As authors we assume our content is the BEST all too often. We forget that not everyone has the same sense of humor or cares about what we have to say. When we post content on social channels we’re opening up to a whole world of eyes and ears. The audience is vast and extremely moody, and as digital publishers, we’re never going to appease everyone with our interests, point- of-view or wit.
While it’s nearly impossible to make everyone happy, what we can do is educate ourselves to optimize content for each social platform using simple tips and tricks in order to hit the end goal.
What’s the end goal of content? Did my post: make you stop and react, make you engage and the Holy Grail – did it make you click?
In this edition of Made You Click, we’ll review Facebook and Twitter.
1. Pin: Pin a Facebook post to the top of your page for users to view and engage with first. The types of posts that are ideal to pin are those with:
- A link to a high-priority blog post or webpage
- An announcement (i.e. new products, services or an event)
- A customized visual (i.e. infographic, graphic or video)
- A timely or urgent topic
- A high amount of ad spend
- A post that’s already received a lot of engagement
2. Post Copy and Links: Keep your post copy brief and to the point. Facebook users respond best to posts around 40 characters. Think of your Facebook post as the “sexy” headline for whatever you’re linking your audience out to.
That brings us to the next topic: links. When you’re sending your users to find out or read more, make sure the link provided is customized and shortened. This not only looks much cleaner, but tracks the amount of click and traffic. We recommend using Bitly, Google URL or Ow.ly.
3. Multimedia: Living in an age of diminishing attention spans and the unwillingness to read more than 300 words at a time, including imagery and video are MANDATORY in a Facebook post. Those with images see up to 2.3 times higher engagement than posts that do not.
While the concept of including images is nothing new, research over the past year strongly indicates the new key to Facebook marketing is video content. Last year between April and November, the average daily video views on Facebook doubled from 4 to 8 BILLION views per day. Don’t believe me? If you’re on Facebook there’s no way you’ve avoided the addictive awesome and hyper-lapsed deliciousness that is Tasty:
4. Engage: Last, but certainly not least, after publishing your post be sure that all comments get the attention they deserve, whether this is in the form of a reply, reaction or in worst-case scenarios, hiding. No comment left behind!
Also, pay attention not only to the comments but to specific users that are consistently reacting or responding to your content. These could be future potential online influencers, and those you should engage with.
1. Pin: Similar to Facebook, pinning a tweet to the top of your page forces users to view and engage with that content first. In addition to tweets including links, customized visuals and announcements, make sure to leverage pinning on any messaging that incorporates breaking news, alerts and other time-sensitive material that thrives on the platform.
2. Post Copy: By nature, the limit on a tweet is 140 characters, meaning you don’t have a ton of space to get your point across. This places the author in a situation where the most important message, interesting fact and/or call-to-action must be conveyed in 140 characters or less – but comparability speaking, that’s 100 more characters than Facebook’s “optimal” character amount.
3. Tagging: The ideal hashtag length comes in at a whopping six characters. However, with an ever-growing encyclopedia of hashtags, hashtags can take up as many as 15 characters before they start appearing obnoxious. #ifyourereadingthisitstoolong.
Another common mishap is the overuse of hashtags in a single Tweet. Once you start racking up hashtags the entire tweet appears to be a link and it’s a huge turn off to the reader. Keep it simple and limit your messages to two hashtags per tweet.
In addition to hashtags, tagging other Twitter accounts —or @mentioning — is another way to extend the reach of your message and interact with a specific user. Again, steer clear of over-tagging users; only include crucial accounts to avoid looking like spam.
4. Links: Similar to Facebook and really anytime you direct the reader off your social page, make sure the link provided is customized and shortened to look both professional and keep track of click-throughs to your website.
5. Media: Most people assume that tweets are short, simple and require little creative attention. This statement couldn’t be farther from the truth. Twitter requires just as much love and attention in the creative department as the next social channel.
Including an image not only increases the vertical space your Tweet takes up in the newsfeed, but also has proven to boost the engagement level. It’s a fact that tweets including an image resulted in 35 percent more retweets and 18 percent more click-throughs.
And it doesn’t stop there, over the past year Periscope and other live-streaming tools (you know, prior to Facebook Live) took off on Twitter, making it a breeding ground for video content. Last July, Periscope users were watching 40 years’ worth of video streams EVERY DAY – that’s a lot of video and a LOT of eyeballs.
And finally, we can put the rumors to bed: Today, Twitter has confirmed that, in the near future, @mentions, images, GIFs and links will officially NOT be counted toward the 140-character limit. (Note: Media attachments and links currently take up 24 and 23 characters, respectively.)
Meaning, get ready to fire off some tweets with 140 characters of text, imagery and link and say #ByeFelicia to those old-school tweets. Welcome to the future.
And this completes part 1 of Made You Click. Next up, Instagram and Snapchat.