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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#AwesomeContent - Why You Should Avoid Text Only Content

Listen up all you Facebook business page administrators! If you only post text updates, then you are doing more harm than good. After examining analytics, Facebook adjusted their algorithm based on which posts are more likely to get attention. What they found was that pages with only text updates get the least amount of reactions, comments and shares. Because of this, Facebook altered their algorithms in order to make status updates with more interesting content prevalent on your newsfeed. The votes are in and the jury has spoken. Facebook’s new algorithms work in favor of visual social media posts versus text only updates.

You should note that this applies mainly to business pages. If you are still seeing text heavy posts from "friends", that is because the algorithm is giving you more of any individual that you tend to interact with a lot (regardless of the type of post). You’ll still be seeing your friends make wisecracks about politicians and their recent encounters with goofy people on the way to work. As for your business page, expect to see your text only updates go off the radar.

Does this seem unfair to you as a business owner trying to market yourself on Facebook? Well, think of it this way. Ask yourself what you see most on your newsfeed. Best bet is that it is a funny cat video or an eye-catching photograph paired with a news article. The same goes for business pages. As already discussed this month, the most shared posts are ones with videos and photos.

Looking for a way to get better returns on your social media posts? Start adding photos with the links you share in your posts. Research showed that these types of posts get more clicks, likes, comments and shares. Also, Facebook’s new algorithms can now separate out memes versus-high quality articles. If you are someone who loves beautiful pictures with inspiring quotes, don’t expect a lot of traffic coming to your page by posting those all the time. Everything in moderation. Get creative and share a variety of quality content to achieve the best results.

Facebook and Twitter have given us the gift of a short attention span. When you do add text to a post, keep it short. The posts that get the most traffic are 50 characters or less. People are more apt to click on posts that get to the point quick enough to catch their eye. Also, don’t be afraid to be bossy and include a call to action! Surveys have said that people are more likely to complete an action if given clear instructions on what to do. Ask your followers to like or comment on your posts. Research showed that posts, where viewers are asked to take a course of action, got 3 more likes, 3.3 more comments, and a whopping 7 times more shares. Another fun idea is to get followers to fill in the blank, answer questions, or participate in a poll or contest.

In the vast world of cyberspace, standing out in social media is a tough thing to do. Don’t give up on it just because Facebook makes it difficult. With billions of people using the site everyday, it's impossible for the social giant to display every post. This is why the algorithms exist and why the best content is what gets seen. Along with following the rules stated above, make each post count. Do your research first so that you know what posts best target your audience. Perhaps that means sharing a video versus adding a photo. Ask yourself what fits your message then tailor your post to that. While the occasional text-only post isn't going to hurt you, in order to #BeAwesome you need to add a link, image or video to ensure that more people get the benefit of seeing what you have to share! 

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

#AwesomeContent - How Links in Your Content Drive Traffic

You already understand the value of creating and sharing quality content with your audience. Congratulations! Getting to that hurdle is no small undertaking. However, many content creators do not truly understand the value of links within their blogs, social media posts, websites, and other online content.

Links have been a vital SEO strategy for a long time. The search engines change their game plan frequently, so the nature of linking (and its benefits) also changes. That doesn’t make it less powerful a method for increasing traffic.

Here is a breakdown of all the reasons you should be incorporating links into your content:

Helps with website navigation – To keep text tight and clean, sometimes it’s valuable to link to another piece of content somewhere else so that users can go into more detail on the topic. For example, this article on The Seven Commandments of Internal Linking is an expansion of the topic we are discussing here. Strategic linking on your website, or in your content, will guide viewers to exactly where you want them to go (landing page, anyone?).

Increases Traffic – Well placed links are a solid marketing strategy for directing traffic to your content. Hanging out in the right places and having conversations with the right people, where your target audience also hangs out, is an excellent opportunity to link back to your website, your blog or your social media platforms.

Establishes credibility – Thoughtful linking will establish you as an expert in your field, industry or niche. This is true not only for SEO but also for Internet users. For search engines and viewers, other sites that link back to yours help the algorithms to quantify your content as valuable and popular, pushing it up the ranks. (Here we come first page of Google!)

Builds your community - When you link to your clients, partners and influencers you are helping to establish their credibility as well. This a great strategy for building up your tribe and brand advocates. This type of linking is a cornerstone of influencer marketing and will provide content for your audience that isn’t 100% yours and, therefore, follows the 80/20 rule. Plus, the more you link to others the higher the likelihood they will return the favor and link back to you!

It’s important not to go crazy with the linking, however. As with any good tool, there are people out there trying to abuse it for their benefit, and strategic moderation is key. Once people got wind that the search engines preferred linking, they started producing links in mass – many of which were completely false. The algorithms adapt and change over time to combat that sort of abuse so if you aren’t linking the right way (organically and with specific purpose) it will actually hurt your page rank. A small handful of purposefully links will be more beneficial than just linking for linking’s sake.

We hope this helps you #BeAwesome with your content this year. A combination of live video, visual content and linking is a powerful trifecta and can do wonders for your online presence!

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

#AwesomeContent - Branded Images are the Third Highest for Engagement on Social Media

Probably the most important goal of any social media strategy is to create content that viewers want to read and engage with. There is a ton of content being created and posted every day. Much of it is not getting seen, liked or shared. The idea is not to work harder – don’t just become a content creation factory. You should be working smarter by creating the types of content that viewers like the most. Yes, live video is all the rage this year and shouldn’t be overlooked when building your marketing plan. However, not everyone is capable, or even interested, in creating videos. What’s the next best thing in social media when it comes to getting a ROI on engagement? Anything visual will work well – this includes pictures, photoquotes, infographics and other images.

Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. Buzzsumo

Branded images are pieces of visual content created using your own words, material, content or logo. It can be as simple as a picture with a quote on it and your logo or as complicated as an infographic filled with valuable stats and facts about your industry. The spectrum of options is wide and diverse and limited only by your own creativity. Just make sure that any content you are creating doesn’t violate copyright laws and that it is clear that you own it. The best graphics get shared often and if you don’t put your mark on it, no one will know where it came from. Don’t waste time creating quality content and then forget to label it with your brand.
37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging. Social Media Examiner
Visual Storytelling

Gone are the days where a business could invest in commercials, direct mail, paper ads and other old school forms of marketing in order to boost presence and generate sales. No one wants to be sold to anymore.

Today’s marketing is all about organic reach, becoming an influencer and creating stand out content online and in social media to build a following.

There is a lot of stuff out there vying for consumer attention and more added gets every day. In order to rise to the top and really reach your target audience, marketers and business owners need to learn the value of visual storytelling.

Telling a story is all about gathering attention and then making an emotional impact. If your content isn’t telling a story that engages, surprises, motivates, or inspires others – then it’s time to start incorporating those elements into your marketing. Basically, it’s time to start hitting people in the feels with your words, images, and data.

Social Media Graphics

Where do you start when it’s time to come up with your social media images? The Content Strategist identifies 5 elements that you have to take into consideration when you are creating your branded images.

Does your content match the mood you are trying to achieve? You shouldn’t be creating anything that confuses your audience. Make certain it matches your company’s brand, your voice and your purpose.

Also, be sure you are designing images that appeal to people. There is a lot of thought that goes into a great visual including tone, concept, emotional response, and simplicity.  Understanding some basic elements of graphic design and marketing will boost your returns.

There are a lot of great, free, online tools to help you create your own images. We prefer if you need a place to start.

Not everyone will be good at creating his or her own images. If this is you, seek out help from someone who understands how to design images for social media. You don’t have to be an expert at how to do this in order to generate your own social images.

Increasing Engagement with Images

Don’t forget to take time to brainstorm how to get the most engagement out of your branded images. Use quotes, from you or others, that generate an emotional response. Ask questions. Use pictures of other people – there is something about seeing a person and being able to identify with them that helps boost engagement. Keep it as local as possible. People want to interact within their own communities. Achieving presence and reach is great but don’t lose sight of being able to exchange words and ideas with your followers.

51% of B2B marketers prioritized creating visual content assets in 2016. Content Marketing Institute

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.