Social media has changed the way people promote content. What once took several months to build exposure can be done within days. On social media you’ll find relevant people who are itching to find valuable content which provides them substance. The problem before was simply content didn’t provide what people were looking for, and this was a complete waste of time. People found creative ways to manipulate the SERP’s boosting poor and irrelevant content up the ranks. It just lowered the user experience and Google decided to change this. What does this all mean? I’ll sum it up quickly within a few sentences…
First, Google introduced several updates which cater to improving the user experience. They have certain signals in place that differentiate content based on valuable. They have left value to be determined by users which leads me to my next point. Social media is the best way to understand the valuable of content. How? Great content gets “shared” and “tweeted” while others no longer get attention at all.
Social media has changed the way we interact with content and our audience however we need to still test along the way. Once you find out what social media strategy is working you can than optimize for higher results. I’ll be discussing what social signals to pay close attention to which will improve your content marketing, and ultimately your conversions.
Let’s get started…
Here’s what I’ll be discussing:
- Top social media networks
- Importance of #hashtags
- What type of content performs on social networks
- Final Thoughts
Top Social Networks
I’m going to make this brief and tell you the “3” major social networks you have to pay close attention to are: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Each year they are growing and have millions of users from different niches. All allow you to share images, videos and text content which is perfect for testing purposes. The trends are growing and here’s a quick screen-shot:
From the image you’ll notice “Facebook” is definitely dominating however keep in mind the stats are showing volume in the millions. This means Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest still have enormous volume heading their way. It’s about finding and attracting targeted people to your blog which I’ve done effectively on these networks. There are going to be other networks which you’ll find useful however I would recommend starting with these “3” then moving to the others.
Once you have setup an account on these networks it’s time to move into the next step – #hashtags. For those of you NOT aware of #hashtags, it’s the social media’s way of organizing content so it can found easily.
Importance of #Hashtags
The power of #hashtags cannot be underestimated because knowing how to use them correctly will help your content get found. The good news is you have many tools available at your disposal to help you out. Before I get into the tools, let’s discuss how you would use #hashtags. If I wrote content relevant to “SEO” or “link-building” than when I share my content I would include something like this: #seo or #linkbuilding with the text posted on Twitter. Facebook.com might have their own way to use #hashtags so you’ll have to do some research. When someone searching for the top “SEO” articles skim s over to Twitter they would simply search #SEO and your article will pop-up with the rest. It’s an amazing method to organize information, and a great way for people to find relevant information they need.
The next question is: How do you find popular #hashtags to add to your content while sharing. You obviously don’t want to use tags which no one searches because this won’t increase the likelihood of your content being found. http://hashtagify.me/ is one of the best tools which I’ve been using for years. Here’s a quick overview on how to use it:
Start by type in a keyword, for example: SEO, link building, content marketing, etc and make sure it’s as relevant to your niche. Then click “Table Mode” and the graph will show you the following information:
- Weekly trend
- Monthly trend
I usually sort by popularity because this shows what tags are searched the most and increase the likelihood of your content being found. Here’s an example using the hashtag #SEO.
You can see from the image other tags displayed are relevant, and can be used when sharing as well. Once you use this tool a few times you’ll perfect what tags to use and have yielded the biggest results for you. It’s all about testing and tweaking until you find what works.
Social Networks by Performance
Here are some cool statistics which I know you’ll love to know about. The next time you share your content it’s important to keep these in mind.
Out of 3 billion internet users around the world, nearly 2.1 billion have social media accounts. This means with the right social strategy you can potentially tap into a huge market. The people are scattered out in the top “3” networks which I’ve discussed above.
47% of all internet users are on Facebook.com and have accounts. What does this mean? If you know how to choose the right times and days, you’ll be able to tap into a massive market. 4.5 billion “Likes” daily which means people are actively sharing on Facebook.
Twitter is not as big as Facebook, but can still generate targeted traffic. It has some cool facts which I’ve listed below:
- Near 284 million active users at last count and this can be huge for brand awareness.
- 88% of Twitter users are on mobile
- 500 million Tweets are paid. Great for those who have huge following and influence.
Google + is a growing social network, and the stats are low compared to the others. However, here’s something interesting you might want to pay close attention to. First, having a Google+ account for your blog or website helps rankings simply because Google runs the entire program. The question has been asked if Google rewards you more for having an account with their social network. With that said, did you know 5 billion people hit the Google + button daily.
If they ever decide to make it part of their ranking factors and give it more priority, you’ll already have an account which is means less work for you going forward.
Content Performance on Social Networks
marketing you have the option of sharing text content, videos, images or even infographics. Each method will bring a diversity of people to your blog, and this is great for your brand. However, keep in mind traffic leads to profits bringing you closer to accomplishing your bottom line. Let’s explore this question so going forward you can optimize your sharing strategy.
I’ll list these in order.
First, keep in mind NOT all social media networks are compatible with infographic sharing. However, the ones which can like Pinterest and Twitter have done very well with these types of shares. People all over the world use social networks so infographics provide a visual and comprehensive understanding of the topic. It’s also important to mention that infographics provide value quickly which is what people are looking for. Millions of people share content and others are in a hurry to read it all so why not post an infographic which is short and right to the point.
Images, like infographics, are awesome because they illustrate your point more quickly. Visitors can quickly skim through pulling out the value saving them time. However, you have to find social networks which display these images correctly and allow you to add some text below. From my experience Twitter and Pinterest are awesome especially when you utilize #hashtags when posting. Make sure before you post your images, you have tweaked them to stand out by adding borders, bright colors, buttons, etc. You’ll have competition so find ways to dominate them within social networks.
These are very powerful however many social networks will NOT allow them to its entirety. They are massive in size and slow down networks so you might have a problem embedding them into your social “sharing” strategy. However, don’t forget you can make use of YouTube.com which is very powerful and allows you to add links within your video and description. I would create an awesome video and post it within YouTube.com because this can generate enormous traffic to your blog too.
General Content –
The type of content MOSTLY shared online and is the bulk of “re-shares” on social networks. However, again your going to have competition so it’s important you share only the best. Keep in mind, social networks are a great way to build loyalty, and a huge following which is why I recommend you following this:
- Its high valuable
- It’s better than any other found online
- Is based on a popular topic within your niche
- Organized and formatted correctly
- A attractive headline
One of the main things with social media sharing is picking the right days and times. I’ve noticed it all comes down to getting your content in front of people on the right days, and around the right times. Every nice will obviously be different so you have to test and tweak until you find what works well for you. In the next section you’ll learn about some tools to test performance.
Testing & Tweaking
No matter what your strategy it’s important you have a solid testing and tweaking tool in place. You don’t want to waste time on techniques which produce no results because this would be a waste of time and effort. However, you have so many FREE tools which can help you out that NOT making use of the is completely stupid. Let’s look at the top “2” tools I use to track my conversions and traffic sources.
Google Analytics –
Free and absolutely one of the best tools I’ve ever used because it gives you everything you need. For example, you’ll know location, referral, landing pages, average time on site, and how many pages visited during each session. The most important column for me in Google Analytics is the “Referrals” because it shows where the traffic is coming from. If you have a social media campaign in place then it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on this section. For example, if you are promoting your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google, then look for these referral sources within Google Analytics.
This is another awesome tool which allows you to shorten the URL you are sharing and keeps track of how any click-through. I’ve been using it for years and have found it to be very useful to see what shares get the MOST clicks. I then have a better idea of the type of content popular on social platforms, and can continue to share this type going forward.
ButLy.com is FREE and very easy to use because it does all the work for you. By shortening your URL, it’ll give you more room to add text right before you share content.
Both of these tools are valuable and are absolutely FREE which is hard to find especially when they provide so much important insight into your traffic. Make sure you use them and see how you like both of them, and keep in mind there are several other options available however some might require a monthly subscription.
There is a lot of information here so go through it one more time and start implementing the strategies mentioned. It will definitely take some time to gather the data you need so you can tweak at a later time. The important thing is once you know what’s working you can stick to the technique and ,if needed, make slower adjustments.
Social media is NOT going anywhere and statistics show networks are growing each year. This means you have to start making use of them because your competition is definitely utilizing them to generate traffic. To get the upper edge on your competition it’s important to stay one step ahead. I recommend starting with Facebook, Twitter and Google+. After, you can start adding more networks for testing purposes.
Do a quick Google search right now to find all the popular networks and tools. Here is a solid collection of 1000+ Online Marketing Tools to help you get started.