Take a moment, and liken your social media flow to how a restaurant prepares and serves food. You've got your editorial team acting as chefs in the kitchen, whipping up content, and your social media platforms functioning as the wait staff to that content, distributing it to your online communities. Any successful restaurateur will tell you that no matter how amazing the food may be, if it's not served properly, the customer isn't going to be receptive. The same goes for connecting with your audience through content on social media: It has to be presented in a way that makes it appetizing to your audience.
Are you optimizing your content for social media consumption? Here are some tips for chopping up your content on social media so that your audience can savor the flavor and come back for more:
1. Serve your content in easily digestible pieces. Copying large portions of your content and pasting them onto your Facebook news feed or Google+ stream isn't going to entice your audience to click through to your content; rather, it's going to scare them away. Be brief but informative, open the floor for dialogue, or use the Problem-Agitate-Solve formula to entice the reader to further engage with your content.
Keep in mind that a large portion of your social following is on mobile. Is your message mobile friendly? Specifically, on Facebook, is your message tight enough, or does the user have to click "Continue Reading" to access the rest of your post? That's one extra step preventing viewers from digesting your content. Google+ and Tumblr allow you to italicize, bold, and bullet point your text, so use those features with these platforms, which are more often associated with longer-form content on social.
2. Use visuals to garnish your content. Recent data from Forrester's Consumer Technographics® shows that language is evolving from text-based to image-based, driving consumers to interact more heavily on strong visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. This stands true even for Facebook, with photo posts receiving 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click throughs on links than text-based posts (Kissmetrics). Whenever possible, include a strong visual element to your social media outreach to increase engagement. Canva, an easy online design tool, can help you create visuals for your content.
Not a lot of visual elements accompanying your content? Consider pulling your strongest quote, fact, statement, or gem of wisdom for sharing on Twitter (you can also create a custom image using this content). Image-heavy posts can be used as the main draw for more visually engaging platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, and Pinterest. Even a Twitter study recently discovered that tweets including photos created a 35% jump in retweets, but it's still a great platform to house informative text-only content in an effective way.
3. Spread your content out, but not too thin. With your content published, you've sent out one tweet, one Facebook post, one Google+ post, and so on and so forth. Should you close up shop now? No. The social media landscape is constantly changing and growing. It's becoming harder and harder for your content to stand out among the crowd. For example, recent changes to the Facebook algorithm means that not every post you publish is going to be seen by your audience. Going back to your content and creating variations of messages is the best way to repurpose content as well as to hit diverse audiences at different times-this is especially true for Twitter, with an average user's feed being updated at an accelerated rate.
As a social media marketer, you know that each platform has its own particular means of satisfying your audience and are aware of different tips and tricks that should be implemented to satiate their specific needs and appetites. If you take the time to chart what content has resonated with your audience (through basic platform insights and analytics), using these tips will help you to create a hungry online community.