This morning, I awoke to discover four new Twitter followers originating with the account of one of our publications, Florida Construction News (Floridaconstructionnews.com). Interestingly, each of the new followers had interesting and powerful material and insights within their own sites/blogs — they really reflected competent and innovative services for sales, marketing and design (and I may in turn follow and quote from their materials.)
How did they find me, though, and why Floridaconstructionnews.com? Here I’m reminded of the leveraging power of effective blogging and social media practices — because by no means am I an active Tweeter and I rarely set out individual posts within Facebook or other social media services.
However, this blog, along with the relevant regional publications, are all set up to autopost/redistribute the original blog site content through relevant social media accounts and pages. In Florida, this element is supplemented with the Buffer.com service called that saves, re-times and adds a modest amount of additional third-party content to the feed. I suspect the new Twitter followers arose this morning because of the Buffer feed, because usual social media sign-ups for the regional construction publications are more directly aligned to the architectural, engineering and construction community
The auto-feeds are handled through some WordPress plugins. One is Social Media Auto Publish, but I’m experimenting with another on one of the sites, as well. These, like many WordPress plugins, come in free and paid versions. So far, I’ve found the free version is quite adequate. (It limits me to publishing updates on my personal, rather than business-related LinkedIn pages, so for the time being, we aren’t autofeeding the blog/site posts there.)
It took some trial and error and a few embarrassing mistakes to get the social media feeds to work correctly. For some time, for example, I thought all was well with my Facebook feeds — they certainly looked quite good on my own account. Then staff told me they couldn’t see anything and I realized that I needed to turn off the “test” function that restricted viewership to one person, me.
The WordPress plugins provide links to help pages so you should be able to work through the basics, however.
It obviously is helpful if you are reasonably conversant in setting up and managing WordPress sites, but if you are not, these skills are widely available and should be extremely inexpensive if you know how to shop wisely online through services such as Upwork.com; otherwise, even if you pay top dollar for the services, these will still be far less than many conventional advertising and marketing expenses.
I can’t overstate that the purpose of the autofeeding social media function should NOT to publish promotional or “advertising” messages. These will irritate readers, be seen as spam, and will do more harm than good to your brand and reputation. However, they certainly can leverage your original content, news and kudos for clients, colleagues and suppliers.
How much does this activity help your business? I’ve found it somewhat difficult to quantify direct sales/orders from the additional leverage and reach we’ve achieved, but can say that an increasing and measurable amount of traffic to our websites arrives through social media, and we can really see surges when a relevant story attracts interest within a social media community. Considering the relatively small time and virtually no financial/capital cost, it is a no-brainer to magnify your blog’s effectiveness with solid social media auto-feeding.