What we are going to cover…
1) How to write content that is relevant to your target market and shareable.
2) How to automate and syndicate a blog posts, while at the same time generating traffic to the website?
3) How to automate and syndicate social networking postings, saving you tons of time
4) What kinds of Social Networking posts generate social engagement?
5) Ideas to get your visitors to share your content and join you at social networking sites.
If you write ‘killer content’ that is relevant, moving, and maybe even funny, your visitors are more likely to share it with their audience… it could even go viral.
Here are 5 tips that will help you create content with viral potential:
1. Start with a catchy, intriguing and well crafted article title
A strong title can mean the difference between hundreds of visitors — or none. And, the more visitors, the more chances you have that those visitors will share your brilliant content.
At WordPress.com alone, there are on average 1.4 million posts published every single day. That is not counting the endless stream of new content created around the internet.
The first thing most people will see is your title, so make it a good one.
You can find more tips on how to craft a page title that will be authoritative, fascinating, and exceptional at Internet Marketing Tips; the Page Title is the First Impression
I know you are wondering what that means… “Make sure readers can read your post!”
If your content looks like it was crammed into a space, not only will it be hard to read, it will likely drive your visitors to leaving your page. There are many factors that affect readability; font color, size, paragraph length, background color, etc.
If it is hard to read, it’s not going to get read – or shared.
It helps to keep your sentences short and snappy. And, your paragraphs short with no more that 3 – 4 lines. Lots of white space makes long posts easier for readers to read. Headings, sub-headings, and block quotes create space making a long post easier to scan. Bullets and numbered lists are easier to digest, very shareable and provide simple, clear visitor takeaways.
3. Add an image to your article
Your image should in some way be relevant to your website, it could be a photo, logo, graph, infographic or cartoon. If your image tells your visitor what the article is about, there is a better chance that your content will not only get read, but also shared.
Keep in mind that your image acts as a mini-billboard that people will notice. And on social networking, posts with images get more clicks then those without which means that people are more likely to notice and share.
Another advantage of images is they help create more white space, making written content easier to scan by the visitor.
4. Be a resource for others.
People like to share things that make them laugh, inspire them, or in some way add value to their friends, followers, connections AND (most important) their target market.
Even if you don’t think you are inspirational or funny, you all have something to share that will add value to other peoples lives;
If you are an expert – teach us!
Do you have access to some great resources in your field – share the links!
Have you discovered a new angle to solve a problem – share it with us!
Sharing your knowledge establishes your expertise and makes you a resource for your audience – providing them with tips and tools that they will share with their friends, followers and connections.
5. Share your web articles, videos, infographics, etc.
Drive traffic to your website at your social networking sites, and once it is out there you have made it easier for people to not only click through to your website, but also share your posts with just a click.
How to share your fresh content easily just as soon as it is published.
I know that you have all seen Share and Join Me icons, and maybe you have even figured out how to add them to your website.
But for those of you that don’t know how… try these ideas:
For a double whammy, you can add both Share This buttons and Join Me at icons at your wordpress.com website. Just go to the dashboard, click on Settings (lower left-hand side) and then in the drop-down click on Sharing.
In this section of wordpress.com you can add 6 Publicize buttons, a.k.a as Join Me icons. When you are done publishing your web article, you can click on these Publicize buttons and immediately share your fresh content to your social networking sites.
And, then there are the Share icons (usually down below your new content) which make it easy for your visitors to Share your ‘killer content’ at their social networking sites.
When using this format you have to add plugins. My favorite plugins are: Shareaholic for Share icons and Plus One Button, WP Tweet Button and Auto Pin It Button which you can use to publicize your fresh content, and they are also available to your visitors.
NOTE: I get a lot of G+’s that way.
Remember, share your own ‘killer content’ just 10% – 20% of the time, more than that and you are going to turn-off your friends, followers and connections. At the social networks you do not want to get the reputation for ONLY blowing your own horn and not sharing other stuff.
Types of Content you can share the other 90% of the time
1. Quotations, simply go to brainyquote.com or quotegarden.com choose quotes by Topic or Author.
2. Questions, you know the kind you ask everyday…Who is your favorite celebrity? What is your favorite holiday? If you could vacation anywhere in the world, money is no object, where would that be? …and so on.
3. Promote other content you find around the web that you think your friends, followers and connections may be interested in. (Google Alerts).
4. Share pictures… nothing embarrassing, like a picture of your cat. Or, a picture of the function you are attending… a Chamber Meeting, a baseball game, an office meeting, etc.
5. Share videos – videos you created, or videos you found on YouTube.
4:1. Add Share icons and Publicize icons (aka Join Me buttons) to your website.
4:2. Use those icons to publicize your fresh ‘killer content’.
4:3. Everytime you share your fresh content, share at least 5 more relevant posts that do not send people to your website
Automation & Syndication
Marketing Automation is the name given to software platforms designed for marketing departments and organizations to automate repetitive social networking tasks.
These days, it is relatively easy to drive traffic to your website and share content at your social networking sites. Of course it doesn’t hurt to optimize it for the search engines so that it can be found easily. IF, and this is a big IF, your friends, followers and connections SHARE your content, is more likely to get inbound links.
Web syndication is a form of syndication in which website material is made available to multiple other sites. This means you can send out your message to several of your social networking sites all at one time.
I know you may are probably already aware of these type of products, and you may have even used them. I’ve used several, and every time I come back to my favorite – hootsuite.com
Automate with Hootsuite
The free version of hootsuite allows you to add 5 social networking sites including; Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, WordPress, Foresquare, and Mixi.
Type hootsuite.com in the the browser bar. Click the Sign Up now, choose the Free version and then fill in the blanks and submit.
Now, sign in and click on Secure Login
In the next screen, click on Add a Social Network. In the pop-up window click on +Add Social Network and then add your Facebook Profile and Business Page, LinkedIn Profile, Twitter site, and Google+ Business Page.
How to add and schedule posts at Hootsuite.
Copy the text of the content you want to share, then paste that into the Compose Message box. Click on the icons that you want this message sent out to, then click on the middle icon that says 30 (this is your calendar). Set the day and time you want your message to go out…then click on Schedule.
When you click on the social networking tab, at the top of the dashboard, and note that all the way over to the right you will find your Pending Posts that are scheduled.
Also in that same screen you can interact with some of your social networking sites. All you have to do is click on Add a stream. Choose which of the social networks that you want to add a stream on the left hand side, select a profile in the middle section, then choose the appropriate streams.
For Twitter I suggest: Scheduled Tweets, Direct Message, Mentions and My Tweets, Retweeted.
For Facebook I suggest: Scheduled Stream Posts, News Feed-Most Recent, and Wall Posts.
For Facebook Business Page I suggest: Scheduled Messages, Private Messages, Wall Posts and Private Messages
For Google+ Pages I suggest: Scheduled Messages, Home Stream, and Sent Messages
For LinkedIn Profile I suggest: Scheduled Updates, My Updates, All Updates.
Once you have set these streams up, you can use the Hootsuite dashboard to monitor what is going on in all of your social networking channels.
For instance, click on the Twitter tab…you can see and respond to Twitter posts, Mentions and Direct Messages. In the Facebook section you can ‘comment, like & share’ posts written by your friends.
Keep a record of your posts, and down the road you can use them again.
NOTE: You spend a lot of time making sure that you are providing relevant and interesting posts, I recommend that you open up a word or spreadsheet file and start saving those posts for another day when you are completely out of ideas, or short on time.
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SUGGESTION: Make sure that you Posts are not more than 140 characters long.
NOTE: If you upgrade to Hootsuite Pro, you can an unlimited number of Social Networking sites, I have about 75 channels that I post at on a regular basis.
How many times should I post each day?
At minimum, post at least 3 times per day at 9am, 3pm & 6pm
Or, 5 posts per day at 8am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm.
Maximum 22 posts per day
SUGGESTION: Remember to include your keywords to maximize your Social Media Optimization
Tips for keeping up with all of that Social Media Engagement:
Monitor your Social Networking engagement activities on your smartphone or hootsuite dashboard at least 2 times per day.
Choose a couple of your social networking channels to focus on… I recommend Facebook and Google+
In your settings, set up a notification so that every time someone responds to your posts, you get an email or phone alert, respond as soon as possible
Keep an eye on message boxes for private messages.
When someone interacts with one of your posts (comment, like/+ or share) reciprocate by going to their page and comment, like/+ or share.
4:4. Sign up for Hootsuite.com and install your top 5 social networking sites
4:5. Set up all of your posts for at least one week to all 5 social networking sites, at least 3 times a day.
4:6. Set up your Hootsuite dashboard so that you can monitor and/or interact with your friends, followers and connections from one screen.
4:7 Go into your social networking Settings, and make sure that you will be getting email notifications or alerts whenever someone comments, likes/+ or shares one of your posts.
4:8. Monitor your private messages or hangout invitations, daily and respond ASAP.
4:9. Share any of your success stories at the Google+ Community – Road-Map to Success!
SUGGESTION: Keep a word or spreadsheet file of your favorite posts (or the ones that get the most engagement) to use when you are short on time, or lack inspiration.
Reasons why your posts might not be getting engagement or interaction
Have you ever wondered why some of your posts get a lot of interaction and other posts fall like a dud? Remember, it is important that you stand out from your competition.
Let’s start with the Science of Sharing:
HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella has found that three things must happen to get your content shared:
1). People must be exposed to your content (be a fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter).
2). People must be aware of your content (meaning they actually see it).
3). People must be motivated by something in your content to share it.
Let’s look at some reasons why your content doesn’t get shared
#1: Your customers don’t trust you
Simply put, people won’t share your content if they don’t trust you and/or find you or your content to be trustworthy.
The 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer found that globally only 56% of people trust businesses to do what is right. However, in the US, the UK and Japan, that number fell significantly between 2010 and 2011.
Takeaway: Branding is all about building trust, so focus on content that does just that.
#2: Your prospects are not familiar with your Brand
Remember that your clients and prospects and clients have very short memories. And, since they are looking for valuable information, great deals and a chance to connect with other people who share their interests, as soon as you stop offering these things, friends, followers and connections will go looking elsewhere.
Takeaway: Determine exactly what your target is most wants most, and provide them with content that is relevant and answers their questions and exceeds their expectations.
#3: Your posts may be boring
You can tell whether or not you are interesting by how many people interact or engage with your posts. Remember, people are far more likely to share something they find intriguing or funny.
Takeaway: People love to share humor and things that speak to their heart. Get creative and provide those types of posts.
#4: People care about causes more than brands
People are more likely to share about something they are passionate about. When I posted about rescuing kittens and one of them died, I got a lot of engagement.
I’ve noticed that when people share life experiences that they are passionate about, especially if it is something they have personally struggled with – they engage and interact.
Takeaway: Show your human side, let your friends, followers and connections know about things that you are struggling with, they engage and interact.
#5: People are looking for relationships and community
Research shows that people value relationships with other people, not necessarily with brands. Think outside of the box, think in terms of what possible ‘pain’ your target market deals with or may relate to… and share relevant content that addresses their ‘pain’.
Takeaway: Evaluate your posts and ask yourself why someone would want to share your content with their friends.
#6: Customers and Prospects are looking for validation
It is important to remember that all of us have an agenda, and all of us are all trying to build credibility in the eyes of our friends, followers and connections. We all want to be seen as an expert in some area(s).
And, the way you do that online is through the content that you share. Remember that what you share gives your friends, followers and connections a better sense of who you are.
Takeaway: Share relevant, valuable content that gives your friends, followers and connections access to information that makes them look like an ‘expert’ when they share it.
#7. You don’t really understand target market’s persona
If you really don’t know what makes your target market tick, then you are not going to know how to interact and engage with them. It’s important to understand exactly what makes your your prospect and clients tick… what is their biggest ‘pain’.
A New York Times study found there are six types of sharing personas at the social networks:
Altruists—Altruists share content out of a desire to be helpful and aspire to be seen as a reliable source of information. Preferred tools: Facebook and email.
Careerists—Careerists are well-educated and seek to gain a reputation for bringing value to their networks. They prefer content that is more serious and professional in tone. Preferred tools: LinkedIn and email.
Hipsters—Hipsters are younger sharers who have always lived in the “information age.” They use Twitter and Facebook to share cutting-edge and creative content. They share content to build their online identity. Preferred tools: Facebook and Twitter.
Boomerangs—Boomerangs seek validation and thrive on the reaction of others to their content, even when it’s negative responses. Preferred tools: Facebook, email, Twitter and blogs, wherever people will engage them.
Connectors—Connectors see content sharing as a means of staying connected to others and making plans. They are more relaxed in their sharing patterns. Preferred tools: Facebook and email.
Selectives—Selectives are more thoughtful in what they share and with whom they share it. They personalize their sharing and expect responses to their content. Preferred tool: email.
And, then there are the Trendsetters; thought leaders, business leaders and marketers who keep their ear to the ground in order to stay abreast of trends in their industry. Much of the time they share breaking news before anyone else and they are usually seen as the experts. Perferred tools: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+
NOTE: Each of different types of sharing personas use different social networking channels to share their content.
Takeaway: Decide which of the sharing personas fit your target the best and create content based on how they see themselves.
So how do you get visitors that visit your website to hit the ‘share’ button?
1. Ask Your Visitors to Share
Don’t be shy about asking for comments and shares—include a very straightforward line at the end of your posts that says “If you liked this post, don’t forget to share it with others!”
2. Find Your Sweet Spot, what your audience is really responding to
If you are focusing on your target market’s personal, focus on creating ‘killer content’ that compels them to share your content with their friends.
A good idea to create incredible content that gets shared, take a look at your website’s analytics and analyze pageviews, shares and referral traffic. Take a look at your top 10 posts, are there certain themes that run through all of them.
If you see something these posts have in common – model future content around that theme or keyword.
3. Make it easy for your readers to find more of your similar content.
The plugin Shareaholic adds “You may also like…” boxes below your content, making it easy for your visitors to find similar content. Offering multiple pieces of content on every page gives your readers more opportunities to fall in love with your content and hopefully share it.
4:10. Be sure to include an invitation to your readers to share (or comment) at the end of each article, just above the Share this links.