Are Google Plus Post Ads Over the Top?

google plust post ads

Google recently introduced “Plus Post Ads” on Google+ (or Google Plus, for those of you who recognize symbols don’t work well for SEO — which you’d think Google of all companies would understand) which further adds to the advertising clutter on social networks.

However, Google ignores its own dominance in advertising through AdWords by positioning Google Plus ads differently. Here’s text directly from the Plus Post Ads page:

[Plus] Post ads amplify your brand’s content by easily turning Google+ posts into display ads that run across the web. People can leave a comment, follow your brand, give a +1, or join a Hangout right from an ad. The Hangout On Air ad format allows you to go beyond clicks to broadcasting live conversations with your audience across the web.

This statement almost makes Plus Post Ads seem altruistic, rather than another revenue stream. Plus Post Ads make Plus content accessible across the web. Users can follow links to Plus pages. They can also interact with Plus content — comment, share, watch videos — on third-party websites.

And, Google’s strategy is working. Major brands have already started using Plus and report roughly fifty percent greater engagement with their content compared to traditional advertising.

Background on Plus Post Ads

Google’s mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful”. Since being incorporated in 1998, they have done an extraordinarily good job of this. Google processes over a billion search requests daily through over a million servers around the world, making them the most visited site in the world and, for most people, THE portal to the internet. Over 70% of search still starts on Google.

There’s no denying that Google’s search engine is a driving force on the web. They can often squeeze out their competition by offering products that are simpler and better integrated with their heavily used platform. Think Gmail and Google Docs. This appears to be the case with Google Plus, their answer to Facebook. Businesses use Plus optimize search results on Google via social impact factors and as a window into users’ preferences. This allows advertisers to target their ads both on Plus and on Google.

Google Plus Post Ads in 1 infographic

The infographic below shares some great info. regarding “ Plus Post ads”. It highlights some of the benefits of using Post ads and gives step by step instructions on how to create your own. Here are some takeaways:

Before you begin your +Post campaign, you need at least 1000 followers (this is a +Plus requirement). This ensures that newcomers to Plus are adequately networked and that their ads are of interest to at least a few people.

You can target your ads based on different metrics. For instance, you can target based on keywords or interests and remarketing (recommended).

You can create a campaign based on recent Plus posts. This makes it easy to update the campaign with additional content.

If this sounds a bit like Facebook ads, the infographic has a nice comparison between the two — the takeaway is that Facebook is currently better at targeting specific demographics while Google is relying on search queries which allows them to target users based on location and what they want/need.

The impact of Plus Post Ads

Google Plus appears to be making a hefty impact in the social marketing world. Google is throwing a lot of money at the platform because they understand the importance of user information and targeted marketing. Their latest implementation, +Post, has some far-reaching implications, foremost being that companies can utilize Google’s expanding Display Network to traffic users to their content.

Google started with the intention of organizing and spreading information. They are clearly continuing in that spirit, now focusing on how to bridge connections between potential consumers and businesses. If Google can gain sufficient traction on Plus, they will have the ability to target users based not only on demographics (from social data) but also on their momentary wants and needs (from search queries). This could be extremely powerful.

Need help?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing firm operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.

Ivan'sCafePicThis is a guest post by Ivan Serrano

Ivan Serrano is a social media and global business journalist from San Jose, California. You can connect with Ivan on Twitter.

 

 

 

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The Internet Economy

Saul Klein
Saul Klein of Index Ventures — author of the Klein Report

The Internet economy is bright — very bright according to Saul Klein of Index Ventures. But, are investors getting returns like Facebook and Google when they invest in tech? Or are they missing some of the secret sauce that makes these investments almost bullet-proof?

Returns like Facebook and Google

Look at recent investments by Facebook and Google — Instagram (by Facebook) and YouTube (by Google).

Facebook paid $1 billion to acquire Instagram in 2012 – not a paltry sum. Begun in 2010 by a couple of Stanford grads, the app today boasts over 200 million users with more than 75 million logging on each day, including both the Obamas, the Royal family, and most celebrities.

What did Facebook see in Instagram? The fast growing users base on dedicated users fit Facebook’s business model and the photo sharing over Facebook (and other social networks) created synergy, but maybe the thing that drew Facebook to buy Instagram was because they were afraid of Instagram — afraid users would desert Facebook for Instagram … afraid users wouldn’t want to split time between the 2 apps and would choose Instagram … afraid Instagram solved a problem — sharing photos — that made Facebook obsolete. Just as General Motors acquired Oldsmobile, Cadillac, Chevrolet (once competitors) to eliminate the competition, Facebook did the same with Instagram.

Google’s purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion 4 years earlier made it the most expensive acquisition by Google to date — topping what they paid for all acquisitions the year before. Again, the purchase was a strategic fit for Google, who grew from its search roots to become a major player in many aspects of life for its target demographic. Following the successful strategy of Apple Computers, Google seeks to be everything to this target market from search to wearables to automation (self-driving cars, for example), to communication and productivity, to every aspect of innovation (life extension, for instance). Buying YouTube meant not only acquiring more folks in this target demographic, but convincing them to spend more time with Google properties and, through its single sign on, making easier to bundle everything a consumer needs into one package. Acquisition of YouTube also provides synergy — making Google’s chief money-maker — adsense — even more valuable and driving more businesses to the advertising platform (which also operates on YouTube).

No wonder Google sowed up 70% of search!

A good question is what Facebook and Google see that eludes other investors? And, how can other tech investors get returns like Facebook and Google?

Investor barriers

According to Saul Klein, investors today are investing like investors of 20 – 30 years ago — not understanding the ecosystem changed forever with the rise of the Internet economy.

According to Klein:

The Internet isn’t really a technology, it’s a belief system

And, ecommerce companies, software, and online travel outperform the traditional markets (creating tangible products) where investors traditional focused their resources. With the exception of smart devices, these markets just don’t perform that well anymore.

And, Klein isn’t alone. The prestigious Boston Consulting Group (which created the infamous BCG matrix taught to generations of marketing students) estimates the growth potential for the internet economy at $4.2 trillion. In their report, BCG analysts say:

By 2016, there will be 3 billion Internet users globally—almost half the world’s population. The Internet economy will reach $4.2 trillion in the G-20 economies. If it were a national economy, the Internet economy would rank in the world’s top five, behind only the U.S., China, Japan, and India, and ahead of Germany. Across the G-20, it already amounted to 4.1 percent of GDP, or $2.3 trillion, in 2010.
the internet economy
Courtesy of BCG

Because Internet growth is exponential, not linear, opportunities in the Internet economy far exceed those available through any other opportunity — which also fueled not only the growth of Facebook and Google, but their acquisitions of Instagram and YouTube. Take a look at how the Internet economy is shaping up next year in this chart from the BCG report

And, they expect continued growth means the economic impact of the Internet economy will double in just 6 short years — between 2010 and 2016. Beyond 2016, exponential growth continues — shortening the time it takes for economic impact to double.
Developed markets in the US, Western Europe and much of Asia (including a surprising strong showing by South Korea) lead the way in the digital economy in terms of BCG’s e-intensity, which assesses a countries Internet infrastructure, online expenditures, and online engagement online, but new comers in Latin America, China, and the Middle East (except Israel, which maps to Western Europe in e-intensity), are leap-frogging directly into social the way they leap-frogged directly into mobile rather than land-based telephones.

Research versus buying online

We probably already knew this — or at least suspected it. The amount of money spend online is really tiny despite years when gurus predicted this would be the year when online sales (desktop and mobile) would take off. But, don’t underestimate the importance of online marketing and retailing. A large percentage of consumers do their research online, then buy what they want in the store — the brick and mortar kind. Mixed channels — using 2 or more channels — are common, especially in the US, where almost twice as much stuff is purchased in a brick and mortar (after researching online) as is purchased online.

Multichannel retailing goes the other way, too. With companies like Best Buy complaining about customers taking up time (and time IS money) shopping in the stores, then buying online. Shoppers even shop the price of an item right in the store before making a purchase. If they find a TV or Blu-ray for less on Amazon, there goes the sale.

Of course, not all research is intentional. We get recommendations from our friends all the time on social networks. It’s also common for folks to ask their friends for recommendations before buying. I recently had a friend ask whether to buy a Sleep Number or Temporpedic mattress to replace his existing foam mattress. We trust our friends because they don’t have any hidden agendas — they give it to us straight. This, of course, explains the true power of social media.

Not to mention all the brands building their image through social channels. Branding sends subtle messages about the positioning of the product and it’s suitability that have a subconscious influence on the brands we choose in both online and offline settings.

Even though a small number of purchases actually occur online (about 4.3% of GDP according to BCG), the power of the Internet in influencing offline purchases is enormous.

So, what does it all mean?

I’m glad you asked. The Internet economy impacts much of how we market businesses today. Like Klein said, its a belief system supported by technology, not a technology.

As an investor

You should probably think like Facebook and Google — investing in the Internet economy by building synergies with existing business and stopping competitors by gobbling them up. Stop investing the old way and supporting startups who are doing things the old way. Today, that probably means stop looking for the next Facebook or Google and, instead, look for firms like Instagram and YouTube who expand the internet economy.

Two suggestions — the Internet of things and email substitutes.

As a marketer

The Internet economy presents great opportunities, but also great challenges. Learn to harness the power of the Internet economy by putting on a different set of glasses than the ones you’ve used to view the world so far.

If you’re not online (and mobile-friendly), you’ve missed the boat. A digital presence is just the price of admission now. And, don’t go creating an app unless you provide some enhanced capability over your website. Just make you website mobile friendly. The high cost of keeping your app at the top in the app store is too high to do anything different.

Joining today’s Internet economy means becoming part of the new ecosystem — an ecosystem that’s consumer-driven, not like the one we all grew up in.

As a consumer

The Internet economy offers great opportunities to increase your buying power and get things that truly make your life better. Demand more from brands — make them earn your $$$$ every day. When they do something wrong, vote with your dollars to drive them out of business. If they offer greater opportunity, give them a try and tell your friends if it works out. We certainly need that more than sharing another cat video!

Need help?

We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE.  Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.

Hausman and Associates, the publisher of Hausman Marketing Letter, is a full service marketing firm operating at the intersection of marketing and social media.

 

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How to Optimize Your Posts Using Post Length and Sharing

content marketingContent is king! Long live the king!

You know content marketing is the secret to getting traction for your website (which is where the magic of conversion happens) and building engagement on your social platforms.

To help, we’ve published several posts about how to optimize your posts. I mean, you put a lot of effort into creating them, you need them to do the heavy lifting of driving visitors to your site, engaging customers and prospects, building brand image and loyalty, and providing a platform for your brand messages.

If you haven’t read them already (or want to re-read them), here are some other posts to help optimize your posts:

Today, I’d like to share some really great advice from Buffer — BTW, if you’re not using Buffer to manage your content marketing, you’re really missing the boat. And, I find their blog indispensable for digital marketing optimization.

Optimize your posts: length

What’s the right length for a post?

Good question and the answer varies depending on the platform.

To help, here’s some good advice from the good folks at Buffer via SumAll:

optimize your posts

 Optimize your posts: Surprises

If you’ve been at this for awhile, this infographic contains some surprises. For me, the infographic reinforced things I’m hearing from other sources: post length REALLY matters. And, we’ve been doing it wrong.

How long should a post be?

Like a woman’s skirt, content should be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to be interesting!

Of course, Buffer has a better answer to that question — maybe not so provocative, but easier to implement.

The great thing about this information from Buffer, is it’s based on experiments — trying out different options and finding out which ones perform best rather than just guessing.

So, let’s dive into some specifics on how to optimize your posts using length.

Blogging

Bloggers commonly used a rule of thumb that posts should be over 300 words. If you’re using Yoast’s SEO plugin (like many of us), you’ll see he’s built this into his algorithm and, if you don’t hit 300 words, you don’t get a good score for your post. Well, that’s ALL wrong! (To defend Yoast, he knows better, he just hasn’t updated the plugin for a variety of reasons — we still love you).

Buffer recommends blog posts of 1600 words. Now, that may be a tad long, but I’m hearing advice from 1000 words (which is the minimum for Social Media Examiner) to 1200 words. I tend to use 600 words as the minimum for guest posts on my blog (and, yes, I accept high-quality guest posts, but I try to hit the 1000 word minimum myself.

Now, increasing the minimum word count DOESN’T mean padding your content. It means that, to optimize your posts, you need more depth. Nothing is more frustrating than reading a blog post only to find it contains either superficial advice or limited information making it difficult to implement suggestions.

By the same token, don’t go overboard with blog length. If you need more space to say something meaningful, create a white paper instead.

I also read something recently (don’t ask me where, I read so much I often can’t remember where I saw something — just that it was a credible outlet) suggesting that folks only read about 1/3 of each blog post and that readership seriously drops off about 1/2 way through the post. When you write posts, think about the newspaper model (I have an undergraduate minor in journalism, so this comes more naturally). In the newspaper model, you front load the important information with who, what, where, when, why, and leave the how questions for after you’ve hooked your audience and whetted their appetite for more.

Optimize your posts with short paragraphs

Writing a blog post should also be chunkable — meaning using short paragraphs  and heading so readers can easily scan the page and read elements they find most interesting without having to read the entire post.

Forget all the stuff your English teacher taught about a minimum of 3 lines per paragraph. It doesn’t work online. You’re not writing a thesis, but a pithy advice column for your online media outlet.

Buffer suggests keeping the first line really short — 40 – 55 characters. Notice the first paragraph of this blog post is only 36 characters. Pretty much the optimal length.

Optimize your posts with headlines

The headline is the biggest single factor impacting whether visitors read your posts and, along with SEO, whether they select your link from the page of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Spend some time crafting a title that intrigues potential readers without over-promising on what the post delivers.

Google imposes a strict 60 character limit on headlines, while Buffer suggests the optimal title length is 55. My title is 56 characters, including spaces. Pretty close to the optimal length.

Not only are short titles easier for searchers to scan when reading down a list of search results, they don’t get truncated by Google for going over 60 characters.

Asking questions, using numbers and how to, and promising returns from your read-time are all tried and true ways to optimize headlines for readers.

But, don’t forget, robots also read your headline and, as an H1 tag, it’s an important element of SEO.

Don’t try to get too cutsie or creative with your headline — especially in B2B. Stick with headlines that deliver on the promise of the post. BTW, if I read 1 more headline like this: “What [insert celebrity name] teaches us about social media” I’m going to scream. Literally. And, I never share content like this. It just shows how trivial the writer is because what can Justin Timberlake or Kim Kardashian teach us about social media for business? Nothing.

Don’t stop with optimizing your posts

You need to share them effectively to bring readers to your great content. Whether you’re sharing on Twitter, Facebook, or some other social network, some guidelines help to optimize your posts. At least in terms of their ability to drive traffic.

1. Optimize your posts for length — see the infographic

2. Remember engagement matters — build engaging social networks not just large followings.

3. Content curation is important.

No one likes someone who talks about themselves all the time. You should plan to share content created by others about 4 – 10 times more frequently than you share your own content — depending on the social network.

4. Optimize your posts for time — share posts when your target audience is likely online checking their social networks.

So, avoid drive time and dinner time. For consumers, focus on evenings and weekends when they have more free time. For B2B, focus on early morning when most folks check their email, before and after lunch, and before folks leave the office.

5. Optimize your posts for sharing.

Buffer discusses the optimal number of posts per day for different social networks in this post and even makes suggestions about what time you should post to optimize your posts.

They also offer advice on how many times you should share your own content without being annoying. And, the answer depends on the social network. Sharing more frequently on Twitter and over time on Facebook, Google+, and other social networks optimizes your reach.

Why do you need to share content multiple times? Because folks might overlook the initial share — either they’re offline when your post pops up or it gets lost in the multitude of posts. Don’t forget, folks are in different time zones so you want to hit them when they’re online. That’s the same reason why TV and radio commercials (in fact any traditional media buy) is placed multiple times.

Another reason why you share your content multiple times is because folks need to hear the message several times before it has the desired impact on attitudes. We tend to forget the message over time and seeing it multiple times reinforces the original share.

I recently ran across a proposed schedule for sharing posts that calls for sharing about 6 times on Twitter, 3 on Google+, and 2 on Facebook. I adopted the strategy, which spans 2 months, and after only a few weeks, visits to my site are up 50% — not too shabby for a strategy that’s so easy to implement!

Need help?

Whether you need a complete content marketing strategy, some help with hacking the customer journey, or some consulting to optimize your existing social media marketing, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

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15 Ways to Be Nice in Social Media Posts

social media support your local business
Let Social Media bring more customers to your business

Are you “nice” in your social media posts or are you spammy?

Nice social media posts engage and build your audience, while spammy posts make you look stupid, ignorant, or just plan lazy. Spammy posts might also get you banned from social networks.

Making nice in social media posts

Take a look at the infographic below to see prevailing etiquette. Then, let’s take a look at 15 ways to be nice in social media posts. If you want more information on how to create the perfect social media posts, check this out!

First, let’s get this out-of-the-way.

There is NO such thing as the perfect social media post.

That’s because each platform is different and its users expect a different form of interaction on each platform.

A corollary to the fact there is no perfect social media post is that posting isn’t enough for success on social platforms regardless of how perfect your post is. Brands who do nothing but post, get little engagement and engagement spurs interest in your brand and amplifies your message.

So, let’s discuss the 15 ways to be nice in social media posts

How often to post

  1. On Twitter, you can get away with posting about 5 times/ day, although Buffer published 14 times/ day using its app and claims they get good results. However, SocialBakers produced a study showing 3 Tweets per day produced maximum engagement. Spread your posts throughout the day to ensure you don’t spam anyone’s Twitter feed with multiple messages.
  2. On Facebook, 1-2 posts/ day seems to be the sweet spot according to Buffer. SocialBakers found top brands post an average of once/ day and found engagement drops significantly when a brand only posts about once a week. Posting more than a couple of times per day borders on annoying and TrackSocial finds engagement actually declines after the first post each day.
  3. Everyone seems to agree that LinkedIn and Google+ warrant only 1 post a day before getting pretty spammy.
  4. One caveat to these posting schedules, however. Facebook, and more recently Twitter, use an algorithm to determine whether your posts show up. Increasing your posts per day is a means to combat the effect of these algorithms to ensure you reach users.
  5.  And, don’t send the same post a bunch of times. Guy Kawasaki recommends sending each post no more than 4 times — adjusted to users time zones.

Images in social media posts

  1. Twitter doesn’t support images natively, but creating Twitter Cards allows embedded images in your posts. I personally dislike images in Twitter, but to each her own. Experiment to see what works with your audience.
  2. Facebook images work well — getting 37% more engagement than posts without images. The same goes for LinkedIn and Google+. Google+ is especially image-driven and full size images tend to do better there.
  3. Images that attract, especially quirky ones, create engagement. Images without people work best, as there’s a tendency to ignore images of people we don’t know. Dogs and cats work well, as do memes, as long as they don’t contain people.

Content that rocks

Don’t forget the importance of content in driving social media success.

  1. Limit talking about yourself to less than 20% of posts.
  2. All recommendations assume you have something valuable to share. If you don’t, just shut up!
  3. Use smart contests, questions, and coupons. Creating contests that don’t get your target audience to sign up or using coupons without encouraging sharing miss the mark.
  4. Use some teaser copy to encourage users to click-through for more information.

Getting results from social media posts

  1. Remember, recommendations are just that — recommendations. Each audience is different, so creating systematic tests to determine how your audience responds to different social media posts allows you to optimize for your audience.
  2. Not all engagement is created equal. You’re in business to make money, not friends. So creating engagement among your target audience (those most likely to buy) is more important than just reaching random social media users.
  3. Monitor, analyze, and tweak. That’s the only way to improve performance of your social media posts. What times of day work best, what types of content, which CTA (calls to action), etc.

A few insights on social media posts

I wanted to pull a few things from the infographic below to highlight opportunities for your social media posts.

Almost all social networks are skewed toward women and Pinterest is mostly women.

sexism on social networksSo think about the kind of stuff you’re sharing. For instance, Asus made a truly sexist remark (especially when combined with the Twitter Card, and compounded the mistake by shifting blame to someone else — a third-party. That kind of stuff might play well in the locker room, but doesn’t cut it when the audience is 64% women — as it is on Twitter.

Social networks are just that — social. Be as organic as possible rather than disrupting conversations.

I’ve mostly abandoned efforts at Facebook advertising, except for promoted posts. Promoted posts work well as they fit organically into a user’s newsfeed and, if properly targeted, reach your target audience with information they appreciate.

On LinkedIn, it’s great to join groups, but you shouldn’t share every piece of content with every group because lots of people belong to multiple groups and get spammed by your multiple posts.

Use hashtags responsibly.

Including a #bunch of #hashtags in #each #post gets #annoying really #fast. Hashtags on Facebook have pretty much gone the way of the dodo bird and they never really caught on with Google+.

Say thank you!

When you share someone’s social media posts, give a little shout out (or H/T on Google+) as a little thanks for finding great content. I also like to thank folks who share my content. It gets a little time-consuming to thank every RT, +1, and share, but it’s polite — and gets more. Spread out your thank yous if you have a large number so you don’t overwhelm your feeds.

Tit for tat

This is kind of a corollary to saying thank you. Social media is a community. If you want something from someone, it’s best to start by giving them something. So, when you Follow someone on Twitter, RTing one of their posts increases the chances they’ll follow you back. Mentioning (or linking to) the great content produced by others makes them more likely to share your content.

Need Help?

Whether you need a content marketing strategy or a complete metrics-driven social media strategy, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

 

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How to Optimize Post Content Everywhere!

Creating great postsI’ve talked about how to optimize post content earlier, but the dynamic nature of social platforms means that what makes a post perfect varies over time. Plus, this infographic was just too great to pass up. Not only does it show how to optimize post content across a wide variety of platforms, it also suggests the optimal timing to get the most shares from your content.

First, let me make a few general suggestions on how to optimize post content:

How to optimize post content

Research:

You need to know about your audience and how they respond to the content you post. For instance, the infographic suggests after 8 pm is a bad time to post on Facebook, however, my audience responds best to posts around 8:30.

A/B testing is the gold standard when it comes to testing. Set up experiments by varying headlines, major content elements, layout, sharing times and see which performs best. Then, re-test periodically because your audience changes over time.

Linking:

Coming from an academic background, linking makes sense and Google now uses outbound links to rank your content. Link to authoritative sites, and Google (and readers) figures you must know what you’re talking about — instant authority. Get a reputation for always sourcing your content, and your site gains massive exposure. For instance, my site is now actively syndicated on at least 3 other sites and it makes it into Yahoo’s business pages regularly.

Linking not only helps your SEO (despite older SEO strategies advocating against using outbound links), it increases sharing. Tell folks you’re linking to them or call out to time when you share your content and they’ll likely share your content with their social networks.

Images:

Remember the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, which couldn’t be more accurate in digital spaces. You only have a few seconds to connect with visitors before they hit the back button and get out of Dodge.

A great image goes a long way toward enticing them to stay. On Pinterest and Instagram, the image IS the content, so picking a great image is critical, but other platforms rely heavily on great images.

So, where do great images come from? Unless you have full-time graphic designers working for you, you buy them. And, don’t skimp on the cost. Sure, you can get free images by searching the creative commons section of Flickr, but your competitors are doing the same thing. You want images that jump off the page and draw visitors in, not images that make you look like lots of other websites out there.

Buying images is also better than stealing them. Google now offers opportunities for image searching, which helps discover instances of copyright infringement, which might draw penalties to your site. Sure, you can use images, like I’ve done with this infographic, WITH proper citations — they fall under fair use laws in the US.

Most savvy companies not only expect you to use their infographics, they create the infographic specifically to encourage proper sharing — hence the term “link-bait” that’s applied to this tactic. Notice, the creators embedded their citation within the infographic itself, which ensures they get proper credit.

Share valuable content:

If you don’t have something to say, don’t post. Make your posts count by providing value in everything you share and create. Yeah, I know you’ll see advice to post a certain number of times/ day, but don’t sacrifice value to meet these recommendations.

So, how DO you create and share valuable content on a consistent basis?

Read. Period.

I probably spend 3X as much time reading what others are writing as I do writing content (or curating content). No one is so brilliant they can think of everything.

I create a reading list using the RSS feeds from about 25 authoritative sites related to my content marketing strategy. Every morning, I scan the headlines and read (and share) some of the articles. I add topics and bookmark resources to my content marketing calendar.

SEO:

Select a couple of keywords (which are your hashtags) using the Google Keyword Planner to find keywords related to your content. Good keywords are long-tailed, have high search traffic, and low competition.

Mobile:

No article on how to optimize post content would be complete without mentioning the importance of mobile.

For your blog and website, that means using responsive designs (the old tactic of creating separate websites is just that — old). For other social platforms, mobile friendly means adjusting images sizing, modifying content, etc.

Engagement:

Social media isn’t a one-way street. Part of learning how to optimize post content is creating engagement. That means responding to comments, thanking folks who share your content, and, in some platforms, thanking folks who liked your content. Engagement helps build a community of followers who share your content consistently.

Length:

Of course, Twitter has a defined length of 140 characters. Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn require a short, pithy sentence or two that makes connections want to read more.

Surprisingly, as the recommended length of content decreases on other platforms, blog content length is growing. In the past, having 400-700 words was considered optimal, now longer posts resonate better with readers.

The key to creating longer blog posts (1000+ words) is chunking your content using headings and short paragraphs to make content very scannable.

CTA:

Make sure to include CTAs (Calls to Action) in most posts. Visitors need to know what they’re expected to do: sign up for your newsletter, visit your website, grab your white paper …

Certainly, your content should be valuable and non-promotional, but including a quick CTA makes it marketing, not journalism. Notice at the bottom of all posts, I include a short paragraph inviting your to contact me or join my mailing list.

Layout:

Effecting content marketing means using an attractive layout — notice the recommendations in the infographic. Include lots of white space, contrasting colors, and include colorful social share buttons to make your design pop.

Take advantage of individual platform opportunities

Individual social platforms offer unique opportunities you should use as you optimize post content. For instance, some platforms use hashtags to make your content more searchable and, in Google+, tell folks you’ve linked to them.

Blog posts provide opportunities to really establish yourself as an authority.

YouTube, Vine, Vimeo, Instagram, all provide great opportunities to create link-bait and re-use content.

Need help?

Whether you need a complete analytics strategy, some help with brand marketing, or some consulting to learn how to optimize post content, we can fill your digital marketing funnel. We can help you do your own social media marketing better or do it for you with our community managers, strategists, and account executives. You can request a FREE introductory meeting or sign up for my email newsletter to learn more about social media marketing.

 

 

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