If you want to be successful on social media in a way that both appeals to your audience and positively affects your bottom line, then you will need to create great social media updates. These updates will have to make your audience want to engage with you and incorporate links back to your website. In this post, we’re going to look at how to create content for your social media strategy.
If you want something to share that your audience will love that leads them back to your website, then informative, quality blog content is the answer. If you’re not sure what to create, start by looking at your competitors to see what types of blog posts they publish and how those posts do on social media. Some quick ways to see what content does well on social media includes subscribing to your competitor’s blog RSS feed in Feedly, which shows a green number next to posts representing the number of Facebook Likes + Google +1’s, and searching for them on Topsy, which shows number of tweets next to posts from a domain.
Of course, you don’t just want to just drive traffic to your blog. You’ll want to make sure that content converts people into subscribers, leads, and customers. In order to do this, make sure that each piece of content leads into an effective call to action at the ends of your blog posts. You can make each call to action unique to the post itself or incorporate a call to action in your template to always show at the end of your blog posts. Good calls to action include the following.
- Ask readers to subscribe via email to get the latest posts and updates from your brand.
- Lead your post into a reason why they should sign up for a free trial of your product.
- Show examples throughout your post of how someone could use your product or service, then add a learn more link to the sales page at the end of the post.
This will help you turn your social media referrals traffic into conversions. Be sure to set up Google Analytics goals to measure which social networks and content lead to the most goal completions.
Since you don’t want to constantly share content about your brand (unless you’re a major brand whose audience comes to you specifically for your content), then you will want to mix up your content to include things like shares from blogs relevant to your industry and updates that encourage your audience to engage with you. Here are specific update types that work best for the following networks.
Twitter is the network that people expect you to update the most often on. You can do different types of updates on Twitter including the following.
- Status updates with links to specific webpages.
- Status updates with photos directly added to Twitter (or your Twitter management tool) or links to photos.
- Status updates with links to videos on networks like YouTube and Vimeo.
- Status updates that share a memorable quote or pose a question.
You’re most likely to get engagement from your audience if you pose a question in your status update, and the best part is you can incorporate a question anytime. For example, if you’re sharing a video, instead of saying that it is a tutorial on how to use Google Analytics, ask people what their biggest questions about Google Analytics is and whether they can find the answer in your video tutorial.
Status updates on Facebook are tricky in the sense that their EdgeRank algorithm tends to hide updates from people unless they have recently engaged with your brand’s updates on your Facebook page Hence, you have to go for engagement with every update – the more engagement you get with one post, the more you traffic you will receive for the next. The following are the types of updates you can post to your Facebook page.
- Status updates with links to specific webpages. These tend to receive the lowest amount of engagement unless you promote them with Facebook Ads.
- Status updates with photos. These tend to receive the highest amount of engagement.
- Status updates that share a memorable quote or pose a question. These also get a high volume of engagement.
- Status updates with videos. You can upload videos to Facebook or link to YouTube videos or videos on other networks.
To get the most engagement from your fans, thus boosting your EdgeRank, post updates that ask questions often. Don’t be afraid to ask for specific types of engagement with your status updates such as “Like this if you ____,” “Share this update if you know people who will benefit,” or similar calls to action.
Also, be sure to encourage your fans to use the Get Notifications option when they like your page so they don’t miss out on your latest updates. You can show them how by grabbing a screenshot of your brand’s page while hovering over the like button so they can see how to get to that setting. You can also use your timeline cover photo to point to your like button, telling people to like your page and get notifications.
LinkedIn offers different ways to engage with others on their network including updates to your personal profile, updates to your Company Page, and participation in LinkedIn Groups. Groups are probably the most powerful in terms of driving traffic back to your website, especially if you create high quality content on your blog. While not all are open to self promotion, many do allow you to share links to your content in them. This can boost exposure to your content from your connections to potentially hundreds, even thousands in groups.
The best way to separate yourself from a self-promotional die hard and someone who just wants to share valuable information in a group is to actively participate in the group as well as respond when someone comments on the posts you share. The more you do these things, the more people are going to be receptive to clicking on your group shares.
Social networks like Twitter and Facebook are putting more emphasis on varied media types in your status updates. Here are the main three you should focus on so that you can make the most impact.
Since Pinterest burst on the scene, images are essential. Each page on your website that you want people to share on any social network should include at least one great image. When people share your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, those networks will grab the first image from your content as a thumbnail. The latter three networks will grab more images and let you choose. This also goes for when people save a page from your website on social bookmarking networks like StumbleUpon and Delicious, both of which can drive a lot of traffic to your website.
Having great images on your pages that lead to great thumbnails make your links shared by others stand out more, thus increasing the likelihood that people will click on them. And of course, the more clicks you receive, the more conversions you can make.
Incorporating video content on your website, Facebook page, Twitter profile, and Google+ page can lead to more time on your online properties. And the longer you can keep your audience involved, the more of a bond they will have with your brand online.
Creating a stronger presence on YouTube can also be a great way to drive social traffic back to your website. YouTube has added a new feature so you can add your website link inside videos as an annotation. So whenever you share your video on a social network (or someone else does), there is more opportunity to click through to your website.
Presentations on SlideShare are gaining in popularity. Particularly presentations with great images and short, yet powerful messages per slide. Twitter is joining in the movement by allowing SlideShare presentations to be played on Twitter itself when you link directly to the presentation.
To drive traffic to your website, you can include live links to it in the footer of your slides as well as in your introduction and closing slides. You can also get leads directly from your presentations by signing up for a pro account on SlideShare and enabling the lead form. You can configure the form to popup while people are browsing through your slides so that they can contact your brand immediately.
What other types of content can you think of that will help you increase engagement and traffic from social media? Please share in the comments!