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5 Ways to Produce Better Social Media Content

Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.
Attract attention! Get your viewers to react to what you are posting and then act on what you want them to do. Here are some ideas for doing that. 5 Ways to Produce Better Social Media Content

Social media marketing requires a great deal of crafting and publishing content to be effective, and not just any content, but interesting, relevant and useful content. Keeping up with the multiple messages you should be putting out on a daily and weekly basis can be daunting, particularly when people’s attention spans are short, and the amount of content being pushed out on social media feeds seems never-ending.

How can your content stand out? Here are five ways you can produce more on-target content and get more positive response.

1. Get to know your audience

There are many ways to learn more about the people who follow your social media accounts. Most popular social networks provide some basic demographic data about your followers. Facebook Insights, for example, can tell you a breakdown of your followers such as the percentage of men to women, their age ranges, and the countries and cities where they live.

LinkedIn provides analytics for Company Pages, showing locations, industry, company size, job function such as Business Development, Operations, Administrative and Marketing, and seniority. Newer to LinkedIn’s Page Analytics is the follower demographic feature showing top locations. In order to access demographics in Twitter Analytics, you’ll need to run some ads then access the analysis under the Audience tab in Twitter’s ad center.

Use the insights you glean from the data to craft more targeted messaging to appeal to the audience you have while keeping in mind the audience you want to attract. And when all else fails, survey your audience and ask them what they need or what they’d like to hear from you. Sometimes the straightforward and direct approach provides more immediately useful information.

2. Check your metrics

Besides data about your social media followers, you can also access data about content, namely, your most popular content in terms of views or engagement. On LinkedIn, look at how well your Updates are performing in terms of reactions and click-throughs.

Facebook gives you more data including Post Reach, Story Reach, and Post Engagement. Digging further into all post metrics, you can see which days your followers are online the most and what times they are active. Knowing when your followers have a greater potential of seeing your content helps you as you schedule posts.

Twitter Analytics shows you Top Tweet, Top Follower, Top Mention and Top Media Tweet in any given month, one that contains a video or animated GIF. You can also drill down and view a longer list of Top Tweets or see how your most recent tweets are performing.

Studies show that posts with videos tend to perform better than text only or still images. Try adding some videos to your social media marketing mix and check the data to see if your audience is more attracted to – and more likely to engage with – video posts.

By looking closely at what content resonates with your followers, you can craft more relevant posts that get more notice and response.

3. Identify and leverage trends

Not all social networks make it easy to identify trending content, but LinkedIn offers a Content tab with trending articles that can inspire content ideas, or you can opt to share the trending content to your own followers on your LinkedIn Page.

Twitter Trends is also a good resource to use to find in-the-moment popular content. Look for the Explore tab on Twitter’s mobile apps. On the desktop version of Twitter, find trends in the Home timeline, Notifications, search results, and profile pages. Pay attention to not just the news but also hashtags that are trending, then go a step further and check out the conversations posted with those hashtags.

Jumping on a hashtag is a popular tactic on Twitter, in particular, but be careful not to participate in a hashtag “conversation” with irrelevant or off-topic content. You need a genuine connection to the topic and contribute in a meaningful way to draw the right type of attention to your account and company.

Facebook provides an interesting view called Pages to Watch. On the Insights Overview page, you can add pages of competitors to compare how their pages are performing. Yes, you can learn from your competitors about creating more effective content and better engagement with your own followers.

4. Share trusted content

Part of social media marketing is following relevant and trusted accounts and utilizing them as sources of content you can share. In addition to crafting effective content that attracts attention and engages your audience, sharing other people’s content does several things. First, it puts you on the radar of the originator of the content as an opener to a potentially mutually beneficial relationship where you share one another’s content.

Sharing content also relieves some of the burden of creating all original content all the time. By sharing from trusted sources, you are peppering your social media feeds with some variety of styles and imagery to create more interest. You are also curating content for your followers, picking the most relevant and even adding some additional context by commenting on the shared content. Your followers will appreciate you bringing this type of content to their attention which increases the likelihood of them watching out for your posts in the future.

5. Add value

The concept of adding value means something different to every individual, however, the idea behind adding value in social media is to provide something that someone out there needs or wants. You can’t please everyone all the time, but you can better serve your customers, prospects and social media followers by using the data you’ve gathered about them to produce content that makes a positive impact on their lives, whether it is something they can immediately put to use or something that simply makes them laugh during a tough time. Value truly is in the eye of the beholder, but if you know your audience, you can give them more of what they want and need.

Social media marketing is not only about attracting people’s attention with your content. You want to get people to react to what you post and then act on it such as clicking on a link and then transacting with you such as filling out a form, signing up for something, buying something online from you or reaching out to do business. That’s a tall order, but if you do your homework, you can constantly improve your content for better outcomes.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman
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