About This Episode
At the beginning of the year, SUCCESS People Editor Tristan Ahumada encouraged entrepreneurs and business owners to dive deeper into their social media plans. It is without a doubt that social media is what drives the internet right now.
Now that we are entering the second half of 2022, what can you focus on to better utilize social media for marketing your business and growing your personal brand? Tristan shares an outline of what works for him and the opportunities he thinks are worth looking into for each platform. Let’s dive right in.
The Current Social Media Landscape
Wikipedia listed the top 50 most visited websites in the world for 2022. Some of the notable websites on the list include:
- Rank 1: Google
- Rank 2: YouTube
- Rank 3: Facebook
- Rank 4: Twitter
- Rank 5: Instagram
- Rank 18: Tiktok
- Rank 23: LinkedIn
Social media still dominates the list, and looking at the current trends, social media algorithms favor organic posting. Paid opportunities are still worth investing in, but organic growth is where social media is heading.
The challenge now for entrepreneurs is this: what can you do, consistently, to post content that is authentic and connects with the audience? Also, what opportunities are there for each platform?
Type of Content
Each social media outlet has its own unique culture and presents various opportunities. While the types of content posted are the same, the nuances can be a little different in each niche. Here are some content forms worth considering:
Short-form video. TikTok's rising popularity is mainly due to short (usually 30-to-60 second, but now up to 10-minute) clips with trending music, fun memes, creative transitions, and snappy storytelling. Instagram and Facebook have been incorporating Stories for years now, and more recently, Reels have been gaining traction. Short-form video is still on the rise, and there are still a lot of possibilities to be explored in this type of content.
Long-form video. This isn’t going anywhere. Long-form video still works very well, and statistics show that people who watch over 50% of a longer video start to become fans. They are more intentional in their searches and are more likely to be loyal to a personal brand. They are the ones asking you “What’s next?” because they loved the content of your video.
Audio. It is interesting that audio doesn’t get talked about as much as other types of content. Aside from podcasts, there are still a lot of untapped possibilities for audio. For those looking to start a podcast, start with Anchor because it is free and connected to Spotify. Short audio is also an interesting opportunity to look into, and there are already a few companies and social media outlets that provide options for shorter audio.
Another thing that gets talked about a lot when it comes to social media is algorithms.
The algorithm is still going to continue to change. It always does. More sophisticated algorithms revolve around trends, and right now the trend favors organic and native content. Algorithms prefer content that comes directly from the platform: shooting the video or photo through the app, native editing, and direct posting.
Live videos are heavily favored by algorithms, and content sourced from other parties, especially those with competitor logos, is penalized. So if you want to maximize visibility, don’t cross-post content on different social media platforms.
Tell a Story
The most important part of your social media plan, however, will never change. Regardless of how social media will evolve, that’s storytelling.
Technical skills and strategies are important too, but at the end of the day, organic social media growth relies on the message you deliver. What is your story? How does it make your audience feel? Connect to your audience. They want to know the person, the human being behind the brand.
Relate to your audience. Make it fun. Engage with them and build relationships. Business is all about human connections.
Opportunities to Explore for Each Platform
As mentioned earlier, each social media outlet has its own specific culture, and the opportunities your business can leverage vary on the platform. Tristan outlines the things he does for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
The biggest opportunity on Facebook is groups. When you scroll through your feed, one out of every five posts is from the Facebook groups you are in. In fact, it is growing and will soon be one out of every four posts.
Create a Facebook group for your business or your personal brand and tell your story there. Communicate with the members of your group. Give them content that is relatable and valuable to them. Share stories of your business journey, and inspire them with anecdotes, whether personal or from other people you've networked with over the years.
Facebook Reels is also the place to be right now. Tristan posts 1–5 reels per day and is currently four months into being paid by Facebook for reels. It may sound overwhelming to think of what to talk about, but it can be anything. Talk about what you love.
For Tristan, it is journals and reading. Sometimes he reads excerpts from books he got from Amazon. It can be something as simple as that. Just make it of value and make it fun. Tell a story.
Facebook Live also hasn’t gone anywhere. Tristan tries to shoot one live per day, but you can do it once a week or once a month, just do it consistently. You can also stream it live on multiple channels through third-party hosting companies such as Ecamm Live (for Macbook) or Restream.io. Tristan uses both to play his daily live videos on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Twitter simultaneously.
Facebook Stories are a great place to post what you are doing throughout the day. People love to watch what you are eating, the coffee shop you frequent, the views from your hike, or your cat or dog lounging beside you while working. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to overthink it.
Lastly, it is a bit new and still in the testing phase, but Facebook Rooms is another opportunity worth checking out. Think of the rooms as the ones they have in the Clubhouse app. You can go in and listen to someone talking, participate in the topic, or just go there to chill.
If you want to go all in on Facebook, join a group. Do one live per week. Post 1-5 reels daily, one directly on your feed (could be a photo, video, or whatever you want), and more or less (preferably more) 5 stories a day. And if you have Rooms, try it out once a week, just to test it out.
Popularity-wise, Instagram is the 2nd most popular place on social media (TikTok ranks 1st in popularity). There are five opportunities you can look into here: a minimum of one feed post per day, 1-5 Instagram reels daily, 5-10 stories each day, one or two Instagram Lives per week, and one long video on Instagram per week.
For the main feed posting, it can be anything–a photo of you eating out, or a short video (you can even use reels for this).
Instagram Reels are short videos, and for most users, the maximum available time is 90 seconds. One pro tip for you to remember is that it is music that makes the reels. There are a lot of trending songs or sounds you can use. Take advantage of the trend that comes with that specific sound.
The Instagram algorithm loves stories and reels. Despite being under the same company, stories are where Instagram differs from Facebook. On Facebook, the feed and groups dominate, but on Instagram, it is all about stories and reels. If your primary social media platform is Instagram, focus on those two, and on Instagram Live.
Just make sure that when you go live, you have an outline of what you want to talk about so you are not all over the place. Make it around 10 minutes or longer too, so that people have enough time to find you, engage in your Live, and just sit in and listen.
Instagram video doesn’t get as much love from the algorithm, but it is a good idea to populate content for all possible opportunities the platform has to offer.
YouTube has brought in shorts, which are vertical videos that are 60 seconds long or less. But the main form of content on YouTube is still long videos.
If YouTube is your main platform, you should do at least 1-5 YouTube shorts daily. As for your long videos, the popular approach for your content is “How to” guides and an informative (yet fun) narrative on what, how, or why something happens.
Remember that YouTube is a place people go to and search for tutorials, explanations, and guides, as well as entertaining content.
Think of how you can use that nature to your advantage. What do you do for a living? What do you sell? If you are not selling anything, think of what you can talk about that is informative and fun to watch.
Tristan recently interviewed Sean Cannell, owner of Think Media, about his YouTube journey, and he mostly does product reviews for cameras, lenses, and other tech that fellow YouTubers might find interesting.
“I think, even though people gravitate to Tiktok, I still think the biggest opportunity we all have is with YouTube.” –Tristan Ahumada
Why? YouTube is directly connected to Google, and with the right keywords, your video can rank highly on the landing pages. At the same time, YouTube acts as a search engine and a content library as well. Your content is archived and lives there (probably forever), and the new audience can still go back to the content you posted a few years ago.
This is a big opportunity. You'll have 52 videos in a year if you do it once a week. Content that can be searched on Google and won't get lost in the feed.
If you’ve chosen TikTok as your niche for social media marketing, at minimum, you should be posting 3-5 TikTok videos daily. There’s no excuse. There’s not much to do on TikTok—just short videos, stories, and lives.
The advantage of TikTok is its popularity. As the most popular social media outlet right now, it is easy to gain virality on your videos, and you get views and followers faster than on any other platform.
TikTok is big on trends, and the more entertainment value you can add to your content, the better your videos will do. Since short videos are the way to go on this platform, you need to get creative with your storytelling. How can you make it fun, moving, interesting, and engaging while still being informative and relevant to your brand? Once you’ve overcome these challenges, your opportunities are endless in TikTok.
Among the social media platforms, LinkedIn is probably the least loved, yet it is still so amazing. The audience on this platform is business people, not too different from you. They are people looking for business content, but LinkedIn is not just “all business” either.
It also has its own app called Sales Navigator, which you have to pay to subscribe to, and allows you to reverse prospect or reverse engineer how to reach your target audience. Tristan uses this for automated DMs for his target audience. He also posts his daily live videos on LinkedIn.
If you want to go all-in on LinkedIn, here is what Tristan suggests: Post at least once on your feed daily. Stream one live weekly (Tristan does it daily through Restream.io). Write 1-3 articles in a week. (Yes, LinkedIn has a newsletter feature.) In three weeks of putting up one article weekly, Tristan got 2400 followers, and they love those articles. For entrepreneurs with a passion for making blogs or writing, this is the place to be. And the last part is automated messaging. Tristan partnered with My Linked Solution for message automation through LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator.
Plus, Reels is coming soon to LinkedIn, and they are already testing it out.
For Twitter, you can do 1-3 posts daily. Make them short, put in some videos, and have a bit of fun. Humor goes a long way on Twitter, but you can go for inspirational or relatable as well. You can also do live videos. Twitter has a feature called Spaces, which is similar to Facebook Rooms, but Twitter does it better (so far). It is a good opportunity to talk about your skills, competencies, or field of expertise on Twitter.
Tristan believes that there are still many untapped possibilities for businesses on Twitter that have not been fully explored.
“I think the opportunity we have with Twitter is to come and take a look at social media with a new set of odds. Pay attention to Twitter because I think that that may be next year’s future opportunity as it keeps growing,” Tristan says.
DISCLAIMER: The people interviewed are well-trained experts and highly skilled in their areas of practice. They take many safety precautions prior to attempting the activities described. The activities or research discussed in these podcasts should not be attempted without qualified supervision and training with professionals.