3 Easy Steps To Better Social Media Marketing

Michael Folling|May 12, 2014

Does the thought of marketing your business on social media make your head spin?

Though it may be tempting to shy away from social media marketing because of the time investment, it’s hard to ignore the positive affect it can have on the growth of your business.

How effective is social media marketing? According to a recent survey, 78% of consumers said their purchases are impacted by posts from companies they follow on social media.

Another study found that Twitter users who visit a retailer’s website have a significantly higher intent to buy.

Though this kind of data makes a compelling case for being more active on social media not every business has the time to implement a comprehensive social media campaign.

With that in mind I’m going to help you maximize your time by breaking your social media marketing efforts down into these 3 easy steps:

  • Choose the type of content you want to share
  • Find and create content
  • Automate your posts with tools

Read on to learn how to easily manage your social media marketing so you can have more time to focus on selling experiences.

1. Choose the type of content you want to share

First and foremost we need to build our foundation. To do this we’re going to brainstorm what kind of content to post across all of our various social media channels.

In general it’s a good practice to have a nice balance of different types of content. Ideally, your posts on social media should include a mix of content from other people, content from your business, and personal content which shows your business’ “fun” side.

We tend to do the same across our social media accounts. For example if you go to our twitter account you’ll see:

Content from others

vacation-lile

Content from us

brain-money

Personal Content

guam-bg-tours

To begin, create a spreadsheet with 3 columns and give each column one of the following headings:

  • Content from Others
  • Content from Us
  • Personal Content

Next, come up with ideas for types of content that fit into each category and add them into the appropriate column. To help you get the ball rolling we’ve put together a spreadsheet of content ideas that would work for a typical tour or activity business.

social-media-content-ideas-for-the-travel-activity-industry

Feel free to make a copy of the spreadsheet and use this as a launchpad for additional content ideas.

Keep in mind, when creating content to share it’s important to ask yourself whether it provides value for your target customer. Not sure what kind of content your customers are looking for? This study highlights the top reasons people give for following brands on Twitter.

Two great examples of companies that add value to their social media followers are from our customers, Chief’s Luau and Trilogy Excursions.

If you visit the Facebook page of Chief’s Luau you’ll see them sharing other people’s content in the form of photos their customers have taken.

image00

Likewise, Trilogy Excursions does a great job of creating and sharing their own content. Their blog is full of useful resources for visitors to Maui, like this post on understanding Maui’s unique weather.

Action items – Create a spreadsheet of ideas on what type of content to use across all of your various social media accounts

2. Find and create content

Now that you have a spreadsheet full of ideas for types of content you want to share let’s create a process to gather all of the different shareable content into a few places.

My 3 favorite resources to find great content are:

  • Feedly
  • Twitter lists
  • Facebook page likes

Using Feedly to organize blog posts

One of the best tools you’ll find for automating your social media marketing is Feedly. It’s a free service that organizes the posts from all of your favorite blogs into one place for you to read.

For example, if you take a look at the screenshot below from our Feedly account you’ll see we have a category called “Ideas” which includes all of the posts from blogs that are relevant to the travel activity industry.

image02

Now all we need to do is spend a few minutes scanning for content that would be valuable to our customers and their industry.

Using Twitter lists to find shareable tweets

Twitter lists are also a great source of content. You can create a list of Twitter accounts that are known for composing great tweets so every time you log into Twitter you just need to look at your list for content to share.

Start by creating your own list like we have. In the screenshot below you’ll notice we have a list called “Content Ideas” which includes tweets from the U.S Tour Operators Association and Google’s Travel Team among others.

content-ideas

Creating your own list can take time so I recommend you subscribe to lists that other people have created to give yourself a head start.

Using Facebook to find shareable content

According to a recent study, 30% of U.S. adults get their news from Facebook. Knowing this, why not use Facebook to find and share content your customers are looking for?

To get started switch to your business page and “Like” pages that create content that would be valuable to your customers.

A good place to start would be the official tourism page for your state. If you lived in Hawaii for example you could like the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s page.

Now every time they post content it will show up in your business page’s feed and you can share it with your page’s followers.

Action items – Create a Feedly account and add blogs to your feed. Create a Twitter list of content ideas or subscribe to someone else’s list. Using your business Facebook page, like other Facebook pages that create really good content.

3. Automate your posts with tools

If you’ve followed the steps above you should have some great ideas and sources of content to share, but unless you’re logging in daily your tweets and posts can be few and far between.

Ideally you would want to identify the content you’re going to share in batches using the steps above then schedule that content to post automatically into the future.

Fortunately, there’s a free tool that allows you to do this. Using Buffer you can add content you want to share to a queue which will post the content to your various social media accounts over time.

Here are a few ways we’ve found Buffer to be really helpful:

  • Adding content to our queue via their Chrome extension while browsing online
  • Adding tweets to our queue from within Twitter
image06
  • Adding Facebook posts to our queue from within Facebook
image04

If you want even more ways to supercharge your social media marketing look into integrating your Buffer account with IFTTT.

Action items – Sign up for a free Buffer account. Install the Buffer browser extension for Chrome. Add our big list of travel quotes into Buffer.

Now that you have your content ideas, sources, and automation set up here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your social media marketing efforts.

So there you have it! We’ve outlined a better way to do social media marketing in these 3 easy steps:

  • Choose the type of content you want to share
  • Find and create content
  • Automate your posts with tools

If you’ve followed each of the steps above you’ll be well on your way to connecting with your customers on social media. Best of all, you’ll have more time to get back to doing what you love!

Over to You

  • Do you have a process to keep your sanity when doing social media marketing?
  • Want even more content ideas? Follow us on Twitter.
  • I’d love to hear your methods! Let’s chat in the comments.

Oh, Before I Forget…

I hope that these steps help make it easier to manage your social media marketing.

If you enjoyed this guide, I recommend that you download the PDF I made so you can read it away from your computer.


Michael is part of the marketing team at ActivityRez. He enjoys coming up with creative ways to help travel companies grow their business.

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