Tuesday February 5, 2019
The first month of the New Year just ended, and as we continue this new chapter in our businesses and lives, many of us will be reflecting on the strategies we use to grow our companies and attract clients.
If your strategies include content marketing, particularly social media marketing, this is a perfect time to look at a trend I've noticed in the strategies two different industries use, and how they impact the level of engagement these industries get on Twitter.
In particular, I'm talking about the #Business hashtag entrepreneurs use, and the #AmWriting hashtag authors use.
How are these two hashtags different, and why does it matter?
Every time I look at it, the #Business hashtag is a nearly solid wall of links, self-promotion, and ugly swarms of excessive hashtags.
Even if I'm actively looking for content to retweet, it tends to take a lot of scrolling just to find a single tweet that's entertaining, insightful, informative, or otherwise useful in and of itself, as opposed to depending on the content beyond the link for its value. Most of the time, I don't even bother, because it just isn't worth the hassle.
The #AmWriting hashtag, on the other hand, has an abundance of highly retweetable content. Yes, there are some links, hashtag-heavy tweets, and advertisements in there, but there are also plenty of tweets that are funny, relatable, motivational, informative, or otherwise valuable in and of themselves.
How do these differences impact the level of engagement on these hashtags?
To confirm that the effect of this difference matched my predictions, I opened an internet tab with the #AmWriting hashtag, an another for the #Business hashtag, then scrolled down to the tweets that had been up for at least twenty minutes.
Here's what I found:
In the #AmWriting hashtag, almost every tweet had at least one "like", and many of them had more. Within seconds, I found one that had thirty-one likes, five retweets, and seven replies.
The #Business hashtag, on the other hand, was full of tweets that had no engagement whatsoever. There was the occasional tweet that got a few retweets and likes, but the majority of them showed no sign that anyone had paid attention to them.
When I switched my view from "latest" to "top", the difference was even more dramatic. Some of the most popular #AmWriting tweets had hundreds of likes and over a hundred retweets, while the #Business tweets were lucky to get seven retweets and fourteen likes. Once again, most of the #Business tweets had no visible engagement.
What does this mean for your social media marketing plan?
Here are two action steps you can take based on these observations:
1. Share valuable, high-quality content, while using hashtags and links in moderation.
Yes, you should use a few relevant hashtags to help people find your content. But don't turn your tweet into an ugly wall of almost pure hashtags - that just screams "spam", and it doesn't make people want to look at it.
According to BufferApp, when you use more than two hashtags, your engagement actually drops by an average of 17 percent.
Similarly, you can and should have posts that include links to your blog posts, sales pages, and other relevant pages, but that shouldn't be the ONLY thing you post. Include some posts that people can enjoy, get value from, and share with their followers without having to click on a link to see if the post is any good.
If your content is nothing but a solid wall of promotions, links and hashtags, most people won't stick around for long, nor will they share your posts with their followers.
2. Don't rely on unpopular hashtags to help people find you.
The unfortunate fact is, the #Business hashtag is full of uninteresting content. Sadly and ironically, the same is true of the #Marketing hashtag.
That being the case, you can't assume that people are going to stumble upon your content in the process of browsing these boring, spammy hashtags, because they probably aren't browsing them to begin with.
While I do make a point of regularly posting content on my social media pages, I've found that most of my success on social media has come through interacting with other people's posts.
I belong to several groups where my peers and ideal clients gather, and every few days, I scroll through these groups, offer advice to other members, and ask questions. If I see a post that indicates that the person needs my help, I send them a message to invite them to schedule a call with me.
It all boils down to these two basic principles: put your content where your target audience is actually looking, and make sure it's the kind of content they actually want to see and engage with.
Don't have the time or desire to engage with a lot of people on social media? We've got you covered.
For some people, the idea of contacting a bunch of people on social media sounds exhausting, overwhelming, and time-consuming. And it can be, if you try to do everything by yourself.
That's why my business network, Liberty Group, has created a solution that helps you create a thriving network on LinkedIn, without having to spend a huge chunk of time finding and contacting people.
If you want to know more, send me an email, and we'll schedule a time to discuss the details and see if you're a good fit for this program.