Content Sharing on Social Media: The Essential 5-Step Guide
With around 2.5 billion users worldwide, social media is a valuable tool for businesses to reach and engage with their audience and target market. You can create campaigns to build brand awareness, share articles you have written to establish your expertise, and develop and maintain relationships with people that you may not otherwise reach through traditional marketing methods.
Content sharing is a big part of using social media effectively, but if you don’t get it right, you won’t see any return on investment. We’ve put together a simple 5 step process for you to follow so you can take charge of your social media strategy and understand more about what content you should be using.
Before you even think about what kind of content you should be sharing, it’s important to establish your goals and what you want to achieve. Do you want to…
- Improve brand awareness?
- Drive traffic to your website?
- Generate new leads?
- Grow revenue?
- Boost brand engagement?
- Build a community?
- Provide customer service?
Or all of the above?
The reasons that you want to use social media will factor majorly into the type of content that you need to create and the right platforms to use.
We understand that it can be tempting to have a presence on all social media platforms, but this is a mistake. Each platform serves a different purpose and can have a different audience, so you need to choose the right platform and use appropriate content to suit that channel if you want to conquer. You need to target your audiences in the right places with the right kind of content.
So, how do you pick the right platform? There are 3 key factors to consider:
Audience: Who’s on there?
Your target audience could be on one, two, or even more platforms, so find where your audience is and build from there. Facebook and Instagram are extremely popular, and Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube have a huge amount of users as well. Spreading yourself too thin across multiple platforms is a sure-fire way to waste time and effort. It’s much better to focus on a few and execute them really well.
Content: What type of content is already on there?
The type of content varies across different platforms. For example, Instagram and YouTube feature visually appealing images and professional videos, while Twitter is all about quality articles or short messages. You need to make sure that you have the right people, skills, and time to create the right content for your chosen platform(s).
Knowing what type of content is already working will help you in identifying quick wins for social content creation
Key Metrics: How does the platform measure success?
Knowing what metrics to track will help shape your social strategies. Engagement, for instance, measures the number of likes, comments, & shares your content receives. You may have a wide reach but if your engagement is low, it means that a) your marketing message or content isn’t resonating with your audience; and b) you need to kick things up a notch.
Facebook & Twitter see engagement as an indicator of quality and popularity. The more interactions your Facebooks posts get, the more newsfeeds it will be filtered out to. Also, the more likes or retweets your tweets get, the bigger it will appear on your Twitter profile.
Which platform is right for your business?
Let’s take a look at the 5 most popular social media platforms and some details about the 3 key factors we’ve listed above.
Around 2.2 billion people log in every month, with 1.57 billion accessing Facebook from their mobile every day.
Audience: Around 47% of Facebook users are male, compared to 53% female and 72% of income earners of $75,000+ have an online presence there.
Content: Content that is “viral” (highly shareable) in nature. For example, listicles, DIY tips, and how-to articles.
Key Metrics: Post reach, impressions, organic likes, & engagement.
Instagram has around 1 billion monthly users and is predominately an image sharing app. Hashtags and location details help to get more engagement on content.
Audience: Of all of Instagram’s users, 68% are female and a whopping 72% of teens have an account!
Content: Content that showcases brand personality.
Key Metrics: Comments received, most engaged hashtags, engagements per follower, engagement per media, followers gained, & referral traffic.
Twitter is a micro-blogging site where people get news, updates, and share opinions. The site has 326 million monthly users who send on average 500 million ‘tweets’ per day.
Audience: 25% of all Twitter users are aged 30-49 and 56% of all users have an income of more than $50,000 USD per year.
Content: Content that’s valuable to your audience, for example blog posts and industry news.
Key Metrics: Impressions, profile visits, mentions, tweets linking to you, engagement rate, & referral traffic.
Seen as the best social media platform for professionals, LinkedIn has built a 562 million user list since its inception in 2003.
Audience: LinkedIn’s users are comprised of 44% female and 56% male with 40 million users are in decision-making positions and it’s good to know that around 44% of LinkedIn users earn more than $75,000 USD per year.
Content: LinkedIn is all about goal-specific content by sharing industry or company news, articles, achievements or tips.
Key Metrics: Page views, impressions, clicks, interactions, followers, & engagement.
YouTube has 30 million daily users, and 1.9 billion monthly users and services 88 countries in 76 languages.
Audience: 62% of YouTube’s audience are males with 75% adults using the platform for nostalgia reasons rather than to learn something.
Content: YouTube content can vary and depends on the brand to what is used. Some brands offer ‘how to’ videos and product reviews, while others provide educations videos or Q&As.
Key Metrics: Video views, subscriber growth, comments, likes & dislikes, social shares, watch time, & audience retention.
Knowing your audience and understanding what they want is crucial when creating content. If your audience doesn’t like what you put out, then they are not going to want to stick around to see more.
Here are some key questions to ask yourself about your target audience:
What are they looking for?
Or more specifically, what are the problems and concerns of your audience?
Where are they when they consume content?
For example, if the majority of your audience browse your social media content via mobile, then it needs to be optimised to be short, snappy, and to the point.
When do they use the platform?
There is no point posting something on Facebook at 4am in the morning if no one is going to be around to see it – so look and understand the statistics!
Find where your audience is, build your presence there, and focus on engaging with them.
How do they find your content?
For example, if the majority of your web traffic comes from an organic search, then SEO & word count will top your priority list (for ranking high on Google SERPs). But, if it’s via Facebook, you’ll be better off creating super-shareable content.
Right, so you’ve figured out what your social media goals are, what platforms to use, who your audience is, and how to go about creating content. Now it’s time to execute and deliver like a champ! You can do this by:
- Creating a social media content calendar: This will help you to put a plan into action and have clarity about what you are going to post over the following month.
- Getting the right tools: Buffer, Hootsuite, and Bit.ly are just some of the tools that businesses use to manage their social content. Check them out.
- Tracking performance: Use the analytics tools available to you to monitor the performance of each of your posts. If you find that something is not working while other things are, adjust your content or posting times to maximise results.
If you are constantly wondering about what to publish on social media, then you are already falling behind your competition.
Using social media isn’t rocket science, but it’s not as easy as some may think! That’s why we understand that creating content can be hard work, especially if you don’t have experienced people who are able to do the job on hand.