Wouldn’t it be great if your social media posts could attract as much attention as those fireworks in the night sky?
We get it: There’s a lot of noise on social media, and finding a way to be heard above all that noise is no easy feat. So we compiled the advice of various social media experts to find out their advice on the matter.
Here’s what they had to say…
Don’t go for large follower counts. Focus on engagement. If you have extremely high engagement for the number of followers you have, your content is much more likely to spread virally.
Takeaway: You could have a million followers, but if you have little engagement, then it’s going to be tough for your brand to really stand out on social media and make an impact. Post interesting content that will provoke a reaction from your audience. Ask them questions. And when you do get comments, be sure to respond and engage right back with the people that commented.
You have to ensure that your content is creative, trendy, and edgy…the types of content that typically work best are lists, how-to’s, guides, tips, insider news, and topics and headlines that rock and shock.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Takeaway: Find out what is trending and tailor your social media content around those topics. One way to do this is to search for topics in Buzzsumo to see what people are talking about and interested in at the moment.
Noah Kagan, Founder of AppSumo
…the longer the content, the more shares it gets.
But even so, he found that most people continue to post short-form content:
There was 16 times more content with less than 1,000 words than there was content with 2,000+ words. Since the web is inundated with short-form content and gifs, you’re better off spending your time writing that one epic piece of content that has less competition instead of writing lots of short, fluffy pieces.
Takeaway: As Kagan recommends, spend the time to write longer-form content, as it will generally be worth the extra time and effort. Kagan advises writing at least 2,000 words per post.
List posts and infographics receive more average shares than any other content types. Some possible reasons: Lists give the readers an exact idea on what to expect (i.e.: 10 ways to do something), they’re also skim-friendly, and easy to read on the run. Similarly, infographics make it easy to digest a huge amount of information in a visually appealing way.
Takeaway: Human beings are visual creatures, so an image is often the best way to convey a message. For written content, be sure to make it easily readable and scannable. Write your post under the assumption that the reader is skimming your article. Lists are great way to do this, but you can also improve readability through the formatting (bolding certain words, including many subheadings throughout, breaking up the content into many paragraphs etc). If you are writing a list post, stick to 10, as Kagan claims that this is the “magic number” which gets the most shares.
People tend to share content that looks trustworthy.
Takeaway: Would you trust the above quotation if you didn’t know where it came from or who said it? Point proven. Luckily, there’s an easy solution here: Add a bio or byline to your published content, so that readers know who the author is. That’s a simple way to boost the credibility of your content, and thereby the shares.
One of the best things you can do is to have an original, consistent voice. This includes the specific words you use, the way you talk, the colors and graphics you select, and so much more. For instance, on social media, Buffer is friendly. Product Hunt uses emoji. Wistia is HD video and stills of their team. A consistent voice and presence can help make you memorable and noticeable on social.
Takeaway: Consistency is key. The brands that really succeed on social media have both consistent messaging and a recognizable visual identity. When posting photos to Instagram, for instance, think about the colors, angles and the filters you are using and make sure that they are consistent. Someone should be able to look at your photo and immediately recognize your brand.
Kara Burney, Senior Director of Marketing at TrackMaven
If you are just starting out,
The easiest way to scale a social strategy from scratch is to learn from the big players in your industry. Conduct a competitive audit of the brands you compete with directly, the big players you aspire to disrupt, and major industry influencers. That will give you an understanding of the right channels to prioritize and relevant content topics. Then exploit the white space for brand differentiation and thought leadership.
Takeaway: Find out what your competitors are doing. Make a pros and cons list for each competitor of what seems to be working well (driving engagement) or what you can draw inspiration from and what could maybe be improved upon. From there, think about how you can capitalize on their weaknesses or the unexplored terrain to form your own unique strategy.
Marcus Sheridan, President of The Sales Lion
The fact is, if a company tries to be a jack of all social media trades, they’ll very likely become a master of none. This is why you’re much better off being a “master of one”—dominating a single social media platform and putting all your effort into that instead of spreading yourself too thin.
Source: Social Fresh
Takeaway: Don’t do something just because everybody else is doing it. Think about your target and what social media platforms they are spending a significant amount of time on. Don’t waste time on the platforms that have no or little relevance to your audience.
Jenny Brennan, Director of Inside Sales at AgoraPulse
Make sure you respond to every comment, tweet and interaction. It’s also important to do your research [to] find out more about the person who has taken the time to reach out.
Source: Social Fresh
Takeaway: If you respond to every single interaction with a thoughtful, tailored response (even if a response is not necessary), your audience will appreciate you all the more.
Marsha Collier, Founder of CooleBaytools
Sharing good content is a given, but that is not enough. Show your personality in your posts, don’t just quote titles, add interest!
Source: Post Planner
Takeaway: Create a personality and voice for your brand. Speak to your audience as if you actually know them. And if your messaging is more formal, be careful not to turn into a robot.
Adam Connell, Founder of Blogging Wizard
One thing in particular that has worked best for me has been simply to go out of my way to help someone. For just a moment, forget your business goals or trying to get anything out of the situation for [yourself](the gains come later). Just be helpful and don’t ask for anything in return. Use your expertise to help people solve their problems…In the short term you will earn more followers that are more engaged, and that’s great. But the real magic happens in the long term. The gains come later when the people you have helped need a service your business offers or a product that you sell.
Source: Post Planner
Takeaway: Don’t think of social media as a platform to promote your business. Think of it as a way in which you can provide valuable knowledge and really help people. Respond to questions on Quora, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and start establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. If you can, you could even link back to a blog post that you’ve written that delves into that same topic.
Casey Waltz, Social Media Manager at BlackRock
I would say the number one thing is to understand your customer and audience. And any content you develop should provide some sort of value to the audience.
Takeaway: We can’t say it enough: It’s all about posting valuable content. But first, make sure that you really understand your target and what they need—because what’s valuable for one person might be completely useless for someone else.
Lilach Bullock, Social Media Expert, Speaker and Trainer
Standing out on social media, as a brand, requires a few different qualities; from consistency to the content you post, there is more to standing out than just the one thing. That being said, I think that the best way to stand out on social media is through the content you post. A funny image, a thought-provoking video, an article that made you stop and think—these are the types of things that will help brands connect with their audiences and what will help audiences remember brands.
Takeaway: In order to consistently stand out on social media, there are numerous things you need to keep in mind. But first, start with the content. Create content that will make your readers stop and think for a bit. Content that makes people want to get out a pen and write down what they learned. Remarkable content that is maybe even a tad controversial and will raise a few eyebrows.
But remember: creating remarkable and valuable content is only half the battle. From there, it’s up to you to make it really stand out.
Now, are you ready for your social media posts to become those fireworks?