It seems today if you want to get attraction in social media you have to share photos of kittens doing cute things. Even Hillary Clinton realizes that if she wants to become our next president, campaigning with kittens is a must (obviously a satire but the kittens are so cute!). Our social media streams are filled with these cuddly little creatures. They get millions of shares, retweets, and likes.
How do you compete against furry felines for your follower’s affection?
One strategy is to join them if you can’t beat them. We experimented with ‘cat marketing’ in a post on 7 Ways to FedEx a Cat. It was a fun post that got some attraction. Not every business is suited to share the latest cat meme. But if you can sprinkle in a few funny cat pictures now and then in your social media posts, go for it.
The content you share across social media has to match your brand’s personality. If cat memes don’t, what else can you do? Focus on creating and sharing quality content.
Step 1. Know your end goal
Start with the end in mind. What do you want your social media content to do?
- Create links on other sites to boost SEO
- Generate traffic to your blog
- Boost shares, retweets, likes
- Drive revenue
Pick a primary objective. Focus on that. Keep in mind that to achieve your goal, your content has to get noticed first.
Step 2. Study the competition
Do a deep dive into looking at content trends:
- Competition – Find a competitor whose content you feel is getting a ton of traction. What are they doing? Study them.
- Niche – Use BuzzSumo and Ahrefs to research what content is trending in your niche. What’s working?
- Current content trends – Turn to BuzzFeed or Upworthy for great examples of the latest content trends. They are on the cutting edge of creating compelling content. Glean some ideas from them and modify to fit your brand.
If you are struggling with content ideas, read our post on 56 Time Saving Social Media Ideas for the Time-Strapped Business Owner. Have some fun with your content within the limits of your brand. Stretch it a bit and once in awhile, live in that “grey space”.
Check out one of our “grey space posts” that did well during the holidays: 3 Funny Plumber Commercials So Bad They’re Good.
Obviously this was not focused on social media. But, it served the following purposes:
- It was shared during a time when social media topics were not top of mind for our audience – the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Years. This was meant to provide a bit of fun during a time when much of our audience is focused on celebrating.
- It spoke to and highlighted small business which, is one of our customer types.
Step 3. Optimize for social media
Next, maximize the output of every piece of content you create. Following are some general tips:
- Images – This is the stuff cat memes are made of! On social media, a picture is really worth a thousand words. Create branded images and make sure they are the right size. I see way to many images cut off because they are too big for the space allotted in the social stream.
- Headlines – On average, five times as many people read the headline then read the body copy. The headline must awaken a curiosity and create a hunger for new information.
- Hashtags – Studies have shown that social media updates with hashtags generate up to double (if not more) user engagement.
- Timing – Nailing the best time to post takes time. However, when you get it right, it can pay off big. Learn the latest trends in the best time to post.
Taking it a step further, each social network has their unique qualities. To maximize clicks and shares, get the latest research on what works for each social network.
- Facebook – 9 Thought-Provoking Questions You Should Ask to Increase Clicks on Facebook
- Twitter – 7 Ways to Boost Click-Through Rate on Twitter – Latest Research Revealed
- LinkedIn – 3 Simple Ways to Boost Clicks on LinkedIn’s News Feed – New Research
- Pinterest – How to Use Pinterest to Achieve Dramatic Marketing Results (includes Real Stories)
- Instagram – The Ultimate Checklist for a Winning Instagram Profile