#ContentWritingChat, social media outreach

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Social Media Outreach- Best Practices, Writing Tips & More with Sprout Social

Did you miss #ContentWritingChat this week? There’s no need to worry! You can get caught up right here with our recap and learn plenty of tips for great social media outreach.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Social Media Outreach- Best Practices, Writing Tips & More with Sprout Social


Our guest host this week was Sarah Nagel. Sarah is the Community Outreach Manager over at Sprout Social. She also manages their Twitter chat, #SproutChat, every Wednesday on Twitter.

Q1: If you’re starting out on social, what are some best practices for building a following?

Whether you’re just starting out on social media or are working on building your presence on a new platform, check out these great tips for building your initial social media outreach:

Sarah said you should be interesting, interested, and provide value for your audience. Her advice was to start conversations with people, share smart content, and join Twitter chats.

She also reminds us that building a following won’t happen overnight. It takes times and you have to be patient.

Sarah from ThinkSEM said to provide useful, great content for your audience. It all goes back to content. If you’re not sharing the types of posts your target audience wants to read, they’ll have no reason to stick around. Don’t forget to also engage in conversation. Be social!

Kyle said to be consistent when it comes to posting. Create a schedule and stay active when it comes to scheduling and sharing content. Kyle also said you should research your target audience so you can provide posts they’re interested in.

Brittany said to engage with your audience! Let them know you’re present and that you’re actually listening. You should always be genuine as well. If you’re not, they’ll see right through you.

Jeff said to look for the social media channel you can best own. The truth is, you don’t need to be everywhere when it comes to social media. You just need to be where your audience is. Figure out where they’re spending their time and which platforms you truly shine on. Those are the ones you should be using.

Our CEO, Julia, agrees with Jeff. She said you don’t need to build on all platforms.

Erika recommends figuring out where your audience is spending their time. Are they joining any Twitter chats, using Facebook groups, or using LinkedIn groups? If so, that’s where you need to be.

Great answer, Jim! Be genuine and engage with others. Focus on building a relationship with people, not just gaining followers.

Make sure you have a plan in place. Your plan should include which platforms you’ll use, what kind of content you’ll share, and how you can expand your reach.

Having a content calendar is a great way to stay organized when it comes to posting content on social media.

Ray said to learn about your community so you can figure out what they want and need. Once you figure that out, you’ll be able to share the content that will draw them in.

Q2: What are ways to consistently grow your social media following?

Once you’ve gotten started on social media, you obviously have to work to keep the followers coming in. To help you out, here are a few tips from Tuesday’s chat:

Sarah said to provide unique content that means something to your audience. She said to be so good they can’t ignore you. When you share the content your audience finds valuable, they’ll want to stick around.

Hannah and Erika know engagement is important to your success on social media.

As Julia said, there isn’t an automation tool that can replace real engagement. When you take the time to talk to your audience, you form a relationship, which helps build trust.

Sarah said to keep reaching out to people. Don’t just rely on hashtags to help your content be discovered. Start conversations and make connections.

Brandie’s advice was to be active on the platforms you’re using and start conversations with others. You should aim to be helpful and develop a relationship with your followers.

Katria, our Content Manager, said to be active once you’ve built a following. Make sure you’re sharing and liking content, as well as following other people.

Georgie recommends using relevant hashtags on Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags can help your content be discovered by new people. You should also join conversations with those using those same hashtags.

Jim said to join Twitter chats to build your following. Not only are chats a great place to learn, but they’re helpful when it comes to making connections. If that’s not enough reason to join our chat every Tuesday, I don’t know what is!

If you’re willing to put some cash into your social media presence, Richard recommends using paid ads to build your audience.

As Cheryl said, building a worthwhile network takes time. Don’t give up if you feel like you aren’t seeing the results you want just yet.

Q3: Share your process for creating audience-friendly social media content.

Are you in need of some tips for creating great content for your audience? Here’s some of the advice from this week’s chat:

If you’re curating content, Sarah said to make sure the post copy is catered to your audience. When sharing your own content, she suggests keeping it short and being informative or entertaining.

Don’t forget that you can dig into your archives for great social media content. All you need to do is write fresh copy and schedule it to be shared again. As Julia pointed out, this is exactly what I do for Express Writers!

When it comes to curation, we only share content we find to be helpful, useful, or interesting. We rely on influencers in our industry for great content to share.

For Jeff, he loves a “snackable” infographic. Not only are infographics informative for your audience, but they’re great for sharing too.

Georgie knows it’s important to test and see what your audience is responding to. Try new things and check your analytics to see what works and what doesn’t. Create more of the content your audience loves.

Maureen said audience-friendly social media content should reflect what people are looking for from your brand and also be appropriate for the platform.

Having a schedule in place is a great way to stay on track and will ensure you get results.

Bill said good content solves problems. Consider what your audience is struggling with and aim to provide a solution with your social media posts.

Q4: What are ways to write social media posts that really grab attention?

It can be hard to stand out on social media when you consider just how busy these platforms are. To grab the attention of your followers, keep these tips in mind:

Sarah said to provide your POV. It’s sure to get your audience interested and spark a conversation.

Maureen recommends tailoring your content for the platform it’ll be shared on. Perform A/B tests to see what your audience is responding to.

Sarah has a few great suggestions: images, quotes, questions, relevant hashtags, and tagging influencers.

Brittany and Jeff know a GIF is a good way to grab the attention of your audience.

Bill said good content is both simple and poignant. If you can create something your audience will connect with emotionally, you have a winner.

Brittany’s advice was to share engaging content. Use good images, share well-written articles, and tell a story.

Julia said to ask questions on social media. Get a conversation started between you and your audience. You can ask something that aligns with their problem and solve it with your content.

Q5: How do you alter social posts to fit your platform? (Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Instagram)

Don’t forget that you need to tailor your content to the platform you’re using. Here are a few tips to help:

Sarah said Twitter posts should be search-friendly and include hashtags. On Facebook, make sure you’ve included media with your posts. When sharing to Instagram, use plenty of relevant hashtags. She also advises to test different copy so you can see what actually resonates with your audience.

Twitter engages, Facebook informs, Instagram showcases, Pinterest remembers, and LinkedIn educates. Great answer, Jeff!

Don’t just cross-post your content to every platform you’re using. You need to adapt your posts accordingly. What works well on one platform might not perform that great on another.

Ellie knows carbon copy content isn’t cool. You can share the same content on multiple platforms, but change it up. Use different copy or a new visual.

Zala said to align to the platform you’re using by considering things such as your style and tone.

Brittany said to know the strengths of each platform. Use that to your advantage when creating content.

Visuals are powerful on social media. Bill recommends using Canva to create graphics that are the ideal size for each platform.

Ryan said to understand the audience on each platform. Give them what they’re looking for.

Study data so you can see how users behave on any given platform. Tailor your content accordingly.

Q6: What content types are the most shareable on social media?

You want your social media content to be shared, right? Here’s what you should be posting if you want to see more retweets and reposts:

Sarah knows short videos are definitely shareable. Consider creating and posting them on your social media channels and see how your audience responds.

Amalia said infographics, news, and trending topics often get a lot of shares.

Bill recommends sharing content that stirs up emotions in your audience. You’re more likely to get extra shares when people form a connection with your post.

Ray knows that it also depends on the platform you’re using. He said long-form content is highly shareable on Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, and Google+. Images, GIFs, and videos are shareable on other platforms.

Brittany knows that visuals get a lot of reshares on social media. She said to try sharing videos, memes, and images.

You don’t have long to grab someone’s attention on social media. Eliza recommends posting GIFs, images, and quotes if you want to see a few extra shares on your content.

Q7: What key elements make up a successful social media presence?

How can you be successful on social media? Keep this advice in mind:

As Sarah said, how you define success may be different from how another organization defines success. No matter what, everyone should strive to build an engaged audience.

Bill seems to agree with Sarah. He said success is tied to your specific goals. What are you trying to achieve? Make sure your social media presence reflects your goals and measure to see if you’re achieving the desired results.

Maureen’s advice is to be authentic, helpful, and responsive. Make sure you’re also interacting with your audience and sharing content that aligns with your brand.

Remember that it’s not all about you! You should be sharing and interacting. Get involved in your community.

Be active! Don’t let your account go stale. Make sure you’re posting on a daily basis.

Great tips from Sarah! Engage with others, share great content, be “real,” and know your audience.

Your social media presence should be a mix of engagement, promotion, and sharing.

We think Jeff is really big on engagement. How about you?

Brittany suggests writing an optimized bio, sharing great content, and engaging with your audience.

Georgie said to have a strategy in place with clear objectives. Back it up with an amazing content strategy.

You have to be dedicated if you want to see results. You can’t expect to build a following overnight.

Q8: How can you approach an influencer on social media to do a collaboration?

If you’re looking to get exposure for your brand and help build your own authority, you can work with influencers in your niche. Here are some tips to help you approach them:

Sarah recommends building a relationship with an influencer before you ask for anything. Do this by giving value. You can share their content and get involved with what they’re doing. However, she also recommends that you should also build relationships with your brand champions. They will help promote and support you as well.

Make sure you’re following the influencer you want to work with and engaging with them regularly prior to asking for anything. You can start a conversation by asking a question regarding their content, which helps get you on their radar.

Maureen shared a great answer, but one key thing to keep in mind is to always be nice.

Erika said to understand who the influencer is, as well as what kind of collaboration would make sense for their audience.

Collaboration should be mutually beneficial for you and the influencer.

Focus on building a relationship prior to asking for anything in return.

Zachary said to provide thoughtful feedback to the influencer, not just a generic “amazing.”

As Gary Vaynerchuk says: jab, jab, jab, right hook. Engage and offer something of value before you pitch.

We look forward to seeing you at the next #ContentWritingChat! Mark your calendars weekly for Tuesday at 10 AM CDT for great chats centered around content writing and marketing. Follow @ExpWriters to stay updated on our new topics and guests!

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