By now, most social marketers probably feel pretty adept at giving advice about what works on social media and what doesn't. But with social media being bombarded with fresh content every second, it's no longer enough to just understand what works - it's essential you understand how to utilize those learnings in order to stand out from the crowd by creating content that will be shared by your target audience.
So how do you maximize social engagement? Here are five tips:
1. Be creative with visual content
I imagine you've realized the importance of sharing visual content - but do you know to what extent this will make a difference? When asking senior marketers how critical the following imagery is to their marketing strategy, they rated photography at 46%, videos at 36%, infographics at 19% and illustrations at 15%.
It's like everything though, it depends how you deploy your imagery.
Why not take it to the next level and create a short video? You can do this on most social networking sites now. Have a look at this example, by B2B Marketing which they featured on Twitter, it certainly grabbed my attention.
Or how about a GIF for your imagery? Another report suggests the average brain takes a quarter of a second to process visual cues, and that you'll lose interest within 8 seconds, so utilize GIF's to tell your story.
2. Do you post yesterday's news?
Sharing industry content is key to showing your audience that you're a valuable source for finding interesting industry relevant news. It's equally important, however, that the news you share is up to date, to keep them in tune with your brand. That said, I realize this is easier said than done.
I would highly suggest spending a little time examining useful websites which post only the latest news, and creating relevant RSS feeds. Here you will be able to view all the news updates from these sites in one place. You need to keep your target audience's attention or they will look elsewhere.
3. Pay special attention to post titles
It's annoying but your subject line is quite frankly the be-all-and-end-all of your content being clicked. Research by Chadwick Martin Bailey suggests that subject lines affect open rates by 47%. So don't ignore the importance of it. I'm not going to stand here and come up with a killer recipe as to what post titles work and what don't, as it can depend on your industry you are aiming to attract - and let's face it, the recipe is changing all the time.
But to give you a quick start; questions, quotes, adding statistics, as well as writing an informative phrase are all techniques I use. My best advice here though is, test for yourself, and see which method receives the best engagement for your brand.
4. Socially sell your brand, but not too much
Promoting your brand is highly recommended, but not all the time. Variety is the spice of life. Apply the 70/30 rule here - 70% should be industry content, and 30% should be your content. No one likes to be pitched to all the time. It gets boring.
5. Reach the widest audience possible
Sharing content through advocates is a great way to reach a wider audience, but not if they're diluting the particular message you're trying to present. I would strongly recommend using a social media collaboration platform. Here you can control how your content is being pushed out, and deliver a consistent brand message - everything you're aiming to achieve.
It's like everything, it takes time to formulate the perfect recipe when generating content. But remember times are changing all the time, so what's right now may change before you know it. These tips are what I currently take into consideration when generating content, so give them a go, and let me know if they work for you. Good Luck.