Today, I want to ask you a question. That question is, what is more fascinating, interesting, and important on social media? Is it engagement, or is it education?
I saw this post from one of my friends, Ally, on LinkedIn, and it was about quotes from content experts. One of the people quoted in there is Mari Smith. Now, Mari is one of these people who is truly an expert. She is known as the queen of Facebook. As a matter of fact, she pretty much works for Facebook, but she's an independent consultant.
Now, Mari, if you're listening, I'd love to have you on the podcast some day.
Anyway, her quote was, “Content is king, but engagement is queen. The lady rules the house,” and man, is she right about that. But, I beg to differ a little bit. I don't necessarily say engagement is queen, I say consistency is queen, because engagement is something that is a bright, shiny object. Yes, it is measurable in social media. It's measurable in a lot of different ways. But, engagement does not necessarily equate action. That's why I'm asking the question: what's more important, engagement or education?
Engagement vs Education
Now, let me explain the difference between the two.
Engagement is something that you can measure, and generally you get the best results with quick hits. Something short, easy to digest, and something that gets attention. Now, I fully embrace this in my social media strategy. As a matter of fact, every single day I do a caption contest, a quote of the day, and occasionally I'll dump in a funny meme when I see one. They get a lot of engagement. A lot of people like, they comment, they share, which is huge. But, the big thing about it is, it's building on a pile on effect of community. When other people see people jumping onboard, and commenting, or liking, or sharing, they'll jump on and do the same thing.
I've seen other people do it too, where they'll just ask a simple question. Usually it's a deep question. It's not, “What's your favorite color?” It's more like, “What drives you the craziest in business?” It's usually pretty specific, and people will jump on and answer the question, especially if they feel like they have a good answer. People love doing that. The thing about engagement though, is engagement doesn't necessarily get any action. It creates awareness, which unto itself is great, and it's really good for the algorithms. It helps your stuff get seen more often.
But, I tend to get more benefit from educational posts. Now, education has longer term benefits, and usually it includes long form text. In the case of Facebook, the limit is around 2,000 words, I think. With LinkedIn, it's about 1,200 characters, that's all you get. But usually, it starts with a question. Further on down the post, it starts to answer the question, or at least pose some ideas. Now, one of the things that really makes that tick is posting a really great graphic with it. I've done that a handful of times on LinkedIn, and the amount of engagement that I get is incredible. But, the education side of things keeps with people. It makes them think beyond just that initial like, or comment, or share. It actually sticks with them, and it has an accumulative effect. Over time, eventually you're going to get somebody to actually take action.
I believe that both of those are important, but it really depends on your audience and where you're playing. It's different on Facebook than it is on LinkedIn. You can get away with a mix of both, but I tend to say that if you're dealing with a consumer audience, you're probably better off doing the shorter engagement posts, and when you're dealing with a business audience, you're probably better off doing the longer education posts.
To Auto-Post or NOT Auto-Post?
If you're a long time listener to this show, you know I'm not a huge fan of auto posting. I call it, “Ding dong ditch.” You post something, and you run away, and you don't engage with people after you posted your stuff. But, some of these content posting platforms can be helpful. You can actually plan out and schedule a post, and have them work for you all the time so you can spend a chunk of time getting them ready, and then let them run their cycle. But, there's big differences in what they offer.
Let me present you with six options.
The first one is, Buffer.com. Buffer allows you to have eight profiles, meaning eight different social media profiles, two Facebook, two LinkedIn, whatever, and you only get one user. It's only $15 a month, but you can only do 100 posts a month. This offers you a 7-day free trial. If you're just kind of getting into it, it's a good place to start.
The next one, and probably the most popular option, is Hootsuite. Hootsuite will allow you 10 profiles, and again just one user, for $29 a month. It gives you a 30-day free trial.
Now we're starting to get into some of the bigger boys, and these guys are ones that allow you to plan and manage teams. CoSchedule is one of those, and I interviewed Garrett Moon in episode 349. CoSchedule allows you 10 profiles and three users, and costs $80 a month. It also gives you a 14-day free trial. The one thing you may remember CoSchedule from is they have an incredible headline analyzer tool, which I use for every blog and podcast that I do.
Now, the next two you can find at BrianLoves.Info. These are both tools that I have used, and absolutely love for different reasons. The first one's called Planable, and actually if you listen to the podcast episode 475, I have an interview with Vlad Calus. He is the CEO and developer of this. This is a really cool tool because it gives you unlimited profiles as far as I can tell, you get three users, and it's $39 a month with a 14-day free trial. But, the reason I like this so much is because it actually gives you a visual indication, and allows you to get a team together to look at it, approve, and comment on those posts before you put them up. It's kind of a cool tool, check it out: BrianLoves.Info/Planable.
The next one I've talked about before, which is kind of the big dog. It's called 366. 366 is kind of a granddaddy of all of these, at least in my mind, because it not only does the social media posting, but it also does email campaigns, drip campaigns, lead capture pages, and it will do the planning and scheduling just like all the rest of them. This one is $125 per month, but it has unlimited users and unlimited accounts, so you can do an amazing amount of stuff. If you've got a lot of accounts, and a lot of people that you're managing, it's a great tool for that.
Those are all of the tools that I wanted to share with you today, and let me leave you with some final thoughts. Think about this: Engagement builds awareness. Education builds trust. Both have value, but they really depend on your audience, your platform, and your expectations. What's most important is engaging with those you educate, because that my friends is how you prime the pump for sales.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/