Here is a recap of the first six tips we’ve talked about:
Be Where Your Readers Are
Don’t Try to Be Everywhere
Get Neck Deep in Data
Be Relevant and Diverse
Mix up Post Types and Increase your Base
Did we mention, engage? How about engage!?
Let’s get into some of the nitty-gritty with a few specific tactics to achieve greater engagement.
Give Your Title Some Love
Honestly, a great title makes your post click-worthy. It has to reach out to a wide range of potential readers and entice them to read more, share and/or comment.
1. Provoke a reaction. No, we don’t want to sadden or antagonize the reader, but evoking a strong emotion or feeling can be a powerful tool for convincing someone to click on the post.
2. Use keywords. Yes, keywords help your post get found. But remember to keep it relevant. Use the keywords that make sense and directly relate to your post. You want people to be able to find your post via keyword searches--keep it on point and SEO friendly.
3. Entice with value. Using titles such as ‘Top 10 lists’ or ‘Fill in the blank’, or requesting a response such as “What would you do…” are great ways to express the value that they will receive when clicking through and reading.
First thing's first: make sharing easy. Provide sharing options everywhere you have content that you want shared. Don’t limit it to your homepage. Put buttons and widgets throughout your site. Put them in your email communications, eNewsletters, white papers,and articles, along with your blog posts.
Next, come up with creative ways to incentivize sharing.
“Share this post and download our free whitepaper.”
“Share with 5 friends and find out why . . .”
Consistency is the cornerstone of engagement and we’ve already talked about the importance of engagement.
Keep up the work. Make a schedule for posts that includes what, when, how and on what platform. Stick to it. Build in time to reevaluate it every few weeks, based on the data that you are gathering. And use that schedule to project and allude to future posts. This is another way to engage your readers—they will start to look for and expect specific types of information from you at certain times. They will begin to make a habit of your posts.
Embrace the SEO Effect
Google (and every other major search engine) simply uses social media to help rank relevant content. It is a fact.
The better you are on social media and the more focused you become, the higher you are going to rank, particularly when you consider things like Google Authorship, which adds additional rank and gives you special attention in the listings page when you verify your author with a Google+ profile. It is hard to ignore that there is a lot of potential for greater exposure. We firmly believe that with today’s Google Algorithm so focused on local and social, you can almost ignore any meta data and have no negative impacts—IF you do social well.
Lead By Example
You can demonstrate the potential of social media to your readership. If you have a small readership, leverage that intimacy and dedicate efforts toward educating your readers in the context of their professional networks about the potential of the tools. Be their Sherpa and help them understand that social media is a valuable business tool--and more than teenagers posting drunken escapades or other people sharing what they ate for dinner. Not only will this help their staff with their own social media campaign but it will also increase engagement with your readers and improve your social media results.
That concludes our 10 Tips on Social Media series. But that doesn’t conclude our efforts to explore the potential social media provides for greater engagement. Happy posting (and sharing)!
Part I of this post.
Part II of this post.
* Thank you Greg Henderson and Abe Zarran for sharing your insight on social media. As ePublishing Solutions Managers, they are busy guys. They help us to stay on the cutting edge of publishing and audience engagement technology, while managing client accounts, providing ongoing consulting to our clients and acting as your point of contact to our design and development teams.