When developing a content marketing strategy, one of the most crucial aspects of the plan is content for social media marketing. When content is created, it is usually produced with hopes of being shared across the Web – not just through internal marketing campaigns, but also organically on social media networks.
An outstanding content piece that isn’t optimized for social media or created with social-specific goals in mind is going to have a difficult time gaining any traction or generating buzz around it. Luckily, there are many steps you can take to assure the content you create is truly share-worthy:
1. Learn What Interests Your Audience
People use social media networks to express who they are, connect with others and build their personal brand. As such, the content people share on social networks should give you a clue as to what is important to them.
Unfortunately, most people are not going to be extremely passionate about the product you’re selling or the service you are offering. We aren’t all selling “hot” items that get people talking naturally, so you must find a different angle. Followers may be passionate about the results of your product/service or about how your product/service affects or helps them. If you can create content that illustrates what is actually important to your audience, you will find success.
To find these insights, practice social listening on your own or through the variety of tools (both free and paid) available. Monitor keywords on Twitter, hashtags on Facebook, conversations on Google+ and discussions on LinkedIn.
Really dig into what your audience is talking about and discover what type of content they share, where they share and how often they share. With this information you will be able to create a content piece that sincerely speaks to your audience.
2. Create Useful Content around Those Interests
Once you know what kind of content your audience enjoys or is searching for, take that information and create something useful. Achieve this by developing content that educates, interests or entertains the audience. Though educational content is often very successful, sometimes people want to consume content about something that interests them but won’t necessarily teach them something new.
This is where entertaining content can be extremely beneficial. Everyone loves to laugh or smile every once in a while. If you can make someone laugh (or cry), you’re tapping into your audience’s genuine emotions. This type of content is heavily shared throughout social media, and has a great chance of going viral.
Humor is one of the easiest, most instinctive ways to trigger emotion, so creating humorous content is a way to garner a reaction from your audience. If you don’t think your industry can be funny, think again. For example, shaving isn’t an inherently funny activity, but Dollar Shave Club made it funny by producing hilarious videos and imagery that spoke to their audience in a way their competitors were not.
3. Make the Content Easy To Share
Don’t make your audience work to share your content. Make it as easy as possible with functional, easy-to-find social sharing buttons – no matter the device or platform they’re viewing it from.
About four out of every five people in the world now have a mobile phone and it’s projected that the number of active cell phones will reach 7.3 billion by 2015. That’s more phones than there are people on the planet, so it goes without saying that content must be optimized for mobile viewing and sharing.
The content medium matters, too. Users share images on Facebook more than any other content type. Photos on Facebook receive 53 percent more likes, 104 percent more comments, and 84 percent more click-through rates than the average post. Learn what’s popular for each platform and cater to that trend with the right type of content.
4. Set Achievable Goals to Measure Success
Having established goals is critical if you want to effectively measure content success. Of course, we all want our content to be tweeted, liked and shared a bunch of times. We want our content to produce thousands of website visitors, tremendously increase leads and make a sizeable addition to our revenue stream.
However, all these goals stacked together make it hard to create a successful stream of content, let alone a single piece. To create successful social media content, your goals must be reasonable and attainable. Instead of working to achieve all of the above, set explicit goals for each content project.
Here are a few examples:
- Have X number of social media mentions in a week.
- Increase Facebook likes by X.
- Have X number of people fill out our contact form in a month.
- Have X number of people download our content piece each week.
- X% increase in traffic from social media networks over 3 months.
As long as X is reasonable (based on analytics data), these specific and defines goals will allow you to accurately measure the success of your content piece.
There are a variety of aspects to consider when creating content you hope will be popular on social media networks. You can’t make content go viral – it has to be so great that it blows up naturally. To create content that is worthy of viral attention, start by learning what your audience likes, create content that is useful to them, make it easy to share and have specific goals in place to measure its success.