Six ways to make your social content work harder

Digital Marketing

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Get savvy on social with our tips for nailing your content strategy

Social media is easy, right? Well, sort of. Read on for our rundown of the essential steps you need to follow to achieve brilliant results on social.

1. Know your audience

As with all content creation, before you do anything, understand who you’re talking to. Ask yourself:

Get in touch with our social team

2. Do your research

So how do you get to know your audience? Simple: hang out where they do. Check groups and forums – the topics that are the most talked about in a community forum like popular parenting site mumsnet are perfect fodder for a blog post.

Likewise, sites like Quora and give you a unique insight into your readers’ minds and what they’re thinking about at any given time.

And there’s no shame in mining other brands’ feeds for ideas; trawl social channels and look at which posts are getting the best engagement and reach.

3. The rule of thirds

Social media content generally falls into three categories:

  1. Promoting your brand/content
  2. Useful links to other sources
  3. Interacting and socialising

Which category do you think is the most engaging? Interacting with others naturally has the greatest potential for audience engagement. And adding a personal touch will often get you the best response, as it’s spontaneous and the most human.

Self-promotion is fine but don’t overdo it. Try and stick to the second and third categories to attract the most positive reactions.

4. Structuring your tweets

Some examples of classic problem-solution formulas you can easily adapt:

Mr Porter tweet

Mr Porter uses a classic problem-solution structure to peddle their upmarket winterwear.

Hellman's tweet

Hellmann’s also frames the problem – how to grill cheese – in an urgent statement. The mayo brand then encourages fans to click on the video for a mouth-watering solution: ultimate grilled cheese.

5. Facebook pointers

With over 1.5 billion active accounts, Facebook is by far the most popular social media site in the world. It has more of a personal feel than Twitter, mainly comprising friends and family sharing their lives and keeping in touch.

When you’re thinking about what content to share, consider what annoys you the most on Facebook, who do you respond to?

Boost your Facebook success by:

  • Always including an image; they account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook and get 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts
  • Adding captions to videos; these get the most engagement
  • Writing less than 70 characters; these tend to be the best performing posts
  • Asking questions; they get 100% more comments
  • Not bombarding users with irrelevant and/or overly personal messages

Although the volume of content is increasing, updates to the Facebook algorithm means most organic brand content isn’t seen in feeds. To avoid the risk of all that carefully planned content going to waste, it’s best to invest in paid campaigns. That way, it’s more likely that people will like, share and comment on your posts, increasing the visibility of your brand.

6. Measuring results

Always determine how you’ll measure the success of a campaign. Are you looking for new followers, hundreds of shares, a thousand likes? Figure out your objectives and measurement is simple.

Straightforward ways to measure results:

  • Reach: the number of individuals who have seen your content
  • Shares: how many times people share your content
  • Followers: the people who are regularly exposed to your posts
  • Impressions: the potential (not actual) number of times your content was seen
  • Sentiment: social intelligence tools track whether people are talking about your brand with negative or positive statements
  • Mentions: the number of times your brand is mentioned in tweets or posts
  • Comments: the number of comments people write on one of your posts
  • Likes: these don’t necessarily prove engagement, though – people often ‘like’ content without reading it

Further metrics:

  • Referrals through social versus other ways
  • New or increased sales in line with the number of followers
  • Time spent on your website from social referrals

The final word

As We Are Social wisely says in its Digital in 2016 report: “It’s called social media, not ego media.” Much like real life, you’ll get the best response when you listen to what people want, not talk at them. Keep this front of mind, and you’ll soon be onto a social winner.

Feeling inspired? Find out the real value of social media to your brand with our free eguide.