Chances are you are spending a lot of time crafting great content. It is a hard work, usually involves research, and then you have to actually write it in a way that will engage your ideal audience.
The problem is even the best content will often go unread because it hasn’t been found. And if it isn’t found, it isn’t shared by readers with their tribes either. All of that time wasted!
The solution is to promote your content, and thus your brand so that it will be found. And the best way to do that right now is on social media. That’s the one place where your target audience will spend approximately 27% of their time when online.
Of course, this does not mean that you should dump other online marketing efforts like SEO – you still want to be front and center when it comes to organic searches. But your chances of reaching a wider swath of your audience is on social media.
Here is a look at seven tips to maximize your social efforts.
1. Choose the best social platforms for your audience
Spreading yourself too thin is a mistake many content marketers make. You just can’t do it well, if you are trying to maintain a regular presence on too many platforms, unless you have a large staff to do the heavy lifting.
If you’re targeting senior citizens, Snapchat may not be the best option; if you are targeting millennial males, Pinterest should be farther down on your list. Do the research and pick your platforms carefully, choosing only from the top of your list and only as many as you can reasonably handle. Facebook is a given, but the others will depend on where the research says they are.
2. Upgrade the visual experience
Everything you post on social media should have a visual component. In fact, some social media platforms rely solely on visuals – Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, and Pinterest. And studies show that engagement on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is greater when there are images and less text.
Of course you want visuals as a part of all of your company blog posts as well, but you also want to “tease” readers to read those posts with compelling visuals on social media. And you may want to use different visuals based on the platform and how often you plan to post that teaser.
For example, you should post the same promotion on Twitter several times the first day, a few times the second day, and so on. Changing out images may attract different sub-groups of your audience. And when they arrive at your site, offering yet a different visual will boost the shelf life of your content and engagement.
3. Think headlines, headlines, headlines
There’s a reason why Upworthy, a website for viral content that launched in 2012, has such a huge Facebook following. It has some of the best headlines in the business and has an amazing click-through rate as a result.
You will never regret the amount of time you spend coming up with a really compelling headline. Your content should have great headlines, but your social media posts promoting that content should also have unique titles. And having several different titles for the same content allows you to post something new multiple times a day. If this is too challenging for you and your team, use headline generator tools to help.
4. Share social media posts at the right time
This goes without saying. Given the sheer number of studies out there on when audiences are on specific social media platforms, you should set up a social media calendar that maximizes the potential for being seen.
Research suggests, “For example, [that] Twitter engagement has been shown to go up by 30 percent on weekends, probably because more people are on their computers, smartphones and tablets. And in the week, engagement on Twitter peaks between 1 and 3pm, likely because a lot of that is people on their (often extended) lunch breaks.”
One of the biggest mistakes content marketers make is not establishing that calendar – consistency is critical. And you should post promotions multiple times, as already stated.
5. Engage followers with questions and conversations
Social media is just that – social. Your social media posts should be asking questions that your audience will want to answer, sometimes through surveys and polls. And when you get responses or conversation threads, be there to participate.
Set up alerts so that you always know when someone has left a comment or tagged your brand, or mentioned you. This is one of the many reasons why you cannot be everywhere.
As you engage, you can point your audience to posts that answer questions in great detail or provide more information. Everyone is looking for information. Check out the Facebook pages of ModCloth or Dollar Shave Club – you’ll get an idea of company participation in conversation threads. Each of these pages has more than one million viewers.
6. Pay to play on social media
It’s happened to you. You have done a bit of window shopping online. Suddenly, there are posts and advertisements on your News Feed from sites you visited or from others offering products or services you had previously viewed. You can do the same thing. You can micro-target audiences on social media through paid social and ensure your content reaches those most likely to respond.
7. Promote your brand within social communities
LinkedIn has more than two million groups and communities. Join those that relate to your niche and begin to participate. Just be certain that you have a great profile, that you contribute often, and that you provide value to other members. They are far more likely to link to your content if they see you as an expert.
Where Will You Start?
Chances are you are already using a couple of these social media marketing strategies. And chances are, you can see ways to boost your presence and promote your brand more effectively. Content promotion is never-ending, but social media is one of the most powerful places for that promotion.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Rick Riddle is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, personal finance and content management. Learn why discipline is important and how self-sufficiency can help you in reaching your goals. Connect with @rickrddl on Twitter
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