Three Tips for Social Media Success
“Check out this article I read on Facebook.” That’s a phrase I hear regularly in my personal life. It’s no wonder, then, that I pursued a career that’s heavily involved in social media.
A year ago, while still planning out my career, I was an intern with Beetle Press. Now, as a digital content strategist, I am responsible for creating, curating and developing strategies for written and multimedia content, such as press releases, articles, blog posts, infographics and videos. I also manage the social media platforms and propose new platforms for organizations and magazines to use to extend their reach.
I know that social media is key to content strategy for several reasons. It’s essentially free advertising, with the exception of paid “boosted” social media posts, and that makes it easier to come across new organic viewers, readers and users.
Digital is the way that marketing is headed, and it’s crucial to get familiar and get involved. Potential clients are already using social media platforms, and it’s a great way to reach them, better nowadays, when people are watching commercial television less and less.
Here are three key tips for social media success:
Know your current audience and your target audience(s). If you already have an established website, product, publication or blog, you already have an established audience; they are the people who are currently engaged with whatever your business or organization is offering up online and electronically. It’s important to research and understand the demographics of your existing audiences on Facebook, Instagram, your blog and website, to name a few, and determine new audiences you want to target. Then create content for both.
Separate your content in a way that makes sense. Organizing your content is extremely important, especially because, as noted earlier, you probably have more than one target audience. If you run a website that has content about technology, fashion and politics, it’s necessary to separate those content hubs. Some of your audience base wants to read all three sections, but others most likely only want one fact, or perhaps, two. Make it easy for different target demographics to find what they’re seeking. On social media, you can use different lists and sections, depending on the platform that you’re using. For example, Twitter offers a feature known as “lists” through which you can separate people you follow by categories that you choose, which makes it easier to sort through posts. If you have a large enough readership, you can even separate your social media accounts—The New York Times has separate Twitter and Facebook pages for its weekly Modern Love column, for example.
Know when, what and where to post. There is an abundance of research on the Internet about the best times of day to post on social media, the most effective SEO (search-engine optimization) keywords, and the typical formats of most viral content. Use all of that research to your advantage, and then keep your audience and intended audiences in mind. Is there a difference, according to research or personal experience, in when 20-year-olds are most likely to share a post versus when 40-year-olds are most likely? Do college students share how-to articles more often than middle-aged parents? Map out your current audiences and what types of content they share, when they share that content, and which social media platforms they’re using. In general, younger users are the most likely to be on brand-new platforms first, while it takes older users longer to learn and become involved on a social platform. If you’re concerned that a user may not know how to navigate your social media, make it easier for them by including an explanation of how to share your content.
Take advantage of the very cost-effective social media available to you, and experiment a little with how you use it to market your content and reach your viewers. Test by creating fun surveys, or offering contests with prizes involved, or asking for reader-submitted photographs. You may just find that there’s an unexpected way to reach your viewership that you hadn’t thought of before.