13 Social Media Hacks to Improve Your Content Marketing
Posted on December 4, 2014 in Advice
Some believe that the right way to use social media for your business is as a natural story-telling platform and not as a distribution channel.
This is true, but not every business has a story to tell. There are hacks you can use to turn social media into a natural distribution channel instead of a story-telling platform. These hacks will help you take advantage of the minutiae of each social media network. They will help you get the most out of your content marketing on each network and allow your message to:
- Maximize content marketing reach
- Create advantages
- Attract more likes, retweets, shares, and click throughs
- Get attention
The following outlines thirteen social media hacks that will bring you more exposure to your content and more traffic to your website.
Facebook has more than a billion users and is the top social network. Whether you adore Facebook or wish it would disappear, almost everyone uses Facebook. You need to use Facebook to make the most of the audience who will potentially read your content.
Using Facebook to get your message out can be a complex process, but it is also a powerful one.
Link a Thumbnail Image
When the share button is active on your posts, you will want to see how your content looks in newsfeeds when people share. For the most part, what people see is a small picture, text description, and link. Facebook has made changes that allow you to use a larger image, and this should allow you to get more clicks.
Facebook searches your website for images and chooses the images that have the largest dimensions. This allows you to decide what pictures will show, and should result in more eyes seeing your content. If you are sharing posts from your website on your own social media accounts, you can upload the posts using images where you set the title, hashtags, description, and URL.
Call to Action Buttons
Many people are making millions of dollars by advertising in the Facebook news feed. Many adds now contain these call to action buttons and you can have them too without having to pay a thing for them.
You must first be on your Facebook business page, then go to Photo/Video. Once you upload your video you will see an “Add Call To Action” link at the bottom; simply click on this and you will the same settings as we have below. Once added, users can click through using your new call to action button. You can use them to get more traffic and use shortened URLs to track the traffic coming from your posts. When you see that a particular post is getting a lot of engagement, you can use that information to decide if you want to promote it.
Twitter cards have been around for a long time, but many people don’t know what they are. The intention is a better user experience and to increase the rate of engagement.
Twitter’s new profile design has interesting new features. One of the coolest new features is the pinned post. You can use this feature to highlight your key tweets. Pinned tweets can really add fuel to your content marketing and get regular visitors to your website when it is paired with effective images.
These were introduced to add to the visual experience on twitter. In the past, tweets were plain text with too many URLs. The twitter card allows your content to be displayed in the way you choose. Here are 3 types of Twitter cards:
A summary card gets the post title, author name, website, and image and allows people to see this information in a tweet. This should help drive traffic to your website. You can also choose to show or hide any of the elements such as summary, video, or image. Twitter summary cards can be set up through the card validator.
Sample Code To Add To Your Website
<meta name="twitter:card" content="summary" /> <meta name="twitter:site" content="@flickr" /> <meta name="twitter:title" content="Small Island Developing States Photo Submission" /> <meta name="twitter:description" content="View the album on Flickr." /> <meta name="twitter:image" content="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5510/14338202952_93595258ff_z.jpg" /> <meta name="twitter:url" content="https://www.flickr.com/photos/unicphoto/sets/72157645001703785/" />
Twitter photo cards are a great option for photographers and bloggers who want a showcase for their best photos. With this card, you can highlight a photo in a tweet and it will stand out in the feed. Any photo you use needs to be at least 280 pixels in width and 150 pixels in height. Images will render well on any device.
Sample Code To Add To Your Website
<meta name="twitter:card" content="photo" /> <meta name="twitter:site" content="@flickr" /> <meta name="twitter:title" content="Mountain sunset" /> <meta name="twitter:description" content="Explore Reza-Sina's photos on Flickr. Reza-Sina has uploaded 113 photos to Flickr." /> <meta name="twitter:image" content="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7334/11858349453_e3f18e5881_z.jpg" /> <meta name="twitter:url" content="https://www.flickr.com/photos/reza-sina/11858349453/" />
Player cards allow you to add audio or video content in a tweet. This allows you to get more exposure for your multimedia through twitter. The process to implement these cards is a bit more complicated than other types and will require you to tweak some code. The approval process is also longer but still worth doing.
How to Enable Twitter Cards
- Use the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin to enable Twitter card meta-data from the social Twitter menu.
- Go to the Twitter Card Validator and enter your site’s URL.
- After your site validates, you can request to be added to the beta program. Approval is normally done within a few days.
For more information on Twitter Cards visit the Twitter Dev Center.
In addition to being a social network, Google + is starting to influence search engine rankings and results. Google + communities are becoming more active and that is a promising sign for its future. Interactive posts are a new feature that provides a richer user experience and a higher engagement rate for publishers.
Most people are probably underutilizing interactive posts on Google+. What they do is allow you to add text, a YouTube video, image, calendar event or a poll. This is more functionality than most other social media platforms offer. As Google + rises in popularity these features will become more and more important.
Pinterest has being growing for the last few years and is one of the most exciting social media platforms out there today. Pinterest has a mostly female following and some of the most popular topics are cooking, fashion, and fitness. These types of businesses can potentially get a lot of traffic from Pinterest. Here are some hacks to get the most from Pinterest.
Rich pins have more information than just a picture. You can provide your users with a better experience and rich pins will lead people to navigate through the pictures to your website.
There are five different types of rich pins and you can use the one that is best suited for your business to drive sales. You have to apply and validate your website to use rich pins. Here are the five types you can apply for:
Place – includes an map, phone number and address
Product – real time information from your product page that includes where to buy and stock availability
Article – includes a short description, headline, author name, and link
Movie – includes staring actors, reviews, and movie rating
Recipe – includes serving size, food ingredients, and cooking times
Match Seasons with Re-Ordered Boards
The Pinterest platform is where you collect your favorite photos, items, and products. It allows you to organize them into different groups. You can rotate and re-order your groups often. One idea is to do this based on the season to keep your content from looking stale. You can also use seasonal custom covers that keep your visual identity, but look fresh every season.
Bonus Tip: Apply for a business account and you will be able to use Pinterest analytics to monitor your Pinterest account reach.
Instagram use has skyrocketed over the last few years. It now has millions of users and provides an opportunity for business marketing to your target audience. It started as a simple app to share pictures with filters. At first, it had no real value as a marketing tool, but now Instagram is a way to reach an audience that doesn’t mind being marketed to. Instagram users love short messages and visuals. Here are a few ways you can make Instagram work for you.
Photo Map Labeling
When you upload a picture to Instagram you have an “Add to Photo Map” option. You can use this to create your own instead of selecting an available option. You can label your pictures with a product name instead of a location. Your followers don’t have to scroll to see a product name or even a price.
Bonus tip: Turn your titles into questions to encourage discussion and engagement.
Try implanting these tips and hacks on your social media platforms. If you have any other hacks, please leave them in the comments. We are always looking to learn!