Social Media: Getting the Most out of Your Content

getting the most out of your social media content

Use a social media plan to get the most out of your content

You’ve taken several hours to write a blog, create a new Slideshare presentation, research and design an infographic or shoot and edit a video.  The content is compelling and on brand. You feel good about it. I don’t have to tell you that creating your own content is hard work and time consuming, so of course you want to get the most value and reach. If you’re like a lot of people, here’s what you do. The content is live and you post it to social media using a nicely worded Facebook post, a tweet, perhaps a post on Google Plus or LinkedIn and, if you have great images, you probably pin the best one to Pinterest.

Then you sit back and wait for the likes, shares and comments to flood in.

And you’re very often underwhelmed, right?

Here’s what I recommend to get the most out of that content, using social media of course!

Facebook

The first day your content is live, post it on Facebook. Plan on posting this content several more times over the next week or so, but make sure to craft the posts so they look different. Use a tool like PicMonkey or Canva to create a graphic to go with your post and change out the image. If you’re using a quote, try Quozio, an easy quote generator with several style options. Be sure to word each post differently. Watch and see what types of post engage your audience the most and use that information to craft future posts.

Twitter

Twitter’s audience is more tolerant of repeat content, most likely because the average interest decay of a tweet is about two hours. The first day you’re safe to tweet three or four times if that’s part of your normal twitter pattern. Also, as soon as you publish your post, craft a month’s worth of tweets, the number depending on how often you typically tweet per day, and use a scheduler like BufferApp, Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule them out over the month. Similar to Facebook, each message should be different, using different hashtags and copy.

Pinterest or Instagram

Your blog should contain one or two high quality images that are pin and/or Instagram worthy.  As soon as you hit publish, pin those images and include descriptive content including keywords. Keep these image heavy platforms in mind when you’re choosing the image for your blog and you’ll get better results. Use Instagram to generate engagement around your posts as well, as Instagram tends to receive higher post likes and comments than other platforms.

Google Plus

I still recommend using Google Plus as a viable platform for sharing content. It allows you to post long form status updates or a short post with a link back to the content. Each post to Google plus is actually a separate webpage, showing up in search depending on the plus 1s and sharing it receives. This is a perfect platform for sharing content from your own website, as the link juice from those plus 1s and engagement is passed back to the content itself. Share the content from your personal Google Plus profile if appropriate, which also allows you to email everyone following you there. Share to your company page as well. As you do for Facebook, post several times over the month using different images and copy, and try making one post the full copy.

LinkedIn

Your strategy for LinkedIn posting can be similar to your Google Plus strategy. Share your content on your own personal LinkedIn profile, as you’ve most likely developed a professional network on the platform that sees you as a thought leader in the content area. If you have a company page that’s appropriate for the content, share it there as well. Then craft several different posts, each time with different lead in copy. Add an opinion as to why you thought this content was a good share for your network. LinkedIn also allows you to share content in a long-form post on the platform through LinkedIn Publisher, and similar to Google Plus, allows you to share the entire post in blog-like format.  Look for the pencil icon in the status update section to create your long form content.

LinkedIn long post

Use the pencil icon to write a long form blog in LinkedIn

All in all, a good rule of thumb is to create around 20 different posts as soon as you’ve published your content, as the main ideas and language and still fresh in your mind. Don’t forget the non traditional platforms such as StumbleUpon, Tumblr and Reddit as well. Spend some time creating supporting images, then use a content calendar to plan your posts. Then remember to analyze the results.

How do you typically share new content? What are your favorite platforms for spreading that content on social?

The Coming and Passing of Google Authorship

typewriter

Google is closing the book on Google Authorship

In 2011, Google announced the widespread implementation of Authorship markup, an official means for authors to claim and be credited for their work. Enthusiasts saw the move as a way to cut back on spam and give honest writers the credit they deserved. Critics suspiciously surmised Authorship to be just one more way for Google to play Big Brother.

In 2014, however, Google closed the book on the last visible signs of Authorship. Once-prominent thumbnail photos of writers in search results disappeared along with visible bylines.

Did Authors Really Benefit from Google Authorship?

For a while, bona fide writers were smiling big. Finally, they were getting full credit for their work. And it seemed like it was just a matter of time before employers would be hiring their scribes based on Authorship Ranking (a much-bandied concept that never really materialized). Competent, well-ranked writers would be able to demand huge salary increases or writer fees, based on their respected standings.

For almost two years, hopes ran high, and beyond the conjectured (but obvious) career benefits to authors, there were other desirable results:

  • Writers would be able to use Authorship as one more tool to build their personal brand. Readers would see the author’s profile photo every time one of the writer’s articles appeared on the page.
  • Since many customers must know, like and trust someone before doing business with them, Authorship would pre-sell searchers on the idea of the author’s trustworthiness.
  • Since the author’s photo made the entry stand out prominently, searchers would be much more likely to click on their articles, boosting CTR (click-through rate) and helping enhance the writer’s influence on a higher scale. Good writers would shortly be famous.

In the end, though, the perceived benefits really never played out. Google’s John Mueller spelled it out pretty well on the fateful final day of the Authorship run, saying, “[Authorship] information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results.”

How Does the End of Authorship Affect Writers Now?

The three-year Authorship ordeal has about as much lasting effect as the wind in the night. In fact, many people aren’t even aware of its passing. All the hours spent getting the markup implemented correctly aren’t lost to writers completely, however. Links still go to writers’ Google+ pages, but Google won’t be affording any more special benefits beyond that.

Writers are once again actively setting up websites to build their brand and delivering content to help drive business and encourage new clients. The best writers, though, are studying the tea leaves to glimpse into the future, and they won’t miss one more thing Mueller recently mentioned:

“Going forward, we’re strongly committed to continuing and expanding our support of structured markup (such as schema.org). This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web, and we’ll continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results.”

NOTE: The change to Authorship does not affect Publisher markup. If you take Authorship links down, avoid removing the Publisher markup. It is still helpful to tie your website and Google+ page to Google+ Business results.

From Pinterest Analytics to Instagram Apps: What’s New in August

Beach relaxIn the world of social media, just as in life, the only thing constant is change. Put your phone down and unplug for a few days, or heck, look away from Twitter for a few hours, and you’ll see just how much you missed. It’s good to look away from the screen for awhile, so not to worry! As you return from your summer vacations and head back to work or school, here’s what you missed in August.

Pinterest Analytics

Just this week Pinterest unveiled their new analytic platform and I have to say at first glance it looks great! Pinterest analytics by themselves aren’t new, as they first rolled out for business accounts in March 2013 to much fanfare. I admit though, after reviewing them then, despite being hopeful, I settled on this thought….

Meh.

Fast forward to this week and I’m changing my tune. These analytics more closely remember Facebook insights. They offer up colorful graphs and charts that show demographics on your audience, activity on pins from your own website and most popular pins, plus top pin impressions.

Here’s a sample of the new interface.

New Pinterest Analytics

New Pinterest Analytics

If you haven’t converted your business Pinterest account to an official business account, now’s the time to make the switch.

Facebook Newsfeed Changes

Surprise! Facebook changed their newsfeed again.This time they are working to push down stories known as clickbait. If you follow The Weather Channel on Facebook (I hate to call them out but they’re guilty IMHO) you know clickbait. Here’s an example:

Click Bait

Now aren’t you glad you put that phone down? In all seriousness, Facebook is constantly researching how their 1.23 billion users interact with content in their newsfeed so they can offer up a better product and keep you on Facebook where you belong. In this case they are factoring in time spent on stories clicked through from Facebook to determine the value of the original post. In the Weather Channel example, you can see why people might click on the story based on the post. In the case of serial clickbaiters, typically there’s little in the story that matches the headline, so folks click right back to Facebook. Facebook can measure that and, if it happens a lot with a story, it won’t display as often in the feed. Facebook clickbait marketers beware!

Twitter Timeline Changes

Twitter updated their definition of their timeline with this statement last week:

“Additionally, when we identify a Tweet, an account to follow, or other content that’s popular or relevant, we may add it to your timeline. This means you will sometimes see Tweets from accounts you don’t follow. We select each Tweet using a variety of signals, including how popular it is and how people in your network are interacting with it. Our goal is to make your home timeline even more relevant and interesting.”

Until this change the Twitter timeline, not including sponsored tweets, showed users content only from accounts they had chosen to follow. This is a change in that core philosophy. I’ll let other bloggers debate the ramifications.

Instagram adds Hyperlapse as a Standalone App

This week Instagram has released Hyperlapse, an app, according to to Instagram’s blog, designed to capture high quality time lapse videos even if you are moving the camera.  Currently the app is only available on iPhones; however, there are plans to develop an Android version as soon as they work out the camera functionalities.

I went straight to the app store and downloaded it. It’s super easy to use, does not require an account and incorporates sharing to both Instagram and Facebook once your video is produced. Check it out.

Pinterest Messages

And we’ve come full circle back to Pinterest. This month, Pinterest added the ability to message other pinners in your community right on the pins themselves so you can plan trips, discuss recipes, share a new hairstyle or outfit idea or anything else those pins inspire. I’ve been experimenting with it and it works well. Push notifications are included. The function appears when you click the share button at the top of the pin. Here’s what it looks like:

Pinterest messages

Now that you’re back in the loop, please share with me in the comments what you did on your summer vacation. As you can see, I didn’t take one. If I missed anything on this list, let me know there too.

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