In order to keep one finger on the pulse of the latest consumer trends, businesses need to harness the power of social media and make it work for their brand. From the world’s most popular social platform to up and coming sites, finding out which channels are being used by your target audience is the first step to winning business online.
Here’s a breakdown of what we think works best.
Creating engaging headlines
Writing a truly unique piece of content is all well and good – but how do you ensure this content gets the attention of its intended audience? Social media has the power to transform enthusiastic businesses into industry thought-leaders – and putting your content out into the public sphere is just the start of it.
With your content strategy nailed down, next comes the engagement – and the headline, accompanied by an image or video still, is the thing that will make users click through to your content. Creating impactful, thought-provoking and intriguing headlines is a fine art – but one web psychologist Nathalie Nahai argues can be broken down into four points. Her presentation on creating persuasive content at this year’s first Brighton SEO event was compelling and insightful. You’ll find her formula for writing a killer headline below, as well as an example of the formula in practice:
- Number/trigger word
= “13 Unbelievable Ways You Can Fry a Small Egg With a Sock”
So now you have the headline, how much time should you spend promoting your content? This is as much about the platform you’re using for promotion as it is about the writing, and opinion is divided. There’s no hard and fast formula, but one thing’s clear: don’t rush the process. Let’s take a look at the differences between some of the world’s most popular social media channels and how to find the voice that suits each one.
Timing your tweets
In recent years, Twitter has seen exponential growth, with 115 million active users logging on to the social media platform every month. While it’s a popular channel for sharing opinions and following celebrities, the benefits for businesses are immeasurable. After Facebook, Twitter hosts more socially shareable content than any other social platform – and the trick is in the timing.
News quickly becomes old on Twitter, and no one wants to be last to the party. As an active business, staying ahead of the competition and the latest industry news can be a challenge, but you can take steps to stay ahead of the curve. Set up Google Alerts for any topics you’re interested in – making sure you’re in the know before anyone else and giving your business an edge.
If you’re new to the world of Twitter, hashtags, followers and networking hours can seem like a different language – but once you get to grips with the basics, maintaining your online Twitter profile is relatively simple. From Follow Friday (#FF) to retweeting content from new clients, the more time you pour into managing your Twitter profile, the more your reach will grow.
While Facebook has the edge on pretty much all shareable content, Twitter can hold its own – and with the right buzzwords, you can make sure your content finds itself in front of the people who matter. In an experiment examining 10,000 sites, it was found that phases like the ‘future of’ or ‘trends’ were proven to be effective terms for attracting engagement on Twitter. Spend some time finding out what your followers want to read about, and tailor your headlines – and tweets – to them.
The Facebook status quo
Data source: Buzzsumo
With 20,000 users logging on every second, it’s little wonder that businesses are taking their brand online – and heading to Facebook in particular. In the same experiment mentioned above, the most shared trigrams (three word phrases) on Facebook were: ‘X pictures that’ and ‘X signs that’. Facebook users want to engage with their friends, and by sharing and liking content, they create an online projection of their personality – or at least the personality they want others to see.
Visuals work well on Facebook, entertaining audiences and encouraging them to repost content. Again, understanding your Facebook friends is crucial if you’re aiming for interaction with your posts. Rather than publishing regular written content, think about turning your blog posts into webinars, slideshows or easily shareable infographics. This not only makes your message more digestible, but also means your followers are more likely to share your content.
Data source: LinkedIn
A king amongst men when it comes to B2B networking, LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for companies looking to maximise their reach and make new connections. Keeping up to date with your posts and endorsements is a great way to show that you’re passionate about what you do and have plenty to say.
The majority of LinkedIn users are looking for industry insights – and this is a real opportunity for your business to showcase your knowledge. ‘How to’ content performs well on LinkedIn, and if you come across content that you think will be beneficial to your clients, tag them in any relevant posts.
LinkedIn is the number one source of social referral traffic, so maintaining an active online presence is key. Posting during business hours is the most effective way of guaranteeing engagement. Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is designed to work hand-in-hand with the 9-5 schedule – so make sure you’re targeting your audience at the right times. If your workload prevents you from updating during office hours, sites like Sprout Social have social media management tools to help you stay active.
You can find out which content is performing well in your space with Buzzsumo. Type in the word(s) you’re interested in and find out which posts receive the most shares on which platforms. In the example below, the highlighted headline contains a number and the promise of some interesting content – and 61,900 LinkedIn shares are proof of its success.
Got a question about finding your social media voice? Leave us a comment below or give us a call on 0191 5009733 to discuss your marketing goals today.