social media engagement

Improve Your Social Media Engagement In Less Time

How many times have I heard you say, “why are my likes and shares so low?” or “I just don’t have time to consistently post to my social media platforms”. What if I told you I had a couple tricks that will actually cut down the time you spend creating and posting social media content AND actually increase your social engagement.

By J. Scott MacMillan | July 20, 2016

Sound to good to be true? It’s not if you have an organized and planned out system to follow.  Not only am I going to give you a few tips, I’m going to actually show you how to do this.

Ditch The Automatic Social Media Posting

social media engagemet

First off, ditch the automatic posting.  If you are still using a plugin that automatically posts your blog article to your Facebook page, or an IFTT (If This, Then That) app that automatically posts your Facebook posts to twitter, you need to kindly stop that immediately if not sooner. That practice went out over 2 years ago when social media consumers realized they were seeing the same exact content from the same person on various social media platforms. Most people have a preferred way they like to consume social media content. Some people like spending time on Facebook while others like the briefness of a tweet and still others only like to watch videos so they predominately use YouTube. You can’t force people to read long articles on twitter or even Facebook for that matter, even though some people still do it. People also have a very short attention span when they are consuming social media and if you  have text only, they will probably just skip over your content. It’s all about images and videos these days. It comes down to this – Don’t force people away from their preferred social platforms. You need to meet people where they are and you’ll start to see your social media engagement go up.

Create High Quality Blog Posts First

The absolute number one way to get more social media engagement is to create high quality content.  Knowing that people like to view images and videos on social media is not to say that people won’t read long form articles.  If you present them with a compelling headline, text snippet and an image that catches their attention and relates to the article, people will read long articles.The most important task to conquer in any social or content marketing campaign is to learn how to create really high quality and compelling blog posts.  As I’ll explain later, your blog post should be the core of the message you want to get out to your audience.  In the system I’m going to show you how every social media post will come directly or indirectly from you blog posts.  So you need to make sure that the blog posts you are creating are top notch or most of your social media content will be uninspiring and fail to get your message out.

Use Different Blog Post Types

One way to create great blog posts is to understand that there are many different types of blogs posts.  Although “How To” and List blog posts usually generate the best social activity they are not the only types of blogs post you can use.  How about creating a case study blog post where you outline and unpack the details of a successful project, event or process.  Use the term case study in your title.  It has more perceived value than the term blog post.  You can choose from a number of clever blog post types like, the FAQ post or the series post or the crowdsourced post.  By varying up the types of blog post you use your readers will stay entertained and you’ll find that you are actually creating better and more detailed blog posts.

 

"The absolute number one way to get more social media engagement is to create high quality content".

Have A Plan

Another simple but very productive tip is to create a content planner and plan a month or a quarters worth of blog posts.  Brainstorm content ideas and make sure your posts relate to an offer or product or service so you can add a Call To Action to get more information on your offers.  This will ensure that you are not winging it and throwing together blog posts at the last minute.

Write Great Headlines

The last tip for creating high quality blog posts is to focus on writing not just good, but great headlines.  The headlines you create for you blog posts can also be used for some of your social media posts as well.  Here’s a few headline tips.Focus your headlines on helping instead of telling.  Write about the best way to do something. Take a look at the most popular Google searches and you’ll see they’re mostly about solving a problem in the easiest and fastest way.Make sure your headline aligns with your content. It should accurately reflect the view of your content. Ask yourself these two questions:

  • What’s the point of this content?
  • What is the most important point this content makes?

If your headline doesn’t address these points, it’s time to re-do it.Help your audience find your content.  Search engines will favor headlines that are shorter than 70 characters.  Make sure your headline includes your target keyword as well.

Distribute Your Social Media Content Wisely

social media engagementThe more compelling the social messages you send, the more social media engagement you’ll get.  It’s really that simple.  Your social media messages are invitations to attend the party that is happening on your blog.  You want to think of each message as a call to action.  You want to sell your audience on the value the will get if they click through to read your blog post.  It’s also effective if you make them question a current belief with a better promise or better solutions to a problem or make them believe they are missing out if they don’t click through to the article.Follow this distribution process and posting schedule and your content will get liked and shared more often and get your audience to know, like and trust you.  The goal is that from one blog post you can cut and paste and have social media content for a whole month.

Step 1 Create, Schedule & Publish Your Starter Blog Article:

We’ve talked about how to write good blog posts and headlines, now go and create that great blog article.

Step 2 Create A Video:

You don’t have to create a video for every blog post but it’s a good idea to throw in a video every once in awhile to further engage your audience and get content onto your YouTube channel.  Post the video to your blog,  your YouTube channel and Facebook.  I’m not talking about a Hollywood style video, just turn your camera on and record you saying what your written blog post says.  Just make sure you have good lighting and use a good microphone.  Good light and go audio goes a long way in blog post type videos.

Step 3 Create A Facebook Graphic Post

After the blog article is published on your blog, create a Facebook post graphic with an image that evokes the mood of the article and add some text to describe it. Find a good quote you can use from your article or just a really good image.If your blog article has a video with it, post or import the video to your Facebook Page along with the link back to the blog article.  The video will play in FB but also include a link to your blog page.  If you are using a CTA then make sure to put it in the text of the Facebook post.

Step 4 Create A Graphical Twitter Post

Create a Twitter post, import the same graphic or image that you used for Facebook.  Make sure to add a link back to your blog post.  Write a new 120 character post text.  Why 120 characters?  So people can re-tweet you.

Step 5 Create A LinkedIn Post

Create a Linkedin post by using the same  graphic or image you created for Facebook and Twitter and post or schedule it.

Step 6 Create A Podcast

Although your Podcast can have other types of shows, it’s a good idea to create a podcast on your blog articles.  Record yourself reading the blog post or extract the audio from the video and post along with the blog post as a podcast and upload to iTunes.  You can use a Podcasting tool like Blubrry and it’s WordPress plugin PowerPress to help you publish the Podcast.

Step 7 Instagram & Pinterest

Use the same graphic or image as an Instagram and Pinterest post.   You can use a program called Gamblr to upload images to Instagram from your desktop. You can use a program like PostPlanner to upload blog post images to Pinterest or login and post them manually.

Step 8 Non Blog Post Social Media Shares

There are times when adding a few seemingly unrelated social media posts will help entertain and educate your audience.

Step 9 Re-Posting:

Now that you have distributed your content, schedule it to be posted again at different times.  On Facebook and Twitter you can re-post the same article again 8 hours later and then again the next day and then maybe again next month.  Don’t forget to pay to boost your posts every once in awhile to reach more people.  Both Facebook and Twitter allow you to do this.

Step 10 Listening And Conversing

Sometimes it’s more about context rather than content.  If you can be ready to respond to current events in a timely and interesting way you can gain the attention of a lot of people.Part of a good social and content marketing strategy involves interacting with your audience.  This can be a challenge as it does take time for someone to monitor and respond to your audience across multiple platforms.  I recommend that after you have scheduled your content, spend 20 to 30 minutes a day monitoring and responding to your audience.If you or your staff are going to be responding to current events then you must have a versatile tool that allows you to post to multiple social channels but in their native format.I like Post Planner for this because it integrates with Canva, so I can quickly create a graphic with my message and post it right away or schedule it. Post Planner also posts to Pinterest.  I also use Co-Schedule which posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tumblr.  Some other good content aggregators and schedulers are Buffer, Uprise.io and MeetEdgar.com and Hootsuite  I also use Hootsuite app on my phone to monitor and post to Instagram.

Social Media Only Posts

Sometimes you’ll need to create a few social media posts that don’t directly come from your blog posts. Here are a few tips and methods that can help you write better social media posts.

Use closed ended questions that arouse curiosity

Even though open-ended questions tend to help continue a conversation and can be used effectively.  Closed-ended questions get a much better click through rate.  That’s because people don’t want to miss out on something. Closed-ended questions suggest that if you say “yes” or “no”  then improvement is just on the other side of the click where you can join the others who are enjoying the improvement or better results.

Post Something Controversial

Sometimes it’s hard to hear something you thought was right is actually wrong.  Inspire controversy by creating division in someones’ behavior, beliefs or feeling of belonging. They will seek to ether confirm or deny your claim. Either way is good for you because it creates buzz and they will share your posts. If you have something controversial in your blog article you can pull out the statement and use it a social post, if not then create one.  If you can find data that disproves a commonly accepted norm in your niche use this in a social post. It turns out that if you

Post Something Humorous

Humor is usually always welcomed.  Find or create something that you think your audience would find funny.  Cartoons and animated GIFs are particularly effective.

Post A Statement That Shows Your Value

Readers usually ask themselves what’s in it for me to justify how worthy your content is of their time.  Show the benefits your followers will experience if they simply click through to your blog.  As mentioned before, pull a good quote from your blog post.  This can either be a quote from you or an influencer that you quoted in your blog post.  Use your call to action to entice readers to click through to read the entire article connected to the quote.Think about the unique value proposition behind your post – the problem you’re solving for your readers through the gift of your content.  Remember that your readers are selfish.  They only click through to read content because of an emotional need to improve themselves.

Post A Snippet From Someone Else

In this system we are pulling most of our social media content from your blog already, but sometimes you can pull out a snippet of something someone else has said.  Use that as a snippet to post.

Create A Powerful Posting Schedule

social media engagement

How Often To Post

According to research by CoSchedule and Post Planner there are certain times of the day that are better than others for posting on each social media platform.  That being said your blog and particular niche may have slightly different times that get more shares and likes.  You can track this in Google Analytics and figure out your own customized posting schedule but until then try following this posting schedule.
Here is the a great study done by Buffer Inc. on how often to post to specific social accounts.

Schedule 3 tweets a day:  Engagement will drop after 3 tweets but data suggest some extreme variables with as many as 30 a day with positive impact on engagement.

Schedule 2 Facebook posts a day:   Remember that uniqueness matters, you can share the same piece of content, but consider the copy and image that goes with it.  You don’t want to be sharing the same exact thing constantly unless you are focusing on hitting different time zones.

Schedule 1 LinkedIn post a day:  With such singular focus, make that post count.  Spend significant time on the copy and image since you’ll have fewer posts on your LinkedIn profile.

Schedule 3 Google + posts:  Again, this can vary depending on your audience and how big of a user you are of Google +, some may want to consider a higher post amount if you are a heavy user of Google +.

Share 5 Pins a day:  5 pins a day can be quite a lot, especially if you are just starting out.  If you can’t get 5 at least shoot for 3 pins a day.

Share 2 times to Instagram: If your content is unique, high quality and valuable you can get away with posting a lot more often.  But for general posting, try to get in 2 a day.Don’t forget to share content from your old blog posts either, especially the good ones.  Just add in a few more posts to the schedule every now and then.  The numbers above are conservative so feel free to add a few more to each  platform anytime.

What Times To Post

Here is a general guideline on the best days and times to post on the social networks compiled from 16 different studies and published by CoSchedule.  You don’t have to post on all the days they suggest but at least try to  post on the higher engagement days.

Facebook: – Thursday and Friday can give you up to 18% higher engagement and Saturday and Sunday can give you as much as 32% higher engagement.  People seem to be happier on Friday, so funny or upbeat content will fit right into that happiness.Best times to post are 9am, 1pm and 3pm.  Posting at 3pm will get you more clicks while posts at 1pm tend to give you more shares.  Facebook is broadly used on mobile and desktop, at work and at home but can also depend on your audience.

Twitter: – Generally Wednesday is the best day to post on Twitter if you are B2B but the weekend is the better if you are B2C.  Times vary between 12pm and 3pm and 5-6pm.  This is because a large majority of Twitter users are reading tweets during their evening commute.   Twitter is one of the hard networks to figure out and is definitely dependent on you audience.  It is often treated like an RSS feed, and something to read during down times like commutes, breaks, and so on.

LinkedIn: – Tuesday through Thursday are the highest days for engagement on LinkedIn.  The very best time for high LinkedIn engagement is between 7-8am because most people are reading LinkedIn like a morning newspaper.  12pm and 5-6pm are also good times for LinkedIn.   This network was built for professionals that tend to use it during work hours.

Pinterest: – This social media network is very unique as it really depends what type of images you are posting.  Each day seems to have a more popular topic.  For example Monday is Fitness, Tuesday is Gadgets, Wednesday is Quotes, Thursday is Outfits, Friday is Gifts and Saturday is Travel.  If you are posting during the week, try to target the top subjects of the day.  Generally the best times to post on Pinterest is between 8-11am, especially on Saturdays.  The worst time to publish on Pinterest is during work hours.  Pinterest users seem to make network activity an evening activity. Just like sitting down to evening TV during their free time.

Instagram: – The best days to post on Instagram are Monday and Thursdays.  The best times to post are 2am, 8-9am and 5pm.  The absolute best time is between 8-9am.  Avoid posting at 3-4pm.  Try to post more content during the off-work hours rather than during the work day, aside from peak times.  Instagram users are on a platform build for mobile which means they tend to use the network at all times of the day.

Google +: – The best time to post to Google + is Wednesday.  The best times are 9am, 11am, 12-1pm.  Google+  also targets professionals with most use during the early morning.Remember that more networks = more engagement.  Here is a general breakdown by network of the best days to post.

Measure And Evaluate Your Goals

social media engagement

Just as we set business goals, we need to measure our content marketing activities to see if we have met those goals.  Remember the end goal of content marketing is not to get as many people to view our content, but rather getting them to take actions liking and sharing your content for higher social media engagement.  There are 4 different metrics we can use to measure and evaluate our content marketing system.

Consumption Metrics 

Consumption metrics are good place to start.  They are answers to questions like how many people viewed, downloaded or listened to this piece of content?

Page Views:  These are easy to measure with Google Analytics.

Video Views:  Youtube Insights will measure your video views.

Downloads:  Usually this content will be behind an opt-in box which can be measured by your Email Autoresponder or CRM.  If you want to track open     downloads then Google Analytics can be configured to do that.

 

Sharing Metrics

Sharing metrics answer the question, does your content resonate with your audience and how often is it shared with other people?Measuring how your content is shared impacts brand awareness and engagement. 

Sharing metrics include Facebook Likes and Shares, Re-Tweets, Google +1s, Pinterest Pins and Instagram likes.  Most sharing tools like Buffer and Post Planner will track these for you as well as each social site itself. 

You also want to measure forwards of your emails which your email provider or autoresponder/crm can provide.  Another good sharing metric to measure is inbound links to your website.  Various tools like Majestic SEO and SEMRush can measure this.Be careful about sharing metrics though, as they can be overvalued and misleading to your bottom line. 

It’s hard to track how likes and shares affects your bottom line.  As you will see in Sales Metrics, it’s best to track them and try and correlate them to success in your business.  That being said,there are a few ways you can help make your content more sharable.

Place easy to use sharing buttons on every piece of content you publish and only use the social channels where your targeted audience hangs out. 

You can also use social proof by embedding positive twitter or other social media comments on your website.  And finally make sure you create content that is worthy of sharing.  This can’t be repeated enough.  It’s always about quality over quantity.

Lead Generation (Gen) Metrics

Lead gen metrics answer the question of how often does our content marketing result in a lead? 

A few critical metrics include:

Form Completions and Downloads:  Your email autoresponder or CRM  can easily measure this.

Email Subscriptions:  Your email autoresponder and or your CRM can measure this.

Blog Comments:  Your blogging software will allow you to track this metric.

Conversion Rate  How often do people who consume content become leads?  If you have followed the concepts outlined in the Content Planner above, you will have identified an offer with every blog article.  Make sure you use tracking links to the offers you promote with your CTA so you can identify readers who turn into leads.

Sales Metrics

The ultimate goal of your content marketing has always been to increase business and sales metrics answers the question, did you make any money because of your content marketing?  This is usually answered through the Return On Investment (ROI) metric.  To effectively measure this you will need to calculate the investment of all the time your staff has spent creating and deploying your content marketing strategy and the cost of the software used to create, host and track it.  You would then need to calculate that investment.  From there you could calculate ROI by subtracting the total investments from the return and dividing by the investment.  Let’s just say that obtaining true ROI from your content marketing strategy can be complicated at best.

A more realistic approach would be to use the correlation method.  You basically track all the metrics discussed above and look for patterns that indicate your content is working.  You want to know if content consumption and sharing went up, did your sales go up also.  Of course the correlation method isn’t an exact science but it’s better than doing nothing at all.Remember that content is a means rather than an end.  Keep that in mind while deploying your content marketing strategy. 

What it all comes down to is getting your targeted audience to know, like and trust you enough buy your product or service and become a life long customer – And higher social media engagement will do that for you.

Comments