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The Keys to Using Social Media to Promote Content

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You’ve worked long and hard at creating a stunning piece of content. You’re proud of it, and so you should be – it’s great! But unfortunately, your job’s not nearly done. The “build it and they will come” philosophy doesn’t work when it comes to your organization’s content. Your adoring public probably won’t bother looking at your masterpiece unless it’s put right under their nose. You need to promote it.

But you needn’t feel like a greasy snake oil salesman. Content promotion can be just as fun as content creation if you go about it the right way. So what is the right way? Are there a set of content promotion commandments to follow? Is this going to be straightforward?

While there aren’t rules set in stone, there are certainly best practices, and you may be surprised at just how under-promoted your content currently is. Let’s have a look at what your options are when it comes to using the social media megaphone for your content.

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The Platforms

Every social media platform is a gateway to another audience for your content. While it may be tempting to keep it simple with just a Facebook page, your content deserves more than that. At the very minimum, your organization should have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and either LinkedIn or Instagram. At a minimum.

Over and above these, you’ve got Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube and Vine. And while these may seem like overkill, they are each home to large communities who may never otherwise see your content. Once you stop seeing the social networks as inconveniences and more as opportunities, you’ll open up whole new worlds to your content.

What’s more, with tools like Hootsuite, adding another social network to you portfolio doesn’t take up any more time at all.

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Creating Posts

There are a variety of ways you can sell you latest piece of content on social media. In order to form an example, let’s assume (without making an ass out of you and me) that your piece of content is on your organization’s website, and you have to link back to it. And let’s use Facebook as our platform of choice.

There are three different ways that you can share this type of content on Facebook: a link post, an image post, or a rich media post.

A link post is a Facebook post that will automatically generate a preview of your link (including an image, title and description) for you audience. But did you know that you can alter these image, title and description fields? This means that you can make the same piece of content look different every time you post it, creating the opportunity to promote it over and over again within a short period of time!

An image post does what it says on the packet. It uses a main image, with the post text and link sitting at the top. Again, this is entirely customizable. It has been argued that this form of content post achieves greater engagement due to the highlighting of the image, but this engagement is only measured on Facebook rather than in terms of activity on your organization’s site. Nonetheless, it is an effective option.

A rich media post uses either a video or a piece of audio to attract attention. While this may be the best choice if your content features a strong piece of media, it’s not terrifically effective at directing traffic back to your site, as the media is digested on Facebook.

Each social network offers slight variations of these same three post types, offering a huge amount of posting options for your next piece of content.

Ideally, a post will get the audience hungry for your content. It will use a punchy title that piques the interest, an eye-catching photo that will stop people scrolling, and description text that whets the appetite.

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Post Frequency: Rinse and Repeat

Most people are seriously hesitant to repost content. It’s natural; you don’t want to flog a dead horse. But the truth of the matter is that reposting – particularly when the same piece of content is made to look different, as mentioned above – is an incredibly effective strategy.

“Sure, I’ll repost the content in a year or two.” No. How about five times in one week? While that may seem like some people’s idea of hell, check out what happened to Coschedule’s engagement when they shared the same piece of content nine times in just seven days. Quadruple the numbers.

The frequency of reposting does depend on how much you post day to day. If, for example, you post 2-3 times a day, the following reposting formula may suit:

  • Week 1 – Post your piece of content 3-4 times
  • Week 2 – Post it 2-3 times
  • Week 3 – Post it 1 time

Try it out for yourself – change the repost numbers to suit your normal social media output, and test the schedule above out on one piece of content. After the third week has passed, compare the performance of your reposted content to the performance of content that you’ve posted once. The results may surprise you.

The key to promoting your content on social media is making the most of what you’ve got. Squeezing every possible drop of juice out of the orange. You’ve spent a lot of time on your content – it deserves to be seen.

It’s your job to make sure your audience sees it.

Michael Catford

Michael has a love of travel that quickly developed into a love of writing while he was trying to document his adventures. A bearded Australian with a taste for sport and beer, often simultaneously, the web content knowledge gained from running his own travel site has allowed Michael to expand his fields of expertise. We look forward to him sharing his thoughts as part of The Social Savior content team!

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