The prospect of “doing social media” for a living is one that has always interested me. I spend so much time on social media already, I might as well get paid for it! The trouble is finding a job where someone will actually pay you to Tweet and post things on Facebook all day.
The reality is that most businesses don’t consider social media a full-time job. Unfortunately for marketers, it often times can be a full-time job, or more. We’re asked to manage a company or clients social media efforts, along with everything else that is already on our plates. When it comes down to it, marketers are often left with just a handful of hours per week to manage large social media campaigns.
Efficiency is essential. Automation and optimization are key. Any time we can put the internet to work for us is a win.
Here are some tips and tools that will save you time and make you look like a social media mastermind.
Building Your Audience
Before we can even discuss sharing content and engaging with your followers, we need an audience to connect with! Building an audience can be harder than you think, and this is where a lot of businesses fail or give up.
Followerwonk – Twitter
Followerwonk is a great tool from Moz that allows you to search Twitter users to find individuals that meet your search parameters. Followerwonk lets you search based on keyword in the user descriptions, location, name, URL, and allows you to filter by number of tweets, followers, following, and Moz’s own social influence score “Social Authority.”
Followerwonk is my personal favorite Twitter discovery tool, I highly recommend it.
Followerwonk lets you target individuals and brands that are important to your company. Follow these individuals, and attempt to engage with them. With any luck, they will follow you back.
FindPeopleOnPlus – Google+
FindPeopleOnPlus is a Google+ tool that has been around for a few years. It hasn’t gotten much usage recently, but it still holds value. FindPeopleOnPlus allows you to find individuals and brands on Google+ using a variety of filters. Much like Followerwonk, FindPeopleOnPlus was built to make finding influencers and individuals important to your brand easier and quicker.
Another way to find individuals on Google+, believe it or not, is to search Google. Running specific queries can return some worthwhile results. Here is an example search query that will return individuals who live in your area.
site:plus.google.com "Lived in $city, $state" inurl:about
You can also run other keyword based searches to return individuals who match your target demographic.
Maximizing Your Reach
Now that we have an audience, we need to reach them. There has been several studies done that show that the half-life of a Tweet isn’t as long as you may think. We need to send out our social media content when it will have the highest possibility of reaching the most people.
Followerwonk + Buffer
Followerwonk offers an extremely useful feature – the ability to see when a Twitter users followers are active.
This chart shows my Twitter followers activity broken down by hour. It’s no surprise that my followers (who are predominantly based in the US) are most active around lunch time in US time zones.
What sets this feature apart, however, is the ability to sync your Buffer schedule based on this activity – to maximize your reach potential.
I can’t stress enough how useful this feature is. It allows you to set your Buffer schedule at the click of a button, and you know that your schedule is set up to maximize your chances of getting your content seen by the most people. After syncing your schedule, it’s easy enough to go in and tweak it based on your needs.
Reach out to influencers
Another great way to increase your reach is to reach out to influencers in your niche and ask them to look over your content. Tailor your content for them by including a quote from them, reviewing something they’ve created, or by just asking them to retweet you. You may be surprised at the results. It’s no shock that influencers likely have a larger following than you do, and using them to catapult your content to more followers can be of great value to you.
A short while ago, I wrote an article about getting the most out of Yelp. I spent a bit of time trying to get this content in front of high-power individuals, and I was rewarded with a Tweet from the CEO of Yelp himself. He projected my content in front of his thousands of followers, and I earned a nice spike in traffic, and a handful of new followers.
Don’t underestimate your influencers influence.
I’ve written about Empire Avenue before, but it’s a great tool for social media marketers that shouldn’t be overlooked. Empire Avenue allows you to invest in other social media influencers, increasing your Empire Avenue currency (eaves), and run missions for a small price (of Empire Avenue currency).
Need a handful of retweets from some high-powered social media users? Run a mission that rewards individuals for a single retweet. Want to get all your content out there quickly? Run a mission asking for a “like bomb” on Facebook or Google+. The possibilities are endless.
Empire Avenue is, in itself, a social media platform. It works best when you participate by investing in others and completing others missions. You will find the most success by treating Empire Avenue with respect, and not cheating.
Triberr is another platform that allows you to put other social media users to work for you. Tribes work like little social media pockets that share like-minded content. When you follow a tribe, it’s your choice to share content and engage with other tribe members. If you are active and liked, you can be asked to join the tribe as a full member.
Being a member of a tribe has it’s benefits. You are able to add a feed of your choice which will be auto populated into the tribe when you post new content. The other tribe members will see your content along with the others, and choose if they want to share it. Joining just a handful of tribes can give you a massive reach.
I’m only a member of 5 tribes, but my reach is already north of 1 million. Triberr is an incredibly powerful tool if used properly. Take Devesh for example. His content is automatically posted to his tribes from his feeds, and like-minded individuals share his content with little to no interaction on his part.
I’ve also written about Viral Content Buzz before, but it warrants mentioning here as well. VCB lets you post your best content to specific categories, where it can be shared by other interested users. Your content can be shared to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon. Users earn credits by sharing others content, then can use those credits to reward others for sharing their own content.
To prove it’s power, check out this Tweet I sent a while back displaying my share stats.
— Brad Knutson (@BradSKnutson) August 15, 2013
I earned all those shares just by sharing content from others that was important to my industry. I probably would have shared this content anyways, so this is a win-win. Since I’ve posted this Tweet, I’ve earned hundreds of additional shares.
Automation is the key to being efficient in social media. There are so many platforms out there, it’s often times hard to keep track of. Who wants to go to 7 different social media platforms and share the same content? This seems like a colossal waste of time.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is an excellent tool to help avoid duplicating social media work. The name of the site implies what the tool does. IFTTT allows users to build recipes to perform actions based on triggers.
For example, let’s say that you want to share the same content to both Facebook and Twitter. There is a recipe for that.
What about posting Instagram pictures to Flickr? Yup, that too.
What about adding new posts from your blog feed to Buffer? Absolutely!
I could go on, but I think you get the point. If you can think it up, chances are there is probably a recipe for it.
Buffer is another tool I’ve written about before, but you can’t mention social media automation without talking about Buffer. Buffer was already a great tool, and then it added support for Google+ pages.
I use Buffer to schedule content ahead of time, so that later in the day (during peak hours) I’m able to reach my audience when it’s convenient for them, even when it’s not convenient for me.
Buffer is an incredibly powerful tool at any social media marketers disposal.
There are a lot of great tools out there to help social media marketers reach their audience and gain the most leverage. I’ve only scratched the surface here with these tools and tips. Do you know of any other great tools out there? Let me know by leaving a comment below, or reaching out to me on social media.