As youths, we are taught certain, basic guidelines meant to make life a little easier. We're taught that things work out best when handled politely and with care. We learn to show respect for one another, and that in order for it to be reciprocated, respect must be earned through proper action.
These principles hold true in social media interaction. Through proactive communication that is carefully created and monitored, businesses can find and share valuable content that will gain traffic to their landing pages. When sharing that content, it is good form to give credit where credit is due - to site the sources of the material. However, not everybody knows exactly what type of content to share or how to build a strong online presence.
Here is an easy way to look at what kind of content is best shared. Use your vowels.
A, E, I, O, U:
Accuracy: Be sure the content is as accurate as possible in regards to industry relevance. This helps the brand to show that it is informed and aware of industry best practices.
Entertaining: Not all content has to be serious. Liven the conversation with some wit, laughter and videos. Use innovative dissemination methods such as QR codes and infographics to grab attention.
Informative: Share the industry knowledge that will assist your visitors and strengthen your relationship with them. The goal is to have them return to your site for more valuable information...and ultimately to you for your services and products.
Original: Nothing shows character like originality. Take time to create dynamic content that speaks to your brand as much as it does to your audience. Also, forwarding the original ideas and content of others demonstrates your ability to recognize and converse about advances in the marketplace.
Useful: Nobody wants to know that you just had a cheese sandwich, because that sandwich is of no use to them. Create social value by sharing tips, best practices, and statistics relevant to your client and industry.
Content may vary by industry, but the goal should always be the same: relevance. How does your organization manage its social content? What strategies do you use to share content and how might you be able to improve those strategies?
Here is the second portion of our previous blog entry
on creating effective content that is optimized for social media...
- Uploading photos to Facebook is very simple. Facebook users love photos so have fun with it and be sure the photos are at their highest quality and include a brief caption.
- Twitter users need to click on a link to view a photo so make sure it is worth the click. A tweet that reads, “Check out our newest pie, fresh out the oven!” with a link to a photo would get more clicks than a link with a tweet that reads, “Take a look at this," or one with no caption at all. That seems ambiguous and unenticing.
The Proper Response
- Most importantly, whether on Facebook or Twitter, give prudence with the photos shared because once it’s out there, it’s out there.
- Twitter is all about conversation. A strong following comes from genuine personal interactions and recognition of other users.
- Try following relevant conversations with other users and repost their content when applicable. Remember that anytime someone is @mentioned on Twitter only followers of that user and the user who mentioned them can view that post.
- Use private messages sparingly. They’re only really necessary for confidential material.
- Facebook updates can start in-depth discussions with a simple statement or open question. If it’s compelling enough, users will join the thread. This helps a particular update and company gain highlighted status in the ‘Top Stories’ section on the wall of users who follow that page. (See our post: Reaching Your Audience with the Best Facebook Content)
Social media in business is about a call-to-action through inclusion. Successful social media content, however, delivers that call-to-action through exclusivity. Users want to feel like they are a part of an elite group. They usually follow a business on social media to get something out of it whether it is a free gift, a chance to share their thoughts on a product, or just a brief mention of their name. People like to be recognized, and good social media conduct is the epitome of ‘Quid Pro Quo.’
Businesses, organizations and individuals the world over have turned to social media to stay in the proverbial loop. In fact, these days it almost seems crucial to have a social media presence, especially for businesses. Still, not everyone is adept at creating compelling social content that is quick, concise and relevant year-round.
Whether it’s on a Facebook page or on Twitter, any content posted must fit the needs of the audience. Frankly, this is the most important part of any social media strategy. The way users share content on Twitter is different from the way it is shared on Facebook. so your messages must be valuable to the group and fit the format of the communication channel.
Stimulate, Don’t Saturate
- Stand out among the flood of tweets with personal engagement and relevance such as retweets, mentions, new blog posts, contest giveaways, special offers and event updates.
- One report revealed that more than one tweet an hour actually hurts click-through ratings by more than 200 percent. Too many posts make an account seem fraudulent and drive followers away.
- Use a tool like Hootsuite to pre-schedule Facebook and Twitter updates at a later time but separate scheduled posts by at least an hour, duplicating as little as possible.
- Facebook pages must be maintained with more frequency than Twitter but without overkill. Facebook measures how many and how often users interact with a page, and how often a company updates their status so take advantage and provide at least four updates a day with new and engaging information.
- Tweets should be short, to the point and as genuine as possible.
- Tweeted links should be shortened and include a brief description. (Sites like bit.ly are great for shortening links and can often track the number of clicks per link.)
(Here is Part 2 of this blog post on optimizing social content for maximum results.)
- Spelling, grammar and punctuation are not scrutinized so much on Twitter. Use the extra space for links to new blog posts, photos, and allow for retweets from other users.
- Facebook includes a ‘See More’ link after 3-4 lines of content. As convenient as that sounds, status updates should not be a short story. Three lines or less is a good rule of thumb.
- A recent study shows Facebook posts containing less than 80 characters had increased interaction by 27 percent. The same study shows that full-length URLs on Facebook have better reception than shortened links.