Editor's Note: Today's post comes courtesy of Helen Nesterenko, the founder of Writtent.com, the go-to place to find freelance writers and create great content. She loves everything about blogging, writing and content marketing. Follow Helen on Twitter @HNesterenko.
Congrats! You’ve written some outstanding, compelling content and you’re ready to post it to your social media platforms. Then what?
You can share the best content under the sun, but in order to drive customer engagement some due diligence is in order. It's pretty easy to screw up your social media strategy. These five tips will help you understand your audience’s behavior, actively engage with them, and give them the tools they need to help you grow.
1. Time it Right . Timing matters, and when you publish content will affect how well it is received. This infographic does a great job of listing the best times to post content on the major social sites. For example, weekends are the worst time to post on Facebook, while Twitter engagement actually increases on weekends.
Posting topical content is another way to increase customer engagement. Also known as newsjacking, the practice of posting content around trending topics on social sites is an easy way to get involved in the conversation and engage both current and potential customers. Facebook recently made it easy by posting trending topics alongside newsfeed.
2. Ask a Question. Most of the time, readers are content to ingest content and move on. By asking a question, either outright or in the form of a poll or survey, you send the message that your readers’ opinions matter, and they will usually respond to a question where they might otherwise keep scrolling.
3. Give Them Something to Share… Nothing sparkles on social media like awesome visuals. Humans are visual creatures, and graphics are far and away the easiest path to getting your content shared. If you can make those visuals entertaining or useful, they’re good as gold.
Need some ideas on what kind images and visual media to share? Here are some tips for effective visual storytelling:
We’re not talking product descriptions here. Give your readers something that adds value to their lives in some way, whether by entertaining or teaching them something, and they will be more likely to share it with their social circles.
4. Make Sharing Easy. You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to create smart visual content, now don’t make it difficult for readers to share. Internet users are lazy, and if they have to do anything more than click once or twice to share your content they’ll probably just skip it and keep scrolling.
Enable your readers by embedding social sharing buttons, but not too many. The point is to empower your audience and nudge them to take action, not to confuse them with too many choices. Embed 3-5 sharing buttons and be done with it.
5. #Hashtag @YourCompany. Social media is about relationships and connections; utilize hashtags and @mentions to help you build them. You can find out about trending hashtags to share new or previously published topical content, or create your own custom hashtags for fun social events.
Using @mentions helps create a sense of community by sharing content with the right audiences and groups, and by getting the attention of specific people you want to nurture a relationship with, like influencers.
Great content is the cornerstone of customer engagement on social media sites, but it takes a lot more than just one stone to build a business. A little research goes a long way, and a few simple actions can make a big difference.
Now that you've seen these social media engagement tips, check out this post for more on how to maximize your social marketin