Tuesday, April 01, 2014

You Might Be Surprised

How often do you review your social media actions and interactions? No, not your data (although that's important too).   I mean how often do you actually go to your profile and scan your posts on Twitter, Facebook or wherever you show up online to get a sense of the flow and how others see your posts? Sometimes this little review can be really helpful in seeing your posts through the eyes of your followers.

What kind of "poster" are you?
Are your posts optimistic, informative, realistic, airy fairy, funny, educational, practical or useful? Are they "chicken little" posts (the sky is always falling) or do you mix it up?

Are you posting a stream of content and getting no likes, replies or comments -- no shares, no retweets and no pins?  This situation brings up questions about the content (is it missing your intended mark) or is it something more along the lines of doing social media marketing and forgetting the real purpose of social media -- to be social -- to connect, interact and develop some degree of relationship with people around content you both care about?

Three things to consider when you do your scan.

1. Notice your posts.  Are most of them complaints on the issues, negative remarks, pitty-potty moments, rants or otherwise a downer OR do you like to keep it positive and encouraging, or informative, or funny, etc. If you're like me there's a bit of everything but sometimes we can get caught in a crummy place and start sharing mostly the crummy crap (negative stuff). Confession: I just recently unfollowed a person I really like but whose posts were like rapid fire bad news bullets!  The last thing I need in my workday is the worst of the worst news. I know where to go to get that! I don't know how you feel but I find it is far better (and often challenging) to remain in a positive place -- lifting others and the world up.  That isn't to say you can't post about bad things that happen, or rant once in a while, just not most or every post.


2. While its fun to post about what you're doing it is also important to post about others and what they're doing, in fact it may be even more important to post about others. I see that I can do better at this.  Always posting about ourselves or churning out our well crafted and sometimes overused message is like going to a dinner party or event and having someone talk about themselves all evening, non-stop, hardly taking a breath so you can't get a word in edge-ways?  The cure?

Listening!  Listen so you can post about others.  What does that mean? Well, who else are you paying attention to as you scan through your listening post and what ideas do they spark for you? Include their thoughts along with your own to add value and robustness to the conversation.  Nothing replaces a really good listening structure for not only giving you something to talk about but helping you include others in the conversation.


3. What about consistency and volume?  Some argue that being consistent in your posting is a good thing - and it is. The ranking algorithms like consistency -- meaning that you post regularly AND interact across the full scale from likes, pins and retweets to replies, comments and shares. If you tweet, take a look at your Twitalyzer profile to see how you're doing.  When it comes to Facebook, check your Insights and even consider your EdgeRank.  Different social networks have a different sense of time and volume, there's some great advice over on Social Media Today that helps explain how often to post to different social networks and the four things you need to have to be successful.  Lastly, remember to sprinkle your posts throughout optimal portions of the day so they don't all come at once. Use a scheduler like Hootsuite or Buffer to help you.

Be sure to mix it up. By that I mean to consider cross posting but not so much from within the platform you're on but between them. What are you finding on LinkedIn that would make a great post on Facebook? What posts from Facebook would make a great addition to Pinterest or what tweets really resonate that you could share on any of the other social networks where you hang out?  AND what posts are you finding that you can bring onto your own blog and add value or bring in-house to your organization or agency for internal discussion and learning?

There's more you can do to increase your signal to noise ratio (Brian Solis gives great advice). I think of signal and noise like the old television sets where you often had snowy screen and very little picture versus today's HD television image.  The former is noise, the latter is signal. So, take a moment to think about it, do a scan of your content from the past few weeks and see how you're doing.


In a nutshell:

  • Revisit and pay attention to the sentiment of your own posts. Check it and make sure you are sending the messages you intend. Change up if needed.
  • Set up and use a listening post to help you find and share great content and be sure to add value to it -- add your perspective, curiosity and experience. 
  • Be sure to follow more than the usual suspects (the same news generators) everyone else is following in your line of work or otherwise you'll find you're just re-arranging the same content -- unless you do the that awesome thing of adding value with each share.  Some of the best and most engaging content comes from looking at happenings in other places completely different from your own and making connections to your own work. 
  • Make sure your posts are mostly signal, less noise. 
  • Lastly, decide what consistent means to you and then follow through with enough posts to keep it interesting but not so many that people stop paying attention or feel overwhelmed (and unfollow you).  

What would you add?  What are your best ways to monitor and adjust your own social media posts? What is useful to you when it comes to managing social media? Challenges? Wins?  Tell me more :)


Beth Wilson said...

Great tips, LaDonna! Since it's still early in the month, I'm thinking it may be a good policy to set regular schedule to inventory my posting. Would you suggest monthly or would a quarterly check be sufficient?

I do have a question. I read a post in one of my member online groups recently that there are apps capable of blocking schedulers like Hootsuite and TweetDeck. Have you heard anything about these apps? I immediately thought, "Yikes!"

The post writer also had a perspective that I'm pondering--she said that she doesn't like to use schedulers because it detracts from the "social" in social media. What are your thoughts?

coyenator said...

Hey Beth, Great questions. I think quarterly is good for the review part although if you post 2-3 times a week you might find monthly better since you wouldn't have so long a review :)

As for the schedulers, I've seen a few things about how these affect Edgerank on FB and how if you post via an excel file not everything will make the trip. The data issue alone would be a problem for most of us. You can read more here http://iag.me/socialmedia/reviews/7-reasons-not-to-use-hootsuite/ But I've not seen anything about blocking them.

I think schedulers are okay for outbound, the handful of intentional push posts we do to nudge the conversation but the rest, in my view, needs to be real time social. The only auto schedule I have is for one of my blogs. Otherwise, I schedule time each day to jump on and be social, posting my own things and then responding to others. I could spend all day there but ... well, I wouldn't get anything else done :)

I also find Social Mention a good tool for when things start popping along with conversations. Might give it a look? You can reply from there but I'm not sure about scheduling, I don't think so but will need to check. Does that help?

Beth Wilson said...

Yes, LaDonna, and thanks, I'll check out Social Mention and then get to work!