8 Ways To Deal With Negative Online Reviews

 

You got negative reviews? I know what you’re thinking, you can’t please everyone.

 

If you’re like most of us, you may have felt upset, mad, or even hurt.

 

No one likes getting negative reviews.

 

And as a business owner, it can be very easy to take those negative reviews personally.

 

According to a survey published by BrighLocal found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.

 

Feeling bad is understandable, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, it’s better to take action.

 

You have a dissatisfied customer, and one who has publicized their bad experience and negative opinion about your business.

But how can you combat those public negative reviews?

 

At first glance, it may seem impossible- you can’t magically make it go away, but there are a few tried and true steps you can take towards turning the negative situation into a positive one.

 

Take a deep breath and calm down

If you come across negative reviews about your business, the first step should always be to pause, take some deep breaths, and analyze the situation.

 

It’s important to remember not to let your emotions get the better of you.

 

Replying right away when you’re still upset is never a good idea.

 

Stand up, take a break, cool down. Never respond to the customer when you’re upset.

 

Consider coming up with a fixed set of review responses.

 

These can help provide a starting point when dealing with negative reviews.

 

This doesn’t mean to use the same response time and time again- but it can get you started. Take the fixed response and customize it to the customer and situation.

 

Another recommendation is to get a second opinion.

 

After you compose your response, but before publishing it, ask an impartial third party to read it.

 

Does it come across professional? Caring? Does it offer a reasonable solution?
Two heads are better than one, and getting a second opinion can help you more effectively resolve the issue.

 

You have to address the negative reviews

You may think that by ignoring those negative reviews, it will somehow go away.

 

When a customer go the trouble of posting a review on social media, they expect an answer fast. 42% of customers expect an answer within an hour.

 

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

You’re dealing with someone who was upset enough to take time out of their day to publically express what a bad experience they had with your company.

 

Every day you don’t address the complaint, you make things worse.

 

The customers are likely to become upset that you didn’t care enough to respond, while the negative reviews are sitting there tarnishing your company’s reputation.

 

By not responding, you’re sending the message that you don’t care what kind of experience customers have with your business.

 

Sometimes all it takes is letting the customer know you heard them, and that the experience they had is important to you.

 

Let them know you are happy to resolve the issue for them. Make every effort to respond quickly and resolve the issue in one step.

 

This is also known as “first contact resolution.” Studies show that customers who receive satisfactory resolution in just one “transaction” are twice as likely to purchase your product or service again.

 

You can also use negative reviews as a way to stand out from the competition.

 

Not everyone takes the time to respond to negative reviews, so being one who DOES can really set you apart from your competitors.

 

Can you see how imperative it is to make your customers feel appreciated and heard?

 

Resolve the issue

Don’t only respond to negative reviews; fix the problem, too.

 

In some cases, depending on the situation, it may mean asking the customer to contact you by phone or to stop by your place of business so you can discuss the issue/problem in person.

 

When you show you’re actively trying to fix the problem, that shows the customer (and others) that you truly want to solve the issue.

 

With trust in reviews as high as it is, going the extra mile is important.

 

Not only does fixing the issue make that customer happier, other potential customers will also see how important customer satisfaction is to your business.

 

Find the silver lining

At first glance it may seem that there’s nothing positive about getting negative reviews, but take the time to really analyze what the customer wrote.

 

Maybe they received bad customer service? Was there a particular service or product that didn’t meet their expectations? Maybe there’s something not working at a particular location?

 

Instead of feeling bad about the negative reviews, look at this as an opportunity to make improvements that will ultimately result in a better experience for your future customers.

 

Customer service is now very public

Can you remember the last time you picked up the phone and called a business?

 

More than likely it’s not something you are in the habit of doing anymore, and you’re not alone.

 

Studies show that 75% of customers find that it takes way too long to get a live person on the phone. The alternative? Customers are turning to social media and online forums to get customer service and make their voices heard.

 

Customers are used to the business hours of operation at a brick and mortar location, which may be one of the reasons they’re less likely to call when they have an issue.

 

But the Internet doesn’t close. They can wait until the kids are in bed to sit down and write what’s on their mind.

 

They expect a quick response, and they know they’ll likely get it, since they’re using a public forum.

 

Gone are the days when a problem was between the client and manager. Everything is now in the public eye, and people are watching you to see how you’ll handle it.

 

It’s important to remember this when you find yourself dealing with negative reviews. Everything that you say to the customer is public– anyone can see it, both now and in the future.

 

It’s important to handle the issue professionally, and that means you don’t want to get into an online fight.

 

Never respond more than twice to the same customer on an online forum.

 

The best thing you can do to handle someone who is calling you out online, is to take the discussion elsewhere.

 

Let them know you understand they’ve had an issue, and you’re eager to help resolve it for them, and then ask them to call you.

 

They may or may not call—the important thing is that everyone will be able to see that you made an effort to reach out to the dissatisfied customer, and that shows that you care.

 

Ask for a second chance

If you had a dissatisfied customer that you worked with to resolve the issue, why not politely ask them to update the negative review, now that you’ve taken care of the situation?

 

Imagine the satisfaction you’ll feel if you can turn a negative review into a positive one! Now that’s winning.

 

The positives weigh down the negatives

If you’ve gotten negative reviews about your business, and reaching out to the customer to get it changed hasn’t worked, you’ll want to try to drown it out with positive reviews.

 

Jonah Berger, a Professor at UPenn did a research and found out that negative buzz can increase sales.

 

Reviews appear in chronological order, and usually only the 10 most recent show up on the first page.

 

Customers aren’t likely to click “next” to read beyond those 10, so you don’t need that many good reviews to push down the bad one.

 

Consider offering a small freebie or coupon code in exchange for their honest feedback, or use a review generation tool to generate more good reviews and a positive overall online reputation.

 

Read those reviews!

While it may seem tempting to sit back and pretend that your online reviews don’t exist, it’s not in your company’s best interest to ignore them.

 

What are customers saying about your business?

 

Do you have  negative reviews? Are you getting consistent 5-star reviews? What can you do to improve? You can use a review monitoring tool to access the top online review sites, and see what your customers are saying about your business.

 

Stay in the know, and respond to both good and bad reviews ASAP.

 

Conclusion

Let’s be realistic. Some people are just plain mean. There’s nothing you can do about it. But you can control how you react.

 

So to recap — Make sure you keep an eye on your reviews, you also need respond to negative reviews quickly but carefully and never respond when you are upset.

 

By doing this, you will show the world how much you care about your customers.

 

How do you respond to online reviews?

9 Expert Insights to Increase Your Organic Reach on Facebook

Funny hipster girl sitting at desk and using laptop. Mixed media

You’re probably already using Facebook to engage with your audience.

The platform has established itself as indispensable within the social media marketing industry with 62% of marketers naming it as the most important one in their strategies.

But while 93% of marketers use Facebook advertising regularly, 40% say they’re unsure whether their efforts are working.

And that’s becoming an increasingly difficult question to answer.

Because Facebook’s recent algorithm update prioritizes posts from friends and family, less content from business pages is showing up in users’ News Feeds.

In fact, Facebook Ads expert Jon Loomer warns that measuring only actual, viewable impressions, as opposed to News Feed ticks, could see reach decline by up to 20%.

And as organic reach drops, ad rates continue to skyrocket — increasing by 35% in the last quarter of 2017 alone.

So with organic reach on the decline and advertising becoming more expensive than ever, reaching your audience on the platform isn’t as easy as it used to be.

But it also isn’t impossible.

Fortunately, Facebook offers a comprehensive set of analytics reports for business page owners.

And in this post, you’ll learn nine ways to gather actionable data from these reports, then use that insight to increase your organic reach.

Why organic reach matters

There’s been a continual decline in average organic Facebook page reach over the past few years.

And while that may not be news if you’ve been following the social media marketing industry, there was a more drastic drop from 2016 to 2017.

This means that marketers across the board are reaching fewer of their followers with the content they post.

But why does this matter?

Can’t you just spend some money and boost your posts so that they reach more users?

That would be the obvious solution — but personally, I don’t recommend it as an alternative to working on your organic reach.

Boosting posts, even with a well-executed strategy, is a temporary approach. Once you stop paying, you stop getting results.

Plus, the posts you boost will typically involve directing users to informational content on your site.

And while that can help you earn traffic, that traffic doesn’t generally convert at a high rate — meaning that the ROI you see will likely be low.

So while boosting posts is an effective way to generate a spike in traffic to a page on your site, it ultimately won’t lead to long-term results.

Achieving and maintaining strong organic reach, on the other hand, can boost your lead generation efforts.

And, having a strong organic reach, can contribute to your sales funnel — making it a much better goal for your Facebook marketing strategy.

How to access Facebook Insights

To access the data that Facebook provides on your business’s results, you’ll first need to navigate to your page and select “Insights” from the menu bar.

The main dashboard shows a summary of the previous seven days.

This summary includes data for your total actions on page, pageviews, page previews, page likes, page reach, and page recommendations.

It essentially gives a general overview of your weekly performance, as well as how that performance compares to the previous week.

From here, you can click any of these summaries to access more detailed information or scroll down to see data for your five most recent posts.

This section will show the date and time of each post, the post’s type and caption, as well as the reach and engagement achieved.

The reach metric will also display both organic and boosted numbers if you paid to promote any of your posts listed over the previous seven days.

Finally, your dashboard will also display weekly performance summaries of up to five pages that you’ve designated as “Pages to Watch.”

This feature is designed to help you easily compare your page’s performance with your competitors’ pages.

You can add up to five pages to track. Then this report will display each one’s total page likes as well as their increase in page likes, total posts, and total engagements.

How to use Facebook Insights to increase your reach

So, reaching your audience with organic content is essential for achieving significant results with Facebook.

But if your current approach is just to share links to new content whenever you publish it on your site, it’s unlikely you’ll see the kind of organic reach you want.

Success on the platform requires careful strategy and planning.

And when you use Facebook’s built-in reporting feature, Insights, you can learn valuable data about your audience.

This data will help you create a strategy tailored to their interests and browsing habits.

So if you’re looking to improve your results on the platform, here are nine ways to use Facebook Insights to measure your performance and improve it moving forward.

1. Use the Likes, Comments, and Shares report to identify high-performing content

One of the most popular metrics amongst Facebook marketers is reach.

You can access this data by selecting the “Reach” tab from the column on the left of the page.

Here you’ll see a report showing how many people saw content from your page on any given day.

This is a helpful report for getting a general idea of how many people read or saw your posts over a given time period.

But it doesn’t show which content they saw or whether any of those people engaged with it.

Of course, you can use this graph to identify any spikes in reach, then use those spikes as a starting point for digging deeper into your reports.

In that regard, it makes sense to glance at this report whenever you check in on your page’s results.

But you can’t draw definitive or actionable conclusions from it.

After all, your goal isn’t just to know what your organic reach is — it’s to increase that number.

And one of the best ways to do that is to focus on creating more engaging content.

When a post does well in terms of engagement, this signals to Facebook that users find it interesting. As a result, they’ll distribute that post to even more users.

This means that to achieve high organic reach, you need to create content that generates engagement from your audience.

And you can access this data in the Reactions, Comments, Shares, and More report.

Instead of focusing on reach, this report will help you identify the days on which your content sparked the most reactions among your audience.

Again, this report doesn’t show individual posts — so looking at this data alone won’t tell you which content generated a high number of likes, comments, or shares.

But once you’ve identified days on which your page saw high engagement numbers, you can use that insight to narrow in on specific posts.

This can serve as a starting point for identifying high-performing content.

Plus, you can use it to gauge your overall engagement levels over time.

And while many Facebook marketers mistakenly focus on reach, making engagement-related metrics a priority will give you a much more accurate idea of what you’re doing well.

2. Use the Posts report to compare individual posts

After you’ve used page-wide metrics to get a general idea of your Facebook results, you can use the Posts report to learn more about the performance of individual posts.

Under the Posts tab, scroll down to “All Posts Published.”

This report will list each of your recently-published posts individually, as well as the post’s type, targeting, reach, and engagement.

With this data, you can easily identify the top-performing posts on your page for any given time period.

Here again, though, you’ll want to focus on engagement instead of reach alone.

This is especially important when you consider what this metric really indicates. Every time one of your posts appears in a user’s News Feed, it adds to your reach count.

And when you think about your own browsing habits, the problem becomes apparent.

Many of us tend to scroll mindlessly through our feeds, only stopping when something catches our attention.

And if this is the kind of “reach” you’re generating, it means very little for your business.

If users don’t stop to read your content, their view is essentially useless.

When a user likes, comments on, or shares one of your posts, however, you can be confident that they spent at least a few seconds with your content.

This makes these metrics more reliable indicators of a post’s success. Plus, they can give you a better understanding of which types of content are most interesting to your audience.

Then, you can use this insight to create more of the content they like — leading to more engagement for your page and improving your overall organic reach.

3. Use the Post Types report to learn what your audience wants

Another helpful data set within the Posts section of Insights is the “Post Types” report.

This will show the performance of your most recent posts. But instead of displaying them individually, it shows data based on different types of posts.

When you publish content to your page, you can either post it in the form of a photo, status, link, offer, or video.

This report will show which of those types tend to resonate best with your audience.

After all, every audience is different.

And while visual content performs best on social media, you won’t know for sure if that’s because of your followers or other types of content they prefer until you dig into your own data.

Of course, as a caveat, it’s important to note that the actual content in these posts can have an impact on your followers’ responses.

So if you’ve only published one or two posts within the reporting period, your data may be skewed based on their content.

As a result, this report is most helpful when you’ve been publishing new posts on a regular basis.

But once it’s had enough time to collect significant data, you can use it to shape your content calendar and overall strategy.

The more you post the type of content your audience likes to see, the more effective you’ll be at generating engagement and reaching your goals on the platform.

4. Identify what’s working for your competitors

Looking at post performance is a great way to gauge what your audience wants to see more of. But it’s important to remember that you aren’t limited to monitoring your own content.

Much like with virtually every other form of digital marketing, doing a bit of competitor research is a great way to improve your own strategy.

And Facebook makes that process easy, as long as you know who your competitors are.

From the Posts tab, select “Top Posts from Pages You Watch.”

This report shows data from pages you’ve identified as competitors. And if you haven’t done so yet, you can add to it by selecting the “Add Pages” button at the top of the report.

Then, you’ll see the top content from each of the pages you’ve chosen to monitor in terms of engagement.

The report also includes direct links to each post, making it easy to see the exact content that’s working for your competitors.

Assuming that your audience shares similarities with the audiences of the pages you’ve chosen to monitor, this can be an extremely valuable insight for your business.

Spend some time investigating which post types are working for other businesses in your industry, what kinds of topics they’re posting about, and the tone and style that they use.

Of course, you should never attempt to replicate another company’s strategy directly.

But this is a great way to learn how to most effectively connect with your audience — so that you can create a clearer plan for your own approach.

5. Learn when your fans are online

Many Facebook page admins struggle to identify the best times to post on social media.

If you spend time creating content, you want to make sure that your audience actually sees it — and timing can play a big role in that.

Fortunately, determining when your audience is online doesn’t need to be a game of guesswork.

Facebook provides all of this data under the Posts tab. Simply select “When Your Fans Are Online” from the menu at the top of the report.

Here, you’ll see data from the previous week, showing your total number of fans active on each day of the week.

Then, once you select a day, you can see how many users were active during each hourly interval based on your local time zone.

With this report, there’s no need to guess when you should be posting to reach your audience.

Create a schedule based on when you know they’re most active online, and you can be confident that you aren’t missing any opportunities simply because of timing issues.

6. Use the Net Followers report to track your audience’s growth

Your organic reach depends on many different factors, the most notable of which is Facebook’s algorithm.

But your posts will only ever show up in the feeds of users who’ve chosen to follow you — meaning that your potential organic reach is limited to that number of users.

That means that it’s important to keep an eye on your audience’s growth.

Fortunately, this is an easy metric to monitor using the “Net Followers” report, which you can find under the Followers tab.

While many page managers focus solely on their total number of followers, that metric doesn’t tell the whole story.

When it comes to growing a page, retaining your current followers is just as important as earning new ones.

And this report can show you how you’re doing in that regard.

Plus, if you’re losing followers, this can help you learn why.

If you notice a significant number of unfollowers on a specific day, you’ll want to take a look at what you posted that day.

This can give some insight as to what kinds of content your audience doesn’t like.

This way, you can avoid publishing the kinds of content that cost your page followers — and continue to grow your audience.

7. Use the Actions on Page report to see how Facebook drives important business goals

As with any marketing channel, your goal with Facebook marketing isn’t simply to generate attention on the platform itself.

Ultimately, you want your efforts to translate into meaningful results for your business.

And fortunately, some businesses have seen these types of results remain consistent — or even increase — despite the overall decrease in average page reach.

For example, in one Scribewise study, the company saw a 67% increase in site traffic due to Facebook from December 2017 to January 2018.

So while many social media marketers were panicking about drops in reach, their results actually improved for a more meaningful metric than how often they appear in users’ News Feeds.

And the data in the Actions on Page tab can help you gauge whether your Facebook marketing campaigns are making an impact.

This report shows whether users are taking actions that translate into off-page results.

Actions like asking for directions to your business, clicking your phone number, visiting your website, or clicking the action button on your header.

Depending on your business and social media marketing strategy, not all of these actions will be relevant.

For example, if you’re running an e-commerce store, you wouldn’t expect your followers to ask for directions.

But you would want them to visit your website or click an action button that directs them to shop — and this report is where you can see whether they’re taking those steps.

So to make the most of this report, you’ll first need to determine what kind of action you’re hoping to drive with your page.

And if you haven’t done so yet, you’ll want to create a custom action button. This will show up in your page’s header and direct visitors to take a step that’s important to your business.

Click “Add Button,” and you’ll be prompted to select from a pre-set list of button types.

You can opt to direct users to book an appointment, contact you, visit a specific page on your site, shop or make a donation, or download an app or game.

Once you’ve added your button, you’ll be able to track how many users click it in the Actions on Page report.

This will give you a clearer idea of how your Facebook strategy is contributing to your overall marketing goals.

8. Use Video Insights to monitor performance

Today, video is one of the best ways to engage Facebook users. In fact, 12 of the 14 most viral Facebook posts in 2017 were videos.

Facebook has even explicitly stated that video generates more engagement.

It’s clearly a compelling medium — so it should come as no surprise that 81% of marketers are using it as part of their strategies.

And videos don’t have to be complicated or involve high production values to generate results, either.

Just take a look at how Inspiralized uses videos created with Instagram’s Boomerang feature to attract their audience’s attention:

So if you’re not using video yet as part of your strategy, there’s no reason not to try publishing a few simple posts and see how your audience responds.

Then, once you do, Facebook’s Video Insights are a great way to monitor your performance.

Click the Video tab, and you’ll first see an overview of your page’s Video Views.

This report counts each time a user watches three seconds or more of one of your videos as a view.

But if you scroll a little farther down the page, you’ll also see a report showing only views of ten or more seconds.

If your video is less than ten seconds, Facebook will instead use this report to show users who watch 97% of it.

Either way, this report is an excellent way to see which of your videos are effective in engaging your audience.

If a user spends ten or more seconds watching your content, they’re clearly interested — and that means a lot more than the type of view included in the standard reach metric.

From here, you can also click any video to access more data about that individual post.

This data includes peak live viewers, average watch time, and total minutes viewed.

9. Learn who your followers are

The more you know about your followers, the more effective you’ll be in creating content that’s relevant to their needs and interests.

You can access Facebook’s data about who follows your page by navigating to the People tab, then selecting “Your Followers.”

It’s important to note that by default, Facebook will show data on your fans, not your followers.

And while you’ll often see these terms used interchangeably, there’s an important distinction to make.

Fans “like” your page, but may have opted not to see your posts in their feeds. Followers, on the other hand, have indicated that they want to see your content.

That means that while these audiences may be extremely similar, followers are a better indicator of who’s seeing and interacting with your posts.

Conclusion

Engaging your audience on Facebook is no longer as simple as remembering to publish a new post once or twice a week.

But using the reports above, you can gain valuable insight into your audience’s interests and browsing habits.

Focus on engagement rather than reach because someone who is engaging with your content is more likely to buy than someone who just scrolled past it on their News Feed.

Compare post types and individual posts to see what’s working for you. Then check out what’s working for your competitors.

Once you know what types of content your audience likes, find out when they’re online and post at peak times so they actually see it.

And don’t forget video. It’s one of the best ways to engage your audience.

Try a few video posts and see how your audience responds.

Finally, track your audience growth and business goals to make sure your content is connecting.

When you shape your strategy around what they want to see, you’ll be much more successful in achieving the reach and engagement you want.

Which metrics do you find most helpful when monitoring your Facebook marketing success?

 

10 Outdated (But Commonly Used) Social Media Tactics You Need To Ditch

Recently, I noticed my blog traffic from social was decreasing but the engagement of my followers on social media was going up.

Even with the reach of my posts going down.

I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. What’s going on?

No matter what I tried, it didn’t seem to improve.

That was it. I had been doing the exact same thing for the past three years.

No matter who you are or what you do on social media, you’ve probably realized it keeps changing.

What works today will no longer work tomorrow.

So after a few weeks of trial and error, I discovered what I had to do differently.

Some of my social media tactics had become outdated.

So I ditched them before it could have a lasting effect on my blog traffic.

If you notice the same thing happening to you, don’t worry. You’re still in time to solve the problem.

Here’s what I was doing wrong and what I did to grow my social media presence to what it is today.

#1: Links, links, and more links

Posting links to your content left and right, hoping that it will get more likes, is a thing of the past.

The same goes for mass-following people or joining social groups with similar interests as you.

It may have worked a few years ago, but not anymore.

“So, how do I stand out?” is what you are probably thinking.

It isn’t as hard as you may think.

First of all, do some research and find out what people are talking about. What’s trending right now and what will the next trending topic be tomorrow?

There are tons of social listening tools available, and some of them are actually free.

Take TweetReach for example.

You only need to enter a hashtag, username, or a keyword and it will tell you exactly how far your tweets travel.

The results of a search can turn up information as valuable as reach, exposure, top contributors, and most retweeted tweets, among other indicators.

Thanks to this tool you can test your tweets and measure which ones get the highest results in terms of impact and diffusion.

Now write something awesome that’s in line with your social media presence.

I can’t tell you what to write about.

But here are some key points that will give you a head start:

  • Be honest. Everybody can come up with fake information, so make sure that what you write is credible and fact-based.

  • Experience is key. Always keep in mind the emotions your words convey and how it can impact others’ lives. For example, Bruno Mars is funny, energetic, and appreciative.

Keep these tips in mind and your content will be relevant, and your audience will love it.

They’ll want to share it with their friends and family. So sit back and ride the wave.

#2: Same content, different platforms

Each social media platform has its own set of standard rules that every user follows.

I am not talking about strict rules like taking someone’s identity or publishing illegal content. Those are etched in stone and need to be respected.

What I was referring to is the way each social platform works, the feel and what you expect when you log on.

When you go on Twitter, you expect short and up-to-date messages, right?

For example, celebs will tweet just about anything during their daily activities or even on a TV show.

Just look at Kelly Clarkson tweeting during The Voice.

Content and image specifications for each social media platform can differ greatly.

Facebook is all about getting people to talk with you and with your community.

You can write massive posts or simply drop a line. It’s up to you.

The key is to make sure that your content rocks, never grows old, and engages your audience.

Not sure what to write?

Think of two things you love and try to find common ground to tap into one of them by way of the other.

I know, it’s a lot to take in, right?

Don’t worry. This guide to writing social media headlines that people actually click on will get you started on whatever social media platform you choose.

#3: Writing about what you want

OK, OK… You can choose what to write about, just not exactly what topics to cover.

Let me explain.

It’s up to you to decide what type of content you want to write about. If you start a blog about cars, it’s probably because you’re passionate about them.

So far, so good. This all makes perfect sense.

Now it’s time to decide what your next topic is going to be.

You end up writing an article about the types of headlights you can find on different Chevrolet models.

When you publish it expecting awesome comments and engagement, you get two likes.

And that’s it.

You’d probably be asking yourself, “What went wrong? My last post about the fastest sports car in 2018 got 50 likes and ten comments after three days!”

Starting to add up the pieces?

There are tools that can help you estimate the engagement of a specific post.

Check out this search I did on Google Trends pitting “types of headlights” (blue line) against “engine types” (red line).

Of course, the whole idea of your site or blog is up to you. But if you want it to grow, you need to write for your audience and not for you.

“But, how can I know what my audience wants?”

Ask them.

Don’t you like when somebody asks you “How was your day?” or “What can I do for you today?”

Let your audience know you appreciate them.

Engage with them.

Bud Light did this by hosting a Facebook Live of a live performance by Post Malone.

Or prepare raffles, quizzes, surveys, or polls like Search Engine Journal does on Twitter.

Host a giveaway like the Parks Project.

Hopefully, these tips and examples have you thinking about the potential types of content for your social media.

#4: Black hat social media tactics

Black hat is the name given to unethical web tactics used to boost a website’s ranking. Be it on search engines or on social media platforms.

My experience with black hat has shown me that although it may seem fun, easy, or like the results are outstanding, it just isn’t worth it in the long run.

Nowadays, some social media accounts still make use of these tactics.

One big black hat tactic used on social media is buying fake followers, likes, and shares.

There’s a lot said about this on the Internet.

Sometimes the followers you are buying are actually bots that are stealing other people’s identities.

These bots automatically follow thousands of people paying for fake followers to boost their social media presence (even politicians and celebrities).

Another very controversial use of bots on social channels is the manipulation of thought to affect decisions that will impact the world.

Like how Russian Twitter bots sent tons of pro-Brexit tweets to influence voters’ opinions.

But that isn’t all.

MediaKix created two fake Instagram accounts to test how hard it is to become a paid influencer on Instagram.

The results are shocking because with only a few stock photos and a few dollars to buy fake followers, they actually secured a total of four paid brand deals in total.

That’s crazy.

But if there’s one thing to learn from the past, it’s that these things don’t last.

If you want to truly boost your social media presence, then treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself.

And if you are thinking of working with an influencer to boost your social presence or conversions, then make sure it’s the real deal and not a smoke screen.

Look how easy it is to identify an account’s user base growth over time with tools like Socialblade.

Keep an eye out for irregular patterns like these when assessing the authenticity of social media accounts.

Unless they’re some sort of celebrity, it’s very likely that this user paid for a large number of followers.

#5: Following to be followed

 

 

The fake social media industry is a gold mine for a few and a waste of money for many.

There’s even a vending machine for buying followers.

By purchasing fake followers, you’re lining other people’s pockets, and you are risking a bad reputation or even an account ban.

Instead of adding tons of accounts which mean nothing to you, do some research and find the main influencers in your niche.

See how they do what they do. Learn from the content they produce and how they interact with their followers.

Comment on their posts and leave a link to your own.

If you create relevant, quality content and add the right (active) user accounts, you’ll get your first 1,000 followers in no time.

Within five months of launching Pescetarian Kitchen, Matthew Darby had 4,700+ Facebook followers, 850 Twitter followers, and 15,000+ unique visitors from social media.

How?

By creating a long-term social growth strategy filled with content that he knew his audience would engage with and learn from.

#6: Impersonal automated “thank you” messages

No doubt Messenger Bots are here to stay and are going to speed up a ton of processes when it comes to customer service and managing your audience.

One word which has shaped the Internet today is personalization, as you can see thanks to this chart from Accenture.

Everybody wants to feel special, unique, and heard.

That’s exactly why, if you decide to use auto-replies, you’ll need to learn how to set them up correctly.

You don’t just want to send a cold “thank you” and a request for the viewer to visit a blog.

You want to add value.

People are giving you moments of their precious time by reading what you write and even commenting on it.

Here’s an example of a great “thank you” message I received from Josh Fechter from BAMF Media. Check out the value added to his auto-reply.

Welcome email FB

A big thanks, a gift to go with it, and an interest to get my thoughts on the topic.

So now is when you say, “I want to personally answer all my followers, but I can’t physically do it.”

You do need to look into using a chatbot.

Unilever used one for Red Nose Day last year.

They created “Most Famous Monkey” in Facebook Messenger to tell jokes.

Through natural language development, Unilever created 215 AI-driven conversation topics.

They were able to send 150 messages per second.

So there’s nothing wrong with using a chatbot.

You just have to make sure that the message you send out comes across as friendly, understanding and, overall, human.

There’s no workaround for treating people like people, so the sooner you start doing it, the better your results will be on your social channels.

#7: Giving out all the goodies at once

A wise man once said, “Always keep an ace up your sleeve.”

Well, I don’t know if I just made that up, but it’s exactly what you need to do when publishing content on social media.

If you are spending more time creating content than growing your community and getting your content out there, then something needs to change.

As you can see on these pie charts from Inbox Insight, content production increases significantly on a yearly basis, and 80% of users plan to increase their use of original content.

But even though more content is being published, a ton of that is repurposed original content in different forms and on different platforms.

Look at how Larry Kim, founder of Mobile Monkey, repurposes content.

Here is an email about a webinar with SEMrush.

Then, he repurposes the webinar to his blog.

Creating content is not about creating new high-quality content every single time.

It’s about getting the high-quality content you already have to the right audience.

While some readers may prefer email, others will engage with your blog.

You need to understand where your audience is and where they engage.

This is why it’s important to fragment your content.

Analyze the piece of content you’ve created, divide it into individual parts, and adapt each one accordingly to make it a perfect fit for social media channels.

Like Problogger did with their podcasts.

And their Twitter posts.

And on Facebook.

Create, segment, and publish.

By doing this, you can easily turn one big article into seven days of fresh, quality content.

Or get seven days of traffic in just a few hours.

It’s up to you how you want to do it. The possibilities are endless.

#8: Throwing a sales pitch at your audience

I know.

What’s the point of having an engaged audience if you can’t sell anything to them, right?

I didn’t say you can’t sell to them, and I surely didn’t say they won’t buy from you.

But, if your branded content doesn’t connect with your targeted audience, you have failed them.

As the digital landscape changes, you cannot forget to be human.

Social media channels are adapting so your brand must evolve.

This makes tracking influencer partnerships on Facebook much easier.

So, how do you create branded content that doesn’t seem sleazy or salesy?

One word: storytelling.

Remember Dove’s Real Beauty campaign? It was the most watched branded content in 2013.

Storytelling is all about creating compelling life stories about a person who has a given need or problem and how they manage to solve it thanks to your product or service.

It tends to have an inherent life lesson, taps into a person’s emotions when they read it, and is easy for the audience to relate to.

The result?

A 30% boost in conversions and a great way to increase the end user’s loyalty to the brand. Not too shabby, huh?

Everybody likes a story like this one written by Ben A. Wise, so practically any brand’s audience would engage with it.

It’s up to you to find the best way for you and your business to showcase what you have to offer.

But as much as you like baseball, don’t pitch sales to your clients.

#9: Thinking organic traffic will make you rich

Everyone loves organic traffic.

It’s free, it’s accessible, and it’s based on variables which usually make it the most relevant content for your searches.

But here’s the deal.

Social media platforms don’t make cash off of organic traffic.

An insane 26% of Facebook users that click on an ad actually make a purchase and 93% of companies advertising on Facebook use Facebook Ads.

Advertising on social media has insane potential. It’s no wonder they want to fill their pockets, right?

You can’t expect to reach a large number of potential buyers for your product or get your brand name out there by relying solely on organic traffic.

By all means, organic will get you far, especially once your first clients start pouring in.

But, how long will it take to get your first customers?

It took Hallam Internet 26 days to generate 56 leads from LinkedIn Ads.

And, Cosabella saw a 50% increase in return on ad spend within the first month.

What is clear is that social media platforms are making paid ads more visible so more people see them.

This means more people will visit your site.

#10: Only publishing text and image-based content

When the Internet opened to the general public, everybody went crazy buying domains and publishing just about anything.

Those first pieces of content were purely text-based.

Not long after, as things evolved at super speed, you started to see images almost everywhere.

First text, then images. And now what?

Video.

Video content has been growing non-stop and will continue to do so over the coming years.

Just follow Tastemade.

Once they hit 2 billion monthly views on food videos, they decided to expand into travel and home.

Tastemade co-founder, Steven Kydd, told Digiday,

It’s always been part of the plan. We started with food, because honestly in the first few years of the company, we wanted to focus on building a real high-quality consumer brand. Once we had achieved that outcome, then we thought it would be the right time to expand into new verticals.

And they aren’t the only ones.

Other companies are investing billions in video marketing.

Everything points to video being the star of 2018.

And, brands are already showing that. Just look at this example from Lowe’s:

And Taco Bell.

You don’t have to be rich and spend thousands of dollars on video and sound equipment.

You don’t need a recording studio or to hire an expert.

All you need is a decent camera, something interesting to say, and a smile.

Conclusion

Social media is ever-changing so you need to up your game to stay in it.

Here’s how your time should be spent on social media: 80% to community growth and 20% to creating new content.

Keep up with the latest blogs.

Find some trustworthy websites to keep updated on the best practices for each social media platform and learn how to boost your social media ranking and engagement.

You want quality over quantity. Always.

If your content is good, people will acknowledge you, like it, and share it with everybody they know.

Remember that each social media platform has its tips and tricks, so make sure to adapt your content accordingly.

Finally, don’t obsess over things like having thousands of followers or creating viral posts.

Now think about what tactics you’ve been using until now and decide which ones to keep and which ones to ditch.

What are some social media tactics you think should be put on the shelf?