In our first two posts of this series, we equipped you with the basics of speaking to a millennial audience on social media and how to craft your marketing and messaging to appeal to millennials’ interests, as well as how to get millennials to market your business for you.
You know what to say to millennials and you know how to catch their attention. You understand the 80/20 rule of social media. Now, in this post we jump into the mechanisms for actually building a social campaign.
Find out how to post to multiple accounts without letting social media take over your life and your business hours. Learn how often you should post. And get the answer to the big question: Do I have to come up with all of my own content?
Build a Campaign
The first decision when you’re building your social media plan is whether you’re going to create your own content or not. Your content could range from bigger commitments like regular blogging to smaller commitments like social posts featuring tips, advice and information.
Do you write your own blogs? If so, bravo! We know you’re busy working on your business, and making time for marketing is a great habit. Even if you can only write one blog a week or if you have your intern do the blogging, it’s important to build an online presence and voice. Young potential homebuyers will expect your identity to be validated online, and a blog is a great way to do this and to give prospective customers insight into your personality.
Topical Social Posts
If you don’t have time for blogging, you can still create your own content in smaller form. Consider putting together a weekly campaign of topical social posts. For example, you could do Free Tips Friday, Money Mondays or New News Thursday (fun fact: 88% of millennials get their news from Facebook).
These regular posts don’t have to amount to a lot of work every week though. Pick one afternoon a quarter to sit down and write down all the tips you can think of for new homeowners or all the ways you know to save money. These can be something little, like suggesting your audience invest in insulating drapes, to a bigger undertaking, like refinancing their home loan.
Come up with 12 for each different topic, and you suddenly have enough content to post once a week for the whole quarter. The good news is you don’t have to sit down every Monday to post your Money Monday posts. Later, we’ll talk about how to post the whole quarter’s worth in a few minutes.
Posting Sourced Content
If you don’t write your own blogs or topical social posts, you can still be a helpful resource by linking to other content. And even if you are creating your own content, you should pepper it with links to outside sources too. You should post relevant content from trusted news sources, like The New York Times, and from industry sources, like Realtor Mag.
Here’s how to know whether to post or share someone else’s content: consider “Will this be helpful for my client base or potential customers?” If so – and if it’s not from a direct competitor – post away. If it’s a Twitter post, make sure to give the source credit by including “via @nytimes” in the Tweet. This will increase the Tweet’s validity and make people more likely to click it or interact with it.
We recommend you should post your own content as well as sourced content, but if you only have time for sourced content it is better than nothing. You’re still being relevant by providing your followers with helpful information.
Making It Easy to Stay Active
Luckily for small business owners like you, there are many platforms out there that allow you to schedule posts in advance for your various social accounts. Our two favorites are CoSchedule and BufferApp, though many people also like Hootsuite. CoSchedule works directly with your WordPress (if that’s where you built your website) to make sharing your blogs a breeze.
Let’s think about that topical social media campaign we talked about earlier. You can add all your social media accounts into BufferApp, and post to them from one spot. In about 15 minutes, you could schedule your 12 Money Monday posts to go live each Monday on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, and so on with the other days. As easily as that, you’ve created a whole quarter of content that your followers will come to expect and appreciate.
However, you’re not done. You may have certain campaigns running like Save Money Mondays and Free Tip Fridays, but it’s important for your social accounts to always look active and for you to post more frequently than a couple times a week.
Buffer has a queue feature as well. You simply set your schedule for frequency of posts. We recommend:
- 2 to 4 Tweets per day, 7 days a week
- 1 to 2 Facebook posts per day, 7 days a week
- 1 LinkedIn post, weekdays only
- 1-2 Google+ post
Other industries, like software-as-a-service, will post more frequently. You may find you get a better response when you post less often than this. Test what works best for you and your audience.
When you add posts to the queue, they’ll automatically be sent out on the pre-chosen time schedule. Make sure any posts you add to the queue are “evergreen,” meaning their content can be applicable anytime in the future. Buffer will dole out your posts according to your schedule. The other great thing about Buffer is that you can sign up to follow certain industry publications, and then easily add their posts into your queue.
Set It and Forget It?
Marketing automation platforms like BufferApp are wonderful, and they will save you time. However, you cannot just set your social media posts and forget them. Try to get in the habit of signing into each of your social media accounts each weekday morning or afternoon. Don’t get caught up in the feed and checking out what everyone is up to – that’s for your personal time. Instead, check your notifications to see if there are any questions you need to answer or thanks you need to give. This can be quick as long as you stick to business. Remember, social media is a conversation, which requires both listening and talking.