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You’ve spent hours researching, analyzing, and finally creating compelling content to help you reach your content marketing objectives. And like book authors, you need to spend as much, if not more time promoting your content as writing it. Where better to promote your content than where we spend more than 25 percent of our online time: social media. According to Experian, 80 percent of marketers are already promoting their content in social media–but are they doing it effectively?
Before we get deep into social media tactics, ensure you’re planning out your content—and social media updates—on an editorial content calendar. This ensures every piece of content is properly promoted in an organized manner. Download this free editorial calendar template to start planning today.
Now it’s time to take your social media promotion to the next level.
Here are 11 effective ways to promote your content using social media you probably aren’t doing enough of.
Embrace The Visual
We all know tweets with images get more engagement. We’ve known for a while that photos on Facebook get more engagement. Even images on LinkedIn get more engagement. Three of the “newest” social networks—Pinterest, Instagram, and Snapchat, are based entirely on images. So why aren’t you leveraging the visual when promoting your content? Don’t just create a branded “featured image” to share with your post. Create separate images for each of the main points in your content. Use these when you repeatedly post to social media (see below for more on this point). Check out my post on top social media for business quotes for an example that clearly illustrates how to leverage the visual.
You’re writing great content, but are you writing a title worthy of grabbing someone’s attention in social media? If not you either need to:
- Create better titles that help your posts to be more promotable in social media or…
- Create a new title specifically for sharing your content in social media.
Don’t just settle for one title. You should be posting your content multiple times. Create multiple titles, and perform A/B testing to see which headlines most effectively promote your content on which social networks. Use a tool like BuzzSumo to help you research effective titles for the same type of content per social network. (See Curata’s post about curated content for more tips about creating new titles.)
Customize For the Platform
When sharing content, utilize the customizable posting features on each social media platform. This includes the headline, image, and a description of the content you’re sharing. Every marketer and social media user is competing to catch the user’s eye. The more optimized your post is for a particular platform, the more effective your social media promotion will be.
For example, if you share a link to Facebook, you have the opportunity to create a post that truly stands out. All you need is an attention-grabbing headline, a clean, relevant image that piques interest (which might be different from the featured image), and a short, compelling description.
With this formula, you can entice readers to click on your content. In the same manner, appending your content with hashtags helps make it more discoverable for those social networks that support them. See this tweet by former Curata CMO Michael Gerard for an example of using hashtags and an image:
How to fight halitosis with event swag and tchotchkes http://t.co/9Z5uK8rahg #Halloween and event #Marketing pic.twitter.com/AxFPXLre6q
— Michael Gerard (@michaelgerard) October 31, 2014
Share at the Right Time
Though this tip may seem like common sense, many content marketers overlook this simple concept. For maximum engagement, the content you’re sharing needs to reach as many people as possible. So you have to go where the crowd is—and when they are online and active. Then you can compile a posting schedule to ensure you post during a certain time of day.
Keep in mind that different social media platforms may not have the same peak times. While there are many infographics telling you the best time to post in social media, some of it simply comes down to understanding how users engage on each social network, and experimenting. Some social media platforms have features designed to aid you in this process, such as Facebook Insights. In addition, third party tools such as FollowerWonk help estimate the best times for some platforms.
Don’t be Afraid to Post Multiple Times
Numerous data studies suggest you will be more effective by promoting the same content multiple times on social media. Use multiple images and multiple headlines for your content. This way you engage with your followers without them even knowing you’re reposting the same content. Social media users don’t see most of your posts on any given day anyway. So posting multiple times ensures your audience has a chance to see your content.
Don’t just drop links. Drive social media users to communicate with you—and increase the chances they engage with your content—by asking for questions and feedback. Social media was made for people; not for businesses. So you should always be striving to create a human connection with social media users.
The beauty of social media marketing is that it can improve both your public relations and content marketing, simply by asking for a response. To generate feedback and promote engagement on social media, include a question with your content that compels readers to respond. Better yet, create questions for some of your headlines and test the waters. Questions are a great attention grabber, and help foster a community of connection that results in more effective social media promotion.
Share on the right platform
With so many social media sites constantly sprouting up and vying for attention, it can be hard to keep up. Just when we thought we knew everything with the emergence of Ello, now comes Tsu. Having accounts on various sites can be advantageous for fostering innovation and staying creative. But it can also be difficult to choose which platform to post your content to.
To reiterate, since different sites serve different purposes and audiences, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the major social media platforms your target audience uses. Avoid redundancy and simply “dumping” content across all channels. Concentrate on the platforms where you have the highest chance to engage with your audience. Use this list of content promotion tools to see which platform best fits your needs.
Once your social media promotion is successful on these platforms, use that information to start embarking on a new platform. Don’t forget to share your multimedia content to social networks like Slideshare, iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and, of course, YouTube.
Pay to Play
Why pay for Likes or Follows when you can promote your content to a micro-targeted audience in social media? Paid Social is mainstream, meaning you can pay to promote your content into the news feeds of social media users, where you are guaranteed visibility from a relevant audience. If you haven’t done so already, try shifting your budget to experiment, whether on Twitter, Facebook, or another network.
Maximize Your Brand Advocates
Does your company have an employee advocacy program? Employees or partners are likely already sharing your content socially. Get more of them to do so more regularly to help promote your content. There are many tools that make it easy to manage and measure social media sharing by brand advocates. See the aforementioned list of content promotion tools for a full breakdown of different advocacy tools, such as GaggleAMP and SocialChorus.
An employee advocacy program is one way of leveraging communities. It allows you to utilize the strength in numbers approach to promote your content to more social media users. However, you first have to have a community in order to do so. There are already more than two million communities within LinkedIn alone. Not to mention additional communities in the form of Twitter chats, Google Plus communities, shared Pinterest boards, and even Facebook Groups.
Joining and becoming an engaging member of relevant communities allows you to promote your content to a very targeted audience of social media users. Such groups could be in the hundreds, thousands, or even more—the largest LinkedIn Group has more than one million members! (There’s even a community for content marketing and promotion: The Content Marketing Forum.)
Experiment With Content Creator Communities
I saved this for last because it is not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a number of other communities such as Triberr, Social Buzz Club, and Viral Content Buzz. They exist outside of social media for the sole purpose of bringing together content creators and enhancing your social media promotion. If the content you discover on one of these sites is something you would considering curating, then this might be a good site to consider promoting your own content on.
When it comes to promoting content, social media is one of the most powerful tools available; however, most content marketers fail to truly maximize its potential. Utilize one or all of these 11 ways to promote your social media content, and you’ll generate significantly more traffic for your precious content.
Which of these 11 methods have worked for you? Any others that you would add to the list? Please chime in below in the comments!
For more information about promoting blog content, download Curata’s eBook, Business Blogging Secrets Revealed.