Businesses and consumers alike spend a lot of time (and money, in some cases) on a variety of social media sites. This does, however, mean that large amounts of content is generated and shared each day. For a business to maximize its social media ROI it needs to consider and implement ways to make its content more shareable than others.
Perhaps the key benefit to a successful social media marketing push is an increase in user engagement. The business that posts the best content will get the best-engaged audience to some extent. This is a good target to have, as an engaged audience is one that will share your content. If all goes to plan this should manifest as new fans and ideally, an increase in sales for your business.
Let’s consider some ways that you can take advantage of the vast audience on social media sites.
Photos increase engagement
Photos do very well on Facebook especially and as a form they are very easily shareable and immediately readable. On Facebook a photo can receive nearly 4x the amount of engagement than a plain text post.
It can also achieve 4x the amount of shares, so really this data serves to prove a simple point – photos do very well on social sites. The intention is to increase your brand’s saturation and the best way to do that is to post content that reflects and supports your ethos and philosophy.
Using photos is a good marketing tactic but consider the implementation carefully. Ensure that they’re relevant and above all that they look good. The better looking the image the more professional the content appears. It’s not recommended that you just slap any old photo next to your content but instead, that you find images that tell a story just as much as your writing does.
Often a business that posts online likes to add text to the images that it posts. This includes things like memes but it’s also worth remembering that any text must be well crafted. The text needs to reflect and add to your brand philosophy – don’t detract from it with poorly written content.
It’s also worth mentioning that a brand should be careful about the rights surrounding images. It’s not good enough to simply upload an image you’ve found online, you should check the rights. You can post images that have been marked as being commercially available under the Creative Commons license. To find these, there are lots of resources, but a quick tip is to follow these steps.
- Type a search term into Google and then hit images when the results load
- To the top of the page, there’s the option ‘search tools’ – choose this:
- This brings up a further menu which includes ‘usage rights’
- Choose ‘labeled for reuse’
This will bring back results for images which are licensed to be reused commercially. Take care to check where the image originates from and then credit the image’s creator in your post, providing a link to the page where the image was originally posted.
Have a purpose
Before you go posting on social media networks you’ll need a considered and well-planned marketing strategy. This should include posting curated content (found content) that’s relevant and topical. However the key thing to aim for is sharing.
Your content can be posted like clockwork and you could have the right audience but still not be getting the desired results. That’s something that many businesses find but really by taking a few small steps those businesses can optimise content better for the social site they’re using.
Consider what others are talking about
When you begin looking for avenues to write and share content within it’s a good idea to consider your niche; this will provide you with several key competitors. It’s worthwhile at this point to do your research and determine the conversation topics that are relevant to your industry sub section.
Have a look at the types of articles that your competitors are posting. Also look at the images that are doing well and consider if your business could do it better. With good planning and unique content creation you should notice a marked increase in user engagement. You can of course use tools to help you with this and you should research keywords to see what’s trending. Google Trends now has a visual ‘what’s trending’ page which shows terms as in the image below. You can choose which country you would like to see the trending topics in using this:
You can also use the ‘what’s hot’ menu in G+
Generate unique content
Creating unique content is as simple as it sounds. You just need to get on with it and by understanding your niche you should have a good idea of where to begin. Don’t just parrot others’ opinions though (if you spot a good, relevant article – share it) and really think about what you want to be saying and how you want to come across.
Whatever content you generate needs to be on subjects that you want to promote. A business needs to devise copy that’s unique and stand outs in some way. It’s all about the context and what it says, not only about your business, but also what it could say about audience members that repost your work.
The content needs to be informed, highly useful to your audience and reflective of your business’ tone of voice and ethos. Consider the entire post from packaging to the social media network it’s intended for. Ensure too that you maintain your branding throughout, keeping the following consistent:
- Tone of voice
This will really help to strengthen your brand and make it more recognisable to your audience. This will help engagement too, especially if you take the time to really interact with those that do engage. People do appreciate it and will go the extra mile in sharing your content if you make an effort to thank them and return the favour where applicable.
Encourage sharing through clickable headlines and well-devised advertising targeting options. Each social media site is slightly different, but a good rule of thumb is to keep your content consistent and relevant to your business, its philosophy, and its niche.
Your audience members are savvy and they see reams of content daily. They don’t click on it all though so you need to devise copy that stands out from the crowd. Use high quality images and a high standard of writing, but focus on keeping it all relevant. That’s the watchword and one to keep firmly in mind – if it’s not relevant, don’t waste your time.
Know your audience, understand what they want and give it to them. Social media networks provide unprecedented access to a large audience and one that actively engages and interacts with content online. Make sure that the content being shared and discussed relates in some way to your business and you’ll find a substantial ROI.