Effectively Using Pinned Posts

In Facebook and Twitter you have the functionality to pin a post to the top of your profile’s feed. Which means anyone visiting your profile, page or group will see that message first. It’s a useful tool for promoting key messages for your business. But it’s essential you avoid overusing the tool or misusing.

A pinned post is effective when

You use multi-media

Carefully write the post, be succinct. Check you have included key information with a smart-looking link (shrunk or a customised Bitly link). Use a powerful and relevant image that will draw people in. Video could be even more effective.

You pin temporarily

Leaving the same link at the top of your feed can look a bit stale and uninviting. How likely are users going to delve into the rest of your feed if you haven’t changed the pinned post in over a month? The timescale is relevant to the content you’re highlighting in the post but even if you haven’t finished the promotion, consider changing the text or image slightly after two weeks. That way you capture new visitors without frustrating repeat visitors.

It has a clear purpose

Ask yourself what you want people to do after reading the post? Balance the promotional tone with a sentiment which still connects followers to the subject matter. Some types of posts are likely to work better than others, such as:

  • Announcements – tell visitors about your latest business development or news. Perhaps you won an award? Or have created a video from an event?
  • Promotions – broadcast a money-off promotion or other incentive.
  • Events – drive ticket sales on the run up to an event. Make sure customers find the event info and ticket sales link in as few steps as possible.
  • New products or services – capture more users by pinning a showcase post with details of new product lines or services.

What a pinned post should not be

A bio

Your ‘bio’ or ‘about’ section should contain key information about you and your business; what you do, how you help people; how to contact you and a link to your website. People know how to find this, so repeating it all in a pinned post isn’t really helpful and could indicate you have nothing else ‘new’ to say. Your feed is a chance to dazzle people with your latest activity or photos, so don’t block the engagement with a pinned post which contains a bio.

Forgotten about!

If you’re using a pinned post for a temporary campaign or sales promotion be sure to remember to remove when that period has expired. It looks as if you lack focus and commitment on your social media activity and therefore unprofessional.

Want to learn more? Sign up to my 60-day Social Media Boot Camp for small business for £1 a day. Modules featured in this post include: Facebook community building, creating and using short links with Bitly, optimising images and video for social media, targeting quality content.

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Understanding Social Seasonality

Do you understand your business’ sales seasonality? Then you also need to understand your social media seasonality which may not necessarily follow the same pattern. Going to the trouble of posting messages when your customers are not on-line could end up being a huge waste of your valuable time.

August is dead. Most people are on enjoying the summer, taking a trip or socialising with friends during those lighter evenings. They may dip their toes in social media, perhaps sharing a few ‘I am fabulous’ travel snaps but generally, if you’re hoping for great engagement during this period be prepared to be disappointed.

Believe it or not, I have heard some social media managers struggle to manage their clients’ expectations around the summer dip in traffic. The availability of the tech on smartphones is often mistakenly interpreted as a marketing strategy to reach customers at all times, to maximise potential sales where other media channels may not offer the same exposure for a brand.

It’s not that people aren’t using their phones, nor social media, it’s the mindset which has shifted into ‘don’t sell to me, I’m on holiday’. Businesses need to develop a content strategy which retains customer loyalty but dials down the hard sell, while staying on message.

This kind of maintenance content strategy should be an integral part of the social media content cycle all year round. For most businesses summer will be a struggle to reach people but not all. Christmas can also be a challenge for some brands for example. Research competition brands social media activity, monitor your own social media analytics and keep monthly reports to capture those insights.

Understanding your social media seasonality is key to retaining audiences. It shows sensitivity towards your customer’s social media habits, which in turn should develop loyalty within your digital community. And a loyal community, is a powerful one.

 

Spellcheck For Content Success

Are you wondering why your social media posts aren’t getting the engagement you think they deserve? It could be as simple as checking spelling, grammar and syntax.

The internet is rife with poor use of written language. It doesn’t particularly matter when it’s our mates posting hurriedly from their phone with a few typos but when a business posts messages riddled with errors it has a different impact.

2016-04-25 18.52.24-1As a business, you’re engaging with people using social media to influence them into buying your product or use your service. Therefore the reader is only likely to react, comment or share your post if they feel what you are saying is of value or interest.

In order to do that, a business needs to stand out with their messaging. But there’s little use in having amazing campaign creative or beautiful images if the accompanying commentary is poorly written.  Here’s why:

1. It looks unprofessional. Why would someone invest their hard-earned cash on your service or product when you can’t spell or post live without correcting finger slips on the keyboard. On Facebook there’s no excuse, you can go back and edit. On Twitter you can delete the message and repost. But even then you could be penalised by their algorithm for posting duplicate content.

2. It’s a waste of time for the reader. While skimming their feed, people are unlikely to stop and spend time trying to decipher a misplaced apostrophe or misspelled word. They’ll skip reading and move on to something which pulls them in more fluidly.

3. It looks like you don’t care. If can’t make the effort to make sure your messages read well, then it could come across as not caring about your customers. So why would they bother with you?

4. It’s not shareable content. People are highly unlikely to share posts with poor grammar with their followers as it equally looks bad for them.

It’s all avoidable. When mentoring clients, we work together to find a process for producing content which works for them. Planning ahead is key: pre-write posts for the week or month then check them after you’ve finished the content and check again before pressing ‘publish’.

I believe EVERY business can produce engaging flawless content. Sign up to my newsletter for details of forthcoming training courses and content workshops.

Are You A Feed Maker or Breaker?

Are you a feed maker or breaker? What I mean by this is, do you help the discussion flow? Do you delight people’s growing social experience with powerful images and fluid language?

The end goal for spending time and money on social media as a promotional channel is to make more sales plus attract and retain customers. Before writing your messaging, consider the motivation for those same customers when browsing their feed. They are looking for information, inspiration, perhaps a little humour and to network with people and businesses who enhance their needs at that moment in time. Therefore, as a business, you need to adapt your commercial language for social to appeal to those users.

But posts should contain a strong call-to-action shouldn’t they? Well yes and no. It is a balancing act devising posts which draws people to your message and switches them to click. For example, think about how you feel reading an advert asking you to ‘buy our products today’ compared to ‘we made this product, this is what it does and how it makes you feel’.

Clever content for business should not take away the social user experience from their followers but still be relevant to the brand.

Here’s some examples to get your creative juices flowing.

  I love the colour, the energy and divisive words such as ‘essential’ and ‘super’. 

For mentoring and support on developing strategy and content for social media for your business, drop me a line hello@claritaco.co.uk or give me a call 07737786425.

Let’s Make Beautiful Content Together

There’s nothing more satisfying than working on a set of content for customers after establishing a brief. And it’s even more satisfying reading through your final draft. It’s like poetry – yes you heard me correctly, beautiful, well-crafted poetry.

As readers of other people’s feeds, we probably take for granted the effort businesses make to communicate with their customers. After all, for many users, social media is immediate, chatty and informal. But for business, you need to understand your audience, their habits and tailor content to enhance their social experience if you really want to build an organic loyal following.

When I speak with clients about content, I talk about structure, tone and engagement. These values turn messages into poetry.

Structure; gives context to the information businesses need consumers to know, woven around planned themes, relevant events and fully optimised publishing cycles (e.g. times of week and day when customers are on-line).

Tone; connects customers with a business to feel safe and listened to. The balance of character behind the business voice must match the product or service they are offering. A local pub, for example, can afford to be more playful than a high street bank.

Engagement; creates the call-to-action, builds a two-way hub around the brand and an invites readers to be a part of your business. If you truly want to make an impact in the social media domain, you must consider how you’ll converse with followers before hitting ‘post’ to make comments live. Call it a type of pre-considered spontaneity.

A good raft of content for social channels has this blend of qualities embedded within. Where technical tools are the bones, this is the flesh. And any content writer understands this.

If you’re stuck in a content rut, drop me a line. Let’s make poetry, together.