Getting More Reach for Your Content on Social Media
Written by Matt Berringer
In a digital world, where traffic and engagement rules the day every publisher, digital marketer and content creator is laser focused on driving those numbers up. In the old days, circulation numbers were all that advertisers had to go on. Those numbers were suspect at times but there simply weren’t other options. These days, there are so many options it can be tough to know where to start. Even the soundest strategy can seem ineffective at first.
Ineffective Social Media Strategies
Social media can be a great way to connect with new readers and prospects, as well as to engage with existing customers. But building a social media presence can also be extremely frustrating. Posting day after day and seeing low engagement can be demotivating.
While Great Aunt Thelma’s likes on Facebook mean the world to us, they simply aren’t enough to cut through the noise and gain traction in an exceedingly competitive environment. Don’t give up hope though! Social media marketing can be a powerful ally for building your audience.
How Can My Social Media Content Strategy Increase Engagement?
Today, savvy advertisers and publishers know that they need to see (and publishers need to show) the receipts for their traffic. Though the game has changed, there are still enormous opportunities for your social media content strategy publishers and content creators to drive traffic and grow their audience. Below are a few best practices and quick takeaways to help guide your game plan on social media.
- Choose your battles
- Syndicate wisely
- The challenge of organic reach
- Targeting and engaging followers
- The value of contests
- How to use video to drive engagement
- Keeping an eye on your competition
- Creating “buzz-worthy” content with sharing pods
1. Choose your battles
Because it’s free to join most social media platforms, many people create profiles on every single one. The problem with that strategy is that a) it takes a lot of time to properly manage a profile b) your customers may not be active on a particular platform.
Different Types of Social Media for Different Audiences
Research your ideal customers and figure out where they are most likely to congregate online, then follow them there and craft your content to match the style and personality of the site. Picking one or two platforms and deeply engaging on them will pay more dividends than spreading your brand thinly across ten or more.
2. Syndicate wisely
Following on the above tip, many companies use a platform that helps them post to multiple social media sites all at the same time. While this may seem like a time saver, it often ends up looking sloppy and can hurt your brand. For example, images might look perfect on Instagram but be cut-off or fail to show up on Twitter. If you are going to use a tool to manage cross-platform publishing, make sure you’re checking how the posts look when they are published.
3. Organic reach is tough
Organic (unpaid) reach on social media for companies is NOT easy. In fact, according to Hootsuite, “On Facebook, the average reach of an organic page post hovers around 5.20%. That means roughly one in every 19 fans sees the page’s non-promoted content.”
Increasing Brand Awareness Through Social Ads
It used to be much easier but users reacted negatively to overly promotional content. So social media companies have throttled that back and generally most people agree the only guaranteed way to get more eyeballs on social media for company posts is by paying to boost your posts via ads.
4. Targeting and engaging followers
It may be worth it to run a paid campaign on social media to gain followers to start off. Most platforms offer this ability – just make sure to target it to your ideal audience and geographic preferences. Otherwise you will end up with random followers from all over the world.
Bonus Tip from Expert Social Media Consultants:
When you begin collecting followers, don’t forget to engage with them! If they ask questions or comment on your posts, make sure you quickly write back and nurture their connection with your brand. You can also run surveys and polls to learn more about their interests.
5. Run a contest
You can try to build momentum and your audience with contests but this can be tough to do without software to help you do it. Social Media Managers have had success with Gleam. You can set it up so that entries are “earned” by doing specific actions like sharing content, following your page, etc.
6. Video as a Effective Marketing Tool
Most of the platforms know that video creates more engagement than pure text posts. So if you have videos to share either from your issue or elsewhere, use them in your social posts. You can even do a Facebook Live to promote a new content launch. Facebook loves this kind of content and will reward you for creating it with more exposure. If you are using video from other sources like YouTube, I would recommend uploading your video to each social platform. They give preference to their own content and don’t like it when you’re linking to off-site content. Remember, they make money by keeping people on their site and their apps as long as possible (and by having you pay to promote content that takes people off-site).
For any content on social media it’s important to be consistent and to be authentic (not overly promotional). Think about behind the scenes content of how you planned out the issue or reported on an article. Don’t be discouraged if you are getting limited engagement. It takes time to build up an engaged audience. So you need to be consistent but you also need to adjust your strategy if things are not working out. If you are doing something for 2-3 weeks daily and not seeing at least a trend in the right direction, you may want to revisit your strategy. Is your content too self-promotional? Not conversational enough? Too much of just sharing links to off-site content? Review your analytics and see what’s working and what’s not.
7. Keep an eye on your competition’s strategy
When you are just starting out, it can be hard to figure out what or when to post. That’s where the public nature of social media can pay off. Take a look at your top competitor’s posts and see what’s gaining traction with their audience. You can also find out what NOT to do as well. Remember though, you aren’t just competing with your direct competition, you’re up against keyboard playing cats, Ocean Spray drinking longboarders, and a generation of digital streamers who grew up on the internet.
8. Sharing Pods
Create an email group, Facebook messenger, or Linkedin direct message group of people who can help you share out your content when you publish it. The goal is to show Facebook, Linkedin, or Twitter (whichever platform you are using) that this content is getting engagement and should be shown to more people. So when more people a) share your content b) engage with your social posts – the social media platform shows it to more people.
Driving Engagement & Traffic Using “Buzz-Worthy” Content
The key is to make sure they are sharing and/or engaging with your content all within a short window of time. This kind of tricks the algorithm into thinking the content is “buzz-worthy” and needs to be shown to more people.
This could include:
- Your staff
- Anybody or any company featured in your articles or given an award
Often this can be an all-for-one, one-for-all arrangement. So they help you promote your content, you help them promote theirs.
Put Your Social Strategy Into Practice
There you have it! A few quick tips and best practices to get your social media marketing plan going in the right direction. The next (and perhaps most important) step is to put these practices into action. As always, we’re here to help. Get in touch today to learn more!