Cross promotion should be part of any social media strategy – from setting up your first account and getting your first few followers, to setting up multiple accounts on various social networks, the concept of cross promoting your social identity has the power to grow your social media a lot faster than without it.
Cross promotion is a large part of what allows some people to be more successful on social media without spending a dime on advertising, than companies that spend advertising budgets of hundreds of thousands of dollars on acquiring Facebook fans.
A large part of this is actually very basic information. Something everyone who is active on social media should know. But the problem is: Not everyone does. Some of the following strategies are regularly dismissed as “spammy” and non-desired behavior by social media “experts”. But they work, and more often than not, they are needed to get successful in today’s rapidly developing social media world.
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As with any social media strategy techniques, some of this needs to be applied with care – not everything I propose will fit your special social media needs, not everything can be adapted to your situation. But you need to know about it before you can dismiss it.
Starting out: How can cross promotion help with your first professional social media account?
Let’s get something straight from the start: I’m talking about your professional social media presence here: Maybe your first account is your Facebook Fanpage, your companies Twitter account, or you are an artist, and your main account is your Pinterest? Let’s talk about how to cross promote this and get going.
How can you cross promote something if you only have one presence available?
The secret here is that you have access to a lot more social media presences than you would guess. For instance your own, private social media accounts? Share your new presence via your Facebook account (come on, everyone has a Facebook account). Or your LinkedIn profile, ask your friends specifically to start following you. Ask your employees to share your content.
These simple steps can boost your presence from nothing to something. It won’t make you famous, but it will get you going.
When you have done this – continue on this road. Get in touch with other page owners, and ask them to cooperate with you. You will share some of their content, and they will share some of yours.
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Not so long ago, I was talking to a startup CEO, who told me that social media simply wasn’t for his startup since he never got a single client through social media. I wonder what would happen if he instead of his complaints had asked me to cooperate with him and handed me an action plan, telling me what his social media presence needed to perform better and what he could give me in return?
So make an action plan and ask people to:
- Share your fanpage
- Share your content
- Produce content together with you
- Write a guest post on your blog
It’s called “social” media for a reason – and for a good start, you need to be extremely social. Later you will become sloppy as bigger presences are impossible to manage without some sloppiness. But for a good start – get social.
As a sidenote: The follow/unfollow approach to Twitter growth that most people use on Twitter is based on the fact people reciprocate follows on Twitter. Isn’t that really the same thing?
Figure out which content distribution channel is the perfect fit for you and your content. Don’t blindly start on EVERY channel you can find and fail for sheer overwhelm. Choose the best channel for more success.
Check out the workbook “Choose Your blog Distribution Channels.”
Making your good start even better: Fill out your profile…
… Seriously – FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE!
This is the most basic advice for social media you will ever get – yet I’m very often surprised how often people do not fill out their profiles completely.
Why does this fall in the category of cross promotion? Because it often gives you the chance of linking between your personal profiles and your professional profiles. Link to your Facebook profile and give your Fanpage a personal touch. Be more than just a Fanpage by placing a simple Link.
And this does not just mean that you should link to your personal profiles from your professional ones: The other way round is even more important: Link to your fanpage from your personal accounts! Place links everywhere! You need them.
Every social media profile you have should be complete – as in: You have the feeling that it gives a good overview of what you are trying to achieve and it you/your profile personality.
Oh, and please upload a profile image. It truly is important – not just because you can show personality with it, but also it conveys a sense of sincerity. No one follows profiles without images anymore.
Moving on: The more social profiles you have, the more you can cross promote without the help of others!
Did you open up a Twitter account in addition to your Facebook Fanpage? Great, announce it on your page! Add a Pinterest App to your Fanpage to show off your shiny images on Facebook as well.
Here is what we did a while (and might do in the future again) to gain Facebook fans: As we run 25 different Twitter accounts here at exploreB2B, we had all of them send an automatic message to new followers asking them very politely to become Facebook fans as well. I know if you tell this story to your average social media consultant he is going to dismiss it as spamming your newly found fans. But we needed the fans, and we gain enough followers daily to be able to take the risk.
Results: We had conversion rates of 25% and 25,000 new fans. Catch us if you can.
We could probably optimize conversion rates further by offering a freebie on our Facebook page – an ebook, or a bonus code. We didn’t try this yet, but it is worth a thought.
What we also did for a while is send everyone connected to us on LinkedIn a message that we were asking for their like on Facebook as a favor. This was truly spam, but we thought what the heck – if they spam us, we can spam them too.
But there is more: These weren’t just new fans, these are great fans: Because we managed to target well on Twitter and our relationships on LinkedIn are on target for exploreB2B as well – these are actually active fans, liking and sharing our content from time to time.
Dude, the secret recipe is the content…
Yes, as with everything social media, the results of promotion techniques depend massively on the content (and, therefore, the value) you provide apart from promoting.
If your Twitter account only tweets about your Facebook fanpage in rapid succession, no one is going to come. But if you tweet epic content, and every tenth tweet mentions your Fanpage, they are going to come in swarms. Why? Because they want to check you out! You’re great on Twitter so you can be great on Facebook too.
I hope this article wasn’t too easy and basic. If it was, sorry. But there are many people missing out on cross-promotion and many more believing it does not fit their needs. This is wrong! In today’s fast-paced social media world, the concept is needed to be able to keep up with the flow!