When Facebook launched back in 2004, nobody thought that it would have such a tremendous impact on the world. Yet, 14 years later and with all the other social platforms that followed, over 81% of the US population and some 2.5 billion worldwide have at least one social media account.
This ever-accelerating trend has opened the door for most companies to promote their content over many social platforms in an attempt at increasing their brand’s awareness and reputation, as well as driving engagement, and ultimately revenue.
Nevertheless, just creating great content and posting it on Facebook, or on any of the other social sites, doesn’t cut it. There are several steps that need to be taken for that content to reach the desired audience and achieve the best results possible.
Here are three necessary considerations to promote your content the right way over social media.
The Importance of Headlines
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that people are five times more likely to read the headline than the body of the article. In other words, choosing a title that works is imperative to successfully promoting your content anywhere, not just social media. Click-bait headlines may work for some, but they’re not a guarantee.
What’s more, these titles may even have an adverse effect, especially if the body doesn’t deliver the goods promised in the headline. What your headlines should focus on, however, are calls-to-action, emotional triggers, using ‘you’ and ‘your’ wherever possible, teasing life-changing benefits to the reader, and making bold claims. All of these things have the potential to captivate readers’ attention and get them to click, which is the point. You don’t have to look much further than BuzzFeed to see great headlines at work.
Each Platform with Its Own Content
Each of the major social platforms specializes in a specific type/format of content. And similarly, the audience you encounter on these platforms will respond best to that type of content. This is why it’s so important to customize each piece of content for the social platform you use. And even though this implies extra work, it is well worth the effort.
Generally speaking, here’s a quick rundown of the type of content that performs best on each social platform:
- Facebook content should be engaging. Facebook’s algorithm also favors video posts and unprompted interactions between users. Therefore, as a brand utilizing Facebook, you’ll probably want to prioritize content that evokes an organic response from your audience.
- Twitter audiences like snackable content… bite-sized. News, tips, and how to articles with links, pictures, and #hashtags are a must. This hasn’t changed even with the increase in character limit.
- Instagram is all about stunning visuals and telling a story, so use the most visually-appealing part of your story as the central focus. Use the Instagram Stories feature and bring your content to life with the added benefit of creating a sense of urgency since Instagram Stories only stay available for 24 hours. And remember those #hashtags as well.
- Pinterest is visual and educational. The users on that platform are generally looking for inspiration for their own DIY project, so keep it visually engaging and super helpful and/or inspiring.
- LinkedIn focuses on influence. The quality of your network is more important than the quantity of your network on LinkedIn. Therefore, take the time to connect with the right audience and then only share content that they would truly find valuable. Remember, quality over quantity – and be consistent with the links, articles, and content you share on LinkedIn. Lastly, definitely post your original articles.
Timing & Frequency
Timing and frequency in posting on social media is something you will fine-tune as you start posting regularly. There are general rules that experts follow. Use the industry research as a guide and starting point for your posting schedule. Here is Sprout Social’s 2018 insights report that you can reference. I recommend starting with this data and then monitor your results so that you can dial-in when your audience is most engaged.
Also, be sure you are set up to respond to user engagement instantly, meaning have alerts set on your phone. When someone tweets you a question, comments on your Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin post, shares your content or mentions you, the faster you respond to your engaged users the better.
With any social platform, consistency is key. Don’t make a habit of posting daily and then suddenly shift to posting only several times per month, or vice-versa. This will lead to fewer followers and less engagement overall. Do yourself a favor, and create a posting schedule for yourself whereby you plan when and what you will post every week. And to make sure you don’t fall off your schedule, use a social media scheduling platform like Buffer, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or CoSchedule.
Even if these tips may seem challenging at first, with time and consistency, they will become second nature and something that is easier to manage. Successfully promoting your content over social media is well within your control. Creating good social media habits and observing certain best practices will certainly get you on your way.