Updated January 15, 2018
Find out what you can do to extend the reach of your content marketing efforts via social syndication (posting linked excerpts of your content on social media channels).
It’s no longer enough to ‘build it and they will come’ like a field of dreams any more than you can simply build a website, without promoting it, and expect to be found by your prospective new customers. Content marketing should be a one-two punch, with publication then syndication as the winning combination.
Preparation is key to success and a vital part of this is prepping your posts so that they can be distributed via social media.
How to optimize your posts for social media?
We’ve previously mentioned how small businesses can use social media but a pre-requisite of that is to ensure that your content is shareable and this is what we are going to discuss below.
#1 – Make Sharing Easy
If you haven’t already done so, include social media sharing buttons in a prominent position in your posts page so that readers can easily share the posts on social networks.
Some studies suggest that less social sharing buttons perform better than having all of them together – so only include the ones that matter most, often Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
#2 – Use Images
Big images in your posts are likely to increase interaction and engagement across social networks. Go for 300px+ in width in order to be shown on Facebook and Twitter. The trend these days is to use bigger images that are of a high resolution.
#3 – Use a Meta description
When you install the Facebook plugin or decide to use the open graph protocol mark-up then whatever is in the meta description of your post, it will appear as the description in social media. In other words what will be shown as the post description is not the first lines of the post but what you have added in the description (or excerpt) box.
What you need to make sure is that you have a meta description that makes sense and attractive so that users will want to click and post and visit your website to read the rest of the content.
How to optimize your post syndication on social media?
#1 – Keep Text Minimal on Lead Images
Facebook will limit your reach if your lead image is filled with too much text (the same way they do their paid advertising). Since you want maximum reach, include a lead image without too much text across it.
#2 – Give it a Paid Boost
Investing $5 or $10 per post on paid advertising can expand your reach and get people seeing your great content who otherwise might have missed it.
#3 – Keyword Optimize Your Excerpt
You may only be including a sentence or two about your post, plus a link to the blog, so be sure to include a keyword phrase that people might be searching for…. Social search can lead to additional reach you hadn’t planned for, but are happy to receive.
#4 – Schedule Time of Day
Your target market will likely have some common times of day when they check, or actively participate, on their social media accounts. Make sure you’re posting at those times, so that you have a chance of being seen.
#5 – Challenge the Leaders
Don’t be afraid to have an opinion. Point out how some challengers are better than industry leaders when it comes to tools, opinions, positions, beliefs, best practices, and so on. And don’t be afraid to mention them by name. You’ll get more interaction and engagement on posts like this than on those without such challenges.
Don’t forget that above all is the headline that counts most
As a final word, it should be noted again that one of the things that plays a big role when it comes to social sharing is the headline of the post. A good headline can create more shares and more site visits so make sure that you use headlines that are sharable. You can read this nice study from buffer which explains the anatomy of a good headline in the social World.
This post was originally written for the knownhost blog by Alex Chris in 2014 and revised by the KnownHost marketing team in 2018. Alex is working is working as a Digital Marketing manager and has many years of experience with social media marketing. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.