Before diving into social media marketing, you need a strategy in place to garner the results you need. The only way you are going to see significant results from any social media marketing is to take a cautious and knowledgeable approach. That requires you to plan your marketing in advance.
Without sufficient planning, you will be opening an account with no direction on where you’re going and as such, your results will be stagnant to non-existent.
To give you an example of how this outreach angle helps amplify your social channels, take Gist (.com) which no longer operates, but still generates buzz from social signals and blogging communities, driving interest to the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP) group on Linkedin.
Quite a few years back now TA McCann spoke an AA-ISP event, during which he’d proposed the 5:3:2 rule for social media marketing. That was since picked up, shared by Heinz Marketing, curated in part by Buffer app and expanded on by Wyzowl, and probably a lot more than those.
That’s just how social and blogging go together. You share your message online or through events, your own business blog, and you let others know. People learn from your publications, social media updates, and even your press releases. Wherever you distribute content to, it has the potential of being shared.
But only when you have an engaged audience to reach, hear your message and take action on the information you provide.
That’s essentially what the 5:3:2 rule is about. Giving you a good grounding to grow your social followings, and keep your tribe engaged.
Essentially, you are creating your own group.
How the concept works is simple:
Five posts are from elsewhere on the web, which your followers will find interesting
You can spend hours of your day searching for valuable content, but the simplest way to keep an endless stream of share worthy content being delivered to you is to use RSS feeds.
Despite what the mainstream media has to say about RSS, it is far from dead. It is very much alive. Feedly stats prove that.
15 million users
40 million sources
over 200 integrations
Whenever you find a valuable source of information, you can usually just add the feed or RSS after the forward slash following the domain name.
To give you an example, let’s look at the Heinz Marketing website mentioned earlier. If you were to land on that page, explore the site some more to find even more epic content, you can just replace the post title URL, to create www.heinzmarketing.com/feed.
From there, you can add that URL into your RSS reader to get updates as they become available.
Lifehacker has a list of RSS readers available here, created a while back when Google Reader was being retired.
There are other aggregators asides from Feedly, but you do need one to keep track of valuable content worthy of sharing and being appreciated by your readers.
Without RSS, you’ll be constantly searching the web when there’s absolutely no reason to. Use automation when possible and only when it’s the sensible thing to do. What’s meant by sensible is if you were to automate part of your social media, don’t put time sensitive updates in a queue to be posted three months later. Automation is smart when used correctly, but failing to use it correctly can be disastrous.
The great thing with RSS is you are only automating the content gathering. You aren’t relying on the process to keep your followers engaged. Your RSS feed keeps you in the loop and provides a constant stream of industry related news, informational blog posts, infographics, and new videos posted, leaving you with no excuse of not having something of value to share with your readers.
That makes the next stage of the posting a few self-serving updates relatively simple…
Three of your updates are self-serving
That is that you link to your own blog or any of your content distribution channels. It could be that you’ve had your marketing team create an infographic and upload that to your brand’s Pinterest account. Once it’s uploaded, you’d share your link via Twitter, sending your followers to Pinterest, where those who find value in your infographics can follow your brand there for even more engagement.
Even if you don’t create your own infographics, chances are there are already some you can find easily to share with people following you who’d appreciate that. Michelle Shaeffer (#MichelleShaeffr) gives you three places to find share worthy infographics here.
Other methods could be:
An informational video uploaded to YouTube could be another way to increase engagement.
And of course, you could link to your own blog or even your podcast if you run one.
The more content distribution channels you have, the more you can share self-serving links, which don’t appear to be self-serving on the surface of things.
Directly linking to your own site or blog is directly self-serving and if you do that consistently, it can become over–utilised. By spreading your self-serving links across a variety of platforms, you get to spread your brand name wider and engage more with your followers, whilst also providing them with options for how they receive your content. Via graphics, video, audio, text, or a mixture of everything on your own blog if that’s what you choose to do.
The important thing is that only three of any self-serving shares come after curated shares, which is much easier when you use RSS to automate the content gathering stage.
The fun and essential component to your marketing mix
This is the stage where you throw some of your professional etiquette out the window and just share stuff for the fun of it.
An example could be:
Any chance this cat’s been in our office this morning? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpTyIOCvCC8
It’s a fun share designed to add a human element to your brand. You know, to show your followers you are for real and that the person posting the updates has a sense of humour.
The blend of curation, self-promotion, and humour create a good marketing mix to keep your followers engaged and growing.