E34 write podcast episodic content chris strub

​The Write Podcast, E34: Episodic Content for Better Storytelling, Engagement and Online Results with Chris Strub

How do you create content to make sure people are going to want to come back the next week? Today, I’m bringing in Chris Strub as we talk about how to create episodic content – which is content created in episodes for your audience. Creating content in this format can seriously boost your storytelling power, engagement, and your brand results.

Chris is a writer, keynote speaker, and a live streaming instructor. In fact, he is the first person to livestream on Snapchat in all 50 U.S. states. A millennial who knows his way around social media, Chris is truly leading the space in road trip marketing – a unique path that combines both storytelling and marketing – bringing in the best of both worlds.


This topic is especially relevant because it’s harder than ever to capture attention online with so much crowded content. Ready to stand out from the rest of the crowd? Then listen in and be ready take home some actionable insights!

E34 write podcast episodic content chris strub

The Write Podcast, E34: Episodic Content for Better Storytelling, Engagement and Online Results with Chris Strub Show Notes

  • 03:00 – The Concept Behind Episodic Content. Chris defines episodic content as creating content where you “think like a fan.” Think about the pattern of content you want to create over an extended basis rather than getting caught up in creating viral content. It’s not about creating the best, but thinking about how you can make the next one better again and again.
  • 05:40 – How to Create Episodic Content. Chris outlines a plan on creating content on a daily basis. How do you create a piece that would make people want to come back for that next piece (regardless of format)? Consistency is key.
  • 07:45 – Draw Out the Big Picture First. Identify to your audience what the big picture is. Get them hooked into the big picture – that simple idea. Stories come later. In marketing, what do people identify your brand for? Then how can you branch off from there and create content that fits within that broader scope?
  • 09:02 – From 50 States, 100 Days Guy to the Road Trip Marketing Guy. Chris explains the different ways you can define road trip marketing.
  • 10:40 – Tips for Creating New Content. Chris shares some strategies for creating new content. How do you overcome content fatigue? Hint: Consistency does not equal frequency.
  • 14:00 – Simple is Everything. Your message has to be simple enough that you can actually write it on the back of a business card.
  • 15:05 – Frequency versus Consistency. A lot of people buy frequency on Facebook ads, for example, but most people aren’t seeing your content. What you can’t replace is your consistency. Instead of creating 50 things a week, create one thing a week and re-market that to your audience throughout the week.
  • 17:55 – The Real Struggle in Content Marketing Strategy. Chris explains that the real struggle in content marketing strategy and where you should put your focus is on sitting down and reexamining what that game plan is over the course of a certain period of time. Take the time to take a step back.
  • 19:45 – Batching Content Together. Chris talks about creating pieces in advance and identifying a theme to it so you can easily plug and play episodically with long term strategy in mind.
  • 23:20 – What’s Next for Chris? Check out the Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago where Chris will be speaking at. Or catch him in Atlanta in May at the Social Shake-Up Show, and more!
  • 24:05 – Chris’ Big Picture. Chris has written two books about his cross-country adventures, and he’s hoping to find a company or multiple companies and do it again! His goal is to be the next generation’s greatest storyteller through his books, his adventures, and working with brands. Think BIG!

Quotes to Tweet

'Too often in social media, we get caught up with trying to create a piece of content that's going to go viral...what's much more valuable is develop a pattern and establish a consistent theme.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'When you're thinking episodically, you really want your audience to want to come back for that next piece.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'When you can identify to your audience what the big picture is, that's really what they really want to know.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'We get caught up in the hyper speed of our newsfeed and we see so many people creating so much that we think we need to accelerate and create more and more.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'Look at what really matters. What drives you? What's your why? What is it on an ongoing basis that makes you want to keep coming back?' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'Your message needs to be so simple that you can write it down on the back of the business card.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'Use the tools intelligently to make sure that you're very best thing is getting in front of the people that you want to consume it.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'You can piece together what your plan is by understanding what success looks like in a certain period of time.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet 'For me, the goal now is to be our generation's greatest storyteller - that includes more books, more adventures, working with more brands.' @chrisstrub Click To Tweet

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social media in 2018

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Strategies for Growth & Engagement on Social Media in 2018 with Lisa Marcyes

It’s safe to say many brands have a goal to grow their social media presence this year.

However, that’s often easier said than done when it comes to the tricky algorithms platforms like Facebook and Instagram have in place!

Luckily, we’re here to serve up some helpful tips so you can see more growth and engagement in 2018! And it’s all thanks to this week’s #ContentWritingChat.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Strategies for Growth & Engagement on Social Media in 2018 with Lisa Marcyes

Our guest host this week was Lisa Marcyes. Lisa is the head of Social Media Marketing at Marketo and she shared some of her best advice with us! If you want to find out what she and our other chat participants had to say, keep reading for the recap!

Q1: How do you anticipate social media to be different in 2018? Are there any trends to watch out for?

It’s no secret that social media is always changing! Because of that, it can be hard to keep up if we aren’t staying updated on all the latest trends. To ensure you’re a social media sensation this year, here are a few things you’ll want to keep an eye on:

Lisa said live streaming will become even more important in 2018. It’s a great way to engage with your audience and build relationships with them.

She also said chatbots are going to increase in popularity this year. Many brands are already using them, especially on Facebook.

Lexie know that’s video marketing has been hot for quite some time now and it’s not going anywhere. She thinks we’re going to see even more high-quality video and better live streams this year.

Rebecca also thinks we’ll see an increase in high-quality, authentic video from online creators. She’d also like to see more captioned videos, which adds accessibility for those who are hearing impaired or watching without sound.

Besides an increase in live video, we may be seeing more virtual and augmented reality through social media in 2018.

Since people are already watching TV online, there’s a good chance they’ll start tuning into Cheddar’s platform.

Bill would like to see businesses get more serious about creating audience-centric content. After all, it’s important to use social media as a tool for building relationships.

Brands are starting to see the value of injecting personality into their content, so it’s something we may see more of in the year ahead.

Ray thinks more business owners are going to see the value in Stories from platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. They’re helpful in building relationships with your audience.

Q2: If you want to see audience growth on social media, what are the best tactics to use?

While quality is certainly more important than quantity when it comes to followers, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to grow your audience! However, algorithms have certainly made that more difficult. To boost your following, keep these tips in mind:

One of Lisa’s tips is to include images with your social media content. She said visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared than any other kind of content, which is pretty impressive.

Julia knows that building a community is essential for growth on social media.

Lexie’s advice is to talk WITH your audience, not at them. Show that you’re listening and that you value what they have to say.

Three growth strategies you can easily start implementing today? Consistently post valuable content, engage with your audience, and review metrics to see what’s working and what’s not.

Engaging with your audience is essential to boosting your following. You can follow people in your industry to share their posts and start conversations.

No matter what, Jason knows it all goes back to creating quality content that provides value to your audience. Without that, no one will want to follow you.

Gene’s advice is to be real, consistent, helpful, and polite. He also said to be a networking and connector, which is what social media is for after all!

Andrea’s recipe for success is to be consistent with posting, focus on networking, and using great visuals.

Make sure you’re creating engaging content your audience would actually be interested in. Once you have that, vary your posting times. See what works best for you so you can share content at the times your audience is most likely to engage.

And of course, it all goes back to knowing your audience. Sarah said you need to know where they are and what kind of content they’d like to see. That allows you to cater your content to them so you can see the best results online.

Carole suggests learning what works best for each platform and for your audience. Then, you’re able to deliver exactly what they want.

Q3: Are there any creative ways we can promote our content and stand out in a busy feed?

With so many people using social media, it’s easy for your content to get lost in the sea. And no one wants that, right? To make sure your posts stand out, put these tips to use:

One way to stand out in a busy social media feed is to collaborate with influencers. Lisa said you can conduct an interview and publish it on your blog. Then, you can create quotes from the interview to share online. Everyone loves a great quotable!

She also suggests researching and developing a consistent posting frequency so you can share content with your audience is most active.

Jason knows it’s all about a captivating visual. You can easily grab attention with something eye-catching that gets them to stop scrolling.

You can also use GIFs to attract attention on social media.

Scott knows that creative branding and consistency is a must.

Becca’s advice is to make sure your content is unique. Don’t just do what everyone else is doing, otherwise you’ll blend in with the crowd.

Cheval feels live streaming is a great way to stand out. It’s something that not everyone is doing, so you stand a chance of reaching the right audience and providing value.

Jade’s advice with video content is to be yourself. That’s going to resonate with your audience the most.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. What’s important is that you determine what works best for you and your audience. That’s going to be different from what works for other brands out there.

Q4: How can we hack the algorithms this year to ensure our content gets the most mileage?

Want to know how you can make those frustrating algorithms work for you? These tips will help the right people see the content you share online:

Lisa suggests asking questions and conducting polls to encourage a response from your audience. Many of the algorithms favor engagement and they want to see that you’re active and so is your audience. These are simple ways that will get people to take action.

She also said it’s important to share content that’s relevant to your audience. By doing this, they’ll be more likely to click-through to your website.

Lexie knows those algorithms can change frequently! Her advice is to focus on producing high-quality content that your audience will connect with.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your analytics. This will be an indicator of what’s working with your social media efforts and what’s not. You can make tweaks to your strategy accordingly.

Create content your audience won’t be able to resist interacting with and you’re likely to see great results online.

Julia suggests repurposing your content so you can get the most out of one piece of published work.

You can also try trend jacking or news jacking or a platform like Twitter. It’s a great way to join an ongoing conversation, but make sure you educate yourself on the topic before tweeting about it.

Focus on producing great content and you’re sure to win.

Rebecca’s advice is to put more effort into your content and building a relationship with your audience.

Q5: What will you be adding to or eliminating from your social media strategy this year?

When it comes to social media, is there something that just isn’t working for you anymore? Are there platforms or strategies you’d like to implement in 2018? Here’s what a few of our chat participants had to say:

Lisa said she’s going to add more user-generated content to her strategy in the year ahead.

Quit sitting back and waiting for conversations happen. You can put yourself out there and start them or look for others who are already engaging so you can join in.

Scheduling content is a major help since you don’t have to be on social media 24/7 to see results.

Cristy said video and polls did really well last year, so she’s looking forward to implementing them more in 2018.

Aisha said her goal is to produce more content with the aim of starting conversations. She also wants to use more user-generated content.

Monique will be focused more on making connections and maybe even doing live video.

Video and influencer engagement are two strategies that are sure to pay off.

Repurposing is a great way to get maximum mileage from your content.

Ray’s plan is to focus on the team’s core content outlets, which include a blog, podcast, and Instagram. It’s much better to focus on what’s truly working for you and eliminating the things that aren’t.

Speaking of eliminating things, Julia completely cut Snapchat out of her social media strategy for this year.

Pinterest and Instagram are out for Warwick, but he’ll be focusing on LinkedIn and YouTube.

Q6: Where do brands typically go wrong on social media? How can we avoid making those mistakes?

Brands sometimes make mistakes on social media. To ensure we don’t end up in the same position, we should let those mishaps serve as a cautionary tale of what not to do! Here are a few examples to avoid:

Ignoring feedback from your audience is one big mistake. Lisa encourages everyone to listen to their audience, which social media allows us to do easily. She also said you shouldn’t write off any complaints you receive. Use those as a learning opportunity to make changes.

Don’t be that brand that doesn’t engage at all on social media. Spend time responding to messages and starting conversations.

Engage in conversations with your audience instead of talking AT them.

Don’t jump on every new trend without a strategy.

Sarah’s advice is to figure out what your audience really wants and where they’re spending their time online. Once you do that, make sure you’re paying attention to them and reviewing metrics to see what resonates best.

Just tweeting is not a strategy! Zala knows a strategy is a must for social media success. Post consistently and monitor mentions and conversations people are having around your brand.

Not listening to your audience is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

No one likes a boring brand! Make sure you’re injecting personality into your content to attract your target market.

Cheval knows that too much self-promotion can be a turn off. It’s fine to share the content your brand produces, but mix that up with curated pieces from other sources.

Don’t be afraid to share content from other brands. You shouldn’t think of it as a competitive thing, but rather an opportunity to provide value to your audience.

It’s safe to say Gaby wrapped it all up with this fantastic answer!

Q7: Are there any must-have tools you rely on to efficiently manage your social media presence?

With all the tools out there to schedule content and connect with your audience, how do you know which one is right for you? Well, you have to try them out! Here are a few suggestions from this week’s chat:

Hootsuite and Simply Measured are just a couple of Lisa’s go-to tools.

Here at Express Writers, we love MeetEdgar because of their library feature that repurposes content.

TweetDeck and Hootsuite are two great tools to check out.

Monique has only used Buffer so far, but she’s open to checking out more. It’s the best way to find the tool that truly works for you.

Iain is also spreading the Buffer love! It’s a fan-favorite since it’s so easy to use, but also affordable.

Buffer, Social Jukebox, and Manage Flitter are Gene’s must-haves.

Lexie is a big fan of Sprout Social.

Sarah said to use analytics as well. It’s the best way to see what content resonates with your audience and how things are performing.

You can find analytics on the platforms themselves (like Twitter and Facebook) or through your social media scheduler.

Q8: Where can we learn more about social media in 2018? Are there any resources we should bookmark?

To ensure we’re all social media sensations in the year ahead, it’s important to stay updated on all the latest trends, changes, and news! These are great resources to save for learning more about social media:

It’s no surprise that Lisa is a fan of Markto’s blog because they always share great content! She also enjoys reading Social Media Today, Marketing Land, Hootsuite, Social Media Examiner, and others.

Social Media Examiner, Mari Smith, and Brian Fanzo are some of Julia’s favorites.

Buffer’s blog always has great posts, as does HubSpot’s.

Jeff Bullas is another great resource for social media tips and tricks.

And of course, you can always learn about social media by being active on social media. Sarah suggests joining Twitter chats as just one way to increase your knowledge.

Our own #ContentWritingChat is a great Twitter chat for learning about social media and other topics. You can also join #SproutChat and #HootChat. Besides those, Andrea reads Social Media Today, Lilach Bullock, and a few others.

For more Twitter chat fun, you can check out #bufferchat, and #RaganChat as well.

And remember, never stop learning! There’s so much information available at our fingertips thanks to the internet. Take advantage of that by consuming blog posts, listening to podcasts, and more.

Want to join us for the next #ContentWritingChat? It happens every Tuesday at 10 AM Central! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat so you don’t miss the fun!

social media engagement

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Social Media Engagement Strategies

This week, we had another community chat hour during #ContentWritingChat! We previously had our participants vote on topics they wanted to see for future chats and many voted for a chat on social media engagement strategies. It’s always a hot topic and we knew everyone would have some amazing advice to share!

If you’ve been wanting to step up your social media engagement, get ready to take some notes and keep reading for our recap!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Social Media Engagement Strategies

Using social media as a way to engage your audience is crucial when you’re building a presence online. It’s a powerful tool to build relationships and establish trust. But if you’re struggling to make those connections, we’re here to help! The tips in this recap will help you boost your engagement on every platform you use.

Q1: What does social media engagement look like to you?

What are you tracking when it comes to social media engagement? There are a few things that are important to measure in order to see results. Here’s what our participants look out for:

Julia doesn’t measure success on social media in terms of vanity metrics. She focuses on real conversations and clicks on the content she shares.

Conversations are key to measure when on social media! Pay attention to your comments and take the time to engage with others.

It’s all about the replies! There’s no denying that it’s a good feeling when people respond to the content you share online. Make sure you give them the courtesy of replying and getting the conversation started.

As Erika said, it’s all about being engaged WITH your community, instead of broadcasting AT them. Conversation is a two-way street, friends!

Lexie agrees that it’s about talking with the people in your audience.

Bill knows that you can’t self-promote all the time. You need to put effort into engaging with others through real-time conversations.

Not only is engagement about interacting with customers, it’s also about showing them you care.

Meaningful conversations are what really matters when it comes to social media engagement.

Take the time to interact with your audience. Ask questions. Reply to them. Make sure you’re adding value with everything you do.

Q2: Why is it important to measure social media ROI?

Are you tracking your results on social media to see how your content is actually performing? If not, you should be! Here’s why it’s important:

When you track your ROI, it tells you what’s working and what’s resonating with your audience. As Lexie said, this is important when crafting your overall social media strategy.

Track metrics to know that your time and money is being well spent! You need to track in order to do more of what’s working for you.

When you’re part of a larger team, you’ll often have to give proof that your efforts are working to those who are higher up. Track ROI and record the results in a way that’s easy to read.

When you keep an eye on metrics, you’ll be able to see if the social media campaigns you created are effective.

Javier knows you want to measure the productiveness of your time, efforts, and money when it comes to social media.

Q3: What are the right KPIs to track social media engagement?

Now that you know the importance of tracking your efforts on social media, which metrics should you be paying attention to? This is what you need to know:

Simply Measured shared a great graphic to help answer this question!

Tracking your social media mentions is very beneficial because it provides plenty of feedback.

Max likes using Facebook’s analytics to see what’s not working well for him and what is. This will help you create more content that resonates with your audience so you can see better results in the future.

Lexie knows that what you measure will also depend on the content you’re sharing. Your goal can differ, so know what you’re hoping to achieve.

Q4: What types of content track the most engagement in your experience?

So, what kind of content reigns supreme when it comes to encouraging social media engagement? That’s going to depend on your brand and your audience! However, here are some suggestions straight from our chat:

Creative, multimedia, relevant and of value, concise, emotional, and consistent are the essentials according to Gaby.

Julia has seen great results from visuals we’ve shared, especially infographics. She even notices collaborative content that features others has gotten plenty of engagement.

It’s all about creating great copy and eye-catching visuals if you want your post to stand out in a busy social media feed.

Polls and questions are another great way to spark engagement with your audience.

Visual content is a must on social media! Andrea also feels humor is a nice ice breaker.

Make sure your content solves problems your audience is facing to provide tremendous value. Martin also said content that engages asks questions. It’s a great way to get people talking.

Address the needs and problems your audience is struggling with by getting to know their needs.

Q5: Quality visuals can increase engagement on social. How can you create strong visuals that resonate?

Now that we know the importance of visuals on social media, we need to learn how to create ones that stand out. Check out this advice from the chat:

Visuals should supplement the message you’re sharing, as Jason said. Make sure visuals and copy work together, otherwise it just won’t make sense.

Zala said to know the platform you’re using. You want to make sure you target your image to the platform you’ll be sharing it on.

Gaby certainly has a winning formula for creating great visuals!

Erika suggests using Canva, whether you’re creating graphics with your own images or stock photos.

Lexie is also a fan of Canva because it makes designing easy for those who aren’t artistic.

Ken feels the same about Canva! He collects the imagery for this content and uses Canva to find the perfect layout.

Another great tool to try out is Adobe Spark.

Q6: How do you manage engagement across multiple social media platforms?

Considering most of us are using numerous social media platforms in our daily lives, it can be a lot of work to manage them all. How can you get the job done with minimal stress? Take a look at this advice to help make your social media tasks a little easier:

Make sure you focus on the platforms your audience is using. You don’t have to spread yourself too thin or get overwhelmed by trying to be everywhere.

As Logan said, the best platforms are the ones your target audience is actively using. Make sure you are where they are so they’ll see your content.

Sarah and the team at ThinkSEM rely on Hootsuite, Buffer, TweetDeck, and Google Analytics.

For Erika, Hootsuite and SproutSocial are her go-to tools!

Buffer is another great option for scheduling content and measuring analytics.

Here at Express Writers, we rely on MeetEdgar to keep our social media queues filled with great content.

Q7: Where are brands going wrong on social media in terms of engagement?

Unfortunately, a lot of brands are still getting it wrong when it comes to social media engagement. Make sure you avoid making the same mistakes by reading this advice:

Don’t try to be everywhere. Focus on where your audience is and invest the time and effort into those platforms.

Ignoring your customers and messages you receive is a huge mistake. Use social media to communicate and get to know them.

Jason feels brands need to share content that actually drives conversations and feedback. If you’re not, you’re missing out on value information! He also said to reply back when you receive responses to get the conversation going.

If you aren’t interacting with your community, you’re doing it wrong!

Ken knows that self-promotion is fine, but you can’t forget about engagement. Engagement should be something you do on a regular basis to build relationships with your audience.

Be human and show genuine interest! Listen to what people are saying, ask questions, and take the time to respond. Gaby knows that being social is a must on social media, after all!

Q8: What are your favorite resources for learning about social media?

In order to step-up your social media engagement, you should stay updated on what’s going on in the field. There are plenty of resources you can turn to for this! Here are some great ideas:

As Ken said, Twitter chats are a great place to learn more about social media engagement strategies, as well as many other topics.

Julia relies on Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and Content Marketing Institute.

Lexie is also a fan of Social Media Today and Social Media Examiner.

We have another fan of these two websites, so they’re worth checking out if you haven’t already.

Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Tech Crunch, VentureBeat, and Pinterest are go-to resources for Carla.

Sarah knows being present on social media is really the best way to learn about social media. Be active on the platforms you use and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things to see what works for you.

Join us for #ContentWritingChat every Tuesday at 10 AM Central Time! Be sure to follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for the latest!

express writers cta 2017

Twitter engagement strategies

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Twitter Engagement Strategies with Gabriela Cardoza

Are you wondering how you can see more Twitter engagement? If so, you aren’t alone! It’s a great platform for sharing content and connecting with your audience, but sometimes it’s hard to actually get noticed. In this week’s #ContentWritingChat, we asked everyone to share their best Twitter engagement strategies so we can all earn more retweets and replies.

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Twitter Engagement Strategies with Gabriela Cardoza

Our guest host this Tuesday was Gabriela Cardoza. She’s a personal and corporate brand consultant, which you can learn more about on her site. Gaby has been a participant of #ContentWritingChat for some time now and she sure knows how to stand out in all the chats she joins. She stepped in as our guest host to share Twitter engagement strategies that all of us can put to use! If that sounds like just what you need, keep reading for the recap!

Q1: What is your favorite thing about Twitter?

To kick off the chat, we posed a very simple question to our participants. We asked them to share their favorite thing about Twitter so we could learn why they love it so much. Wondering what our favorite thing about Twitter is? It’s definitely #ContentWritingChat! Here’s what some others had to say:

Gaby likes Twitter because of the all the amazing things it exposes her to. She mentioned that it’s a great platform for finding opportunities, friendships, experiences, information, perspectives, and more chances to learn.

Twitter really is one of the best social media platforms for anyone looking to build relationships. You can do a quick keyword or hashtag search to find like-minded people to connect with.

Rebecca likes that Twitter gives you the ability to connect with others and have valuable conversations. It’s allowed her to reach people in her industry, as well as those around the world.

Jason loves that Twitter makes it easy to connect with people and brands. People are certainly more open to starting a conversation on the platform, which makes it easier to grow your network.

Bill knows just how effective Twitter chats can be. He mentioned that they give you access to professional development in real-time. Being present on Twitter can even lead to building offline relationships as well.

As Sarah said, it’s instant! When you head to Twitter, you can get a variety of news before other platforms are picking up on it. So many people choose to head to Twitter for the latest in breaking news. Sarah also likes having the ability to connect with people across the globe through the platform.

Elizabeth knows the global reach that Twitter gives you access to is pretty powerful.

Danielle loves the learning opportunities Twitter has presented her with. She uses it as a tool to find articles on writing and social media that she wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.

Ken feels Twitter allows you to toggle between personal and professional much more easily than other platforms. He said it doesn’t happen on LinkedIn and it’s tricky to do on Facebook.

Q2: What can you do to ensure you’re growing your Twitter account with quality followers?

When it comes down to it, a few quality followers will always beat a large following that isn’t engaging. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in the work to grow your audience! If you’re wondering how you can reach more people, take a look at these tips:

Gaby said you need to have a strategy in place if you want results. She encourages you to know your purpose, your message, and your goals. You also can’t forget to define who your audience is so you can reach the right people. Once you’ve found your people, make sure you’re engaging with them.

Sarah’s advice is to make sure you’re reaching out and interacting with the right audience. If you’re going to be on a social media platform, you need to be present by engaging with others.

This is advice everyone needs to remember! You have to be willing to put in the effort and engaging with your followers. Ask questions to get the conversation going. When they reply to you, take the time to respond.

Jason suggests joining Twitter chats that are of interest to you. They provide a great opportunity to meet new people. He also said to reach out to those who align with your own vision. But most importantly, you need to be yourself. That’s what people will be drawn to.

Brandie’s tips include: connecting with people, staying involved, participating in chats, and providing excellent content. Sounds like a winning formula to us!

Quality content is key if you want to gain followers on any platform. You need to give people a reason to follow you and actually stick around.

Cheval also knows that it’s important to provide your audience with valuable content. However, he also pointed out that you should show your audience that you care. They’re human just like you. Show that you’re listening and that you appreciate them. That’s key if you want them to stick around.

Q3: How can you make sure the posts you share on Twitter encourage engagement?

If you find that the content you post on Twitter isn’t sparking engagement, something needs to change. Luckily, you aren’t doomed forever if that’s been the case for you! Our chat participants shared some helpful Twitter engagement strategies specifically for creating amazing content. Check it out:

Gaby’s advice is to ensure your posts consistently offer value. You can do that by knowing your audience, your market, and your industry. Keep their wants, needs, and interests in mind to create the content that will resonate with them.

If you want engagement, you need to engage yourself. People don’t want to engage with someone who isn’t listening or responding. It’s a two-way street!

It really all goes back to knowing your audience and understanding what they want. As Jason said, you have to provide them with content they’d want to engage with. You can ask questions or share something that would pique their interests to get a conversation started.

Jose knows you shouldn’t just post absentmindedly. He encourages you to add your thoughts and ask questions just like you would in a real life conversation.

A great headline is going to grab attention on social media, as will an eye-catching image. Create content that stands out and pulls your readers in.

Tony suggests asking a question, including a poll, stating an opinion, or including a link to outside content. He also said you can add a photo or GIF, which can be helpful in getting others talking.

Mallorie also agrees that adding a GIF can be helpful. It adds a fun, playful element to your tweet and helps show your brand’s personality.

Customer service and community management are both so important, especially on Twitter. Start a dialogue with people and show that you genuinely care when you’re connecting with them.

And finally, make sure you’re consistent. As Julia said, the conversation will go on whether you’re there or not. Make sure you’re present if you want to make connections.

Q4: What’s your best advice for getting the conversation flowing with your audience?

Sometimes it’s hard to get the conversation started. Whether you’re feeling shy on social media or just don’t know where to begin, this can be an overwhelming experience. It doesn’t have to be though! Check out these tips to start the conversation and keep it going:

Gaby said you really have to be proactive when it comes to conversations. She encourages you to ask questions, follow-up with people, and just say hi. You have to be social and take a genuine interest in others if you want to build real relationships.

Sarah said you shouldn’t wait for someone to notice you. Put yourself out there and strike up a conversation with someone you want to connect with. All you have to do is say hello. As she pointed out, it’s just like starting a conversation in real life.

Jim agrees. You can’t wait for others to start the conversation. Take the initiative and reach out.

What’s a simple way to get the conversation started? Ask a question! Danielle’s advice is to figure out what they care about and ask a question they’ll feel called to answer.

You can also ask for their opinion on something. As Jason said, it’s important to communicate that you want to hear from people. They’ll feel valued and appreciated when you acknowledge their responses.

Varun even encourages building a Twitter list of people you’d like to keep up with. You can monitor that list and join any relevant conversations you come across.

Joining Twitter chats is another way to make starting conversations easier. Chats bring people together and everyone is more open to making connections there. You can even host your own!

Jenn said you shouldn’t talk AT your audience, but WITH them. Make sure you’re responding, engaging, and interacting. The whole point of social media is to be social, so don’t forget this crucial step.

Q5: How can Twitter chats help you grow your audience? Any tips for making the most of them?

If you haven’t participated in a Twitter chat before, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder any longer! We asked our chat participants to share how they can help you grow your audience, plus a few tips to really make them work for you. Check it out:

Gaby said Twitter chats allow you to meet others with similar interests and can help relationships flourish. Joining chats on a regular basis is one of our best Twitter engagement strategies.

To make the most of the chats you join, follow-up with any new connections afterwards. You can also join different ones to meet new people.

Max agrees! You want to follow-up afterwards to stay in touch.

As Sarah said, chats bring like-minded people together and allow them to share their insights and stories. They provide the perfect opportunity for networking.

In fact, you can start multiple conversations within the hour-long chat window.

Carla pointed out that by joining Twitter chats, you can gain visibility through the hashtag. You’re also able to engage with others who are participating and you can position yourself as an expert with the responses you share.

In fact, by joining chats, people get a feel for the person behind the handle. It’s a great way to showcase your personality and your skills.

Jenn’s advice is to interact with people and also to be authentic. You can ask questions, showcase your expertise, and even add in a GIF.

Once you find chats that are relevant to your industry, you can join them to start making connections. Make sure you’re prepared to answer questions and respond to others.

Q6: How do you know if the content you share is helping you reach your goals on Twitter?

Are those tweets helping you reach your end goal? If you aren’t sure, we’ve got some advice to help you figure it out! Check out these responses from the chat:

Gaby suggests referring back to your social media strategy. Set objectives for yourself and track the data you receive. You can use Twitter analytics to do this, which is totally free.

Sarah also said to use your analytics to measure the results you’re getting. Are you moving forward, going backward, or standing still?

As Lori said, it all starts with knowing your goals. You can then track the appropriate metrics and make any tweaks if needed. Keep an eye on your metrics to see how you’re progressing.

Danielle pointed out one important factor: goals need to be measurable.

Max’s advice is go for the SMART goals. Be sure to track your progress as time goes on to see if your Twitter engagement strategies are working.

Julia recommends tracking profile reach and site analytics to see if you’re driving high engagement rates. She uses Twitonomy to do this.

Q7: Do you rely on any tools to help you connect with your Twitter followers?

There are tons of tools out there we can use for Twitter. Do you use any? If you’re in search of some new ones to check out, take a look at these recommendations from our chat:

Gaby relies on Buffer, her phone, and her thumbs!

Buffer and Giphy are go-to tools for Jenn.

Rosyln relies on TweetDeck to manage her Twitter account. It’s an especially great tool for Twitter chats!

If you want to schedule your content at optimal times, Danielle suggests Tweriod.

Jose uses TweetDeck, Twitter Lists, Buffer, and his phone.

Varun keeps it simple with Twitter Lists. This allows him to stay updated with friends, engaged followers, and what’s going on in his industry.

Sabjan relies on Buffer for scheduling content, but when it comes to automation, it’s all him. He keeps it real when communicating with others.

Q8: Which brands do an amazing job at engaging their audience on Twitter? Tag them!

We can learn a lot from what other brands are doing online. Are there any that are killing it when it comes to Twitter engagement strategies? Check out these brands:

Gaby shared a great list of brands who do an impressive job on Twitter. Are you following them?

Julia loves following Content Marketing Institute, our very own guest host (Gaby!), Applebee’s, and Buffer.

Jim also thinks Applebee’s does a great job. They’ve been known to pop into Twitter chats when people mention them.

Varun thinks Buffer, Content Marketing Institute, and Crowdfire are great to follow. He even included us in his list, so thank you!

Want to join us next time? Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat and be sure to join us every Tuesday at 10 AM Central!

engaging your audience

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies for Engaging Your Audience on Social Media with Meera Sapra

Although social media continues to change, one thing that hasn’t is how important it is for online brands to be present there. If you’re not actively using social media and engaging with your audience on those platforms, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to grow your business. Despite how popular it is, there are still many brands who just aren’t sure how to do social media the right way. In our latest #ContentWritingChat, we talked about engaging your audience on social media and learned some really great tips!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: The Best Strategies for Engaging Your Audience on Social Media with Meera Sapra

Our guest host for this week’s chat was Meera Sapra. Meera is the Product Manager over at Zoho Social and she plays a large role in the brand’s social media presence. She shared a lot of helpful advice on engaging your audience during Tuesday’s chat, so let’s dive into the recap!

Q1: What does engagement on social media look like for your brand? Which metrics do you typically measure?

When it comes to success on social media, brands all have different goals they’re aiming to reach. To kick off the chat, we asked everyone to share what kind of engagement their brand looks for online and which metrics are most important to them.

As Meera said, it’s so important to measure what matters. The metrics that are most important to you might not matter so much to other brands. You may even set different goals based on the campaigns you produce. This is why it’s key to set goals for your content and create and measure with them in mind.

Again, metrics can vary based on the goal of your social media post. You might be aiming for likes, shares, link clicks, or something else. It all depends!

As Julia said, clicks and conversions are two things we always measure here at Express Writers. We want to see that social media followers are taking action by heading over to our website and making conversions (whether that be email sign-ups or sales). Buffer has been a helpful tool when it comes to measure the success of our content.

Jenn knows the goals for his brand and he intends to monitor engagement from his audience as well as referral traffic she receives from social media.

Comments and replies are always great to measure on social media because it’s nice to see that your content gets your audience talking. Use it as an opportunity to engage with them in return and start building a relationship.

For Sara, she has a few different metrics she likes to keep an eye on. They include engagement rate, video views, lead generation, and she monitors what people are saying.

Q2: To reach your audience, you have to be present on social media. How do you choose the platforms that are right for you?

With so many social media platforms out there, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. It can even leave you wondering which platforms you should really be investing your time in. Here’s some advice to help you choose the ones that are worthwhile for your brand:

Meera is spot-on with her answer for this question. As she said, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Focus on the social media platforms that matter the most for your brand. That’s going to be different from what other brands are doing, so determine what’s best for you.

As Roslyn said, you need to know the demographics of your target audience. This will guide you in the right direction because you can figure out which platforms they’re using the most.

Varun agrees that you need to be where your target audience is hanging out online. Once you figure that out, you can begin building a community there and be part of their conversation. That’s key to engaging your audience on social media.

Even Sarah agrees! It’s all about being where your audience is spending their time.

This is another great way to look at it. Determine where your audience is online and asking questions and be there yourself. This is your opportunity to answer the questions they have and share your expertise.

Zala recommends also considering what your goals are and which platforms feel the most natural to you. If a platform just doesn’t feel right for you and your brand, that’s okay. Give it a good try and if it doesn’t work, move on to something else.

Elizabeth shared one key piece of advice we all need to keep in mind: don’t overwhelm yourself with tons of platforms to manage. You don’t need to be everywhere online. Instead, focus on the platforms that your audience is using and that will be the most beneficial to you.

Q3: What types of content receive the most engagement on social media? How do you know when something works for your brand?

When you’re focused on engaging your audience on social media, you have to create the content that’s going to resonate with them. Your posts will need to inspire them to take action. So, what content types receive the most engagement and how do you know when something truly works for you? Check out this advice:

Meera knows you really can’t go wrong with visual content on social media. Great graphics and videos can really help you stand out online and are so helpful when it comes to engaging your audience. They’ll really grab their attention!

Always keep in mind that what resonates with your audience will be different from what resonates with other audiences. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and test them to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s also important to set goals so you know exactly what you’re trying to achieve and can measure it accordingly.

Julia knows that infographics perform really well online, as they tend to receive a lot of likes and shares. She also knows that they work really well for us here at Express Writers because they gain a lot of traction and our audience responds well to them. If you haven’t tried creating infographics for your brand, you might want to give it a go!

Cheval knows that live video is very popular right now. It’s a great opportunity for brands to chat with their audience in real time and it’s worth taking advantage of this.

As Tony said, images and videos tend to receive more engagement than a social media post that’s just text and a link. Think about this the next time you’re filling up that Buffer queue! Great copy is also a must if you want to inspire people to take action.

And there’s no denying that GIFs are awesome when engaging your audience on social media. Not only do they stand out in a busy timeline, but they’re fun and help you connect with your audience on another level when they spark a conversation.

Q4: How do you write a headline that encourages clicks on social media?

If you’re using social media as a way to direct traffic back to your website, you need to know some key tips and tricks for writing copy that pushes people to take action by making the click. Check out these tips for writing a captivating headline:

Meera’s advice is to follow the KISSER approach: Keep It Short, Simple, Engaging, and Relevant.

If you want to encourage clicks, you need to write a headline that leaves people wanting more. Make it captivating, but never mislead anyone with clickbait. It’ll turn people off very quickly.

It also helps to think of the problems you’re solving for your audience. Katie said she considers how her audience might be searching when crafting her perfect headline.

Adding some personality always helps you stand out from the crowd and plays a huge role in engaging your audience on social media. Don’t be afraid to be yourself because people get turned off by brands that are too robotic or automated.

It’s okay to think outside the box as well! This will help you craft a headline that stands out from the rest.

It’s okay if you need to brainstorm a few ideas for your headline as well. You want to make sure it’s great! Ask yourself if it’s something you’d click and if it is, you’ve done your job.

For even more tips, check out this guide to writing headlines that Julia put together for our blog!

Q5: How can you inspire your audience to take action and convert via social media?

One thing we’re always seeking more of online is easily conversions. But how exactly do you inspire people to take that next step and convert with your brand? Check out this advice from the chat:

As Meera said, a great call to action is key. Let people know what that next step is by telling them. Don’t just sit back and expect them to figure it out on their own. Sharing stories from current customers is always a great way to encourage sales from those who are on the fence.

Make sure you take the time for actually engaging your audience on social media. Start up a conversation with them. Answer their questions. You can’t just schedule posts and walk away. You have to be present on social media in order to see success, so let them know you’re there and you’re listening.

Jessy agrees that it’s important to work on building the relationship between your brand and your customers. Connect with them via conversations on social media and they’ll begin to trust your brand. Once you’ve built that relationship, they’ll be more likely to convert.

As Julia said, make sure you don’t forget the simple things. Optimize your social media bio with your offer and a link and also balance sharing useful and promotional posts on your platforms.

Q6: Do you use a social media editorial calendar to plan content? If so, how do you plan efficiently for best results?

By now, you’ve probably heard all about the benefits of using an editorial calendar to plan content for your blog. But have you ever thought of using one for social media? If not, you should! Here’s what some of Tuesday’s chat participants had to say about planning social media content:

Meera recommends keeping your social media editorial calendar in sync with your brand’s overall marketing calendar and content goals. This will ensure you’re staying on track!

The Digital Natives cast sees the importance of having an editorial calendar. The key, as mentioned, is to keep it loose. You can plan out your content all you want, but you should also be flexible and adapt your plan as needed.

Tony uses Google Drive and Trello to keep his content strategy organized.

The team at Netvantage relies on Sprout social and uses their built-in calendar.

On the flip side, not everyone feels the need to plan in advance. Lex doesn’t rely on a social media editorial calendar and instead focuses on things the day of.

Q7: Which tools do you rely on to keep up with your audience and engage with them on social media?

With so many tools available today, managing social media is so much easier than it once was. If you’re looking for some tools to help you out, check out these suggestions:

As a team member of Zoho, it’s no surprise that Meera loves using Zoho Social for all of its features.

TweetDeck and Buffer make the perfect combination!

For Maria, her go-to tools include Hootsuite, Buffer, HubSpot, and Twitter’s own analytics.

Varun uses Buffer, Hootsuite, and Crowdfire for social media management.

Cheval relies on Hootsuite, Agora Pulse, and Blue Jeans Net.

Jessy is also a fan of Hootsuite!

You can’t forget about Twitter lists! They’re so helpful in engaging your audience because you can easily keep up with what others are talking about.

The RankWatch team relies on Hootsuite and Buffer for scheduling content, but has a dedicated team that handles social media engagement.

Q8: Which brands do an amazing job at engaging their audience? Tag them!

You can always draw some inspiration from other amazing brands. Take a look at these brands who are doing social media right:

Meera’s favorites include Starbucks, Airbnb, Oreo, and Amazon Kindle.

Julia is a fan of Applebee’s, Corner Bakery, and Wendy’s.

And she’s not the only one! Wendy’s is killing it on Twitter these days. Take a look at their Twitter and you’re sure to learn a thing or two about engaging your audience.

Mike said Applebee’s, Buffer, Hootsuite, and Delta have all been doing a great job.

Content Marketing Institute is another great example, especially since they run a Twitter chat of their own! Chats are a great way to encourage engagement with your brand.

Join us every Tuesday at 10 AM CST for #ContentWritingChat! Follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat to stay updated on topics and guests.

social media engagement

Driving Social Media Engagement: 13 Copywriting Hacks

Social media engagement is not only vital to your content marketing, but it can also be extremely fun. When you get people commenting on your posts, re-tweeting your content, and sharing your Facebook posts, you might go ahead & do a little jig. Social media engagement is what can propel you from just another business to a viral sensation, as we’ve all watched over the last few years. But how do you get great social media engagement that not only brings people to your website, but also helps you on the road to viral content? Let’s take a quick look at a few quick copywriting hacks that can help you out!

1. Follow The Four C’s. Isn’t it nice when someone not only gives you some great tips, but also gives you an easy way to remember the tips? Well, Buffer does just that with a great blog post about driving more social media engagement. What are the four C’s? They are:

  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Compelling
  • Credible

Let’s unpack this for a bit. What does it mean to post clear, concise, compelling, and credible content on social media? It means that you need to make sure your audience knows what you are talking about, but you need to keep it short. Longer posts on social media might get your post skipped over, and Twitter doesn’t allow for lengthy posts! You also need to have content that is compelling so that you get shares, likes, and comments – engagement. Credible content is vital no matter what content it is; this will help keep you as a trusted source, instead of one that people question.

2. Name A Problem And Solve It. Another great way to drive engagement is to name a problem that is common for your readership, and answer or solve it. When you state the problem, make sure to agitate it a bit before solving it. This can get more people to read your post. You don’t want to give too much away, but this is a great opportunity to get your social media content shared, which can bring in more clients.

3. Follow The Four U’s. In the same Buffer article I mentioned in point one, another great formula is the four U’s. Again, this is a great way to remember an important and helpful formula and is great when you go about crafting a Twitter post. Just what are these U’s? Let’s take a look!

  • Useful: If you don’t tweet something useful to your followers, you are likely to be skipped and not receive much engagement.
  • Urgent: Urgency on social media can really help get the clicks and shares from your clients.
  • Unique: You want to make sure you stand out from your competitors, so offer something unique that people will enjoy seeing.
  • Ultra-specific: Being specific can really help with writing Twitter posts. Specific posts can help you stay within or below the 140-character limit.

4. Curate Some Incredible Content. Social Media Today says that when it comes to driving engagement on social media, you need to make sure you are curating some great content for your various channels. You want to keep things fresh and interesting for your viewers, which is why content curation is key to having a successful campaign. Consider having a bookmark folder of great content ideas for your social media campaign. This helps you keep it all together in one, organized location.

5. Use Those Memes. When it comes to social media, you have to make sure you are staying up on the latest trends. This means, don’t hesitate to use memes. If you take a quick glance at your Facebook or Twitter feed, you will see that many people seem to enjoy memes quite a lot. You can create your own by finding meme generators or using stock images for your own quotes or jokes. People like to share images, and you will find that you get more engagement on images than on posts without any pictures.

6. Make Customer Involvement Easy As 1-2-3. When you have something such as a giveaway, make sure it is easy for your customers to get involved. You don’t want to have them jump through numerous hoops to get to the place they want to be simply because they are likely to leave. If you encourage people to follow you on social media for an entry into the giveaway, you might see that you get an increase in social engagement and more people following and sharing your items.

7. Give Shout Outs To Customers. One thing that sets social media apart from any other form of marketing is how you can make it personal, according to Social Media Examiner. You don’t have to get chummy with people, but simply by doing something such as giving a shout out to a customer can really boost your engagement. A shout out is simply just mentioning your client by name or Twitter handle, and thanking them. You will find more people are willing to use your company if they see that you are willing to talk to or give a shout out for others. When you give a shout out, make sure you do something that isn’t too generic. Give it a personal, friendly feel!

8. Hold Live-Streamed Google Hangouts. Another way you might be able to increase engagement is to live-stream your various Google Hangouts you have with clients or coworkers. You can give a talk on a particular subject, linking to a live video of your discussion. When you do this, make sure that people know that they can send in their questions if you want to encourage discussion. This can be a great way for customers to ask important questions and get a live, personal answer from you!

9. Use Quality Images And Videos. Quality is not just for written content but is also for image and video content, as well. According to Jeff Bullas, high-quality images can help you stand out from your competition. A great way to make sure you have high-quality images and videos is to hire someone who has skills in those areas. Sometimes, you may need to hire a third party, but there are times where you can hire individuals to work in your office or for your company. People are more likely to engage and share your photos and videos if they are of a higher quality than many of the things they see shared around the web.

10. Interact With Your Clients. When you are trying to promote engagement, you should also make sure that you are interacting with your clients and followers. You could have several people commenting, liking and sharing, but that will eventually dwindle if you do not respond to people. You can simply like various posts, but it is a great idea to comment to the individual, letting them know you have read and appreciated their comment.

Another great way to interact with your clients is to go to their favorite websites to find things that interest them. You can do this by sending out a survey or through reading different research blogs about various demographics. Once you have found these resources, you can start crafting some excellent social content that will produce some incredible engagement with your clients.

11. Have A Sense Of Humor. Don’t be afraid to use that funny bone! Of course, you need to be careful with your humor, but it can be a great mechanism to get people to engage with you. The world is filled with enough sadness, making many people appreciate humorous posts. You should always make sure your humorous posts are in good taste, and consider your social media posts and what they say after large, tragic events. A few key things to remember with humor are:

  • Research and know your audience before you make a humorous post.
  • Make sure the joke is obvious to your followers.
  • Never, ever offend people.
  • Hire someone who is incredibly hilarious to write your humorous social posts.
  • Utilize pop culture to create jokes and humorous social posts that will be shared by followers.

12. Reward Your Clients For Social Engagement. In his article mentioned in point nine, Jeff Bullas says that a great way to produce engagement is to reward your fans. As I discussed earlier, you can do shout outs, comment on your posts in response to clients, and do basic interaction with them. However, you can always go above and beyond, which will help maintain your clients, keeping them happy. For example, take a look at Adagio Teas. Clients get “frequent cup” points to put towards free tea from the company if they mentioned the company on Twitter, share a tea review on Facebook, and other forms of promotional marketing for the company. It’s free for both Adagio and clients, and the clients get a great reward. Who wouldn’t want free tea?

13. Keep Things Interesting And Diverse. You don’t want to keep posting the same posts every day; you will want to shake things up. In the post by Social Media Today mentioned in point four, the writer suggests that you keep your social posts interesting and diverse by adding humor, memes, links to your site, and anything else that works for your company. This will help maintain interest in your social posts, and promote more engagement for you.

Social Media Engagement Success: In Closing

By using these great copywriting hacks, you will find that you have a more successful social media campaign. Not only will these drive engagement, but they will also boost your website’s traffic and help bring in some great revenue! Try these out and see just how much they help you on the road to success.

Photo credit: Rawpixel / iStock