You’re good at blogging. In fact, you’re more than good at blogging. You’ve got carefully documented buyer personas. You labor over keyword research and meticulously optimize every post you create in WordPress. And you’re a really, really great writer.
You know your content is good – so why doesn’t Facebook agree? Every time you share your latest blog post on social media, you feel sure that this one’s going to hit the big time. Yet every time, you’re disappointed by a distinctly lackluster reception (likes don’t really count when they’re from your mum…).
The first thing you should know is that it’s probably not your fault. Remember that social media networks are dominated by ever-changing algorithms, which control who does and doesn’t see your content. Standing out on social media can feel like trying to get your voice heard above the crowd at Wembley Arena, as Adele and Beyoncé perform a duet on stage.
However, it’s not a completely hopeless situation. Fortunately, there are some effective strategies that can get your blog noticed on social media. What’s more, they’re surprisingly simple to implement. Let’s take a look!
1. Make sure you’re hanging out in the right places
If your struggling to see any traction from your blog content on social media, reassess the platforms where you’re sharing content. It’s crucial to find out your target audience’s preferences, so conduct a competitive analysis to learn where brands in your industry are the most active and successful, as well as directly asking your audience about their most-used social media platforms (in a customer survey, for example).
This is all the more important if you’re a small team that can’t afford to spread itself too thinly. If you’ve tried everything you can think of to make a channel work for you, and you’re still not seeing results, do you really need to be pouring your time and money into it? It can be tempting in the FOMO-driven world of social media, but you really don’t need to be everywhere at once.
For example, a fashion eCommerce brand is likely to find success on Instagram, whereas a B2B marketing agency will be better suited to LinkedIn. It’s also worth considering more ‘alternative’ platforms like Reddit, or up-and-coming platforms like TikTok, where you could be the first brand in your space to tap into its potential. Whatever you do, document your strategy, experiments and results, then you’ll be able to identify patterns of success or failure more easily.
2. Sharpen your copywriting skills
You probably spend a long time researching and writing the main body of your content. A mistake lots of bloggers and marketers make is that they’re so eager to get their content out into the world, they rush the headline and social media captions. Neither of these should be an afterthought – in fact, we should probably all be spending more time on them.
Let’s think about your headline first. You’ve probably optimized this for SEO purposes, but you need to balance this with ‘attention-grabbing factor’ for social media. Neil Patel explains why this is so important: “The post title is possibly your only interaction with your audience…So a catchy headline will not just improve your CTR. It also starts the interaction with the user on a positive note. If your content keeps the promises you made in the headline and conveys your value proposition clearly, you nail your first impression.”
Keep in mind what Neil says about your content keeping the promise made in the headline; don’t resort to ‘clickbait’ titles that will lose the trust of your audience. It’s always a good idea to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and think about what would inspire them to click your post. There are several proven formulas you can use, like how-to guides, lists, and facts or statistics.
Study other successful headlines and learn some high-converting formulas in resources like this one. I really like CoSchedule’s headline analyser tool when I’m writing blog titles, and another super easy, yet really effective tip is to test them out on your own team. Companies like ManRepeller, for example, have a dedicated Slack channel for feedback on headlines.
Next, you need to think about your social media caption – which can be just as make or break for your content’s success. Your caption should be tailored to the specific social media platform to which you’re posting, so let’s look at each of them in turn.
On Twitter, captions work best when they’re quite straightforward – partly due to the character limit! You have both less space and less time to work with (tweets have the shortest lifespan of any social media post). One option is to simply use the headline of your content. Buffer actually use Twitter as a testing ground for their blog post headlines, trying out different options in their tweets. Questions, quotes or statistics also work well on Twitter.
The Facebook algorithm now prioritizes content from friends over content from publishers. It’s all about ‘meaningful interactions’, so you really need to forge an emotional connection with your audience to get your content seen.
Use captions that will trigger a strong feeling – that could be surprise, amusement, curiosity, excitement, happiness, sadness or even anger. You can afford to get a little ‘bolder’ with your captions on Facebook, which includes using emojis.
LinkedIn is the social network for professionals, so keep it professional! Useful insights, questions that prompt discussion and eye-catching statistics work well on LinkedIn. Also, LinkedIn prioritizes posts that keep users on its platform, so you might get higher reach with status updates (you can always link to the content in the comments), videos or LinkedIn articles.
Instagram is primarily a visual platform, but captions are still important for grabbing people’s attention. From my experience, there are two types that work well: either keep it super short – a pithy one-liner or meme-style caption – or go super long, in-depth and even personal.
3. Be visual
Of course, if you’re sharing a blog post on Instagram, you’re going to have to find a way to represent it visually. This might be creating a quote graphic, a relevant photo you’ve taken, a stock photo, meme or GIF.
The thing is, as newsfeeds become more crowded, all social media networks have become visual platforms. As CoSchedule puts it in this post, “Visual content has gone from a “nice-to-have” to a must-have vehicle for marketing messages.”
This is why top brands are adding media to almost every single thing they post. For example, when Social Chain share the link to their latest podcast episode, it’s accompanied with a video of the interview:
You might be thinking, ‘That’s all well and good for Social Chain, but I don’t have that kind of budget!’ Fortunately, there are plenty of tools – a lot of them free – that make it easy for anyone to repurpose their content into high-quality visuals.
I can’t seem to go a blog post without mentioning Canva, which is great for creating graphics.
Lumen5, Animoto, and GIPHY are also great options for creating videos and animations. One of my secret tricks is simply to create a slideshow of images on Facebook, then download it as an mp4, which can be shared anywhere.
Another tool I love is Anchor, which lets you create videos of audio snippets from your podcast episodes – perfect for sharing on social!
4. Put some money behind it
We’ve got this far without mentioning paid – but when we’re talking about getting content noticed on social media, we can’t not mention paid!
It’s getting rarer and rarer to achieve real success on social media without putting some money behind it, but I’d still advise testing organic strategies as much as you can first. Once you’ve got some organic social proof, you’ll know which content or versions of posts are worth investing in. This is a much safer, more strategic bet than blowing a load of cash before you have any idea how people will react to your content.
You also need to think about your objectives for your content here. For example, most of the content we create for the Quuu blog is SEO-driven: we want our post to rank for a particular keyword that our target audience is searching for. However, other content we produce is more socially-driven, designed with shareability in mind. In this case, it would make more sense to apply paid to the second type of content.
For example, we knew this blog post sharing content marketing lessons from Ariana Grande’s ‘thank u, next’ campaign was ripe for liking, sharing and tagging friends on social media, so we boosted it on Facebook – with some pretty good results!
If you’d like to learn more about when to invest money in your content strategy on social media, check out this blog post.
5. Ask people to share your content.
Did we mention that social media marketing is hard?! Which is why, sometimes, you need to get by with a little help from your friends.
Ever wondered why some people you follow on social media always seem to get tonnes of likes and comments, even though their content is no better than yours? The answer might be simpler than you think: they’re probably just asking their friends.
It’s a really effective strategy, and with social media moving towards private communities, we’re only going to see more of this behavior in the years to come. That’s why Quuu has launched Pods, which will enable you, your friends and your team members to automatically share each others content on social media.
When you publish a new piece of content, email any individuals or brands you’ve mentioned/linked to in the post, asking them to share it with their audience. You could also do the same with relevant influencers, although this kind of cold outreach is easy to get wrong – think carefully about what’s in it for them if they share your post, and try to build genuine relationships with them first.
However, don’t underestimate the reach of peers, friends, and family, whose combined influence can be powerful. Employee advocacy is a big trend in content marketing right now, so establish a culture where everyone shares company content on their own social media profiles.
You could also try participating in Slack groups with dedicated content promotion channels, and signing up to Quuu Promote to have your content shared by real people in your niche.
Wrapping things up
The content promotion strategies we’ve covered in this blog post are all very simple. In fact, that’s the mistake I think a lot of brands and marketers make with social media: overcomplicating things.
Remember that social media is just a tool for people to connect with other people, so it ultimately boils down to basic human psychology. Looking good, sounding good, being in the right place at the right time, building relationships. Strip it back to these fundamentals and you should see results.
Are there any other methods or tools you use to get your content noticed on social media? I’d love to hear about them!