Today, nearly every online marketer knows that content is king. Regardless of how pretty and well organized your website or blog is, none of it matters if you don’t have the content to back it up.
How does social media come into play with the need overall for content? Is content really that important in social media? Yes! The answer is yes, content is more important than ever on social media.
April was an absolute storm for updates and changes in the social media world and all of the new changes and rollouts are going to greatly impact who can see what and how content is viewed.
It is a dog-eat-dog world out in the social media world of content. Everyone can write and everyone can tell a story, the biggest thing you must ask yourself is if yours is better than everyone else’s—because that’s what it’s going to take to be heard, to be liked, to be followed. Couple the fact that everyone is clamoring to be heard with the new social media updates and you will see how it can be an uphill battle to get your voice out there.
The 3 Main Features of Facebook’s New Algorithm
What started as a fun place to stay up-to-date with your friends and like their cute baby’s pictures has turned into a mass media market and the perfect platform for promoting your business.
Unfortunately with changes last year to Facebook’s algorithm it hasn’t been as easy to get organic traffic to your brand’s Facebook page, but it is still possible to do. With the new algorithm update that rolled out on April 21, 2015, Facebook has taken it a step further, making it even harder to gain organic traffic and almost forcing brands to pay to promote their business. This new algorithm has some serious updates in store.
Facebook announced it is putting more emphasis on friends and like pages and less on brands. The new update includes the following features:
- The content you care about is right on top: Your close friends’ statuses, pictures and anything else you look at consistently is shown at the beginning of your timeline so that you don’t miss anything in the lives of the people you care about most. This goes for pages as well. Pages you consistently interact with will be shown at the top of your news feed.
- Less posts from those you don’t: For those without many interactions, friends or like pages, Facebook has relaxed the number of times you can see their posts. Therefore, you can now have back-to-back posts that were previously blocked from coming through on your news feed.
- Less non-relevant notifications: Lastly, those annoying likes and comments friends make on other’s pages and posts that you could personally care less about and usually from people you have no clue who they are, will be buried at the bottom of your news feed, or quite possibly not visible to you at all.
So why is content on Facebook more important now than ever before? Because by placing the emphasis on friends and shoving the brands to the back burner, you are going to need every fan you have to help push your content without having to pay for it. Every time your content is shared, all of their close friends will be notified and have the opportunity to read it. Without good content, you are pretty close to dead in the water – or at least looking at a much larger Facebook marketing budget.
What’s New? Hello, Discover from Snapchat
Snapchat has always been a really fun way to see pictures of your niece or nephew or your friend’s crazy weekend out. With the addition of Snapchat’s Discover, storytelling takes on a whole new role with this media platform.
By offering a place to tell stories, users can open up different editions to see what is out there. Popular brands such as ESPN, the Food Network and National Geographic have their own channels where you can watch video. Simply open the channel to view the snap. If you like what you see, you can swipe up and view the whole video, and otherwise you can swipe left to see more.
Because what’s hot today is old news tomorrow, these channels are updated every 24 hours to keep content fresh and exactly what you’re looking for.
In today’s instant gratification world, millennials don’t waste time looking at things that don’t intrigue them. Discover starts with 10 second clips, letting you quickly decide if it is worth your time to check out, therefore not wasting your time watching a whole video of something you really don’t care about.
While this is a really great update and feature it lacks in a major way that other social media platforms don’t have problems with – there is no engagement. While storytelling and content are so important, consumers want engagement from brands. Discover is simply an in-your-face marketing tool where there is no way to interact beyond watching the video.
7 Ways To Get the Best Content Out There & Be Social On Your Platforms
It’s no secret that with everyone and their mother sharing stories and content on social media, a lot gets overlooked or not viewed. So how do you combat that? How do you get your voice heard and noticed in an over-saturated market?
- Post pictures. In everything you do, post pictures. No, more than that, post intriguing pictures – pictures that make you want to open the story and read it because you just can’t imagine what that image has in store for you. On platforms like Twitter, that picture may be the only reason someone opens your story, since Twitter only gives you so many characters to explain what you are doing. Therefore, that picture has to speak 1000 words before your actual words are even read.
- Share your content everywhere. Put it on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Google Plus and Pinterest. The more places your content is shared the more likely that people are going to read it, love it and ultimately share it. Don’t be afraid to share it more than once either. The more times your content is shared the better chance you have that people will read it and then share it with their friends. Choose different times of the day and days of the week to get the most views out of your content.
- Write things that everyone can relate to, not only a small group of people. You don’t have to write about your product for every post, just make sure it is relevant to your product. For example if you are trying to promote new kitchen appliances, it is a good idea to post a few recipes. This way you can bring in people who aren’t looking for a new stove at the moment but just can’t pass up that delicious, home style chicken and dumplings recipe that looks like grandma handed it down through generations.
- Use a consistent voice across all social media platforms. Pretty much be the same person on Facebook as you are on Twitter. Your goal is to make everything as genuine and as personal as possible. Having one voice on Facebook and a totally different persona on Twitter will discredit you and ultimately hurt your readership.
- Engage your readers. It’s not enough just to have great content; you want your readers to interact. Use a conversational tone in your writing and ask questions that you truly want to be answered. When they are answered, respond! You don’t have to respond to every single person who answers if the responses are overwhelming, but at least respond to a few of them. Let them know there’s a person behind the computer that wants them to be a part of what you are doing.
- Stay on top of social media updates and know what you’re up against. Being ahead of the game has never been a bad thing and surely isn’t in the case of the social media content wars.
- Lastly, utilize the metrics available across all of the different social media platforms to find out what is working for you and what isn’t. This is a great time to look at posting times and days. A post may hit Facebook at 9 a.m. and perform at its best, but be a total flop on Twitter because most of your followers don’t check Twitter until lunchtime. You may need to schedule different posting times between the different platforms to get the absolute best outcomes.
More Than Anything – Interact & Be Social
Social media didn’t get its name from being a one-sided platform to share information. No, it is the ultimate in brand and consumer interaction and the easiest way to gain recognition is to be present and engaged in your social media postings.
Why is social media interaction so important? Simply put, because it puts a face and a voice to an otherwise unattainable brand. If someone were to leave a less than desirable comment about something you shared on Facebook, ask them why or take their constructive criticism and take the time to thank them for their input and look into it. Not only are you making it personal to that person, but it also shows the thousands of other people that you care about the content you are sharing, you are passionate about your product and you care what the people think about you.
There are thousands of people sharing recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, what makes your stand out? What makes people want to keep checking your site versus others when they are looking for something new to make for their family? Yes, of course your recipes may be better and your writing style may draw a few people in, but engaging with your readers makes them think of you more as a friend and less as a business. Friends always go to friends first when they need advice, or in this case, dinner ideas. So naturally they are coming to your site first.
And then guess what they are going to do? Yep, they are going to share it with their friends and promote it that everyone needs to check you out because you are without a doubt the best choice out there. And you will ultimately gain more followers, likes and retweets all because you responded to a comment or a tweet. A simple thirty-second response can be king in growing your followers.
A Simple Tip: Offer a Lot of Quality Content
Someone who reads the content you share and likes it often wants more. You can never have too much content, but you can certainly have too little! So how often should you share on social media? Well, that depends on the social media platform you are sharing to.
You want to share much more to Pinterest and Twitter than you would to Facebook or Google Plus.
Along with how often you share, how much you write is a big factor as well. Smaller blog posts, while quick and easy to read, often result in a higher bounce rate because they do not engage the reader or keep them wanting more. Blog posts of at least 1000 words are more likely to keep the reader clicking through other posts on your page because they want to learn more and read more of what you have to offer. The more content you have to offer, the more likely a reader is to check back on your blog or website often to see what has been updated.
If you pair good writing and heavy content with these simple steps, your use of social media should be at its peak and you will inevitably gain readership.
Photo credit: DragonImages / iStock