Making a success of content marketing is more than just creating and sharing on social media. Promoting content is essential if you want to go BIG. You may publish regular articles, podcasts, and videos on all of your channels, but how many of your followers actually see them? Are enough potential customers engaging with your posts and clicking through? If you really want to make some noise on social- and start seeing some serious ROI- the promotion of each post is just as important. After all, there’s no point coming up with killer content if no one is there to see it, right? To help you get more from each social media post, here at MixBloom we’ve rounded up 5 proven tactics for promoting content on social media.
1. Customize for the platformMany social media rookies make the mistake of posting exactly the same content to each of their platforms. This can be tempting since it’s a time-saver, but it’s not really in the best long-term interests of your business. The truth is; every social media platform has its own recipe for success. Here are a few tips to help you diversify your content for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Use action wordsStudies have shown that a conversational writing style with lots of action words- such as verbs and adverbs- see much better results on this platform. When it comes to promoting content on Twitter, leave out any business jargon. Instead, you should aim to establish a professional yet relaxed tone. Remember, users come to twitter primarily to be informed, entertained, and inspired. If you’re promoting content that you wouldn’t share with your friends and family, are your followers likely to do the same?
Stick to 2-3 hashtagsBeware of overloading your tweets with hashtags. Whilst your tweet may show up in more threads, it puts people off; that means less engagement and, consequently, fewer impressions in the long run. Two or three hashtags see the best engagement on this platform, so choose wisely. Make sure you research hashtags before using them to make sure they’re (a) relevant and (b) actively used. Pro tip: if it relates to your tweet, take advantage of trending tags, keywords, and/or phrases.
Tag author or businesses mentionedTagging or mentioning relevant accounts to your tweet is a great for promoting content on this platform. If the content is highly relevant, the account you tagged may even retweet your update; earning you a whole lot more impressions- and credibility- in the process. The idea is to encourage your target audience to engage with your content or message.
Ask a questionTwitter is about starting and engaging in conversations. Try phrasing your Tweets in such a way that they open up a dialogue with your followers. A great way to do this is to ask your audience a question or encourage them to take direct action in some way. Think of it this way: is your tweet encouraging followers to think, act, or, at the very least, pause?
Link to your blogAs tweets have a limited character allowance, users are often keen for more information. Don’t leave them hanging; always link them to your website or relevant blog post. Pro tip: to limit the number of characters your link takes up, use a link shortener.
Always add a relevant, high-quality imageUnlike Twitter, it’s very rare to see a text-only Facebook post on your feed. That’s because Facebook posts see much better engagement rates when they’re combined with a relevant image. When promoting content on Facebook, make sure you use a high-quality image that’s available for reuse and highly relevant to your post.
Don’t get carried away with your unlimited spaceThe beauty of Facebook is that there’s no character limit. This gives you the opportunity to expand posts and inform your audience a little better than you would on Twitter. However, this doesn’t mean you should write an essay. Tell your followers what the value of your post is, but always keep it concise and to the point.
Add a call to actionSince Facebook is a broad platform where people share many different kinds of content, including a call to action is a must for encouraging your followers to act, rather than scroll. At the end of your Facebook post, you should be answering at least one of the following:
- What is it you want me to do next?
- How can I find out more?
- Where do I go to get this promotion?
Leave hashtags outWhilst hashtags are sometimes used on Facebook, they don’t see very good results. Unless you’re piggybacking on trending hashtags, you’re better off leaving them out completely and linking to your page or website instead. Want to find out more about which kinds of Facebook posts perform best? We break it down into more detail here.
Choose an aestheticAs a predominantly visual platform, it’s important for Instagram accounts to have aesthetically curated feeds. Whilst each post should have its own personality, your feed should look great as a whole. If you’re promoting content on Instagram, make sure you choose an overarching aesthetic (this could be a color theme, editing presets, types of shots/angles etc) that reflects your branding and stick with it.
Hashtags are kingInstagram doesn’t allow links in the captions, so the best method for promoting content on this platform is through hashtags. You can use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram. Search which ones are trending in your field and, if there are 30 highly-relevant hashtags that apply to your image, use them! Pro tip: to keep the post uncluttered, we recommend posting your hashtags as a comment, rather than in the photo caption. Your hashtags will rank in exactly the same way, but without bothering your audience.
Add a locationInstagram lets you add a location, which is meant to indicate where the shot was taken. It’s important to add this, as it not only gives more context to your image, but- as Instagram users can now search images by location- it also boosts your post’s visibility.
Tag relevant businesses and influencersIf your post is highly relevant to another person or business, let them know by tagging them! Doing this will notify them directly; encouraging them to engage with your post and hopefully become a follower. There are two ways of tagging other Instagram accounts in your image:
- Mention them in your caption using the @ sign.
- Tag them in your image using the ‘edit’ function and tapping anywhere on the image.
2. Master your headlinesWeb users tend to scan headlines, so coming up with something engaging and shareable is key to promoting content successfully on social media. In general, actionable, helpful headlines that promise to help solve a problem are a great way to hook your audience in.
ExperimentA great way to see which headlines your followers respond to best is to test out different ones. Try scheduling the same piece of content 2-3 times a week across your platforms using a different headline each time. You may want to use a social media automation tool to help you do this. Here at MixBloom, we use and recommend Buffer for promoting content on social media. At the end of the month, see which headline received the best engagement, and optimize this post going forward.
AnalyseCheck out the last few Tweets or Facebook posts that you’ve liked or shared and study their headlines. What was it about that post that made you want to engage? Did their headline catch your eye? It’s also very useful to check out viral sites such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy, who both see millions of daily pageviews thanks to their catchy headlines. For a detailed guide on writing brilliant social media headlines, check out this blog post.
3. Perfect your timingIn a recent blog post, we touched on the importance of publishing your social media content at optimal times. With so much noise on social, it’s almost impossible for every post to be seen by all of your followers- particularly if they’re spread across different time zones. To maximise the chances of your content being seen, you should:
Use a scheduling toolA social media scheduler like Hootsuite or Buffer will easily help you figure out your perfect posting time with their Autoschedule tool. You can also use Tweriod, which analyzes your Tweets, their performance, and your followers’ feeds to figure out the best time for you to post and promote content. Not sure about social media automation? We discuss the pros and cons here.
Post several times a dayDon’t be afraid to post multiple times per day and to recycle cornerstone content. Remember, it’s very unlikely that all of your followers (or even half!) have already seen the post. Having said this, it’s important you reshare the smart way to avoid sounding too robotic. Here at MixBloom, we’ve found writing a new message/headline for each post, spacing out scheduling evenly, and mixing up new and old content sees much better results.
4. Pay to playWe’ve also talked a bit in a past post about boosting your content with social media ads. Sponsored Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts give you instant promotional power by placing your content prominently in people’s feeds and allowing you to reach people beyond your own following. You can get started easily with the following two types of ads:
Boost a popular post“Boosting” your social media posts allows you to promote on a post-by-post basis. Let’s say you have a particularly important or popular blog post that you’d like to push that little bit further. You can simply choose your budget and Facebook will put that piece of content in front of more people for you. Paying to promote a popular piece of content has been proven to drive clicks, reads, and shares- and is super easy to set up if you’re new to paid social media marketing. It also helps to kickstart organic sharing and commenting.
Paid social media adsPaid social media ads allow your content to reach potential customers in your niche who may not already be on your list of followers. Facebook ads are particularly good at this, as they allow you to set very specific demographics to ensure your ads are getting in front of the right people. Check out the HootSuite Blog for a complete guide to social media advertising.
5. Engage in outreachSocial media is all about building a community. The best way to succeed in promoting content is to make real, long-lasting connections with influencers in your niche. This means reaching out to people personally and opening up a mutually beneficial exchange.
Reach out to influencersWorking with bloggers, influencers, and industry leaders can not only help you access a huge following, but it also gives your brand “social proof”: a public declaration from a reputable source that your brand is awesome. Get in touch with your favorite influencers and see if you can agree to cross-promote and share each other’s content. Pro tip: choose your influencers wisely. They may have loads of followers, but are they the right spokesperson for your brand?
Reference external sourcesAnother way to engage key players in your industry is to reference their resources in your blog posts. Throwing a little promotion their way will encourage them to share that blog post of yours; driving even more traffic to your site.
Tag relevant sourcesIf you did reference any sources in your content, tag them once you share the post on social media. This is a surefire way to ensure that they’ve heard you loud and clear, and is easy to do so on all the big social media platforms (most using the @ sign). For more details on promoting content through blogger outreach, check out this guide.
Key takeaway – what you can do todayBy now you should have some great ideas for how to promote your content on social media. These proven tactics should help you:
- Reach a whole new audience
- Get noticed by leaders in your industry
- Help your posts stand out from the crowd