Social media, by now everyone knows how important it is, right?
Simply by doing a quick Google search you can find hundreds of pages about how you can use social media correctly, or find suggestions on the best way to use your social media accounts.
Personally, I love social media. I think it’s a fantastic tool for promoting your content and your brand and, if used correctly, you can do wonderful things with it.
If your business or brand isn’t using social media, or using it correctly, you really need to ask yourself why. It’s been reported that over 75% of all internet users use social media, so that’s a lot of people your content could be reaching. As well as that, 53% of people recommend companies and products on Twitter, so it’s a space you need to get your brand into.
Here are seven tips to help you promote your content and brand on social media.
1. Catchy headlines really do matter
You could have spent hours writing the perfect piece of content only to share it on social media but found that no one’s clicking through to your article. The sad reality is that you’re not going to grab anyone’s attention without a snazzy headline because the majority of your audience will use headlines to decide whether or not to read your content.
Headlines have a big role to play when it comes to social media. Initially it only has mere seconds to grab your reader’s attention as they’re scrolling through their Facebook or Twitter feed. You want your headline to catch their eye and, if it does, will they read your content, like it, share it, retweet it? Secondly, that headline is a key element in bringing new readers on board. Yes, the words you use in your headline can help you to show up in search results, but it’s not all about SEO. An interesting, informative, well-written headline will encourage someone to click on the link you’ve shared.
If you find that you have a low click-through rate on your social media posts then you need to:
- Create better headlines for your shared content. Headlines really do matter, and this will help your posts to be more profitable in social media. Focus your time on creating catchy headlines that offer your readers a solution, or some actionable advice they can take away. Or…
- Test the headlines for your shared social media content. Why just settle for one title? You should be posting your content multiple times, so use this opportunity to create multiple titles and even do some A/B testing to see which headlines are more effective to promote on different networks.
2. Use visuals to increase your engagement
Do you find that some of your social media updates are lacking engagement? Are they getting only a few likes or retweets? Using images in your tweets will get you more engagement, and in fact tweets using pic.twitter.com are 94% more likely to be retweeted than those without.
For example you can see the two images above are examples of using images in tweets. The first image is a tweet sharing a new piece of content and includes an image. The tweet had five retweets and five likes, compared to the bottom tweet which didn’t include an image and only had one retweet, and not nearly as much engagement as the first.
It’s not just Twitter where you should be using photos, using photos on Facebook can generate 53% more likes than the average post: Not On The High Street use their product photos to their advantage. The above image they shared of some BBQ themed biscuits has received over 1200 likes and, without the visual reference in this post, the content surely would not have had nearly as many likes.
Even LinkedIn can benefit from using images as can be seen above from this update Liberis have shared on their LinkedIn page. Not forgetting, of course, that there are other social media networks which are based entirely on images, such as Pinterest and Instagram, so using visuals when promoting your content is extremely important.
3. Share your content at the right time
While this might seem like simple advice, many marketers often overlook this step. Of course there’s no point spending all that time writing a great piece of content only for no one to read it. You want the content you’re sharing to reach a large audience, so you have to go where the crowd is – and when they are online and active. To do this you want to create a posting schedule that you stick to for all of your social media networks.
Another thing to keep in mind is that different social media platforms will have different peak times. Doing a quick Google search you will come across loads of infographics that will tell you the best time to post for each network, but really it comes down to understanding how users engage on each social network and use some experimenting until you get it right.
This might sound a little complicated, but there are many tools available which you can use to help you with this process, such as FollowerWonk, who can provide you with a detailed answer about when your followers are online and most active. The image above shows an example of when our most active hours are likely to be: you can see that 10am and 7pm are the most popular hours and so this is something that’s always kept in mind when creating our social media schedule.
4. Don’t be afraid to repost your content
Many marketers are often afraid of reposting content on social media whereas I have found it can work surprisingly well. Buffer has previously written this blog post on the subject, and one of the most important takeaways from this is how you can reshare your content to reach your new followers, with reshared posts receiving around 75% as many retweets as the first time around. You might find that a lot of your posts are still relevant months, or even years, after you’ve published them. By reposting this content many of your new followers could be seeing it for the first time so they’ll still get value out of it even though it’s old content.
If you also use the tips of using multiple title ideas and images for your content, you can engage with your followers without them even knowing a link is to the same content you published a few days earlier. As social media users aren’t likely to see most of your social media posts on any given day anyway, you should consider posting multiple times on your social media accounts as a way of ensuring that your audience has a chance to see your content.
5. Make the most of pinned tweets
Back in 2014, Twitter added a feature that allowed you to pin a post to the top of your timeline, making this the first message someone will see when they visit your profile. As a result, the pinned tweet is a very simple way to add a call to action to your content. The great thing about it is that it can be changed as often as you like, allowing you to promote your latest or most important content, depending on what you’re looking to achieve. Here’s an example of a pinned tweet on Sweet Freedom’s profile:
Pinned tweets can work wonders at promoting your content if done properly. You should include a compelling image or video that will increase your chances of getting profile visitors to actually click through to the content that you’re promoting. If you’re using a link in your pinned tweet you should also make sure that the link in your tweet is trackable so you can see how much traffic you’re driving with your pinned tweet.
6. Be careful with your hashtags
Hashtags are brilliant for getting your tweets seen and tweets with hashtags can get twice as much engagement than those without. However, you don’t want to go crazy with your hashtags and I’ve often come across tweets that are using hashtags every other word. Ideally you don’t want to use more than two in any given tweet and be careful that you’re not using them for something that has nothing to do with your content.
The tweet above is a poor example of using too many hashtags which could make the tweet itself look spammy. Ideally you should aim to hashtag words relevant to what you are trying to promote and, if you’re not sure what they might be, take a look at Hashtagify to find relevant and popular hashtags for any given subject.
7. Tweak your content for the platform you’re using
With social media there isn’t a ‘one size that fits everything’ rule and the beauty of social media is that you can change your promotional messages according to the platform you are using. If you’re promoting on Facebook you will want a great headline, an image or video and a link back to the webpage or blog post.
Here are two images shared by the brand Origins, one on their Facebook page and one on their Instagram. Although the two posts are both promoting the same thing, you can see that they are the perfect example of tweaking the content for the platform being used. The Facebook update has also included a video to support the update, while the Instagram post has used a very clear photograph, both of which are suitable for the platform they are posting on.
Still need some help with promoting your brand on social media? Get in touch with Receptional today and we’d be happy to help.