Creating Great-Performing Social Media Content - Tips for Share-Friendly Posts

Creating Great-Performing Social Media Content - Tips for Share-Friendly Posts

Creating Great-Performing Social Media Content - Tips for Share-Friendly Posts

Creating content for social media can be tough. You have to hit the right balance between what people want to see and what you need them to see. And sometimes, the two don't match. Your audience wants visual, shareable content that they can respond to emotionally. Sometimes, you have to share other types of things, like content from your website. If you've been social media marketing for a while, you know that, usually, those posts get lower engagement than straight visual posts.

Luckily, there are things you can do to make your content shares more social media friendly.

Install Social Media Plugins on Your Website

Want people to talk about your content on social media? Make it easy for them to do it - right on your website. A lot of websites enable users to "like" on Facebook or "tweet"on Twitter right on the page, but enabling comments does a lot more. You can enable Facebook comments right with Facebook for Developers:

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Or you can use a plugin or other service, like Livefyre or Disqus. The latter two options allow users to comment with their choice of social accounts.

There are advantages and disadvantages to installing a comment plugin. On the positive side, they:

  • Display comment threads
  • Are mobile-friendly
  • Readers can opt-in or out of notification emails
  • Administrators can control which comments are displayed
  • Administrators can, to some degree, blacklist spammers and trolls

On the negative side:

  • Some readers won't want to connect their social accounts
  • Importing or exporting comments can be problematic
  • Automated spam is filtered, but rogue trolls and manual spammers can still post

There are certainly more advantages than disadvantages, so this is a good option for brands that want social engagement on their actual websites. There are other things you can do to make sure your content for social media performs well.

For social sharing, we recommend Social Warfare for WordPress.

Make Your Link Posts More Attractive on Social Media

You can include some code in the website page you're sharing (if you have access to the back end) that will tell social networks how you want the post link to appear. This allows you to customize the description, title and image so that the social network doesn't auto-populate those things for you. WordPress's Yoast SEO plugin will also make a guess at which link preview settings will be best for you, so you don't have to fiddle with the meta tags.

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You could also use a tool like CoSchedule to customize your link displays. PromoRepublic, in addition, allows you to customize your image, headline, text and link appearance in a post scheduled in the tool.

Read the Social Media Weekly Digest for August

Speaking of Headlines

Any social media manager or page manager worth their salt will tell you that there are two components that impact a social media user's decision to click on a link. One is the image, and we talked a little bit about that above. The other is the headline. Headlines can lead to sharing almost as much as images do. Think about the headline's emotional marketing value. What about it makes the user WANT to click a link? Think about the difference between these these headlines:

32% of People Need Better Health Care - Are You One of Them?

Vs.

We Asked 1000 People About Health Care - You Won't Believe What They Said

Which one would you click? Don't know? This is where some good A/B testing can come in. And, a good headline analyzer tool can work wonders, but their results aren't always the end-all, be-all when it comes to choosing the best headline for your social post.

The Advanced Marketing Institute (AMI) has a headline analyzer, and so does CoSchedule. We ran the headlines above through both, and got surprising results. Let's take a look.

First off, AMI gives you an Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score. They say that most professional marketers will produce headlines with 30-40% EMV, and really good marketers will have 50%-75%. After they give you the score, they'll give you the emotion classification your headline falls into.

CoSchedule assigns a score for your headline based on word balance, structure, grammar, readability. Word balance is broken into common, uncommon, emotional and power words. Structure comes down to the type of headline it is. They do a length analysis (they say 55 characters is optimum length) and a word count (they say less than 10 words is best), and they'll list your keywords and assign a sentiment of positive, negative or neutral. Let's take a look at each headline and see how they scored with each tool.

32% of People Need Better Health Care - Are You One of Them?

This headline received a 30.77% Emotional Marketing Value score from AMI and said that the emotional classification was Intellectual. CoSchedule rated the headline with a score of 72, with a balance of 24% common words, 24% uncommon, 0% emotional and 16% power. Character count was 56, and they deemed that the right length, but they said 12 words made the headline too wordy. They said the headline had a positive sentiment.

We Asked 1000 People About Health Care - You Won't Believe What They Said

This headline got a 28.57% MEV from AMI and, again, said the emotional classification was Intellectual. CoSchedule's tool gave it a score of 58. The balance was 28% common, 7% uncommon, 0% emotional and 14% power. Character count was 71 (too long), and word count came to 14 (also too long). They deemed this headline as having a positive sentiment as well.

If you asked a Facebook affiliate, or someone who went to the Upworthy school of headlines, they would pick the second headline, but the first is a clear winner. So, A/B testing is the best way to find the best headlines.

Diversify Your Content

If you want your readers to keep coming back, and therefore see when you post links in your social media content, you have to diversify your content. And, with Facebook's algorithm constantly changing, you have to be particularly careful about the relevance of your links. Google + is the same way. We're not sure Twitter cares a whole lot.

A good way to diversify content is to have some schedule post with potential reach with a capital R. Contextual posts are best, and some of the easiest wins in that category are holidays, sporting events, trends, memes, and other visual posts to get the engagement where you want it to be.

PromoRepublic offers a great content calendar that is packed with these types of posts. They even create the templates for you to modify with your own text, images, logos and more. The calendar tells you every holiday, trend, event, celebrity birthday and similar contextual post that can really ramp up your engagement. PromoRepublic have recently updated their calendar: they added layers to the content calendar, so that you can find the content you want easier.

You can see your scheduled posts, and all the content suggestions all on the same calendar.

You don't have to shy away from link-based marketing posts in your social media content creation. All you have to do is approach it strategically and use the right tools. You've got this.

Additional Reading: Blog Promotionology, The Art & Science of Blog Promotion

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By Alla Bogdan


Alla Bogdan is the head content marketer for PromoRepublic, the new Calendar of Content Ideas based on holidays, trends, events and more. She's the lead writer of the Content Hacker's Blog, a source of hacks and trends for freelancers and social media professionals.