Writing great content is achievable by all and is a necessity for businesses with presence online. Effective content can have a number of benefits from improving visibility in search engines, increasing referral traffic, to engaging customers on your website.
First, a solid grounding of research is the number 1 consideration for producing content. This will not only contribute to who and where the target audience is, but also what questions your audience is asking. Social media has a wealth of information and data that can be used to feed into your content. The tricky part is knowing where to get the information!
Here we will look at some of the best tricks and tools that can be used from research stage down to the promotion of your content.
Most will agree that ample research is what is needed to can make a good article great. There are a number of ways that you can utilise social media for information to feed into your winning post:
Twitter still plays a key role in being the first port of call for breaking news and current trends. Knowing the topics and offshoot discussions being talked about around your chosen article subject can inform your content ensuring that its the most up to date and relevant piece on the web.
Hashtagify, a Twitter analytic tool, can be used to search for relevant hashtags that are being used related to your piece, showing similar terms that are being used and their frequency.
First person insights through surveys or questionnaires can help you target the crux of the conversation by taking a snippet of opinion, though implementing a survey can often be either timely or expensive.
Social media helps circumnavigate these issues. Facebook surveys is a great way to leverage existing followers of your client or even your own Facebook friends, and is done for nothing more than a little time spent putting the questions together.
On creating the survey you are asked to choose a title for your survey. Consider how attention grabbing you need to make the title as this is what’s going to be appearing on timelines. Reeling people in with an initial question works well. Otherwise, keep it short, snappy and simple and even play on news events that might tie into the topic of the survey. A useful tool for ensuring a snappy headline is the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – free to use with signing up and scores your headline (or survey title) and suggests ways to improve it.
The demographic of people who will be answering the survey will be dictated by the followers of the person or business posting. If the survey was to be posted by a business card printing company, you would not target a survey asking questions about favourite toy. We’d expect those following a business card printing company on Facebook to be an older demographic. It sounds simple – but should always be considered!
Another limitation of a Facebook survey is that the post is treated like any other on a timeline. It is subjected to the timeline algorithm meaning to drive traffic towards the post you’ll need an amount of engagement to keep the ball rolling. Alternatively, a paid boost for the survey will do the trick and have your unique data back in no time. This is something which we will touch upon later in the article.
Operating across all social platforms to give you the top performing content in your chosen niche is Buzzsumo. Simply search for the topic that you’re looking to research and you will find the most shared, liked, and linked-to articles across all the social media platforms. Reduce the time parameters to find the stories being talked about over the last 24 hours, or change the content type to research infographics, videos, or interviews.
While researching the topic area and current trends will reveal the influencers for your niche, there are also specific tools that you can use to help.
Buzzsumo also has a dedicated tab for influencers on Twitter which can be utilised to find experts to provide comment for your content. Not only does this give your content an added weight of authority, but it would be more natural for them to share a piece that they’ve worked on with their existing audience – great if they have a large amount of followers!
Influencers are abundant on Twitter, and most will expect to be contacted by people looking for help with content; it’s just a case of finding the ones most relevant to your piece. Use the correct hashtags to put out a request for influencers – the most popular for this purpose are #PRrequest or #JournoRequest – and you’ll have people knocking at your door in no time!
So you’ve produced content that’s highly relevant to your niche (due to the thorough research you’ve done) and authoritative with the influencers that you’ve got involved. Now all there is to do is make sure that people see and engage with the post.
Of course, the first thing that you should do is share on your social media channels. If there’s anybody or organisation that you think might like to see it don’t be afraid to tag them when sharing. Social media is all about generating conversation – make that first move.
Have you thought about the newer social channels? Social platform Reddit has 234 million unique users signed up to the site, and can be a great way to push content of interest to a highly relevant audience in specific subreddits.
If you’re not familiar with Reddit, the website operates with ‘subreddits’ acting as threads where a certain topic is discussed or shared. So the space to share a DIY project would be in reddit.com/r/DIY – though you should always read the post guidelines in each subreddit to ensure that you’re not breaking rules of the thread.
When you have identified a thread that is relevant to your piece of content where you want to share your work, use Redditlater to find out when the best time to post is to maximise engagement. This tool analyses traffic for your searched subreddit and lets you see when people have been online and active. From these stats, you can use the schedule tool on Redditlater to ensure the best possible visibility.
Most of the social platforms have options to pay so your content can be placed in front of more people’s timelines and feeds. Facebook is perhaps the most relevant for business depending on the type of content that you’re producing, and it doesn’t cost the world either.
The changes in Facebook’s algorithms over the past few years has meant that it’s increasingly difficult – particularly when a small business or posting with fewer followers – to gain traction and in turn visibility for your posts. By exploring the paid promotion options on Facebook your content can be opened up to a carefully targeted audience based on their likes, follows, and personal information.
Social media has come to dominate online activity for the majority of people’s daily online activities, allowing the platforms to gather ever more sophisticated data about the user. The data is there to be analysed, providing invaluable information to discover the current talking points to take your content from run of the mill, to a truly authoritative piece. Good luck!
If you’ve any more ways to use social media for your content feel free to comment below…