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SMO Tips for Better-performing Posts to Facebook and Twitter


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Трюки SMO (Social Media Optimization) для лучшего представления постов в Facebook и Twitter (by Shoutlet)

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SMO Tips for Better-performing Posts to Facebook and Twitter

  2. 2. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.022 • • In February 2012, Facebook announced at the Facebook Marketing Conference that just 16% of fans on average see the posts on most Facebook Pages.1 This percentage came as a shock to Page admins. But it illustrated that despite the enormous growth of social media over the past several years, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to cut through the noise of the feeds on multiple social networks. How does a social team keep up and consistently produce engaging posts across social networks? Optimization. Now, it is more important than ever to optimize each post for each social network in order for more people to not only see your content, but feel compelled to interact with it as well. Social post optimization requires big thinking as well as intense attention to detail. The tricky part about getting the details just right is that there are many moving parts. Optimizing your social media posts for engagement is an ongoing quest, but one that can do nothing but boost your exposure and your ability to solicit interaction from fans and followers. OPTIMIZING FOR ENGAGEMENT Among the primary goals of many social media programs is engagement. The most successful Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts have histories of social media research and testing that have allowed them to uncover what types of posts work for them. Optimizing social posts for any network includes optimizing for reach and optimizing for interaction. Planning for enhanced reach helps engagement, and engagement, in many cases, can propel the content to a wider audience. Post optimization can broadly be broken down into these focus areas: SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION TIPS FOR BETTER PERFORMING POSTS TO FACEBOOK AND TWITTER 1 CONTENT FORMAT TIMING CALLS TO ACTION
  3. 3. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.023 • • CONTENT What content will result in the interaction you are hoping to generate? Content is the driver for social media engagement. As content marketing leader Joe Chernov said, if social media is a sports car, then content is the gasoline. “The sports car goes nowhere without a tank of gas.”2 Even the most perfectly optimized posts could fall flat if content doesn’t resonate. Brands are faced with the challenge of creating content that will help them meet their goals, whether that means driving traffic and sales from social sites, generating leads, or sparking engagement and interaction to help reinforce the bond with their community. An added challenge is striking a good balance of content types, with directly promotional content balanced with topics that inform, educate, or entertain. FORMAT What format should the post adopt to get the most reach? Will the post include a photo or video, for example? This will depend on the social network, and in many cases one piece of content might take on different formats to suit the social network it’s being posted to. While format can help determine reach, as in the case of Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, it can also help encourage interaction. TIMING When should the post be published to be seen by the most of my community? How often should I post? There have been a slew of studies that offer data analysis about the best times to post and how often to post. While these can provide guidelines to experiments with, the best times to post and receive the most exposure is determined by your own audience’s habits on each social site and uncovered by your social media analytics. CALLS TO ACTION What calls to action will result in the outcome I’m looking for on this post? Calls to action are the gateway to the results you are trying to achieve. These will vary from network to network based on the audience, the content, the goal of the post, and the functionality of the platform at hand. Optimizing for reach and interaction will provide a basis for each post that helps you no matter which network you’re publishing on. Each social network has its own additional requirements for excellent optimized posts. But by evaluating these criteria for reach and interaction, you’ll be able to reach as much of your audience as you can, while encouraging the interactions that help you meet your goals and create positive social media ROI. How do these factors translate to Facebook and Twitter? Here is a breakdown of what optimization for reach and interaction mean in real-world terms for these networks. 2
  4. 4. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.024 • • FACEBOOK Optimizing posts for Facebook requires a varying set of factors to consider. In addition to the chief goal of generating interaction through great content, Page admins also must take into account Facebook’s internal algorithm that determines what shows up in the news feed, also known as EdgeRank. The classic definition of EdgeRank that social marketers have come to know is the formula above, comprised of these components: affinity, weight, and time. In short, it says that each time a user or Page creates an “object” that is eligible for placement in the new feed, affinity, weight, and time are taken into account to determine whether it becomes visible. Affinity is the relationship between a Page and a user, including how often a user interacts with a Page. Weight assigns a value to a specific action, such as a like vs. a share, and time takes into account the elapsed time a post or interaction as taken place. But the true, working version of the new feed algorithm is constantly changing, with Facebook making tweaks roughly every week, said Will Cathcart, Facebook’s product manager of news feed.3 Some of those tweaks become more apparent to page admins than others, as in the case of a major update Facebook made to the algorithm in September 2012. What started as a noticeable change in metrics, especially reach, prompted theories that Facebook had altered the News Feed algorithm.4 Some argued that it had done so to encourage Page admins to invest more heavily in Promoted Posts to boost the reach of posts to more of their fans. The discussion surrounding that change prompted Facebook to share more details about the algorithm. In November 2012, it described the four factors the algorithm takes into account, as reported by TechCrunch5 : How often a user has interacted with posts from that Page in the past. The more a user engages with posts, the more likely he or she will see future posts by that Page in the news feed. How others interact with posts from a Page. Whether others are engaging heavily with a post – or if those who do see it do not interact or they provide negative feedback – determines if post will be shown to other fans of the Page. What type of content a user engages with. Does a user always interact with photos, for example? Photos are then more likely to be displayed to that user. How much negative feedback a Page as received on a post or overall. Negative feedback on Facebook posts include these actions: • Hiding a post • Hiding all posts from the news feed • Unliking the Page • Reporting a post as spam The more users take these negative actions, the less likely content is displayed. Pages that have lower the average rates of negative actions are also rewarded, said Facebook’s Cathcart.6 NFO: News Feed Optimization EdgeRank - affinity score between viewing user and edge creator - weight for this edge type (create, comment, like, tag, etc.) - time decay factor based on how long ago the edge was created ue we de ue we de edges e 3 AllFacebook, Nov. 16, 2012: 4 5 6
  5. 5. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.025 • • (In an effort to make the news feed more relevant to users, the changes made in September to the algorithm include a much greater emphasis on these negative actions, which had a negative impact on reach for many Pages.7 In September Facebook also made the option to take a negative action easier to access through a drop-down menu on every post. The decrease in the reach of posts that do not see engagement has led to an increase in engagement, according to Facebook’s Matt Idema, the company’s product marketing director of ads.8 ) TACTICS FOR OPTIMIZING FOR FACEBOOK Even with the frequent changes in the algorithm behind the news feed, there are ways to optimize posts to reach more people and generate interaction. Tips for optimization in each of these areas: All of this new information about the News Feed algorithm points to the main concept that Page admins need to know is that engagement is the most important factor in getting your content to rank higher in the News Feed. CALL TO ACTION FORMAT TIMING CONTENT 7 8
  6. 6. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.026 • • CONTENT What content engages your Facebook fans? Engagement is the driving force behind News Feed visibility, not to mention great content’s impact with each fan. • Use Facebook Insights to learn more about your fans and merge those insights with what you know about your customer base overall. If your key demographic is moms, for example, and you see that you’re reaching younger moms on Facebook, tailoring a greater percentage of content to women with younger children could help boost interaction. Knowing which subset of customers are fans of your Pages helps focus potential topics. Also studying negative feedback for each post provides indicators of what content has prompted fans to take a negative action. One PageLever study found that users are most likely to hide all posts from a page when they take a negative action – 60 times more likely than unliking a Page.9 This, coupled with an algorithm that takes negative feedback into account, highlights the need to invest in analyzing your data, which can help build content that compels users to engage. • Experiment with Facebook Page post targeting. By using the new Facebook page post targeting options, you are able to make posts as relevant to a sub-segment of users as possible. Target specific content to fans filtered by everything from location to relationship status, education, and gender. The greater the relevance, the more likely content is to strike a chord and generate engagement. • Analyze what’s been successful in the past. Only by knowing what’s worked will you know how to boost your numbers of Engaged Users and the likes, comments, and shares of posts. FORMAT Working in tandem with content is the format that content will take in the Facebook post. • Post photos. Images have been the star of 2012, with visual content exploding on places like Pinterest and Instagram. On Facebook, photos are consistently receiving the highest engagement rates, beating text updates, links, and videos.10 They’re getting up to 20x the engagement of other post types, wrote PageLever’s Brian Carter.11 Brands continue to see success with photo posts. • Experiment with other formats to see what resonates with your audience. A well-crafted status update can garner more likes, comments, and shares than a photo post that isn’t as engaging. 9 10 11
  7. 7. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.027 • • CALLS TO ACTION Great content in the right format still relies on a well-crafted call to action to generate engagement. On Facebook, testing what phrases and requests for action works for you over time is crucial. Other tips: • Double-check you have a call to action. Even when posting links, include a specific action that can drive engagement on Facebook. • Either/or questions and fill in the blank messaging helps guide comments and solicit opinions. • Integrate your call to action with your photo for a quick impact in the news feed that is designed to generate comments. TIMING There have been numerous studies on when the best times are to post on Facebook. Some have pointed to the hours of 1 to 4 p.m., with the peak times being 3 p.m. on Wednesdays.12 Others encourage posting on weekends, others advise against publishing after business hours. The only definite point in terms of timing are that each company is different. Ultimately it depends on your unique audience and their habits. Experiment with posting times and days of the week. Enlist a social media measurement tool that can help you uncover the reach and interaction rates of posts at different times throughout the day. 12
  8. 8. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.028 • • TWITTER Twitter is a substantially different social network than Facebook when it comes to optimization. Although it doesn’t rely on an algorithm to be seen by followers, the lifecycle of a tweet is much shorter. Still, here are ways to optimize your tweets to get the most out of your efforts on Twitter. TACTICS FOR OPTIMIZING FOR TWITTER CALL TO ACTION FORMAT TIMING CONTENT CONTENT Like content for all social networks, content that is relevant for your audience works best and is the foundation of optimizing tweets. • Use the 80/20 rule as a guideline for the content you’re publishing - 80% relevant content that’s educational and from reputable sources, and the other 20% to promote your company’s own content. • Add appropriate hashtags. Carefully selected hashtags can widen your reach. Hashtags for an event let your company contribute to the conversation. • Add context to information you share with followers. Knowing what your audience is interested in and what they tend to interact with can help you tailor tweets to them. Adding a few words about how a particular article or video can help them specifically encourages them to click.
  9. 9. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.029 • • FORMAT • Attach images to tweets for greater context. Twitter and many third-party Twitter clients include in-line display of images. One recent study found tweets with images outperformed text-only tweets by 91%.13 • Include links to provide followers with external resources, and be straightforward about where the links are taking users. Use a trackable short URL service to see which links received the most clicks. • Condense to less than 140 characters. Make it easy for those sharing to add their input and RT your content. TIMING Like the timing of Facebook posts, the timing of tweets depends on your audience. found that tweets that included links were published after 8 p.m. every day and after 3 p.m. on Fridays are among the worst times, compared to tweets sent between 1 and 3 p.m. Eastern time which performed best.14 HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella found that tweets posted on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday had higher clickthrough rates than other days of the week.15 Possibly in part because there are fewer tweets posted during those times.16 • Tracking tweet timing will help you assess when your followers are most likely to both click on your links and share with their followers. Tools like Shoutlet and free tools on the market can help you track clickthroughs and retweets. CALLS TO ACTION • Asking for a retweet is among the most direct calls to action, and there’s evidence that asking does help generate added shares. Zarrella’s research also found that using key phrases in the tweet were more likely to have higher CTRs.17 Source: Via CTR @ RT Please Check @AddThis Marketing @GetGlue 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% Tweets with the Word Tweets without the Word 13 14 15 16 17
  10. 10. Shoutlet, Inc. 2012 • v12.0210 • • Even with slews of studies and guidance from the social networks, the best way to uncover the right mix of great content, perfect timing, effective calls to action, and the right format will be to learn as much about your audience as you can, then experiment and continue to optimize as needed. ABOUT SHOUTLET Shoutlet is a leading cloud-based enterprise social marketing platform that enables marketers to publish, engage, and measure social marketing campaigns and activities on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Its industry leading functionality includes a Social CRM for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube management; Social Canvas® for Facebook tabs, HTML5 pages, and custom contest and web app design; Social Switchboard® for trigger-based campaign publishing; Social Profiles for data acquisition and interest segmentation; Social Enterprise for corporate-level control of multiple brands, franchises, and agents; and Social Analytics for metric tracking and custom reporting. SHARE THIS PAPER: