Social Media Best Practices – Path to Ordinary
In the first blog of this series, we discussed how following social media best practices, in regards to posting times, can actually decrease your small business effectiveness on social media.
In this blog, we’ll discuss social media best practices that cause ordinary (boring) content, and a solution for this problem.
Social Media Best Practices Problem #2 – Unoriginal
Many social media best practices advise entrepreneurs and small businesses to post certain types of content. For example, most advise against simple text updates that do not have a picture or video to go along with them.
Other social media best practices advise small businesses to create and post original infographics or videos.
There are many issues with these best practices.
First, while creating truly unique content for small business social media marketing sometimes has a desired impact, it is VERY difficult to do regularly.
Most small business owners would love to have the time and/or budget to frequently create, edit, and post an infographic. Most do not.
As for videos, what it takes to regularly create a social-media-worthy video usually isn’t in the budget.
In reality, creating unique #content requires resources most small businesses don’t have.
Even if you produce unique content, you may still hit a wall. If you post it on the same networks, at the same time, as your competitors (who are not sharing unique content), it looses it luster of uniqueness.
While these social media best practices for content creation would be great to follow, most don’t. That leads to small businesses sharing what every other small business shares on social media.
Or worse, not posting to social media at all.
How can your company avoid this issue without investing a ton of time or money? Here’s how.
Social Media Best Practices Solution #2
In regards to posting, most small businesses post content found on other sources. For example, many will post content from Inc. com or Entrepreneur.com. This process is called content curation.
How do you help your curated content posts stand out from the crowd?
First, follow our social media advice from our first post in this series – post your content when everyone else does not. Post your content outside of the “recommended” time frames that all your competition follows.
Other ideas to be original without original content include the following.
Text Only Social Media Updates
Here’s a little secret.
In the age of the Meme & GIF, a Text Only Social Media post is surprisingly refreshing.
We recommend incorporating text only status updates as part of your social media content strategy.
How often to share text only social media updates depends on many factors. We recommend testing a 20% text only social media update mix. For example, if you post 10 times per week to social media, make 2 of those posts text only updates.
Implement the 20% text status update rule for a few weeks, then measure your results. If your text only posts perform better than other posts, increase the mix to 30-40%. Keep monitoring until you find the best mix.
Add Your Insights
Another way to make your ordinary social media post more original? Add your own insights to the status update. Many people simply re-post what someone else has posted, without adding anything to it. While this practice produces content, it’s hardly original.
When you do share content from another source, add your own thoughts or insights on the content in the text update portion of the post.
While you are sharing content from another source, your thoughts and insights on that content are your own, ORIGINAL content. This helps develop your brand as an expert in the field.
Let your voice shine through!
Edit Link Previews
Another easy way to inject some originality into content you share? Edit the link preview text. Most social networks allow you to edit the default link preview that pops up when you share a link, video, or some other content.
By editing the link preview text, you will add some of your own insights into the shared content. Most other small businesses do not edit the link preview information.
Post Less Frequently
Silence is golden. Most social media best practices advise small businesses to post at least once a day to all social networks.
Many advise posting more than once a day.
Want to stand out in a sea of ordinary?
Post less frequently. Try reducing your posting frequency by 20%.
If you usually post to social networks 10 times per week, post 8 times per week instead.
If you do not currently post to social media networks for your small business, start out posting 2-3 times PER WEEK.
Monitor those posts, see how they perform, and adjust your plan from there.
Social Media Best Practices Summary
This advice is best for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are pressed for time, and also on a budget. If you HAVE the time or budget to create one of a kind content, do it!
Most of us, though, just do not have the time or budget to create unique content on a regular basis. This advice (against social media best practices) will enable you to regularly participate on social networks AND help you stand out in a sea of ordinary.
If you need help implementing this strategy, please check our our social media marketing services. They’re designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners like you 🙂