Optimizing content is one of the largest tasks on social media. Everyone is trying to get the farthest reach with their content. Twitter is one of the simplest and easiest to optimize. It has minimal features and is touted as being a pivotal part of information sharing for many industries. As marketers we often find infographics that describe tactics to take that get your tweets retweeted. I take issue with these graphics for two reason. 1. They ignore your following and are generalized for all tweeters, no matter the amount of followers or industry. 2. They ignore the content itself – the actually composition of your tweets. So before you tweet or optimize your tweets for retweets, strategize. Continue reading “Before You Tweet, Strategize.” »
As a marketer you should always be trying to figure out which content is connecting with your audience best. Once you find successful content, you want to recreate those desired results as many times as possible. However, when you content goes viral, you have to be careful how you attribute that success. Is your content’s success the exception or the new rule thumb.
I recently had the good fortune of being chosen by @Instagram as the feature image for the #Manhattanhenge highlight. An exciting event that flooded my phone with notifications. The results were 1,500+ likes on my photo, and a doubling of my modest following. Residual effects were more likes on other photos in my account and some blog traffic. And just for bragging rights, the “regram” that Instagram put up of my photo on their account received the highest number of likes in their most recently shared photos.
However, these “health metrics” – amount of engagement and following and other metrics – are not always an indicator that the content is good! The notion that a lot of likes and reach is an indicator of good content undermines the real work behind influencer programs and viral content. So, when you have a “success” stop and ask, “Is this success a true indicator of how interesting my content was or how interesting one popular person thought it was?” When your content becomes popular mainly because a single profile shared it, the content itself may not have played a roll it in at all. The people who engaged with it may be taking actions only because it was shared by someone they like, rather than the content being intriguing to them. You would not be doing yourself any justice to continue to create similar content, without first properly testing that content again. You must also be sure that your current audience engaged with and enjoyed your content and not just a bunch of new followers.
Sunsets, food, and animals are the the bread and butter content on Instagram. But my image did not become popular because it caught fire with my followers and was shared over and over again. The photo became popular because one popular profile thought it was interesting. It was a perfect storm of a topical hashtag and a committee at Instagram that pushed it to a greater audience – a non-replicable circumstance; an exception. This does not mean that all my future photos should be sunsets from the city, or sunsets in general for that matter. It is the perfect example of why your intermediate successes should not become the rule by which you select your content.
Proper diagnosis of the cause for your content’s success in addition to the “health metrics” is how you should determine your future content choices. Which content is resonating with your current audience, and helping you attract new fans? How are you building stronger connections with those new followers?
The main reason businesses don’t connect? They don’t take a holistic view of all of the many web channels. They don’t realize that…the web is a living, breathing, integrating machine.
To get a holistic view, let’s start with the basics. Okay?
1. The web is alive.
The Internet is alive and well. Just like Frankenstein. But a lot less scary.
If you’re a small business, don’t be scared to make an impact. Respect the digital medium. And make it come alive by repeating the famous quote of Regis McKenna: “marketing is everything and everything is marketing.”
Here are a few other tips:
- Learn how to communicate in an honest, authentic way that resonates with your audience. If you don’t have time to learn, or can’t do this yourself, hire a specialist.
- Paint your walls with colorful content. And no, this doesn’t mean create a beautiful logo (although that always helps). It’s more along the lines of creating engaging experiences within every interaction you have with your customers. It goes a long way.
- Don’t shout to your customers. Talk to them like they’re people. After all, they are human, right? No? Then you belong at the end of the internet.
2. The web is ubiquitous
You can’t go anywhere without seeing the Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube logos. They’re everywhere. Which is why your business needs to be everywhere (that makes sense for your business).
If your business does not yet have social media accounts, work with a marketing or media agency to get up and running. Here are a few basic ways to stand out and get off the ground:
- Create a custom landing page for Facebook
- Get a Twitter custom background and secure your Twitter handle with the name of your company (do it right after you read this post! need help? just ask!)
- Being ubiquitous does not mean repeating the same updates on each different channel. It’s great that you created a shortcut for yourself. Awesome. But therein lies the problem. Each social media platform has its own, unique way of communicating – which is why you should not link your Twitter account with your Facebook, or vice versa. (more on this in the next post!)
3. The web is informal
In college, we learned how to use big words. Yep, just like ubiquitous. The reality? It’s not that impressive with Google at our fingertips. Unless you’re an SAT company (and even then!), don’t try to impress your customers with big words. It’s better to be authentic than academic [tweet this!]
Here’s how to be casual, cool, and collected:
- Write to the reading level of a 5th grader on the web. Yes, Wrinkle in Time style. This may or may not require 5th grade humor (use at your own discretion)
- Informal does not mean lazy. I repeat: Informal does not mean lazy. Being informal requires a lot more work than being formal. Why? It’s about doing more with less. This takes…work! Lots of it.
- Informal can still mean academic. You can offer an academic approach minus the academic style. There’s a difference. An academic approach educates and informs, without being unnecessarily wordy. Kinda like this post, eh?
Why do you think things spread on the Internet? Please comment below.
dgray_xplane (creative commons)
foxtongue (creative commons)
This post originally appeared on the Vocus blog.
A fun tool brought to my attention by Josepf Haslam called Wolfamalpha Facebook Analysis. It takes a nice statistical look at your profile and breaks your friends down into various demographics, tells you your most liked picture is and event which words you use most often in your post vocabulary.
What was most interesting about this analysis was Relationship Status. This was the breaking point and “big idea” for Facebook when it first launched – it was what everyone in college wanted to know – and it turns out it is still the most interesting data. This may not be true for everyone, but my data matched National Data almost identically – aside from a slight increase in single people in their 40′s. (The Right Corner of the Map is the data I am referring to) Even with my weighted average towards the 20-something range.
Turns out only 29.5% of the people I know are single; a large chunk are married or engaged. Although I’m “friends” with slightly more females, I am only connected with men over the age of 55 and under 20.
Check out a few screenshots from the data. Click the (i) button to see the captions:
Porsche launched a new website teasing about their new vehicle the “Macan.” Toted proudly under the intro video is the Pinterest icon. How exciting! A major company like Porsche that produces visually stimulated vehicles has embraced the newest of the photo social media phenomenon!
Alas, they have left you with a facepalm moment. They have a total of two boards! Which means they’ve taken the time to delete the default 5 and create two of their own. But they never filled in the boards! Even more appalling is the board about their new Macan only has 2 photos! This company should have thousands of photos, and hundreds of videos pinned. If not pinned from their existing sites, at least directly uploaded to the network. This is an epic social media fail by Porsche.
LESSON: If you’re going to link people to one of your networks, you better be sure that its primed and ready for action.
And so it begins. By now you’ve notice that Facebook implemented changes recently. Changes that most likely annoy you and unfortunately closely resemble Google+. For instance:
The “Top Stories”: content curated based on the amount of feedback it receives, which is identical to how G+ formats it’s home stream. You have 550+ friends and now you can see the highlights of what most of them comment on. Unfortunately this means you’re going to get Top Stories of people who you follow that get a lot of comments without the convenience of a true timeline or relevance based on how recently you interacted with those friends (which is how it used to work).
The side bar updates: The timeline of information you’re missing from your stream, but displayed in such a way it almost impossible to follow and doesn’t distinguish between the type of update. Not to mention it also seems to mimic what’s immediately to the left of it.
Now, if someone posted a fun song you want to listen to while you browse the rest of the stream…. well you just can’t do it anymore – that is of course if you can even recognize it rich media that was shared.
It’s clear that Facebook has tried to show they can quickly reinvent themselves in the face of the immediate threat of Google+. However, the audiences on each network are very different. Most Facebook users still turn away from G+. So, why is FB trying to display content like Google+?
Are you happy with the changes? Comment and share your thoughts!