you to see what they love about your business. How powerful is that for market research?

All you need to do is go to www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite and find out what they are pinning.

Use this information to drive what you write about, what visual content and images you include and any special pages about your products or services.

#2 Optimize Your Email

Amy Porterfield once said this very well so it bears repeating:

 

It's true.  You own your email list.  Optimize it – make it a priority for your business.  There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • make it easy for people to sign up to your list – both on your website and your social media sites
  • offer something awesome in return for signing up and deliver on it – it could be a free cheatsheet pdf, or a free video series or awesome free content on your newsletter.  But whatever you do – deliver on what you promise.
  • Provide great quality content for your list.  And provide relevant content. Don't ask them to sign up for a free cheat sheet about a particular topic and then send them spam about your products and services.  Send them information about the topic they signed up for (and be very clear about what they are signing up for on your opt in form).
  • Segment your lists.  It doesn't make sense to send everyone everything, so have some different versions – have a list for your newsletter and a list for people that are interested in X topic.  When you make product X that is about X topic, then be sure to let them know, but most of the emails you send should be filled with information that helps them.  Be helpful.
  • Never ever neglect your list while playing with the shiny objects over on social media. Instead, bring social media into your list.  Make it social.  Why not ask them to reply to your email if they agree with something, or add “Click to Tweets” to the email for them to get social with you on Twitter – or embed a Facebook post.  Get creative and get social!.
  • and for heaven's sake – give your list the best content of anyone – more than your blog, your social media followers and fans.

Your “list” is a group of people that liked your content enough to give you their valuable email address. Value them back.

Note:  I don't like the term “list” – I prefer the term “community”. Just sayin. But use whatever works for you.  

#3  Optimize Your Content

Content is Valuable.  But great content (which you own) housed on your blog (which you own) sent out to your email list (which you own) is priceless.  I talked about this here where I said that “Real Estate is the Castle where Content Resides”.  You own your website, so own your content too and publish it first (where possible) on your blog.

Try some of these things:

  • Blog regularly. Whether it is monthly, fortnightly, weekly or daily – try to be regular.  Full disclosure I am not perfect at this but it is a goal of mine to move beyond weekly posts to bi-weekly I need to write shorter posts!  :o)
  • Share your blog post out to social media.  But be mindful of the nuances of each particular social site. For example:
    • on Facebook share it as a link
    • on Pinterest, you will need a great image on your post to pin it to Pinterest.
    • On instagram, take a photo about writing the post,  or an image of your desk in a mess (or neat) and talk about what you are doing behind the scenes! Instagram is about the people behind your business, so rather than posting links, it is about posting what you are doing!

In short, just start focusing on your blog or website.

Come back away from being obsessed with Facebook and blog MORE.

My blog has been the single most important social media site for me. I say “social” because it is.  People engage with me in the comments and they share my content. It is social..and I “own” it.

I will always spend more time here (at home) than out on Social Media. Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Institute said it recently at SMMW and as he says, this quote originally came from the work of Sonia Simone (from Copyblogger) who has published a lot of great content around how to build great content – Sonia's 10 Step Content Marketing Checklist is one to keep handy – and remind you of what is important and where to spend your time.

The key is making sure that people can flow freely between your blog and your social sites via links, articles, plug ins, icons and sharing buttons – and that they can not only find you on your blog but take your content away with them to share!

Every social platform has potential to make a big impact on your business.  But I guarantee, if you don't implement look after what you “own” first, before you race off to play on social platforms, at best your results will be ad hoc.

What about you. Are you treating your blog like a homebase?

Are you pimping out your website to welcome visitors, entice them to stay and send them away with your content to share with the world?

Are you embracing email and using it to woo your community and give them massive value?  

If so, let me know in the comments below. I want to know what works for you!  

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.

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25 Comments

  1. Nicole Avery

    I have recently come to a very similar conclusion Donna! Great post.

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Oh great – I know I am on track if you agree Nicole! I could have probably said it with just this: create great content, pimp up your site, love your email list.. but that wouldn’t have been as much fun! haha.

      Reply
      • Fiona Lucas

        Great post but I love this short quote.. totally tweetable!

        Reply
  2. Blake Schreckhise

    Totally agree! I think that if do it right people will like to interact with you all over the web, but they will know that your website is your main hub. So if they need to learn more about you they won’t go to Twitter they will come to the website!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      True Blake – people come to your website one way or another, then they settle into a groove on the platform they are most comfortable with on social media, or email or RSS or a platform like Feedly. There are so many ways!

      Reply
      • Blake Schreckhise

        For sure, you really have to have great systems in place to keep track of everything!

        Reply
        • Donna Moritz

          Too right! It’s hard to keep up, but I love Feedly, that’s for sure.

          Reply
  3. Joe Pulizzi

    Thanks for the inclusion Donna…Sonia Simone from Copyblogger may have said that exact quote before I did, but we’ve both been talking about it for years. So critical. Thanks for spreading the word!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Ahhhh – good to know Joe – both Kim Garst and I were sharing it after SMMW – and the best part is you just sent me into a blog vortex reading Sonia’s stuff. I had read a couple of her posts before but I hadn’t seen this one: http://www.copyblogger.com/content-marketing-checklist/ – brilliant. I will definitely add Sonia to this post – and yes, even if you are saying the same thing in different ways, the concept is one that is absolutely critical and beyond just a quote – it needs to be hanging on the wall of every business owner!

      Reply
  4. Krishna

    I feel like swearing when I read your posts, it’s like “F#@k I love you!!!”

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      ha ha ha that’s hilarious.. I didn’t love me when I realised that it was going from a quick short post to another long one though.. ha ha. Oh well, at least my husband is glad that I use up some of my female words for the day!

      Reply
  5. Jeanne Treloar

    Bloody awesome Donna, and soooo true. I’m guilty of neglecting my website and my list and spending far too much time on facebook. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      You are welcome Jeanne – and I wrote this to kick myself in the pants too! ha ha

      Reply
  6. Nikki @ Wonderfully Women

    Yes, yes, yes, less Facebook more practical stuff!! 🙂

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Absolutely Nikki! I love “practical”.

      Reply
  7. Carmen Allan-Petale

    Certainly agree. Your blog / website should be where the action happens!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      thanks Carmen – once you get that bit worked out it’s much easier to not stress as much about being everywhere on social ha ha.

      Reply
  8. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Donna,

    Well said! Own your real estate, and then, live on it and use social as a secondary tool. Our blogs and websites are golden, and they’re home base too.

    RB

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Ryan – I love that – own your own real estate and then live on it! Brilliant! That’s a quote right there (stay tuned, I think that one might be made into a graphic my friend!).

      Reply
  9. Donna Moritz

    Sure Leisa – as long as it is not copied verbatim (Google doesn’t like that so much) and referenced, I am happy for you to share it – even better, link to mine and give your own take on it on your post to make it relevant to event styling, which is your thing! Nice blog, by the way!

    Reply
  10. katesurfs

    I love this post!!! Thank you! My husband has been telling me to stop wasting so much time getting annoyed with facebook (which is not blog friendly because they only like to circulate from sites that they have affiliates with, like Huffington Post). Getting back to my blog and spending more time on it than I would on any other social media is the best advice, thank you!!

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks Kate – so glad you found it useful! I love Facebook and it has its place but it is not my real estate and my blog is… and everything great about my business started with my blog. It’s good to get back to basics!

      Reply
  11. David Graham

    Great advice. In an article I published this week on LinkedIn I discussed the merits of email. Tainted because of spam, email is owned by you. If people subscribe you own the contact details (with their permission of course) and the nature, format and frequency of communication. This also goes for your company blog and your website. Social platforms are important to engage and interact and to drive people to your “intimate” owned channels, where you can nurture them

    Reply
    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks David – glad you liked it. I totally agree about email!

      Reply

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