What exactly do we mean by “social media friendly” content? There was a time when people knew of Internet by email. Many people thought that if you were checking email, you were “Interneting”. Yes, they were familiar with the concept of websites, but it was mostly email. The same happens with social media these days. It is so prevalent that many people, people who haven’t used the Internet much before, think that it’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that are Internet rather than millions of websites. This means that social media and social networking websites have grown into a totally separate entity and for the purpose of content marketing ignoring these websites is like ignoring the telephone or the email while trying to do business in the contemporary world.
Just as you need good search engine rankings to promote your content, you also need to optimize your content for social media and this is what you mean by making your content “social media friendly”. Your content is social media friendly when
- People feel like sharing it on their timelines (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn)
- They don’t need to modify your headlines and descriptions in order to share your links
- Sharing your content is just a matter of a couple of clicks
For a very long time I have been thinking of dabbling with infographics. I recently tried to work with a neighbourhood graphic designer but although she is good at using image manipulation tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, she was terribly lacking on the creative side. We were working on a project and I had to tell her practically everything. The only blessing was that whatever I told her she was able to accomplish it.
Anyway, this is the infographic that I have created titled 5 ways to make your content social media friendly. It isn’t much but it’s definitely a beginning.
The five ways are:
- Create compelling headlines: Your headlines are, as far as optimizing your content for social media goes, are the most important aspects of your content. Compelling in this context means they should invoke strong feelings, so strong that people should be driven to share your content on their timelines.
- Publish irresistible content: In my daughter’s social sciences book there is a headline that goes something like this, “one man’s garbage is another’s treasure”. It is about the garbage collectors who make money off the garbage we through away so thoughtlessly. So what is irresistible and what is not depends on individual need, but catering to your niche, create content that is highly useful and valuable. It should solve some purpose and this is why people will share your content. When sharing your content people must feel that they are doing a service to their friends and followers.
- Use social buttons: It’s easier to share content when you just have to click a button. I like the way you can share certain portions of blog posts and articles published on Medium. The relevant, share-worthy portions have a Twitter icon nearby. You just need to click the icon to broadcast that particular sentence.
- Use social optimization tags:
These tags normally reside in the header area of your web page. In a typical web page there are already title, description and keywords tags. You can also have dedicated tags for Facebook and Twitter to instruct various social media and social networking channels to automatically pick up customised headings and descriptions rather than using the default ones. If you are using WordPress to manage your website or blog, you can easily get plug-ins to achieve this.
- Choose publishing time carefully: You will need some time to figure out during what time of the day your target audience is most active on social media and social networking websites. Publish your content when there is greatest chance of it being noticed and shared.