Habit 1: Time is not wasted
Successful Social Media types don’t waste time online. You wont’ find the pros scrolling through mountains of posts or getting trapped by viral or trending videos. Rather, successful SM types have a plan and they stick to that plan. Here are a few tips to help our stay on track:
- Set a limit to the amount of time you surf or scan the social media sites for personal interests. The same goes for your professional space, too. Don’t mix your personal time with your professional time. That’s a clear signal that you are wasting time.
- Use the power of lists to segregate your stream. When you follow someone or like a page, get into the habit of assigning them to a list, circle or group so you can easily scan their posts based upon the category you put them in.
- Know why you are logging on. Are you searching or are you there to answer questions and engage with your audience. Keep to your agenda when you log on to get the most out of the time you are spending.
Habit 2: Have clear intentions and a written plan
To be successful in any marketing endeavor you must have a plan. To use the scuba diving adage — ‘Plan your dive and dive your plan’ — those in the know have a strategy and they stick to it. Without a clear plan, you end up wandering aimlessly through the vapor and never really connect with your audience or strengthen your brand.
One way to stay on track is to organize your posts by theme or track. With the AMS site, we are always looking for posts that fit within our defined categories like — Social Media, SEO, Branding, etc.
Habit 3: Stick to a content publishing schedule
This is by far the most challenging habit to master for many business owners. What do you post? When should you post it? A great read on the value of creating content is Content Rules by Handley and Chapman. Very easy to get through and it gives you a variety of tips to help you master the content portion.
Habit 4: Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Due to the nature of most social streams and the hit or miss reality of people seeing your posts, savvy marketers know that recycling posts will help ensure your content gets seen and better yet, read. Consider reposting your top blog posts throughout the month so that your posts populate the various social streams more than once. Vary the time of day that you post to capture a broader market.
A great study shared on Mashable.com highlights the best times to post on Facebook and gives some strong data to support the viewing habits of the reader. This study was created in 2010 but the data is still on target.
Habit 5: Do your own research
With all of the information that is shared amongst our social media circles, one can become lazy and just get share happy without checking things out for yourself. Don’t settle for just sharing — research and form your own opinions. Spend time searching for key terms that matter to your business. Schedule time to research trends in your industry. Set your Google Alerts to capture key words and phrases that impact your industry. Follow thought leaders in your industry to see what trends are developing. The habit of finding your own voice is one that will set you apart and give your content a chance to be seen and read.
Final word on habits — I once read that it takes 21 days to change a habit, so this might take a while to get in sync. It has also been proven true that consistency is the key to success in just about any endeavor. Tackle one habit a month and you will be amazed at the progress you make with your social media marketing efforts.
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