We know how you feel. You work and work, writing and posting and liking and sharing… thinking you’re ‘doing the social media thing’ and then you actually look at the stats. You realise that less than 2% of your website traffic comes from social media and nobody you’ve engaged with ever seems to convert to instruction. But you’re writing really great stuff (or we’re doing it for you)… So why aren’t people getting to see it?
Here are our tips for getting your message out there and making sure more people hear it.
- Have a plan. First things first, we understand. You’re writing stuff. You’re sharing it. Some of your people are sharing it again. This is all great. The problem is that people don’t notice everything in their feeds all the time. And that’s why you need a strategy… ok, let’s call a spade a spade… an action plan, for how you’re going to share it, more than once and (perhaps) to more than one target audience. Techniques can include multiple posts, use of different hashtags and even paid engagement (PPC advertising or sponsored posts). Whatever you’re going to do the most important thing is that you’ve sat down and worked out a plan… and that means establishing your target audience(s), deciding what you’re going to say, when and how.
- Do your research. This is actually part of setting out a plan, but it’s so important we wanted to include it separately. To work out the best things to write about and share, you need to understand what’s working well (and what isn’t). That means going back through your previous posts to review the analytics data. What’s resonated with your audiences? What generated the most shares and likes? Were they the same things? Did some reach certain audiences better than others? Next, have a look at what your competitors are doing and saying? Which of their posts have got the best and highest volume of mentions? Finally, look at what the wider industry is saying and where they’re saying it. In particular try to understand which journalists and publications are the most active and engaged with, online. Oh… and don’t just research the topics. Also research the use of hashtags and the potential audiences for each tag.
- Variety is the spice of social media. When you’re planning out your social media you can share the same story in many different ways. That means different posts, headings, picking out different parts of the content to highlight. You can add different images or turn content into different formats, such as moving gifs and infographics.
- Encourage your team. One of the most important things to get your message out there is to encourage your internal team to share content that is going out at ‘HQ’ level as well. You might want to set up some kind of internal message bulletin that shares the content and reminds people to share it on their own profiles. Perhaps you could integrate your social media feeds into the firm intranet or message boards. You could even set up a competition with rewards for those that generate the highest social media engagement levels.
- Don’t keep it in the family. The same applies for referrers and third-party contacts. Never be afraid to send them content and ask them to share it… or just @ mention them when you post it, to encourage sharing.
- Don’t limit it to things you’ve written. When you’re setting out your social media content plan you want, obviously, to share content you’ve written. But don’t forget the power that PR and review content can have. Not only does it help to raise your brand profile, it also links you to a publication that – chances are – has a higher number of followers than you do… and if you mention them, they’re likely to RT or share the post for you.
- Jump on that bandwagon. This is linked to the former point. One of the best ways of getting noticed and building your own following is in commenting or sharing other pieces of news, relevant to your target audiences. Ok it takes time. You have to set up news feeds and searches so you know who is saying what, where and when. But it’s worth it as a technique for building your own following.
- Put your money where your mouth is. The final technique worth considering is setting aside a bit of budget for sponsored posts and PPC advertising. Ok, we know it’s easy to throw vast amounts at this but social media advertising is a great way of getting to know your audience and its potential for conversion. Not only can you pay to have your content ‘pushed’ in front of people but you can do it in what’s called a ‘hyper-targeted’ way. In short, if you want to make sure that everyone aged 43, that lives in Wells, and loves cats, sees your post… then you can do that. Most interestingly, though, because you can set it up to only charge you for clicks, it’s kind of a win-win way of testing the water. You can use it to find out how much of a market there really is for what you have to offer and try out different audiences, with different content and styles of communication. It’s really clever stuff and well worth considering.
- Measure your worth. Well… we had to put something in about measuring and setting objectives, didn’t we. You’ve worked out a plan so of course you’ll want to work out some measurable targets to see if it’s worked… and then report on it… and take them into account before doing the next plan. But you’d already decided that… right?
For more information about this or any other area of content… or to find the perfect people to ‘just take it off your desk’ you can get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org