- Post on Facebook around 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
- Ask a question in your post to get your networks interested in reading your content.
- Customize your post for each social media channel; it's time-consuming but worth it.
Having your content succeed on social media is crucial to its success.
Before considering how you will promote your content, you first need to ensure that you have spent enough time perfecting your content through research, analysis, search engine optimization (SEO) and editing.
Once you have perfected your content, it’s not enough for it to be good. For content to be successful, you have to effectively promote it. Here are 10 ways to ensure you are effectively using social media to promote your content:
1. Use more than words
Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn content that utilize images get more engagement. Newer social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are all entirely image-based.
If you are not leveraging images when promoting your content, you will immediately lose engagement on three of the most popular social media platforms and fail to engage an audience on even content-based platforms.
2. Know when to share
Different social media platforms have different peak times. On Facebook, studies show that around 3 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays is generally the best time to post content.
Do not share your content before 8 a.m. on any day of the week, and avoid sharing content after 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Facebook pages allow you to view Insights and viewer data, so take advantage of those tools.
Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn data show the best time to post is around 5 p.m. during the workweek. Pinterest users are most active during nights and weekends.
Because your potential audience might be in different time zones, consider where the most potential readers live when posting content.
3. Spend time with your headline
Your title is just as important as the content it describes. Your title represents your content through SEO and on social media. Make sure your title is accurate and not misleading.
Use strong language, and focus on the “who” rather than the “why.” Keep the word count between eight and 12 words in the headline.
4. Engage your audience
Don’t just post your content and hope people will read it and comment. Ask a question in your post to get your networks interested in reading your content.
People want to share their thoughts and insights. This also helps you know your audience better and determine when people will engage and when they won’t.
5. Pay up — it pays
On platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you can promote your content to a micro-targeted audience. You pay to promote content where you are guaranteed visibility from a relevant audience that is likely to read it.
Consider your marketing budget and whether it is worth paying to promote your content on different platforms.
6. Utilize communities and specialized pages
LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest and Facebook all have developed ways to share via communities or groups. As long as you engage with that group and contribute to it, you are much more likely to be successful in promoting your content within that group.
Communities and groups are target audiences, and some have thousands of members. It’s important to engage members first and actively participate in the discussions before dropping your content, however. This will help you develop relationships with those in the community.
It also lets you know what your potential audience is interested in and what they want to know about your business. Once you have joined the discussion or conversation, you have some credibility when you share your content.
Do not, however, just drop your content in every conversation or over-promote it. Be helpful, and contribute first.
7. Customize your post for each social media channel
Although this can be time-consuming, it is worth the time. Creating unique posts for each social media platform allows you to use each platform’s different rules and templates to ensure that your post has the most visual appeal and will grab your targeted audience.
Each platform has a different potential audience. Facebook users want entertainment and something they can “share.” What kind of content will make your audience want to share your post?
Instagram users want captivating images. Create a visually-pleasing image that relates to your content.
People go to Pinterest to learn how to do something, but you have to make it visual. Infographics do very well on Pinterest.
Don’t drop the same format into every social media platform or you could lose credibility. Take time to make your content unique for each social media platform to increase its visibility.
8. Use direct messaging tools
Direct messages are personal. It takes time and thought to consider your audience and reach out to them directly. You can direct message both followers as well as influencers and ask them to read and share your content.
Don’t send direct messages to a group; send the messages individually, and make them personal. People will generally be more likely to share something from someone they feel they have a personal relationship with or when they are asked directly.
9. Participate in subreddits
Take time to find relevant subreddits in your industry. Although you can get lost for hours on Reddit, if you find the right community for your business and content, Reddit can be a great place for content promotion. Participate in the subreddit discussions, and get an idea of which posts are most successful.
10. Write consistently, set a schedule, and stick to it
Positioning yourself as an expert in your industry is the most effective way to get your content shared across social media platforms. You can only do this if you are consistent.
It takes time, as well as trial and error, to get your content shared, but if you are consistent, you will find what works best for you and your business. If you post your content consistently, and it’s well-written, relevant, valuable content, your followers will eventually start looking for it and will want to share it.
If you are not already on a schedule, determine what will work for you, and stick with that schedule. Sporadic posting is not effective, and even one great article is only relevant until the next one comes along. Make sure the next one is also yours.
Approximately 20 percent of time spent online is spent on social media. Writing good content is only part of the equation. Good content means nothing if you are not effectively promoting it on all social media platforms.
Each platform has its unique features, so take the time to learn what works best for you and your business.
Jarad Hull is the CEO at Blueroof360.