Do you post on social media just for the sake of it?
Or, ever felt so wrapped up in what hashtag day it is — like #MondayMotivation, #ThrowBackThursday, or #FlashbackFriday?
Perhaps you barely post anything on social media because you’re too busy running your business.
If your answer to any of these is yes, this guide is for you. It will show you how to get the most out of social media by optimising your content.
What is Social Media Optimisation (SMO)?
Social media optimisation is finding out what content performs best on which social media platform and repeating that success.
It’s a process of continual improvement where you test, measure, and tweak your social media content to get the best results.
It’s also about making it easier for people to share your content on social media.
Easier said than done. The only way to find out what works is to determine what content resonates best with your target audience.
You also want to find out where you fit in the social media sphere. And finally, figure out how to flawlessly execute and reassess your social media strategy.
Why is SMO Important?
SMO is important because it allows you to get the most out of social media platforms.
When you optimise your content, you’re more likely to:
- Get more engagement (likes, comments, shares)
- Get more followers
- Reach a larger audience
- Drive more traffic to your website
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost sales and conversions
The Connection Between Social Media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
A quick Google search will show you that there’s quite a bit of debate on whether SEO or SMO is more important. The answer is: both are essential to your digital marketing strategy.
Search engine optimisation should be the foundation of your online presence — it’s what helps people find you when they’re searching for keywords related to your business. On the other hand, social media optimisation helps you stand out from the competition once people have found you.
It’s also worth noting that the two are more intertwined than you might think. When ranking websites, one of the things search engines are beginning to look at is a brand’s social media activity.
And it makes sense: if a brand is being talked about on social media, it’s probably because they’re doing something right.
The State of social media
The days of treating social media as an afterthought are long gone. If anything, social media should be at the core of your digital marketing strategy.
Just look at these numbers:
- As of January 2022, there were 4.62 billion social media users worldwide. That’s a whopping 58.4% of the world’s population.
In a 2014 report by State of Enterprise Social Marketing, 98% of enterprise companies market their products or services in at least one social media network.
89% of marketers say social media is “very important” to their business, while 30% think it’s “somewhat important” to their overall marketing strategy.
That’s a lot of businesses using social media, and the number is only going to grow.
If you’re not using social media, you’re losing out on a massive chunk of the market.
The Different Types of Social Media
Before you start optimising your content, you need to understand the different types of social media.
There are six main types:
- Social networks: This is where people go to connect with friends and family. The most popular social network is Facebook, followed by WhatsApp and Messenger.
- Blogging platforms: These are websites where people can share their thoughts and ideas in the form of articles, videos, or images. The most popular blogging platform is WordPress.
- Photo sharing: This is exactly what it sounds like — people share photos on social media. The two most popular photo-sharing platforms are Instagram and Snapchat.
- Video sharing: Just like photo sharing, but with videos. The two most popular video-sharing platforms are YouTube and Facebook.
- Social bookmarking: This is a website where people can save their favourite articles, videos, and images to come back to them later. The most popular social bookmarking site is Pinterest.
- Forums: This is a website where people can discuss topics and ask questions. The most popular forum site is Reddit.
Now that you know the different types of social media, it’s time to start optimising your content.
Setting Goals for Social
Before you start, it’s important to know your goals. What do you want to achieve from social media? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or sell products and services? Once you know your goal, it’s easier to tailor your content to its most effective.
Yes, I know I’m kicking off with the boring stuff but bear with me; it does get more interesting.
I’ll admit, I cringe every time I have to fill out questionnaires asking me about, “what are your goals and objectives?” What do you intend to achieve? Or, how do you plan to measure success?
It’s hard to know what you want if you don’t even know where you’re starting from. So, if you’re just starting with social media or haven’t set your business goals yet, start by doing that first.
Again, easier said than done, I know. But it’s a good starting point.
And here’s how you define your social media goals:
Audit Your Current Social Media Effort
This isn’t some newbie stuff that you can gloss over. You need to be brutally honest with yourself and take an objective look at your social media efforts.
What are you doing that’s working well? What are people responding to?
What’s Not Working?
What are you doing that’s not working? What are people not responding to?
Where Are You Focusing Your Efforts?
What channels are you focusing your efforts on? What’s the return on investment (ROI)?
Once you understand your current social media efforts or what your company has been doing, the next thing you do would be to determine how you’ll measure your social media success.
How to Measure Success on Social Media
There are a lot of different ways to measure success on social media, but here are some of the most common:
- Engagement: This is how many people are interacting with your content. You can measure this in terms of likes, shares, comments, and clicks.
- Traffic: This is how many people visit your website from social media.
- Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of people who visit your website and then take the desired action, such as buying a product or signing up for a service.
- Leads: This is the number of people who provide their contact information in exchange for something, such as a white paper or an eBook.
- Sales: This is the number of people who buy your product or service from social media.
What Are Your KPIs?
Part of setting your social media goals is understanding which metrics indicate success. While some metrics are easy to track, others (such as sentiments) are as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster.
Almost all businesses will want to track traffic and leads, but the other KPIs you should track depend on your specific marketing goals.
- Community Growth Metrics: New followers, new likes, new members of community groups, etc.
- Community Attention Metrics: unfollows, unlike
- Content Analysis: Interaction rates (comments, likes, shares)/total fans or mentions, replies, RTs, click through rates, blog backlinks, blog post shares
- Engagement Metrics: People talking about your brand, attrition rates, return visitors, bounce rate, etc
- Brand Mentions: Blog backlinks, Facebook page tags, blog comments, LinkedIn group comments, LinkedIn page comments, @mentions, @replies, etc.
From an engagement point of view, UberVU provides a solid starting place in this Social Media Metrics Guide:
To add to this, AdAge and Wildfire by Google conducted a study to determine which metrics made the most sense to enterprise marketers:
Determine the Purpose of Social Media Content
The first step to creating effective social media content is understanding what the purpose of that content is. That might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many companies create social media content without any clear purpose or goal.
You can start by looking at your business goals and see how everything fits into the big picture. That will determine the direction of your social media and content strategy.
For instance, you may find that one of your execs wants social to be the regular traffic source to your website’s content, while another wants that plus some personality, and a third wants to convert all that traffic into leads.
Or it could be that you want to focus on growing your online community and establishing your prominence as a thought leader in your space.
Once you know the purpose of social media content, it’ll be much easier to create content that aligns with that particular goal.
A purpose is essentially a combination of goals. And with that in mind, here are a few common social media goals you may want to work with:
- To create a specific brand voice
- To connect with influencers over social media
- To improve customer service and support
- To create more content for a social media campaign or initiative
- To gain a wider targeted audience on social media
- To monitor social media conversations for sentiment
There are endless possibilities for goals and purposes. And in many cases, you’ll have multiple goals that all work together to help you reach your overarching social media purpose.
As Kat Dominquez put it, if you look at social media as a way to directly generate revenue, then perhaps you shouldn’t be on social media.
But if you want to use social media as a way to connect with your audience, then you’re on the right track.
Choosing the Right Tools
This is where the fun begins.
It’s where we get a little geeky and technical.
It’s also where the real magic happens.
In all seriousness, the tools you use to create, publish, and measure your goals and KPIs could mean the difference between success and failure.
The good news is there are plenty of great tools out there to choose from. The bad news is, with so many options, it can be tough to know where to start.
Remember that there’s isn’t one tool that does it all, so you’ll likely need to use multiple tools to get the job done.
That’s why we put together this comprehensive list of social media tools and resources earlier this year. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for new tools to add to your arsenal.
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There are so many distinct use cases for these tools, each requiring a specific set of features.
Here are some of the use cases:
- social listening
- community building
- lead gen
- campaign tracking
- marketing automation
- Analytics and reporting
- content curation
- social selling
- customer care
A few get close, but there isn’t a single golden platform that checks all these boxes.
So, what’s a marketer to do?
The answer: find the right tool for the job.
When choosing a social media tool, it’s important to consider your specific needs and use case. That will help you narrow down the options and choose the best tool for the job.
Here are a few of the functions we consider the most valuable in a social media tool:
- Real-time usability
- Content library
- Editorial calendar
- Multi-platform support
- Custom reporting
These are just a few features that we think are essential in a social media tool. But what’s most important is that you choose a tool that meets your specific needs.
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s dive into how you can optimise your content on each platform.
Twitter: How to Optimise Your Content for Maximum Engagement
Twitter is all about brevity and engagement. That means your content needs to be short, sweet, and to the point.
Twitter users are also notoriously fickle, so you need to keep your content fresh and exciting if you want them to stick around.
Here are a few tips for optimizing your Twitter content:
- Stick to a consistent tone and voice
- Be concise and use images for added impact
- Keep your content fresh and interesting
- Make sure your links are easy to click
- Include relevant hashtags
- Monitor your Twitter analytics to see what’s working and what’s not
Tailor Your Tweets for Your Objectives
This is especially true for the tweets you use in your ad campaign.
If your goal is to drive visitors to your website or increase website conversions, avoid using excessive hashtags or usernames. That’s because the extra hashtags and usernames are a distraction from your call-to-action (CTA).
Instead, focus on creating clear, concise tweets that directly tell users what you want them to do. For example:
Check out our latest blog post on the top 10 reasons to use social media for your business.
Click the link to learn more.
Ideas on What to Tweet
If you’re looking for ideas on what to tweet, consider using some of the following:
- Quotes: Quotes will give you a 19% boost in the number of retweets you get.
- Stats and charts: Including stats or charts in your tweets will give you a 17% bump in your retweets.
- Images: Tweets with images get 35% more retweets and 313% more engagement.
- Humour: A little humour goes a long way on Twitter.
- Gifs: Gifs are a great way to add fun to your tweets and get more engagement.
Including them in your tweets will get you 3 to 5 times more retweets and likes
- Polls: Polls are a great way to get user feedback and engagement.
- Videos: Videos will give you a 28% boost in retweets.
- @other accounts: users will notice when you mention them in your tweets and are more likely to retweet, like, and follow you.
Find a Tweet Sweet Spot
How many times should you tweet per day?
There’s no single answer to this question. But Twitter conducted a study on the same and found out that engagements tend to decrease after three or five tweets.
They recommended not to tweet more than five times per day. However, if you’re looking to increase your total engagement, you can experiment with tweeting more often.
Fast Company recommends tweeting anywhere from 10 to 30 times per day if you’re looking to wring the most engagement out of your Twitter presence.
And there’s nothing wrong with repeating the same tweet. And by repeating, we’re not implying copying a tweet as is. Instead, try rewriting it, adding a hashtag, swapping out the picture, and even including helpful statistics.
Leverage Trending Conversation and Real-time Events
You can get a ton of engagement by tweeting about trending topics and real-time events.
For instance, if you run a business that sells office supplies, you could tweet about National Stationery Week. This would be an opportunity to showcase your products and get in front of a new audience.
You can also use Twitter’s search function to determine which topics are trending in your area or industry.
If you see a trending conversation on Twitter, try to join in. But make sure you’re adding something valuable to the discussion. Otherwise, you’ll be ignored or, worse, get flagged as spam.
Measure and Analyse Your Engagement
Once you’ve implemented some of the Twitter content optimization tips above, it’s time to measure your engagement.
Twitter Analytics is a great way to do this. Just go to https://analytics.twitter.com/ and log in with your Twitter account. From there, you’ll be able to see how your tweets are performing.
You can see how many impressions your tweets are getting, how many engagements they’re getting, and even which tweets perform the best. This will help you focus your efforts on the types of tweets that resonate best with your target audience.
How to Optimize your Posts to Increase Engagement on Facebook
Facebook’s organic reach is a headache, a subject of controversy. That’s because Facebook shifted its focus to paid advertising.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t increase your Facebook engagement organically. In this section, we’ll share some tips on doing that.
We have a few critical tips on how to increase engagement on Facebook. But first, let’s look at some Facebook engagement statistics.
Here are a few key Facebook engagement stats:
- The average Facebook post reaches 6.4% of your page’s fans
- Posts with images get 53% more likes than those without images
- Videos, links, and photos get the most comments
- Posts between 100 and 250 characters get 23% more interactions than longer posts
- Video posts enjoy the highest number of shares than all the other types of posts
- 39% of Facebook users say they only follow brands on Facebook because they want to receive special offers
- The best time to post on Facebook is 1:00 p.m.
The best time to post on Facebook is between 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. during the week and Saturday.
A few other studies have also uncovered the best time to post on Facebook:
- TrackMaven suggests posting on Thursday at 8 p.m
- Buzzsumo suggests identifying off-peak hours for your audience and posting during those times
- CoSchedule recommends posting between 1 – 4 p.m. into the week and weekends
- HubSpot suggests posting between 1 p.m and 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday
- KISSmetrics suggests posting at 7 p.m on Thursdays
So, what does this all mean? The best time to post on Facebook varies depending on your audience. The best way to find out is to experiment and see what works for you.
Now that we have a better understanding of how Facebook engagement works, let’s look at some tips on how to increase it:
1) Mix up Post Formats
Don’t just rely on one type of post format. Try mixing things up to see what works best for your audience.
Here are a few post formats you can try:
- Status updates: Keep them short and sweet
- Links: Share links to interesting articles, blog posts, etc.
- Images: Use images to break up text and add visual interest
- Videos: Share videos that are interesting or helpful
Try experimenting with the recently introduced post types like Facebook stories and 360 videos.
2) Ask Questions
Questions are a great way to start a conversation with your audience. They can also help to increase engagement.
Here are a few tips on how to ask questions that will get people talking:
- Make the question relevant to your audience
- Ask open-ended questions that don’t have a right or wrong answer
- Keep the questions short and sweet
- Avoid yes or no questions
- Encourage people to answer with more than just a one-word response
- Use images, videos, or GIFs to make your questions more engaging
3) Run a Contest or Giveaway
People love free stuff. So, running a contest or giveaway is a great way to increase engagement on your Facebook page.
Here are a few tips on how to run a successful contest or giveaway:
- Make the rules clear and easy to understand
- Include a deadline for entering the contest
- Announce the winner on Facebook
- Make sure the prize is desirable
- Keep it simple – don’t require too many steps to enter
4) Go Live and Be Authentic
Still, on experimenting with new Facebook post types, consider going live. Live video is a great way to connect with your audience more authentically.
When you go live, be sure to:
- Introduce yourself and let people know what you’re going to be talking about
- Be aware of your surroundings and make sure the background is clear
- Engage with your viewers by answering their questions
- Be yourself – people want to see the real you
- End your live video with a call to action
5) Use Eye Catch Images and Videos
Having visually appealing images and videos is a great way to increase engagement on your Facebook page.
If anything, a recent study revealed that Facebook posts with images get 2.3 times more engagement than those without.
That’s not a number to sneeze at!
So, you want to make sure you’re using eye-catching images and videos in your posts.
You can also use tools like Canva to create engaging images for your posts.
6) Engagement First, Sales Second and Only If Necessary
One of the most important things to remember regarding social media marketing is that engagement should always come first.
It’s more important to focus on building relationships with your audience and providing them with valuable content rather than trying to sell them something.
If you focus on engagement first, the sales will follow.
That said, here are some suggestions on how you can increase engagement on your Facebook posts:
- Start asking questions at the end of posts asking people for their thoughts and opinions
- Post trending topics and news stories that are relevant to your industry
- Share behind-the-scenes photos and videos of your business
- Use images, videos, or GIFs to make your posts more visually appealing
- Post content that is valuable and informative
- Start responding to comments on your posts
- Ask for feedback from your audience
- Start sharing content that targets the emotional side of your audience
7) Make Your Audience Feel Something
You can’t beg for a reaction, but you can inspire your followers to react.
Posts that make people feel something –happiness, sadness, anger, or excitement – tend to get more engagement.
So, how can you tap into this?
Well, you could try:
- Telling stories that evoke emotion
- Posting photos and videos that are emotionally charged
- Using memes and GIFs that will make people laugh or react
- Including controversial topics in your posts
- Using data and statistics in your posts
- Creating lists and infographics
- Posting photos of your team or customers
When it comes to social media marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one business might not work for another.
The best way to figure out what works for you is to experiment with different strategies and see what gives you the best results.
8) Get Verified on Facebook
One way to increase trust and credibility with your Facebook fans is by getting verified.
You first have to make sure your page is complete and up-to-date. Once that’s done, you can submit a request to Facebook to have your page verified.
This will show your followers that you’re on an official page or profile.
Here’s how to get verified:
- Go to the verification section of Facebook and fill out all the requested details.
You’ll be asked to provide an identification document: driver’s license, passport, identification card, certificate of incorporation, tax filling, etc.
You’ll also be asked to provide up to five links or social media accounts that show your social media page is of public interest.
But before you go ahead with the verification request, we suggest you go through this post to find out if your page meets the Facebook requirements for verification.
How to Optimize your Posts to Increase Engagement on LinkedIn
As one of the largest professional networks, LinkedIn is a powerful platform for B2B marketers.
While the site can be great for connecting with other professionals and sharing content, it can also be a powerful tool for generating leads and boosting sales.
Here’s an article we wrote on How to Create a LinkedIn Content Strategy that Works:
Ways To Create A LinkedIn Content Strategy That Works
When it comes to optimizing your posts on LinkedIn, there are a few things you can do:
- Create and post different varieties of content
- Focus on growing your LinkedIn network
- Post original content
- Share third-party articles and blog posts
- Proofread your posts before publishing
- Engage with your employees and customers
- Be consistent
4 Types of Content to Share on LinkedIn
- Tell a Story: You can share a personal story or a story about a client or reader you’ve helped using the before and after format.
You can even discuss a question that one of your readers sent you, explaining how you responded to it.
- Facilitate an Unbiased Debate: If you’re in a highly competitive industry, this type of content can help you stand out.
Ask a fair question and gather all opinions.
For instance, you could ask people what they think about a recent industry development.
- Dispel a Myth: This type of content is perfect for LinkedIn because it allows you to show your expertise.
Choose a popular myth in your industry and explain why it’s wrong.
You could also use data or expert opinions to back up your argument.
- Provide Insightful Insights: Write a post with a positive sentiment about your industry or company and give an insider’s perspective on something.
Be sure to keep your insights short, sweet, and to the point.
The post you share can be about anything. For instance, you could share practical, how-to knowledge, or something along those lines.