Social media is the perfect vehicle to leverage and positively impact website traffic, that is, when social platforms are used correctly.
The golden rule in marketing is getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time. Although many of us comms pros usually live by this notion, we also sometimes forget that while the core message remains the same, how it’s communicated needs to be tweaked depending on the channel it’s distributed on. Sure a one size fits all approach makes our life easier when it comes to content creation, but the same can’t be said when it comes to improving results.
Radio content doesn’t work for TV. TV content doesn’t work for social media. Social content doesn’t work for print. You need to create content for social media in order to see ROI from social posts and stop trying to fit the content you already have on channels they’ve not been created for.
“At Meltwater, we’re seeing an increase in clients adopting social-first content strategies in order to drive website traffic. A social-first content strategy considers social media during the ideation and brainstorm phase of planning content, rather than as an afterthought to amplify content reach. This has proved to be a successful method for those wanting to increase link click-throughs on social media”
With this in mind, here are 10 tips to remember when sharing content on social media. Follow them and increase link click-throughs in no time!
1. Follow Your Audience
Don’t fall into the trap of trying to create and share web content across all social channels. You’re not going to increase link click-throughs via social media if you’re audience aren’t present on the channel. Use a social listening tool to understand where your audience hangs out as this will aid channel prioritisation and focus. You can do this by analysing social conversations about your brand per channel.
Social listening insights will stop you from leaning towards a channel you want to be present on and more towards the channel you should be present on.
“Conduct social listening of conversations developing around your industry/ competitors too. You may find a difference in social network usage, suggesting where your brand’s audience may be to heading to next! Untapped social media channels offer a chance to reach new audiences and increase click-throughs from unique website visitors.”
2. Create Platform Specific Web Content
Although we’re seeing social networks mimic their rival’s technologies (like Instagram rolling out Snap’s Stories), each social network is still fundamentally different from one another. The unique characteristics must be respected when sharing web content on social media if you have any chance of driving web traffic.
The image below from AddThis offers a high-level overview of the differences between social network content and tone of voice.
Let’s take Twitter vs Instagram as an example.
Twitter defines itself as “what’s happening in the world and what people are talking about right now.” It’s a platform for real-time commentary, sparking global conversations. Instagram, on the other hand, defines itself as “a simple, fun & creative way to capture, edit & share photos, videos & messages with friends & family”.
One channel relies on imagery and the other relies on text.
If you’re aiming to increase click-throughs on Twitter, consider the ‘chatter factor’. Will your content spark debate? How can you take the conversation from Twitter onto your web page? For example, prompting people to continue the conversation in the comment section of your webpage works nicely.
When creating content for Insta, consider the ‘shopability factor’. Is the photo attractive enough to not just generate likes, but get people to click on your microsite and explore?
Due to the real-time nature of Twitter, it’s best to post timely content. Newsjacking, moment marketing, company announcements, customer service campaigns and crisis control responses are forms of content that work well for Twitter and will most likely increase link click-throughs compared to other forms of content. On the contrary, evergreen content, that always remains relevant, works better on Facebook.
3. Play On Emotions
If you want somebody to explore your post beyond the caption your need to spark audience emotion. The best way to do this is through storytelling. This can be tricky with limited characters, so get creative and look at what others are doing in your industry. Most companies find evoking the below emotions significantly impact engagement and increase link click-through.
4. Use Subtitles For Video
85 % of Facebook video is watched without sound, yet in a recent Facebook study, 76% of rated video adverts required sound to be understood. When creating video content to be distributed on social media, ensure the narrative can be followed through imagery, without sound. Add subtitles to increase link click-throughs and post engagement. Check out Facebook’s handy closed-captioning tool which allows you to upload your own captions or generate captions automatically.
5. A/B Test
When creating content for social media, professionals are in a unique position to arm themselves with more informed engagement insights. For example, they’re able to understand when people click a link, the pages they explore next or when they drop off their site. Social listening to conversations developing around competitors can also give you an insight scoop into the strengths and weaknesses of their strategies. Such insights should be used to A/B test content with optimisation in mind.
The majority of social networks offer native analytics for business accounts within the app, but if you’re interested in more advanced insights, such as trending themes, consider investing in a third party social media analytics tool to help increase link click-throughs.
6. Size Matters
Don’t forget that image sizing differs by channel. Nothing will detract your audience from clicking a link to your site than an accompanying image that has been cut off as this signifies content that has been poorly put together. You can find the 2018 guide to social media image dimensions here. If you think the content will resonate on other social networks (keeping in mind their unique characteristics) you can easily adjust content sizing using free tools like Canva.
7. Keep Mobile in Mind
It’s also important to optimise content for mobile users, especially since 80% of social media usage is consumed via mobile. Increase link click-throughs by considering the user experience of engaging with content via a smaller screen vertically, but also the behavioural differences of mobile vs desktop users.
8. Rethink the Call to Action
No comms message is complete without a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are crucial when trying to increase link click-throughs.
“Every piece of content, regardless of what channel it’s distributed on, should have a goal it wants the audience to complete. However, CTAs should be adapted depending on the channel and its characteristics.”
If the aim of the campaign is to double marketing database subscribers, you may want to push this through a timely competition for Twitter. On the contrary, since Facebook supports evergreen content quite nicely, its better database sign-ups through whitepaper downloads for this particular channel.
9. Watch Your Timings
We often have clients ask “When is the best time to post on social media?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as Sunday at 6 pm (despite what people may think).
“The best time to post on social media and increase link click-throughs depends on the time your audience is online on a given social network. This means the best time to post on differs by channel and communities.”
Work out when the best time to post on social media is by looking at what times and days you get the most engagement on social media currently.
For Twitter, go into ‘Twitter Analytics’ and sort by ‘Top Tweets’, you can then look at your top tweets. Analyse which time and day get the most engagement.
For Facebook, go into ‘Insights’ of your page, to look at what days you get the most reach and likes.
On Instagram, if you have a business profile, you can look at Instagram’s analytics feature.
You can also choose the best time to post on social media through Meltwater’s social engagement tool. ViralPost is a feature within Meltwater Engage that looks at your most active & influential followers on social media, and when they are engaging the most. It then recommends the best time to post based on this.
10. Follow an Integrated Approach
Rolling out a social-first content strategy doesn’t mean creating content for social media only. Marketing campaigns that produce high website traffic tend to be created with integration across all marcomms channels in mind. Customer experiences should be seamless, no matter where the message is viewed. With so many people multi-screening, the chances of your audience coming across the message on different channels (not just social media) is high. An integrated approach ensures consistency and maximum message impact.