This is the third and final part of my Beginner’s guide to social media content planning, scheduling and repurposing series. I hope you’ve already read the previous two instalments and are up to date.
So far, we’ve covered:
- Why you need a social media content strategy
- How to flesh one out
- Who your target audience is
- Setting social media content marketing goals
- Creating your own action plan
- How to generate content ideas
- How to define content types
- Creating a content calendar
Not up to speed? Check out my previous two posts before you go any further:
- Part One – Social Media Content Strategy and Audience Research
- Part Two – Goal Setting and Action Planning
Now let’s get stuck into today’s post…
Optimising content for social media
People’s social media feeds are extremely crowded. That’s why it’s more important than ever that your content stands out. If it gets lost amongst all the noise, you’ll struggle to achieve the social media content marketing goals you’ve set yourself.
But how do you ensure your content stands out on social media? Well, that’s the million-dollar question.
One way is to ensure it’s as optimised as possible for the platform you’re posting it on. In other words, you should be tweaking your posts according to the platform and not adopting a one-size-fits-all content strategy.
Images are extremely powerful on social media because they can grab people’s attention and literally stop them in their tracks when they are scrolling through posts in their social feeds. The same goes for video – especially if you choose an intriguing thumbnail to use.
But it’s important that the images you post are the optimum size for the social network you’re using (yes, it does differ from platform to platform).
The easiest way to stay on top of social media image sizes and any changes is to simply follow one of the many guides that have been written on the subject. This one on Sprout Social is particularly good because, as the title suggests, it’s always kept up to date. There’s even an accompanying Google Doc that serves as a quick reference.
Speaking of guides (I love them, by the way, as if you couldn’t tell already), I’ve actually written some pretty in-depth ones about getting started on each of the main social networks. They all contain titbits on optimising content for social, so I recommend you read the ones that are relevant to you:
- Getting Started With Facebook – Part 1
- Getting Started With Linkedin – Part 1
- Getting Started With Instagram – Part 1
- Getting Started With Twitter – Part 1
The bottom line is you need to adjust your strategy for the platform you’re using. For example, as you probably already know, Instagram is a highly visual platform where people share tons of beautiful images. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is very different. It’s more formal, professional nature means that sharing images of adorable puppies isn’t going to go down as well as it would on Instagram.
Now, if you’re thinking, what about hashtags, Lenka? I’ve got you covered there too. You guessed it… another guide!
In my Hashtags on social media: Do you know how to use them? post, I cover the use of hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. There are even some tips on advanced hashtagging.
How to repurpose content to gain maximum value from it
Let’s say you’ve put your heart and soul into a blog post. The end result is truly a success – both in your own eyes and in the eyes of your customers/peers, according to their feedback. You’re feeling proud of yourself and already looking forward to creating your next masterpiece.
But why should that excellent piece of content you’ve just published only get 5 minutes of fame? Unless it’s evergreen, chances are it will be read and shared now, but fall by the wayside further down the line.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case.
By repurposing some of your best content, you can not only give it a new lease of life, but also broaden its appeal.
For example, while that 2000-word blog post you wrote, with all its awesome insights and nuggets of wisdom, might have gained a lot of traction on LinkedIn, it may not enjoy as much love on other social media platforms.
So how can you repurpose a lengthy blog post into smaller chunks that can be shared as content in their own right?
Here’s 5 ways from my The Art Of Content Repurposing: How To Get The Most Out Of Your Blog Posts piece:
- Quotes – Hand pick some great quotes or snippets of information from your blog post and publish them as social media updates. Simple as it sounds, such updates can pique people’s interests to read the full blog post and/or start a conversation about the topic in question.
- Video – A simple live video that goes over the main points in your blog post can often be very well received and breathe some new life into a post that’s been published for a while.
- Listicles – Create a list of bullet points that summarise the article. It helps give people a taste of what to expect and adds value at the same time.
- Teaser – Blog post teasers do the same as movie trailers: draw you in and make you want more. Hook people by sharing an exciting, bold or thought-provoking snippet from your blog post on social media.
- Fact – People love facts. Grab their attention by posting a few from your blog post on social media and telling them they can learn many more by reading the full post. A great way to lead in is with “Did you know that…”
Check out the full post linked above for 6 more ways to repurpose content.
Want one more freebie before you do? Infographics! People love them, they stand out in news feeds, they can be really informative and they tend to enjoy lots of shares. Plus, you can sometimes make several of them from just one really good blog post.
The pitfalls/benefits of scheduling social media posts
Social media scheduling tools are all the rage. They can be an absolute godsend if you constantly struggle to meet your posting commitments because you’re too busy or simply forget sometimes.
We keep hearing how important it is to be present on social media and consistent in your approach, and with content scheduling tools you can absolutely do that.
But (and there’s always a but, right) never over-rely on them or forget that social media is all about people interacting.
If you’ve followed me for a while now, you’ll know that I’m a huge proponent of engaging social media audiences. That is to say, every post you publish on social media should aim to spark conversations, engage your followers, and further strengthen your brand’s relationship with them – and that’s where scheduling tools can actually be a bit of a problem.
You see, when you use social media scheduling tools, there’s a tendency to queue up a load of updates for the next few weeks and then forget about them. While this does help ensure you keep posting regularly and at the same times/on the same days each week, it can see you missing important engagement opportunities.
Unless you routinely open your tools and apps to see who’s been engaging with your posts, check if there are any comments you need to reply to or people you need to thank, you could end up just publishing content for the sake of it – and if you’ve read the other parts of this series you’ll know that’s never a good idea!
Don’t be afraid to mix it up and experiment with posting stuff as you come across it and scheduling some posts for later in the day/week/month. Remain agile at all times and be ready to stop and change what you are doing whenever needed. This is important because it helps you gain a better understanding of what’s working and what’s not.
Remember, be present to engage, listen, respond and have real conversations. If you’re just scheduling stuff and forgetting about it, you won’t be doing your brand any favours – in fact, you could end up losing followers as a result!
Rely on your content calendar to tell you what’s coming up in your social media schedule and if you do use scheduling tools to help you stay on top, set yourself some reminders to check your social posts to see if you need to be engaging/following up.
One thing I will say about scheduling tools is that many also provide great insights into how your posts are performing. This allows you to see which types of content your followers are engaging with the most/the least and tweak your strategy going forward.
Engage, engage, engage and you’ll find that the time you invest in social media content marketing starts to pay dividends.
Over to you…
Have you found that certain types of posts resonate more with your followers than others? Do you use social media scheduling tools to alleviate the pressure? I’d love to know how you’re killing it on social.
Let’s get our own conversation going. Tweet me @lenkakopp and I’ll get right back to you.