We all have bad days. You know, days when you just don’t want to work. They’re the kind of days where you wish you had an automated version of you to do stuff for you. Like a robot. When it comes to your social media, you’re in luck.
The most important part of getting your social media stuff right online isn’t about having some funny viral video, some photo of perfectly-placed stationery on a desk with a white flower or clever words to inspire action in potential customers. It’s something infinitely more important.It’s consistency.
Consistency of frequency
Part of building a fan base is being there when they want you to be there. Which, if you’ve experienced any kind of job where you have fans or followers, is all the time! Back when I was on breakfast radio, social media was just getting started. We toyed around with MySpace, Friendster, and eventually this little scrappy start-up called Facebook. Early on, we heard all the talk from social media “experts” saying “Post just once a day during your show! Don’t annoy your fans with too many posts!” I always thought it was a little bit funny that, just 3 months in to Facebook being available in Australia, that a whole industry of “experts” had popped up and apparently knew exactly what a radio show in a regional town in Australia should do with it.Fast forward nearly 10 years and we’ve all learned that you need to post frequently to your followers. I am still ramping up my posting on my own Facebook page. Initally I thought it was fine to do it sporadically. Then I noticed that certain results seem to follow certain patterns. Which led to me trying a few other experiments. What would happen if I posted in the morning only? Or twice a day? It turned out that out of all my experiments, it didn’t matter how often I posted each day. It mattered that I did it consistently. And that’s been the pattern with my clients. If I feel that three posts per day would suit a certain client, then I make sure I post three times a day, everyday. That includes the weekends. More on how I do that later. Suffice to say, you need to pick a frequency, and stick to it. For the long term.
Consistency of content
We all like to walk in to a room and assume that everyone wants to know what we do and how great our products are. Nothing could be further from the truth. People care mostly about themselves. And what they are doing and selling. That’s why networking functions are so incredibly annoying. Especially small business ones. Everyone is trying to out-pitch everyone else. It’s a war of “look at me” and cliched positivity statements that were picked up from LinkedIn earlier that day. The same goes on with people on Facebook. You need to give people something. In my case, it’s free tips on how to do what I do for people who want to do it for themselves. You might be offering instructional guides on how to approach painting your house, or ordering promotional products online, or writing a novel. Whatever it is, though, you need to be consistent with it too.
If you’re going to post one free offer a week, do it EVERY week. If you post photos of your breakfast on Sundays, keep doing that. If you post comments on news from your industry on Mondays, keep doing it EVERY Monday. Be consistent with what you post. If you’re opinionated online, stay opinionated. If you’re ecologically-aware, let that filter through your online persona. The key here is not to flip and flip about from sweet, demure postivity quotes, to hard-line business commentary. It’s confusing and ignores what people may have tuned-in to you for in the first place. It’s a betrayal of their trust in your content.
Consistency of look-and-feel
I follow a lady on LinkedIn whose content I can’t stand. It’s pushy. It’s always asking you to read this, buy this, trust me, “let’s stick together because we’re all girls and we need to support each other.” You know the type. I’ve then watched her demolish the reputation of a fellow “we’re all girls” club-member when that person did something she didn’t like. That said, every post of hers has a consistent look and feel. And that is something I respect. The colour of every photo she uses carries a very specific hue and look. The feel is minimalist, but flowery. I don’t like the look, but I’m not her target audience. Which makes me follow her even more closely. Because she knows what she’s doing. Every post follows a set of style guidelines that she has set for herself. She carries that feel across all her products. She never waivers from it. Even when she goes “off-brand” with the message on her posts, she at least makes it look the same. I like that. I respect that. And her fans love it too. They follow her every post closely and consistently.It’s a lesson I’ll be taking with me in my future posts. And one you should probably take with you on yours too.
Using automation to keep you consistentIt’s hard to be consistent online. You can set reminders, you can set goals, you can set alarms, but when it comes down to it the only method that works for me is software. And doing everything in one go.
- Do all your blog posts for the week in one go and then schedule them to go live on a certain date in your website
- Use tools like Buffer, Hootsuite or Sprout Social to do all your social media posts at once and schedule them
- Set a specific night each week to do all your posts and writing. It’s easier to find creativity if you’re forced to find it
Doing everything on one night for your blogging and social posting makes sense. It makes you be creative at the time when you need to be. It makes sure you’ve got it all done for the week. And it means you’re not stressing about it on every night of the week… just one!