It’s strange, baffling and completely inexplicable.
I’m talking about the struggle so many successful content marketers face when it comes to social media.
It’s not unusual to find marketers with tens of thousands of blog readers fail to get a kindling of traction on social channels.
Case in point: Copyblogger. Despite its obvious content marketing success, it had to shut down its Facebook page because of lack of traction.
What gives? Why do so many marketers fail to bring their A-game to social media?
In this post, I’ll share some answers and help you create a social media campaign that can match your content marketing success.
1. Create Dedicated Landing Pages for All Social Channels
Picture this: you’re browsing through Twitter when you come across a fantastic deal. When you click on this link, however, you end up on the business’ homepage.
Here, you have no idea where to find the deal. Confused, you hit the back button and head over to Twitter again.
This happens to millions of people every day. They click on links – in social updates and in profile bios – and land up on pages with no relation to the social channel they came from.
The result: disoriented users and lost leads.
There’s a simple way to fix this problem: by creating dedicated landing pages for all social channels.
Creating landing pages is a standard skill for content marketers, but when you bring the same tactic to social media, you get spectacular results.
For example, HubSpot doesn’t send its Instagram traffic straight to its homepage. Instead, it sends them to a page where they can vote on questions for an upcoming webinar:
This works because it engages the followers and continues a conversation that originally started on the social channel.
You don’t have to link to these landing pages in your profile bio alone. You can even pin them to your Twitter/Facebook pages or share them in your updates.
For example, when you land on Buffer’s Twitter page, the first tweet you see is a pinned update promoting Buffer for Instagram:
When you click on the link it does not take you to their homepage. Instead, you land on a dedicated landing page for “Buffer for Instagram”:
There are two reasons why you should create dedicated landing pages for your social channels:
- Customized content: Dedicated landing pages help you promote content customized for each audience. For instance, you can have a landing page promoting your eBooks for your LinkedIn traffic, and another promoting your infographics for your Pinterest followers. This way, your followers don’t get disoriented and get access to exactly what they need quickly.
- More conversions: By sending traffic to dedicated landing pages, you can continue the conversion process that started on the social network. In the above example, Buffer sent its Twitter traffic to the “Buffer for Instagram” page and subtly pushed the premium plan to close the acquisition process.
In one example, Shopify experimented with optimized Facebook posts coupled with dedicated landing pages. This resulted in a 10x drop in cost-per-lead (CPL).
2. Make Your Content More Social Friendly
A user who lands on your blog will spend at least a few seconds looking around. There are plenty of distractions, but they are usually a new browser window away.
In contrast, your social media followers are constantly bombarded with distractions. The next update luring them away is just a quick scroll away.
Plain text posts – which do phenomenally well on blogs (majority of top results in SERPs are close to 2,000 words in length) – fall flat on social channels.
Yet, you see channel after channel create the same stream of text-only updates.
To make your content stick on social, you need something that is visually striking enough to ward off distractions.
Here are some ways you can do this:
Turn shareable snippets into visual quotes
You likely have tons of shareable snippets within you blog posts.
Sharing these as text-only on social media, however, limits your reach. The text is drowned out in a sea of striking imagery.
However, if you turn this snippet into a quote – preferably with a person’s (especially yours) face on it – you’ll radically increase your shareworthiness.
After all, updates with images get far more shares and clicks on platforms like Twitter:
These quotes don’t even have to be from you. You can quote any marketing legend and share it on social media to get more attention.
Create mini-graphics for your posts
One easy way to get more out of your content is to turn each post into multiple mini-graphics and share them on social media.
CoSchedule does this particularly well. It shares everything from “quick tip” listicles…
…to mini-infographics that summarize a blog post’s content:
You don’t have to even create new graphics for social media. Simply sharing images from within your posts will get you more traction than plain text updates.
For example, SumoMe shared this graph from its post to capture its followers’ attention:
Start conversations with your updates
Social media is first and foremost a conversational channel.
Simply broadcasting your updates isn’t going to get you the results you need. You need to engage your followers in real-time conversations.
For example, SumoMe creates pop-quizzes to engage its followers while also promoting its own posts:
This gives followers a chance to interact with your business beyond simply sharing/reading your content.
Combine such questions with humor and current events and you’ll get tons of attention:
3. Promote Content on Twitter chats
The initial promise of Twitter was simple: to help people have conversations with friends and strangers.
Yet today, more and more marketers seem to use Twitter as a broadcast medium, blasting out updates instead of actively conversing with new people.
There’s an easy way to fix this problem: Twitter chats.
A Twitter chat is where a group of Twitter users meet to discuss a certain topic, using a hashtag for each contributed tweet.
The format varies from chat to chat. More often than not, the moderator starts off by asking questions (Q1, Q2…) to which participants respond with answers (A1, A2…). Most chats typically lasts for around an hour.
Hosting and participating in Twitter chats is a fantastic way to:
- Engage with people in your industry.
- Establish yourself as an expert by sharing your knowledge.
- Grow your brand presence by being recognized as a community leader in your industry.
It’s not unusual for chat moderators (usually leading industry figures or brands) to post highlights from the chat on their blogs. This helps you with further promotion.
For example, Case.org frequently posts highlights from its Twitter chats on its blog:
To find Twitter chats in your industry, use a service like Chat Salad:
4. Incentivize User-Generated Content
Almost every social media marketer struggles to continuously produce fresh content. Building an audience is a tough part, but once that community is built there is a lot of pressure to keep them engaged with worthwhile content.
Fortunately, this very community can help you create content, i.e. user generated content (UGC).
Why should you bother with UGC? Here’s why:
- Social proof: UGC shows that people are actively engaging with your brand. This is powerful social proof that can drive up conversion rates.
- Authenticity: A picture of a regular social media user posing with your product is far more authentic than a model doing the same. More authenticity equals more conversions.
- More traffic: When followers share their content with you, it shows up on their friends’ social feed as well. This helps with word-of-mouth and gets you organic traffic
The stats back this up as well:
- Customers spend 90% more time on sites with UGC galleries.
- Social campaigns with UGC get 50% higher engagement.
- 55% of customers trust UGC over all other forms of marketing – far higher than banner ads (trusted by just 19% of consumers).
- On E-commerce sites, UGC increases conversion rate by 9.6% on average.
You’ll be surprised to know how willing your followers are about sharing their content with you. However, you can increase your chances of getting more content by incentivizing UGC.
Here are some tactics you can use right away:
A. Share Real-Time User Generated Content
Users usually share their favorite moments from live events on social media. By showing off these moments in real-time, you can incentivize others to pitch in.
One way to do this is through live “social media walls”.
These are simply TV screens setup to show off updates with a specific hashtag at social events.
By sharing updates in real-time, you give participants an incentive to share even more content.
You can maximize the returns from this UGC by resharing it on social media.
For example, recently, GoPro took advantage of this by promoting the #GoProMusic hashtag. This hashtag highlighted fan photos submitted from their GoPro cameras at different music festivals:
More users started making this hashtag popular by promoting their own music videos with #gopromusic
More impressions, more engagement and more brand advocates.
B. Offer rewards in exchange for UGC
The easiest way to get more UGC is to give your users some reward in return for sharing their content.
This can be a discount coupon, a prize, or even straight up cash.
For example, ThinkGeek encourages UGC by giving its customers a $100 gift card for sharing updates with the #geekfamous hashtag:
Sure enough, this is incentive enough for users to share their pictures:
ThinkGeek adds these pictures to product pages which shows off the product in a more authentic, natural setting.
The result? More conversions.
C. Share UGC publicly to encourage others to contribute
People like to get acknowledged for their contributions and efforts on social media. When a user uses your hashtag in a photo or a tweet be sure to like or retweet it. They will appreciate the acknowledgement plus the social validation that comes from being shared by a large brand.
This technique not only make the user happy but also encourages others to follow on the footsteps.
For example, ASOS shows off its user generated pictures on a separate landing page with the #AsSeenOnMe hashtag:
The hashtag gets tons of contributions from influencers which gives ASOS even more exposure.
5. Share Content More Than Once
In the early days of social media, it was a common sentiment that sharing the same post more than once on the same network might come off as rude or spammy.
Today, however, your followers’ social feeds are crowded. They can hardly see your content before it is drowned out by a flood of new updates.
For example, the average tweet has a half-life of just 24 minutes. This means that after every 24 minutes, the tweet is seen by just half as many people.
There are three reasons why you should share your content more than once on social channels:
A. More Traffic
Tom Tunguz, a venture capitalist at Redpoint Ventures, did an experiment on his own blog to show how reposting the same content helped him get more traffic.
The following graph shows the average number of retweets Tom got the first and second time he tweeted the same post.
He found out the posts that only got a couple of retweets the first time also got a couple of retweets the second time as well.
And the blog posts that were initially retweeted a lot got fewer retweets the in second attempt.
B. Hit multiple time zones
If you a have business that targets audience in different countries, you must post content more than once to make sure it reaches maximum number of your followers.
Guy Kawasaki is a big fan of posting same content multiple times so that he can reach his followers in different time zones.
“The reason for repeated tweets is to maximize traffic and therefore advertising sales. I’ve found that each tweet gets approximately the same amount of clickthroughs. Why get 600 page views when you can get 2,400?”
C. Reach New Followers
When you start posting content multiple times you will likely notice a sudden spike in your followers list. You can safely post a blog that was written a year ago because it may not have reached your new followers.
You can use tools like Twitter Counter to track your follower growth, so you know when is the right time to post your old content.
So how often should you share your content on social media.
Based on research and data analysis, follow this schedule:
- Facebook – 1-2 times per day
- Twitter – 5 times per day or more
- LinkedIn – 1 time per day, Monday through Friday
- Google+ – up to 5 times per day
6. Reframe Content Before Re-Sharing it
It is good practice to slightly reframe your content before re-posting it. This gives your followers a better look at the content of your post.
For example, the first time you share a blog post, it might just have the post title and the post cover image.
From there on, you can plan subsequent shares that are based on content within the post. So instead of sharing just the post title again and again, you would share a quote or an image from inside the post
This takes away your “am I spamming” fear and prevents you sharing from exact same thing again and again. There is also a good chance this technique might grab the attention of followers who skipped the original title.
For example, when Buffer publishes a new blog posts, it first posts the actual link to the post:
Then they post only one image to explain a part of the post.
Over time, they might recycle even more content from the post and re-share it across social channels.
This way, they extract far more value from their existing content, while also reaching larger audiences.
Over to You
Social media marketing can be a challenge, even for successful marketers. Content marketing tactics that yield stellar results on blogs and email fall flat on social channels.
However, if you follow the tactics above, you’ll extract far more value from your social following. Plus, you’ll create campaigns that not only get you more followers, but also turn more of those followers into valuable leads and customers.