What Guy Kawasaki and The Onion can teach you about social media success

When it comes to posting your content, think “Kawasaki Onion.”

When it comes to posting your content, think “Kawasaki Onion.”

Social media makes for strange bedfellows. At least when it comes to social media strategy.

I’m a follower of The Onion, and a sometimes-reader of Guy Kawasaki. As far as brands or content go, you couldn’t get more different than these two:

The Onion is a digital media company that primarily produces news satire. And they’re brilliant at it. I’m astonished, as someone who writes every day of my life, how fabulously consistent these guys are. The Onion is a great stress oasis for me—and its 4.25 million followers on Facebook, 6+ million on Twitter, and 2 million on Google+. The Onion produces everything from a killer website to hysterical videos. I tune in just about every day to appease the perpetual seventh grader in me.

Guy Kawasaki is considered one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the world—a single marketing behemoth with a whopping 7+ million followers on social media (and growing). Guy’s resume is stacked. He’s written a dozen best-selling books, worked for Google and Apple, started multiple successful companies, and holds an MBA from UCLA. He’s definitely a cutting-edge guru.

The Onion and Guy Kawasaki are both wildly successful on social media, touching millions of people every day. And there are good reasons for that. Both produce excellent, consistent content that enrich folk’s lives. And both have a virtuoso-like ability on multiple social media platforms. It’s like watching art.

And, there’s one little trick both of them do, regularly: Repost content.

I know what some of you are thinking. Reposting content is annoying! You turn yourself into a cyber-nag, continually throwing the same-old, same-old at a hapless audience. It’s like being at a party and telling the same story over and over.

Not if you do it right. And by that, I mean by following Guy and The Onion’s example. Here are three things I’ve learned from them when it comes to posting content:

1. Repost original content at least once. I don’t mean retweets or reposting cool things you’ve found. If I’ve created something—like a blog, infographic, eBook or the like—post about it at least twice. I found a noticeable and measurable increase in views, traffic, likes and more when I’ve done this, but I wasn’t sure why until I figured out what Guy and The Onion were doing.

Guy, for example, tweets the same content multiple times to reach different time zones. The Onion plays with headlines or reposts at different times to catch people at various times of their day.

It makes sense.

Everybody has different social media habits. Some need their social media fix steadily throughout the day, like an intravenous drip. Others, only a peek every few days. If you post at different, multiple times, you increase your odds of being seen. The key is to spread your posts out.

2. The more you post, the more potential life each one has. I found that blogs I created months or even years ago still get traffic. Why? Because they’re out there. They get found on Google, and on platforms, or they get shared or links got saved. I’ve often forgotten about many of these blogs, but I still get comments and emails on them. Once you post something—for good or bad—it develops a little digital life of its own.

3. If you do repost, mix it up. By this, I mean alter the text of the post, to keep things interesting. When I repost, I change the text a lot. Here are two recent examples for my blog I used on LinkedIn:

First post, Thursday: 8 marketing trends to look for in 2015. [LINK]

Second post, Monday: There are TONS of “2015 prediction” articles for marketers… but these 8 predictions keep coming up: [LINK]

It keeps my creative juices, and my posts, fresh. You’ll also get an idea what kind of headlines your audience responds to over time.

In my experience with digital marketing, it’s awesome to know that there are so many mavens—like Guy and The Onion—to watch and model. But for me, they’re really a starting point for my own experimentation, trying things, seeing what happens, and being OK with the occasional no-show or flop. It’s all good, because it all informs. Such is fluid knowledge in a digital world.

– Andy Badalamenti is the creative director for CI-Group

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