What does it take to succeed on social media? Some Viraltag users with serious social mojo are taking us behind-the-scenes of their daily routines. Today we meet Maxwell Christen, a freelance social media consultant based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Maxwell Christen helps clients ranging from a jewelry company to a car dealership to advocacy groups tell their stories.
But as different as his clients are, he tells Viraltag there are definitely some constants when it comes to creating social media success.
“The visual part of it is the biggest part for me,” Maxwell said. From his analytics, he reported that posts with photos get 80 percent more clicks and 48 percent more likes.
Maxwell radiates enthusiasm about all the diverse parts of his job, from the analytics to client relationships. He gave us a look at how he keeps his clients’ social networks humming and shares his tips for success.
Navigating Lots of Networks
Maxwell is based in Salt Lake City, where he was born and raised. The road to his current position began when he was working for a friend’s car dealership, Prestman Auto, and got involved with social media there. Maxwell became the marketing and social media manager for Prestman and his friend’s other businesses. He kept those companies as freelance clients after starting a full-time social media job with the jewelry company Color by Amber.
“And then I took Color by Amber freelance, and ever since then I’ve been growing,” he said.
Today, Maxwell handles social media for 14 businesses and organizations, including his own business, Millennial Media SLC.
Color By Amber is Maxwell’s biggest client, with a reach of close to 50,000 across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Polyvore.
For smaller clients, he may focus just on blogging and Facebook, for example. It all depends on the client’s goals and target audience.
He’s noticed that different types of content do better on different networks. On Pinterest, he helps Color by Amber thrive with content on style, fashion, and recipes.
“With Color by Amber, I’ve worked really hard to get a very similar photo vibe,” he said. He wants each photo to have a look distinctive to the brand.
Humor works well for another client, the bar JAM SLC. And on Twitter, he’s had success with live chats where followers can tap a client’s expertise.
In general, nature photos are a hit on Instagram, but don’t appeal to Facebook followers the same way, he said. On that network, he’s noticed that followers respond more to articles or humor.
And speaking of Facebook, Maxwell singles it out for its potential to be both frustrating and rewarding.
“Out of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the most difficult, but you can have the most reach on it,” he said.
Whatever the network, when he finds something that works, he repeats it. That takes paying attention to analytics.
“I will go through all my pages and collect so much data to see what photos are working,” he said.
For all of his clients, one of the biggest challenges is keeping up with the constant changes in the world of social media.
But it’s worth it, and not just because of social media’s ability to get his clients’ message in front of customers. Social channels also help business learn about their customers, Maxwell said. For example, readers’ comments can shed light on the reasons behind a sales dip or bump. And Facebook Page Insights can practically predict about how many likes a post will get.
Metrics and Milestones
Maxwell works from his downtown Salt Lake City home but will head for a coffee shop or a park if he’s feeling stuck and needs a change of scenery. He starts his day by reviewing accounts of all his clients and responding to or liking comments.
Then it’s on to searching for new content that each of his clients’ audiences will like. That can be a big time investment, but “I love the feeling that I can find something and know ‘This is perfect for this audience.'”
From there, it’s time to look at data on client accounts. “I’ll look at what’s working, what’s not working, what direction I need to take each page,” he said.
Tracking both large and small milestones is a huge motivator.
“I’m very competitive with myself,” he said. “For example, for Color by Amber, I did a post a few months ago that reached 38,000 people … and my goal is to beat that.” (That post is pictured above.)
And throughout the day, he’s monitoring and staying on top of what’s happening with each page.
“I would say, honestly, the biggest part of my day is organizing,” he sais.
One thing that helps with getting it all done is using Viraltag.
“I can schedule my posts for optimal times for my audiences,” he says. “And I can schedule months in advance stuff I already know my audience likes.”
For Maxwell, Viraltag outshines competing products. “Viraltag is very simple and sleek, and it’s reliable, so it’s just perfect.
“It’s a lifesaver,” he continues. “It saves me so much time — hours per week.”
Excitement and Energy
Maxwell admits that even when he’s on “break” he may get drawn back into work when he finds something that one of his clients’ audiences will enjoy. (He appreciates having a boyfriend so supportive that he’s also on the lookout for content that works for Maxwell’s clients.) But he does make an effort to be off of his phone sometimes to get a true break.
“I focus really hard, but then when I need to relax, I relax really well,” he said. He breaks up his day by meeting friends for lunch and practicing yoga.
Amid the stress and long days, a genuine excitement about his work keeps Maxwell going.
“I honestly love what I do, and I’m really lucky that I get to do this — and that I’m good at it!” he said with a laugh. “I love being able to talk to my clients when they’re excited about a post doing well. It’s really feeding off each other’s energy.”
- Maxwell’s top advice to small businesses: Never underestimate the power of social media. Even when things get hectic, a strong social media presence makes sure that your company is still reaching potential customers with a happy, engaging voice. “If you can provide entertainment from your small business, they remember it,” he said.
- And he has some advice for aspiring social media consultants as well. First: Know that the job takes some serious hours. Second: Know your audience and establish a voice for each client. “It took me a long time to know each voice for each company and know each audience for each company, but once I got it down, I was able to create so much content and so much for that audience,” he said.
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Sarah Beckham is a freelance writer and editor based in Austin, Texas.