As regular readers would already know, I am a bit of a collector of social media channels and profiles. For example, my posts Confessions of an online hoarder and More confessions of an online hoarder both detail my love of gathering information and creating new ways of sharing online content.
In this post, I would like to share how you can maximise your opportunity to build your audiences across social media platforms. If you already have a blog, a Facebook profile, a twitter handle then you are well on your way to building your online profile. Even better if you also have a profile on LinkedIn and Instagram. My only caveat around LinkedIn is that it is designed to be a tool for professionals to connect and share interests, hence it is important that your profile is credible and your claims legitimate. I often use my LinkedIn profile if people ask me for a resume, as you can generate a PDF from your page.
If you already have a blog, then you would be aware that people will see your posts in the blog ‘reader’ function. If people enjoy your posts, they can ‘like’ the article and also ‘follow’ your blog, meaning they will be able to get updates when you post a new article. Many blog themes offer widgets, small web apps that have a specific function – such as a calendar or list of recent posts. There are also social media widgets available that you can feature on your blog page – for example a live feed of your twitter posts or a ‘like my Facebook page’ option. WordPress also has a ‘Publicize’ function when you post a new article – providing an update to a range of social media channels. I use widgets and ‘Publicize’ on my blogs as it saves me time-sharing across various channels.
When using Facebook, you can have a profile and a page – both of which function quite differently. I use my Facebook profile to only share with my friends, although some of my other social media content does automatically publish to my personal profile (like Pinterest), none is shared outwards from my personal Facebook profile to other channels. However, I have a number of Facebook pages on a range of topics and when I publish articles or links on these pages, the links/articles are automatically posted on my Twitter account. The same works in reverse – when I tweet or create a new picture on Instagram, it gets posted on my Facebook page, the same as when I publish a blog.
Other useful tools
Having access to relevant research online is an important part of my day job as well as informing my creative practice and personal interests. I regularly use Scoop.it as a research tool as it locates any information I am seeking online according to a list of keywords that I use to ‘curate’ articles. Scoop.it essentially uses robots to trowel search engines and twitter feeds to find relevant content. Articles that I like, I can ‘scoop’ to save and there is an option to share the article across a range of social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Align your identity
One piece of advice is to carefully align your social media cross-channel engagement. Don’t make the mistake of sharing your personal Facebook posts to your blog or Twitter if it is not ‘on message’. It makes you look unprofessional if you have conflicting messages across channels. Do create a clear identity ‘loop’ that consistently reinforces your brand and messages across channels. If you have multiple brands or projects then make sure that the separate channels work seamlessly to build an authentic and holistic narrative of your work. Focus always on the key objectives for your profile or campaign and you will keep on track.
One final message – have fun! Setting up different channels and sorting out how they all interact with each other may seem a bit daunting at first, but once you have some good content and clear goals, you will start to see the benefits of cross-channel promotion.
Developing a cross channel strategy is very useful for small businesses and organisations. Contact me if you would like me to help you design a strategy to build your audience and customer base.