Working in the communications industry, you will have no doubt heard the saying ‘content is king’ a thousand times. But there comes a point when you start to question what key phrases such as this really mean when it comes to strategy. While there is no denying that producing informative, valuable and enjoyable content is vital in establishing yourself or your business as an authoritative industry voice, it’s useless if what you’re creating can’t be found by your intended audience. Creating incredible content is just the first step. Getting it in front of the right people is where the real challenge begins.
We all know that social media can provide a businesses with unrivalled access to its audience – giving you the opportunity to directly engage with customers on a one-to-one basis at practically any time of day from anywhere in the world! Being genuine and relevant as well as posting interesting and informative information on your profiles is the best and most authentic way to get your audience to share, but before people can even consider sharing your content, they need to engage with it themselves. So how do you build a community on social media channels made up of key influencers and decision makers in the industries you are trying to break in to?
When it comes to increasing engagement, there are some techniques that will improve interaction and in turn increase your search engine rankings across all social media channels. Below are a few of our top tips that every business should be striving to do on their social media profiles for maximum impact!
- It’s not just what you say, but how you say it – In order to maximise the impact of your Twitter account, you need to use certain tactics to benefit SEO. This means, as well as including links to your content in tweets, you also need to use variety of relevant key words within those tweets. Use words that people would use in search in order to find the information being provided (if Google introduces a new update called Zebra ,for instance, people will be searching for “Google zebra” – and if you want to create content about it, the way you can play with it is by titling your article “Google Zebra – a new update targeting your link profile” instead of “A new Google update targeting your link profile”)
- It’s not always all about you – While your tweets should definitely include information about your business and the products and services you offer, you also need to be commenting and giving opinion on wider industry news in order to establish your business as an authoritative voice in the industry. Try to be the first to break the news to your niche, state your opinion and welcome comments. Ask questions, start conversations. Always strive to maintain a healthy balance between talking about you and being informative and useful. Encourage questions and react quickly to what’s happening in your industry. Show your followers that you have a voice and personality. Remember that people connect with people, not with logos or slogans. Social Media is not a one-person show – quite the contrary, it’s all about mastering the art of dialogue between you and your followers. It gives you an opportunity to connect with people on a less formal level.
- The sky’s the sharing limit – Remember, there isn’t necessarily a limit on how many times you can share a piece of content! Consider the different story angles/facts and share the content using different hashtags and keywords on different days to maximise reach. Be sensible with this. Find old content that’s timely and relevant rather than tweeting about the same thing multiple times for the sake of it.
- Treat others how you want to be treated - Make sure to @ mention other people and companies in tweets where relevant to encourage retweets and engagement from these people. Ultimately Twitter is a conversation tool so you should be looking at what our followers are saying and finding opportunities to respond. Make sure to keep an eye out for their replies so you can respond again and keep an open channel of communication.
- Get involved - There are already lots of existing ‘twitter chats’ to get involved in across all kinds of industries so take advantage of these. Look for relevant hashtags to hijack to increase exposure and find target audience. Using hashtags and keywords is a great way of making sure your content can be found, but it needs to be natural and not spammy. Have the reader in mind when considering hashtags – what will people be searching for? – and keep them short and relevant.
- There’s a time and place – While one of the main benefits of social media is the ‘always on’ attitude, there are still key times to post content to maximise its reach. For example, on Twitter research shows you are much more likely to have your post seen if you post between 1 – 3pm. However, these kinds of trends can vary greatly depending on your business and your intended audience, so take the time to get to know what works for you. Try out different types of posts at different times of day on varying social networks and monitor how this impacts engagement. This might take a lot of trial and error, but it will be worth it in the end.
Once you have used the above techniques to start to increase your following on your social media channels, you now need to keep them interested and engaged. That’s where posting the right content comes in.
- A picture is worth a thousand words – As well as text, Facebook is the perfect platform for images and video. Photos make up 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook, so make sure you think about how you can use images and video effectively to emphasise a point or encourage likes and comments on a post. This could include something from ‘behind the scenes’ or an interesting infographic! But don’t just post an image for the sake of it – it still needs to add value.
- If you don’t ask you don’t get - There’s nothing wrong with directly asking for people to like or share your post. But be sure not to spam or do this too frequently. Also, if you are stuck for content ideas, ask your audience what they would like you to talk about! Social media is all about making your audience feel a part of a community.
- Keep it short and simple – Even when there isn’t a character limit on your posts that doesn’t mean posts should be essays. Keeping it short and to the point will increase the chances of your audience actually engagement. Always ask yourself “Would I open it, if I saw this post?” Make your posts catchy, interesting and worth people’s time.
- Mix it up – Make sure to vary your content in posts by using features such as Facebook polls. Instead of just posting images with text and a link and hoping people will click on the link or leave a comment, directly asking an audience for their opinion on specific topics and issues will be more likely to receive a response and in turn potentially increase overall engagement across the page.
- Put yourself out there – Don’t be afraid to have your personality come across in your tweets! It’s important to have a level of professionalism but still make sure you are being yourself. Talk about the things that genuinely interest you. Your followers are more likely to engage with you if they feel like they are talking to a real person
As you can see, there are a lot of really simple and easy things you can do on social media to boost your chances of being found by the right people. While they might seem straightforward, you would be surprised how many businesses aren’t putting them into practice. They really can make a difference over time, so try them out and don’t let all your great content go unnoticed!