According to my Twitter profile I’ve shared over 10,000 tweets since the Fall Of 2007.
That seems pretty crazy to me. I look back on my early days of tweeting and kind of get red in the face. I know no idea what made a good tweet and even today I’m still learning what makes a good tweet.
For GBW, we use Twitter, LinkedIn and a little bit of Google+. I have found that limiting the social media profiles you use for your business is beneficial. If you use too many you’ll wear yourself too thin especially if you’re a small business.
But back to updating the social media sites you do use.
Here are 10 rules to use as you publish your updates.
Side Note: Use Buffer to schedule your updates. It makes life so much easier especially for small business owners.
1. Keep It Short
This is #1 on the list for a reason – I really believe it’s the most important.
I’m not talking about one word tweets (but maybe that would work).
Longer tweets just don’t seem to work as well. If you can make a tweet or a social media post shorter while still having it make sense I think you’re doing something good.
It takes finesse, but if you learn the art of brevity it will pay off especially if you’re promoting a blog post. You get people interested and then they visit the post for the “rest of the story”.
2. Share Often (More Than You Think)
I used to add like one post per day. I would think that even that amount was too much. I didn’t want to bother people.
Then I realized that when people like what you have to say, they want more.
I follow a few websites and blogs. Some of them update weekly or they update social media once a day. For some of them I wish they updated multiple times per day.
And I also follow the Green Bay Packer beat writers on Twitter during games. They update all the time during games and yet I still wish they shared more.
I now share 10+ times per day most days. That would have seemed crazy, but it leads to more traffic and I haven’t lost followers. I could probably share even more.
3. Share The Same Content Multiple Times
To increase your sharing you can share the same content multiple times. I was afraid of it at first too, but not I’m fine with it.
You can share it using the same update, but also use this trick to take something you have to create many different things from the same original content.
4. Test Different Formats
I’m always trying to test different social update formulas. I’ve tried long. I’ve tried short. I’ve tried adding the link to the post in front or in the back. I tried the same with hashtags.
Test different things. See what works for you and your audience. Then when you find something that works, go with it all the time while still testing a few new things once in a while.
5. Stick To 1-3 Social Networks
I mentioned this earlier and it’s important.
Find the 1-3 networks that are most important for your business. They will be the networks that have your target audience. For GBW that means using LinkedIn and Twitter the most.
We don’t have time for the rest even though they might present some opportunity.
6. Talk Up Industry Influencers And Complementary Brands
When you’re starting out on social media you have no followers. Influencers and other brands have followers. If you can get them to retweet something of yours or to engage with you, their audience will see it and they’ll get curious about who you are.
In a tweet, mention a software tool you’re using and how much you love it. Share something specific that you love about it. Mention the tool.
Make sure the tool or influencer shares your target audience.
7. Inject Personality
Don’t try to make your updates generic. Be yourself. Pretend you’re talking to people in person.
8. Automate Your Sharing
I mentioned Buffer earlier. It’s been amazing.
If you don’t schedule your posts in some kind of way you’re going to get behind. I would go days, weeks and even months sometimes without updating social media. It happens when you’re busy and we’re all busy.
Using Buffer has allowed me to schedule just about a week’s worth of posts in 30 minutes.
You can also use tools like Jetpack in WordPress to automate sharing of new blog posts to social media. It’s really handy and you don’t even have to think about sharing; it just happens.
9. Use Popular Industry Hashtags
It took me a while to use hashtags. I used to try to be clever with hashtags like #MyTweetsAreSoClever and the things you see like that. Then I realized that tons of people follow certain hashtags for just about every industry.
Now I use hashtags like #Startups, #SmallBusiness, #Marketing and others on my tweets. This brings in all kinds of people that might be interested in my tweets and blog posts.
10. Avoid Arguments
Back in the Fall Of 2007 and for a while after I would get into arguments on social media. It was probably mostly on Twitter.
I’m not talking about fights or anything; more of just arguments where you disagree with one person. You send a link to a source and they send another and eventually you both just get tired.
Today, I stay away from those. If someone disagrees with what I say on a blog post or on social media I don’t engage. I do read those replies because I want to know what people think, but I don’t get into arguments. I figure that I can’t please everybody and I’m not going to change everybody’s mind.
Avoiding arguments saves energy and you can use that energy for more positives things like adding more valuable updates!
These aren’t strict rules to follow. They’re more of rules that have worked for my personal and business social media strategy. As a small business owner, I’ve had to learn to optimize my social media time and these rules have helped. I think they can help you at least get started in the right direction with social media.