You’ve been fiddling around with this “social media thing” for several years now. Aren’t you tired of the uncertainty? The feeling like you might be wasting your time? The stress, the pressure, the distraction of it all?
It’s time to get serious. Welcome to your first lesson of the year.
First and foremost
Cut the crap…what do you really want?! Do you want more fans or do you want more business?
Get really clear about what you want and then look at what you’ve been doing and ask yourself, is this course of action getting me what I want, and is it likely to give me what I want in the future?
How many of you reading this have a what-to-do plan but don’t know where you’re going, aside from some vague outcome of “it’s working?” It’s ok if that’s how you were, it’s no longer ok to continue that way.
Second of all
Are you going to devote the budget to it, if that’s what it takes? Stop saying it’s free. It’s not free. I know money is tight. Money is tight here too. We all feel the crunch, but that isn’t an excuse to play defense.
If you want to actually benefit from social, stop treating it like some experiment and get serious. Content is going to cost money, strategy is going to cost money, software is going to cost money. Sorry, if you don’t want to pay for it, you can’t complain about results.
No more gray area
There ARE best practices at this point that you can implement.
There ARE content strategies that work.
There ARE ways to listen to what’s being said on the web and take definitive actions in response to that information.
There ARE ways, many ways, to understand what your audience (clients, prospects, partners, etc) value? There’s ways to know how they behave.
There ARE ways to measure what is working, course correct and drive results.
I post on ______, is not a strategy
Here’s what “we” in this industry think: We’re sick of hearing about the size of the audience. We’re sick of meetings starting off about Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts. We’re sick of meaningless metrics and bad data. We’re past the point of debating if ROI can be measured. It was cute for a while but it’s only ok to take money for those goals for so long. Now it’s game time.
If you want to make a dent in your business here’s one set of actions you can take immediately to improve at least one aspect of your Social Media Marketing.
Take your blog to the next level
If you want to get more traffic and more conversions in 2013, here’s what to do.
Step 1. Look at your (Google) Analytics for ALL of last year.
- What were the top 10 sources of traffic?
- What were the top 10 most viewed pages or posts on your website? Where did the traffic to those posts/pages come from?
- What were the top 10 keywords used to hit your website?
- What were the top 5 landing pages on your site? Where did the traffic to those posts/pages come from?
- Of all traffic sources, which visitors had the highest RATE of conversions? That means number of conversions / divided by total traffic. Find the highest percentage.
- Of all traffic sources, which visitors had the highest NUMBER of conversions?
Learn from all of this information.
Know where your profitable traffic comes from, why they got there, where they landed and what path they took to giving you money.
Step 2. Plan out content for at least the next 3 months. Preferably 6 months.
I’m telling you now, your headlines probably suck. You probably think you’re being cute. You probably think, “oh, what an adorable play on words I just came up with.” I know this because a lot of my headlines suck, and I spend a lot of time on this. You probably spend much less time worrying about it. So fix it.
- Go to Copyblogger’s Magnetic Headlines Page. Read ALL 11 articles. Print them if you have to. Pay close attention to the headline formulas
- Call a meeting with your marketers, subject matter experts and high profile individuals.
- Prepare for the meeting by going to a news stand, pharmacy or grocery store and buying 1 magazine for each participant (at least 1 magazine should be Cosmopolitan or Glamour).
- Sit down, give each participant a magazine and have everyone circle every headline that intrigues them from the cover and in the table of contents.
- Analyze the headline formulas people circled. What is the trend?
- Determine how much content you want to create over the next six months to one year. Break it down into a monthly goal. Now break it down into a weekly goal.
- Look at your most popular content from 2012 analytics and write one new headline for each of those topics using the formulas you found over at Copyblogger and from the headlines of the magazines you circled.
- Continue to write headlines about things that will be interesting to the audience.
- Ensure that your website/blog has a clear call to action to accomplish the organization’s goals.
Step 3. Write. Record. Film. Create.
This step will be fulfilled over the coming months, but steps 1 and 2 should give you a killer content strategy to execute for the rest of the year.
- Get to it. Forget about writer’s block or not knowing what to say. Just do it.
- Make sure that you are seeding your content to the sites that were the biggest source of conversions, either by rate or total number.
- If you need help, hire a firm that can help with content creation.
2013 is the year you can take a stand to start getting what you want.
Do the work.