Week 9 - Publish and Send It
Start: Send, Share, and Re-Share
So, you have reached that level of editing and correcting errors to create a habitual process you do every time you create content. That is literally half the battle right there! Just look at all the steps you took just to finish a piece of content. You are now ready to send it out! What comes next is publishing your content, sending it out to your audience, and sharing it. The goal is to get others to repeat this process for you to cut down your work load on this step. Hence why it is so important to follow all the steps leading up to this first to the best of your ability. Other people will send it and share it out like wild fire if it gets into the right hands. Don’t you want each and every piece of content you create to be the best representation of you? After all, you never know which piece will meet viral status.
The first 24 hours after a piece of content is published are the most vital. Your work isn’t finished yet just by simply pressing ‘publish’ and sending it. After you send a piece out it is important to share it out and send the word to your supporters. There are many strategies you can use to share the word more seamlessly to sort of automate this process for you. Initially, hash tags, geo locations, a title, and description are the beginning steps to automate this process. This is something each piece should have before publishing which we will briefly talk about again in this lesson. We will also cover strategies to get your supporters interested and willing to share out your content to people in their inner circles to cut down the manual work you have to do on your own. The more numbers you have sharing out, the faster your reach grows.
Path to Success: Find An Effective Approach
When you are ready to publish your content and send it out, you have to have a plan of attack. By now you will have picked the platforms you are marketing to that best suit your content. You will have finalized your drafts, tagged it, added your geo location, tagged other content providers where necessary, and all you gotta do is send it. There is more to this process than just pressing ‘send’ and walking away. What you do after publishing will either accelerate your engagement or toddle along. As you work through the steps for each week, it is helpful to have a pen and paper or a Microsoft Word doc ready to take notes and write down your thoughts. This will serve as a helpful resource to you as you dive deeper into each goal week. No more diddle dallying, let’s dive in!
Step One: What You May NOT Know But Should
“If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.”
― Neil Gaiman
When it comes to content creation we’d like to share a fact with you that you may not have known. In the first 24 hours of your content being published you get sort of a make it or break it window when your content is most likely to get engagement. We call this the ‘Window of Opportunity.’ The first 24 hours after publishing is when all those hash tags you used will show up in the feeds to those following the tags, that is when your geo location tags feature your content, and your followers have the opportunity to see your new content on their feed.
Once you publish a piece of content, yes you can edit it and restructure it however, if you add new tags or change a photo out its not going to work the same as it would when you initially post it. It will add the new tags or photo but it doesn’t repost it to those outlets after you have already published it. That is why it is so important to really pay attention to your draft process. Knowing that the first 24 hours is your golden ‘Window of Opportunity’ also brings awareness to how people actually look at your content.
That brings us to our second fun fact you should know but may not know already Using Instagram as an example again, if you edit a post right after posting you are actually hurting your content engagement overall. Editing posts makes the Insta algorithm think that a bot is interfering with your content, so we have been told. It also hurts your engagement to use the same hash tags over and over, and over. Or leaving comments on other’s content with the same exact generic phrase, “Hey that’s a cool photo!”, on every single photo you comment on.
Editing too frequently and using the same hash tags and comments too frequently makes you seem like a bot. Its not authentic and the algorithm picks up on that. Slowly your content will receive less engagement or you may run risk of getting your accounts blocked. You want your content to be spotless before publishing so you do not have to edit anything after and you want to switch up your hash tags often to get as much traffic as you can within that 24 hour period. Next, we will talk about how to get more eyes to see your content in addition to hash tags.
Step Two: Telling Stories
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.”
The art of storytelling is the ultimate skill you need when it comes to content creation, and in many formats! We aren’t going to harp on hash tag use too much since we have covered it already in the last lesson. However, just a brief reminder to make sure your hash tags are always relevant for each piece of content and that you mix them up frequently. Using the same tags over and over is like retelling the same jokes with the same punch lines over and over. It gets bland and boring! So mix them up often. Remember we have a 24 hour window to work with as soon as you post. The hash tags, location, and tagging will get to work doing its job.
Refer back to last week’s lesson if you need a refresher on doing this effectively. What you need to do next with your content is send it to your stories. Aside from Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram are the main platforms with a story feature so if you aren’t using these platforms at all, well you should be; and here’s why. Your story can be viewed by people who are not following you so essentially you are converting viewers into likes, comments, and follows. The stories are just a bonus way to attract more viewers and be extra creative. If you post a story, you should plan for this right after posting your content.
The story features on these platforms are only available for 24 hours, the same amount of time as what we called the ‘Window of Opportunity’. You want it to be interesting enough for people to want to watch it all. To do this you can add fun extra features like music, filters, tags, polls, fun effects, and more to make them exciting and different. It’s like your chance to be super weird and out of the box, and not have to necessarily stick to a theme or niche. You also want to use hash tags and geo location tags to get as many eyes on my story as possible and get them to my feed to engage with the content that was just posted.
As soon as you post your content, send a photo preview of that content to your story and let your followers know that you have new content up. This will improve your chances of people who are not already following you to actually go to your profile to see what you’ve posted. Stories that have a continuous, smooth flow between each scene tend to hold an audience’s interest better. Think of it like a movie preview. You don’t want to see a movie typically if the preview is bland and choppy or does not peak your interest. This is the same concept with storytelling in your stories! Next, we are going to talk about how to get shout outs from handles bigger than you to get potential re-shares!
Step Three: Ask Politely
“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”
As you get the hang of content creation you will certainly notice other accounts in the same niche as you. There is a lot of competition out there and some days it gets easy to compare yourself to others. Instead of comparing the number of followers you lack compared to someone else, see what you can gain by establishing a relationship with those people. When you come across an account that is ‘verified’ this usually means they are considered “celebrity status” in whatever niche they specialize in.
People or organizations that run ‘verified’ accounts are very well known in their field and have worked hard to get there. In some cases these accounts are just well known brands or celebrities that are recognized worldwide. You can guess right off the bat if the account is one that is worth your time contacting or not. Chances are if you are aiming to collaborate with someone, you want to aim for asking accounts with only a few thousand more followers than you, not tens of thousands of followers more than you.
Evaluate where your time would be best spent when it comes to ask to collaborate with someone. Spend a bit of time a few times a week researching accounts that fit your niche and reach out to at least one account per week. When you find an account with creative content that catches your eye and you have something in common with them, send them a nice message introducing yourself. Be sure to include a thoughtful mention of something you noticed about their content, what your name is, a short interesting fact about you, and your request to collaborate with them.
It is up to you to decide what your end goal is to connect with this person. Are you asking for a shout out to gain followers, increase your engagement, ask to try out a service this person supplies? Decide what you are after before contacting them. You can be very direct about your collaboration request or simply leave it open ended to begin a conversation first. Whatever you feel comfortable with. This seems like a time consuming process at first but if you aim to send one collaboration request every few days or at minimum once a week, you will see growth gradually increase! We will talk about a fun useful tool we like to call ‘Engagement Pods’ in our next step.
Step Four: Pods for People
“How you sell matters. What your process is matters. But how your customers feel when they engage with you matters more.”
Figuring out how to use social media from a business standpoint can be a tricky matter. What makes it even more difficult is how frequently the algorithm changes, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Just when you start to gain momentum with engagement and followers, a few months or more go by and your numbers drop significantly. Why is this? Well, we don’t have a great answer for that. A lot of social media savvy gurus have realized this trend and will kind heartedly offer to increase your engagement for you, but of course just like with advertising this comes at a cost.
Why pay for social media engagement though particularly just for the benefit of getting likes and follows. It seems quite counterproductive. One useful tip that users have figured out will help you beat the algorithms, or will at least recover the engagement drop you may be experiencing! These are called engagement pods. These pods can be found in different Facebook groups or by connecting with an influencer who is already utilizing these pods who can get you connected.
The purpose of engagement pods is to increase the number of likes and comments that you get directly after posting your content, ideally within the ‘Window of Opportunity’, or 24 hours after you post. This rule does not apply with every platform however, generally this is a window that you want to aim for. After the first day that your post your content there will be hundreds of posts to follow so you want to get the most amount of people to see your content so that you increase your engagement. The higher the engagement, the higher the following and likes/comments you will get on your next post. Some pods are meant to strictly help you increase likes, comments, or followers so these pod specific rules will change from pod to pod.
Pods are also very specific about how you receive feedback and you must like/comment on the members posts before you post yours otherwise you run the risk of being dropped. At one stage there was warning that pods were getting shut down and their accounts were being blocked so you want to make sure you communicate with other members in a discreet way and switch up the comments that you use on other’s content. This method can be an effective tool to grow your engagement within that ideal 24 hour window and it also comes with a time commitment. If you find a great group of people who are active in a pod you will see an increase of likes/comments every time you post and you also gain true friends so that is the primary reason being a part of an engagement pod may work for you. We will end this lesson with our last tip which is to re-share!
Step Five: Exploring Multiple Outlets
“Creating is about sharing ideas, sharing aesthetics, sharing what you believe in with other people.”
At this stage in the content creation process, you will have sent your content first to the Travel Circle with your partner affiliate code and shared it to the platform that suits your content best. If you followed the tips throughout this section you will have also used tags, a geo location, and other tips to help your content do the extra work for you once it’s published. If you choose to take part in an engagement pod you can expect to get more people looking at your content just from that group.
The hope is that you will get an excellent return just from there. BUT, what if you can take it one step further? What if you share that piece of content to say 5 groups in your local area and that increased your engagement ten times more than not. Would you take a few extra minutes to do so? Why not! That means that your content is doing even MORE work for you behind the scenes and increasing your chances of getting more eyes. This also extends the ‘Window of Opportunity’ that more eyes can see your content.
The way you can do this is quite simple. Say for example you create content based on nature and landscapes. You could look on Facebook or LinkedIn for groups for people to connect in your city first, and then beyond your city look for any groups related to nature, photography, landscapes, outdoors, nature photography, the list goes on! Outside of these platforms say on Pinterest and Instagram you can find boards and influencers with a lot of people related to this niche and follow those boards and influencers.
Get involved with what they are doing and pull some of their traffic over to your content. Just by taking a few minutes to re-share your published content to these outlets you increase your engagement’s shelf life way beyond the initial 24 hours after posting. Most of the posts on these platforms will stay for quite a long time and work for you in the backend. What is awesome too is this uses very little extra time, but will draw you in much higher commissions and build your downlink network every time you do this! The potential is endless! the online world is massive and now it’s time for you to get a piece of the action.
Optional: Do Week Ten Content Creation
When you have completed each step for this week’s lesson, you should have a good idea of what to do with your content after it is published. If you feel you have completed each step thoroughly and are ready to move on, take a glimpse at the goal for week ten!