Social media messaging is NO “one size fits all”. Each social network is different and each community reacts differently to specific contents or formats. Always adapt and customize your social media posts to tailor your message so that it fits each network and community. This will turn your message into a perfect post for maximum engagement.
Cross-promoting your content across multiple social networks and communities will help you to get more reach for your posts and get your content in front of more eyeballs.
1. Content is still king
Consider that tons of content gets published every day. Your target audience has millions of options to choose from. Relevant content is YOUR CURRENCY in the social media world. Creating quality content that is highly relevant to your audience is the fundament for your social media marketing success. Only relevant and valuable content (help content or entertaining content) gets likes and shares. Capitalize on content that converts best for your community.
Don’t view social media as a means to free advertising. The savvy social community is looking for valuable content and has little tolerance for self-promotion. Choose the right balance in using social media to engage and promote. Always place promotion for your products and services in the context of useful and valuable content. The better you know your audience, the better your post will catch the attention of your target readers. Adding value for the benefit of your readers will make your posts memorable.
How to create valuable content for your social media posts
- Share content that really hits the interests of your target audience.
- Create and share tips to make your customers’ lives easier.
- Share content that will make your readers remember you as a useful resource for valuable information on your topic.
- Provide tips, strategies, how to articles or entertaining content for your specific audience and topic.
- Try the WordPress plugin to help you find top performing content to help you never to run out of topics and ideas.
- Google’s keyword planner can be helpful to get ideas for search requests based on keywords.
- Portent’s Idea Generator is a “not too serious” tool to generate content ideas from headlines. Just enter a few keywords and the tool comes up with Buzzfeed-stile-headlines, that will definitely draw attention and helps you to overcome a writer’s block.
2. Create visuals for your content
90% of information our brain digests is visual. Visual content is more likely to get shares, likes, and comments than pure text messages. People remember visual information 65% longer and graphics are over 6x more likely to be remembered than pure text or audio information. So, visual content can generate additional reach and bring more traffic from search engines and social media to your website.
Videos can even outshine the most intriguing infographic. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. The video format offers great opportunities to give your company a vivid image and drive your marketing revenues with storytelling, tutorials, live interviews or funny clips. Especially, brands aiming to engage with younger targets can profit from video clips.
Another popular visual format is a motion GIF. Motion GIFs can be used for funny images and short clips that are great for spicing up your content. Especially, on Fridays and during the holiday season, motion GIFs and memes are extremely popular and will grab your followers’ attention right away.
How to unleash the power of visual content for your social media posts
- Illustrate your posts with graphics, photos or infographics. You can easily create images or memes for your stats and data, for striking statements or create a stellar infographic or checklist to summarize the most important statements, data or aspects of your post.
- Always share your blog post as link post as well as image posts (see next paragraph). Image posts can have a huge influence on the reach and interaction with your posts. Also, image posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ will be automatically uploaded to the image gallery aka photo album and so they stay visible and accessible on your profile when your post has long since vanished in the continuous flow of social media updates.
EXTRA TIP: Share all your visuals with your social media posts
If you share a blog post that contains more than one image, share all your blog post images – one at a time – on your social media accounts. This will extend the lifetime of your content and allows you to reshare your content without repeating yourself. Try image post format for your visuals. Sometimes, image posts work much better for engagement than link posts, so try out both formats and analyze your results. Don’t forget to add a link to your blog post when sharing an image post.
- Try Canva to create visuals and infographicssuper fast and easy. Canva offers a huge variety of templates, layouts, photos and icons you can use to create professional looking images. (free & premium)
- To look for stock photos try Pixabay, Prexels or Unsplash as well as Freepik.com for stunning vector graphics. You can upload any photo or graphic from stock photo collections or any other graphics to embed them in your Canva design.
- Try Movely to create animated videos (starting from US$ 5 per month)
- Check out iSpring Free Cam for creating professional looking screencasts (free), or opt for Camtasia (starting from US$ 249 per single license), if you want to go pro.
- Try tools like Giphy, GIFMaker.me or Flipagram to create Gifs for Twitter. You can also use Canva to convert your images into motion GIFs.
3. Choose the right post format
Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ offer two general post formats: link post format and image post format. Take a look at the difference between post formats:
Image posts can generate up to five times more engagement than regular text updates. And, images from image posts are automatically uploaded to the media gallery aka photo albums of your account. So, your image and link remain longer accessible in your media gallery, even when your post has long since disappeared in the stream of new posts.
How to use different post formats for your social media posts
- Share your first post as a standard link post. This will share your featured image as defined in the meta tags of your post (Open Graph / Twitter Card parameters).
- Share your post as an image post format next to re-share your post. Use a different comment to vary your post. Sometimes, image posts work much better for engagement than link posts, so try out both formats and analyze your results. And don’t forget to add a link to your blog post, when sharing an image post.
- If you share a blog post that contains more than one image, share all your blog post images as image posts one-by-one, by using different comments. Schedule them at different times and days. This will bring even more variations to your posts and allows you to reshare your content multiple times without repeating your post.
Selecting different post formats will bring your content in front of more eyeballs and extend the lifetime of your content.
- Check out Blog2Social for selecting different post formats for sharing, tailoring and scheduling your social media posts across multiple social media networks and accounts.
4. Use hashtags and hashflags
Hashtags are used to categorize content and make it easier for users to find related posts on a specific topic. For social media communication, hashtags are essential parameters for linking your posts with current discussions (trending hashtags) or turning your social media posts into searchable content. On most networks, if you use a hashtag in your post on a public account, anyone who does a search for that hashtag can find your post.
However, hashtags don’t work equally well on all social networks. They work well for Twitter and Instagram, they work well for Google+, but they perform less for LinkedIn and Facebook.
It also depends, on the number of hashtags you use. For instance, Tweets using more than two hashtags see a significant drop in engagement. The results are similar for Facebook hashtags. Whereas on Instagram, the more hashtags you use, the more engagement you see. This strategy works for up to about 10 hashtags. Instagram posts with more than 10 hashtags risk losing out on some of that engagement.
A well-considered use of strategically chosen hashtags can have a significant impact on the visibility and reach of your social media posts
How to choose and use the right hashtags for your social media posts
- Use hashtags only on posts relevant to the topic. Using mismatched hashtags just for getting attention, won’t do you any favors since people easily get annoyed if they don’t find what they are looking for.
- Don’t string too many words together with a single hashtag. Only use keywords and phrases for typical search words on your topics.
- Don’t #spam #with #hashtags. Over-tagging a single post or adding them to every word will make your post illegible.
Use hashtags to join in on conversations, such as:
- General interest topics (#blogging, #food)
- Popular hashtags or trending hashtags (but only if your post is relevant to the topic) (#MondayMotivation, #OpenAccess)
- Events (#WorldCup, #Superbowl)
- Holidays or celebrations (#BlackFriday, #RedNoseDay)
- Popular culture topics (#GameofThrones, #IceBucketChallenge)
While jumping in on trending conversations is recommended, always consider, if your post is really relevant to the topic. Especially when using a brand account, be careful when responding to trends and current events, and don’t use these types of conversations as a blatant sales opportunity.
Hashflags are colorful images – similar to emojis – that appear after a specific #hashtag. They were introduced by Twitter for specific occasions or events such as ⚽️ #Euro2016, or even customized for specific brands like 📍 #Periscope.
- Check out Hashtagify search for popular hashtags on Twitter.
- Try Top-Hashtags for Instagram hashtags.
- Check out Tagdef to search for the meaning of trending hashtags or add your own.
- Check out Trendsmap for finding more popular hashtags on a world map.
- Also check the list of popular hashflags to see, if the can complement your Twitter message.
5. Harness the power of emojis
Not only an image is worth a thousand words, also emojis are. Emoji are used to convey a sentiment, by using a tiny pictogram, such as 🙂 instead of “I smile”.
There are currently 2,666 emojis in the Unicode Standard. 92% of people use emoji and more than half of the messages (56%) send by mobiles include emojis.
Emojis not only work for private conversation but also for companies to connect with their audiences. It even supports brand building, if applied correctly. In fact, emoji-based marketing messages have increased by 775% year-over-year.
Emojis provide a global storytelling language. Emojis are essentially languageless, so they can surpass language barriers.
Some interesting stats on emojis:
- Twitter: using emojis results in 25.4% more engagement.
- Facebook: using emojis results 30%-40% higher click-through rates and 20% lower CPC than regular posts.
- Instagram: emojis can lead to nearly 50% more interactions.
How to harness the power of emojis for your social media posts
- Only use emojis that will be understood by your followers. There are so many emojis around and some of them can be easily misinterpreted. So don’t use emojis that are too new or too exotic. Always make sure the meaning is clear.
- Make sure your emojis make sense to complement your message. Don’t jump on the emojis bandwagon just to have them. Don’t make your followers scratch their heads to figure out what you want them to say.
- Stick with your brand messaging. Don’t blow kisses to your audience for promoting a serious business service.
- Check out Emojipedia to look into the world of emojis. You can also look up the meaning of specific emojis if you are not sure what they are meant for.
- GetEmojis to simply cut and paste the emoji your are looking for.
6. Share at the best times for each social network and community
Whenever you post to social media, only a fraction of your followers will actually see your post. Your reach also depends on the level of activity in your community at the time you publish your post. If only 10 % of your followers are online, only 10 % of your followers will get the chance see your post. Therefore, you should make sure to hit the rush hours of every network and the best time to post for maximum visibility on Social Media.
While Twitter is busy throughout the day, other networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are especially crowded during the afternoon and in the evenings. Business networks such as LinkedIn and XING are most frequented during the morning hours when most people are on their way to work and in the afternoon right before they leave the office. So, before you set up your social media posting schedule, take a look at the best times for each network.
Posting at the right times can help you to make the most of your Social Media posts and increase your chances to show up in your followers’ news feeds. Tweets posted during the most frequented times of the day generate up to 30 % more interactions.
How to schedule your social media posts at the best time for your social networks and communities
- Take a look at the best times for each network.
- Consider the best frequency of posts for each social network.
- Set up a social media posting schedule
- Use social media tools to help you schedule your posts at the best times.
- Check out Blog2Social for tailoring and scheduling your posts with a pre-configured Best Time Manager to automatically share them at the best times for each network.
- Try Buffer to schedule your posts.
7. Tailor your social media posts for each network
Each social network offers different options for promoting your content. Not only the number of characters allowed differs and image sizes vary. The communities react differently to post formats. Each network is used for different purposes and at different times.
In some networks, you can join current discussions by adding popular hashtags. Hashtags also turn your posts into searchable content. Or, you can add @ handles to reach out to specific users. Or, you can add emojis to personalize your posts with emotions. Hashtags work fine for Twitter and Instagram, but they perform less on Facebook and LinkedIn. You may also need to address your LinkedIn business contacts in a different way than your Facebook friends.
To effectively cross-promote your blog post, don’t just cross-post the same message on every social network. Tailor the message for your posts to fit each social media platform and audience.
How to cross-promote your content with perfect social media posts
- Share your post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.
- If you have business pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, share your posts to your pages as well but at different times and days.
- Also, share your blog post to relevant groups and communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, but share them on different days and times and use different messages tailored to each group.
- Schedule your post multiple times with different comment texts, images, hashtags and handels on Twitter.
- Share your blog post images on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr, using your focus image with your introduction, hashtags and a link to your post.
- If you use multiple images, share them all, but share them on different days and at different times.
- You can also share your images on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to re-share your posts with different visual anchors.
- Share your blog post in special interest communities such as Reddit.
- Also share a link to your blog post to social bookmark networks such as Diigo, Digg, StumbleUpon.
- Schedule your posts at the best times for each network and across several days, weeks and month to extend the lifespan of your posts.
- Re-share and re-schedule your evergreen posts from time to time to revive them.