Content is still the king of the modern marketing. But the times have changed and not any kind of content can rule the web today. ‘Good unique content’ has to die as Rand Fishkin of Moz claimed. And he’s right! To rank higher on SERPs, getting constant traffic to the website, gathering leads and build a strong community, you need a 10x times better content than your competitors produce. And you definitely need a content that people will gladly share across various social media channels. In other words, social media optimization is the way of promotion you can’t ignore!
Social Media Optimization Tips and Tricks
To maximize your social shares you should explore the features of each social media platform of your interest and find out what kind of content gets shares, likes, and impressions. And create content that wows people. Wish to know how to do this kind of social media optimization? Read this guide!
1. Check Out What’s Trending
Trending topics are highly discussed on the web and thus people are most likely to share everything that is related to the trending topics of their interest. So if you can create the content that is closely related to the current trends, you can get tons of shares on social media.
You can check out Google Trends and see what topics are trending across various countries. Thus, one of the most discussed topics in the US recently was the Golden Globe Awards 2018 ceremony.
You can dig a bit deeper into the Google trends and check out the more detailed topics related to the GGA 2018. Thus, one can see what additional questions people asked on search during the ceremony week, like ‘Who is hosting the Golden Globes 2018?’ or ‘What does black mean at the Golden Globes?’
Another good place for getting trendy topics ideas for your social media optimization is BuzzSumo. You can check out what’s trending on the internet on a monthly, daily or even hourly basis. You can also choose the topics of your interest and set up alerts to get the emails when the new content on your topics appears.
Note: Twitter and Facebook also have sections in the sidebar for “What’s Trending.” They allow you to see the latest topics of interest. On Twitter, those are the list of hottest hashtags that are trending today.
2. Reach Out Influencers
No matter if you are a startup in your industry or an established brand, getting industry leaders’ opinions can be beneficial to you. Getting mentions from them may be pretty hard if you don’t know how to reach out to them properly. But you can go another way and mention influencers instead. Thus you kill two birds with one stone:
You show that you’re aware of the latest industry trends and conversations that happen inside it.
It increases user’s trust to you and your content as you’re providing a solid base for your opinions.
You have a chance to reach out to those influencers and ask their opinion about your content. And if it’s good – they may even share it with their readers.
So, you have two major social media optimization tasks: finding those who you can mention, and include them naturally in your content. The first task you can perform with the help of various tools including Google, Buzzsumo, Klout and even Twitter. Thus, to find the industry leaders on your niche you can type in your target topic or keywords into the Twitter Search and then check out the ‘Top tweets’ to find the best ones by likes and shares. Or you can also check out the ‘People’ section to find the top accounts.
You will probably be looking for:
Tweets with a good number of likes and shares;
People who actively share and comment those tweets.
Thus you will find personalities who are experts in the niche of your interest and find out what content they are likely to share. Then you can create a great content that is highly relevant for the topic and mention those experts in your tweets or Facebook posts. You can also reach out to them by email and ask for their expert opinion about your content. Most likely they will answer you or even share your content if it’s great.
3. Research Your Competitors
Knowing your competitors is helpful not only in sports. You’re targeting the same niche and the same audience. And those who manage to attract the most of attention, followers, and customers – win the battle.
Learning what brings your competitors success and what content their audiences share can get you amazing insights and provide you with great ideas for your own content. You can learn more about your competitors using tools like Ahrefs or Moz. Thus, dropping your own domain into the Ahrefs Site Explorer and check out the ‘Competing domains’ tab. It will show you this list of your competitors. When you already know who your competitors are, you can explore their ‘Top content’ and ‘Best by links’ pages to know what their users and customers like the most.
You can also do another kind of competitive research in Google by searching for the content by the topic. Thus, if you’re planning to create a post about content marketing trends in 2018, you can type ‘content marketing trends in 2018’ into the Google search field and check out the top content on this topic.
Then you have to create the content of much better, higher value and information. Cool content often ranks high and gets tons of shares. So you get the chance to get your place in the sun due to the right content social media optimization.
4. Choose a Proper Content Form
This SMO marketing tactic may seem easy at first sight: creating the content that everyone will like and wish to share. But what kind of content can it be?
One of the studies from Buzzsumo claims that people are more likely to share the long-form content. Thus, the articles of 3,000 words and above usually get the most of all shares.
Another great idea is creating the List posts. People like various lists and ratings they can discuss with their friends on social media. Another Buzzsumo study claimed lists along with infographics to be the most shareable content on the web. You can also use repurposing content to boost the impact of your top-performing content and reach new audience segments.
But the best content for sharing is the one that brings value to your audience. To know that values of your target audience, you should take a look back and analyze your past content. What topics you discussed earlier was the most popular among your users? What spurred the hottest discussions? There are multiple ways to interact with users and learn their values: from blog comments to discussions on Reddit or Quora.
5. Give Your Audience Reasons to Share
It’s simple rule of social media optimization: to make people share you should offer them something in return. Of course, you shouldn’t buy likes or hire people to share the articles. But you can push them to the decision to click the ‘Share’ button by offering them something for free.
The products to offer to your users can be different: from physical goods, like t-shirts or mugs with your logo, to discounts and digital items, like e-books, checklists, templates, etc. Then you have to choose the content for sharing and follow some easy steps:
Decide what the reward for those who share will be;
Write a post with giveaway conditions and set timeframe when it ends;
Track the share and retweets. It’s easy to do on Twitter: you just count the number of retweets under your post. For Facebook you have to state that users should share your post with the “Public” status;
Right after the deadline, review the shares and select the winner. It’s better to use some third-party service that randomly chooses the winner;
Post the status where you congrat the winner and then send them the reward.
You can use some social media banners here to make sharing easy for users. Beautiful images and perfectly-crafted visuals always attract attention and people can’t stand the temptation to share a nice photo or picture.
6. Share the Content Regularly
Regular posting to social media accustoms your audience to wait for it to appear on a particular date and time. There are studies that name the best time for posting to social networks (it is mostly Fryday, 1 pm). But in reality, the exact time in social media optimization matters less than regularity.
Another catch is sharing your content a few times. When you schedule one and the same post to appear on social media, you can reach out to a wider audience. Thus, you don’t have to choose the best time to share: you just reach the maximum audience from different regions and time zones.
7. Adjust the Content to the Platform
Social platform has the same idea behind them all: create a community of people who wish to share their opinions, events, content and discuss all that stuff with others. But not all social platforms are created equal. Each of them has its own peculiarities and rules. So you have to tailor your content to the platform you wish to share it too.
The most brands actively use more than 3 platforms for their social marketing campaigns. And the truth is that there is no cookie-cutter template for the content for all platforms. You have to optimize your content so it uses the strength of each social network. Thus, share posts that proof your professional expertise to LinkedIn, focus on photos on Instagram and be more conversations on Facebook.
8. Use Sharing Triggers
It’s odd how many websites forget to give their users reasons and opportunities to share their website content to social media and complain about the low number of shares and likes at the same time. One of the most common mistakes in their social marketing strategies and social media optimization: they don’t even have the share bar on the article page! People are too lazy and not many of them will bother copying the URL and pasting it into their social media statuses.
Here are a few steps you should take to trigger your content shares:
Instal a share bar to your website to make the sharing process effortless for your users;
Get the plugins that allow you turning small chunks of content into shareable quotes. It will look like in the screenshot below and make sharing amazingly easy.
Always invite your readers to comment, share and discuss your content. Thus, you should add a small paragraph with the “Share your thoughts in comments below” section.
All these social media optimization triggers will work perfectly in combination with a good content.
9. Create Useful Content
One of the earlier New York Times studies found out that about 90% of users share the content if they consider it useful and valuable.
To come up with the content that will truly be useful to your audience, you should perfectly know it. Try to find out what solutions your target users look for and how you can help them solve with your content. Try to get the idea of the “searcher intent” or the ways your target audience searches for your content. This includes the keyword and key phrases your users may type into the search field.
You should share the case studies that show how your users solve their problems with the help of your content and your product. People like to read such stories and gladly share them.
10. Appeal to Users’ Emotions
Emotions are another trigger that may push users to share the content. Remember all those funny videos and cute GIFs with puppies and kittens? They spur the nice emotions and make the content (and your brand) memorable.
You can trigger the emotions in many ways. And you don’t necessarily have to post kitten videos every day. Choose an emotional story that touches people (like helping those who suffered from the Hurricane Harvey last year) and connects with them. Help to solve their problems, donate money to help them recover. But be honest and sincere, don’t do that just for likes and leads. Show that you really care and people will join you!
Just Do It!
People actually love sharing. Social media offered them all the opportunities and made sharing a nice activity. So all you have to do for the sake of social media optimization is just give them the content they would wish to share. Include the above-mentioned recommendations in into your social media optimization strategies, when creating your next article or making the infographic. And you will be rewarded with a good number of shares.
Allison is a professional content marketer and an inspired author. Marketing manager by day and a writer by night, she is creating many articles on business, marketing, design and web development. She loves working with website builders and CMS, and sharing her experience with the readers. Follow her on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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