Social media is an indispensable part of any marketing strategy, particularly when you realize that audiences are becoming increasingly active on social media platforms. A survey by the Pew Research Center shows that 70% of Facebook users are active on the site everyday with more than 45% logging in several times a day. It also shows that Instagram’s user base is up by 9 percentage points compared to the previous year and this growth was seen across all demographic groups.
However, merely having a presence on social media platforms doesn’t guarantee that people will want to interact with you. To drive engagement you have to:
1) Be active
You have to continually interact with your followers if you wish to retain them. Thank them for following and for sharing content, as well as reply to any of their queries or posts. This will help you build a strong relationship with your followers.
Other ways to keep the interactions alive include contests, giveaways, and providing other incentives for actively engaging with you. Ask them to share a photo, tell a story, like your page, or retweet a post, and from among those who do it, pick one lucky winner.
2) Share relevant content
Sharing relevant content, along with periodic product promotions, is just as important. However, constantly creating original content can be quite the challenge. When sharing content online, you should follow the 80-20 rule: 80% of your content should add value to your audience and only 20% of it should be directly promotional.
This is where content curation tools play a very important role, as they help you discover and share relevant content with your audience. Sharing engaging content on social media helps you gather more followers and initiate conversations with existing followers. It also enriches the quality of interaction with your audience.
Content curation also allows you to keep your pages active and establishes you as a credible source of information. Through curation, you’ll be able to share a greater volume of relevant content, thereby increasing scope for interaction. Furthermore, sharing content that’s loved by your followers increases the likelihood of them sharing it, thus allowing you to reach even more people.
Now that you’ve learned the importance of content curation, the next step is getting started with it. What follows are three helpful tips to help you use content curation tools to create content your followers will find interesting, engaging and highly shareable:
1)Understand your audience
Understanding your audience and the nature of content you should be sharing is very important. And the starting point to understanding your audience is asking yourself questions about them. Say, for instance, you have a social media page dedicated to photography. Who is your target audience? Is your page aimed at first time photographers? Hobbyists? Professionals looking to improve their skills? Is your page regarding a particular subset like macro photography, stock photography or bird photography? Knowing your audience and the purpose of your page will help you identify the type of content you should be sharing.
Next, use a tool that delivers relevant web content about the chosen topic to you. Content curation tools like Feedly provide a large number of fresh and relevant suggestions based on your queries, but still have to choose the content to post on social media platforms.
2) Keyword research
Once you know your target audience better and understand what it really is that they are looking for, it is important to share relevant content. Bird photography enthusiasts looking for information about eagles will not appreciate being shown stories on the latest exploits of the Philadelphia Eagles (a football team) or upcoming tours of the rock music band Eagles. Once you’ve narrowed down on the most relevant keywords, use a content curation tool like DrumUp, which searches the web for those select keywords and then automatically queues them for use on your social media accounts.
To make the best use of such tools, proper keyword research is necessary. To ensure that the content suggestions are in line with your requirement, you must first identify the keywords that are most likely to generate the most appropriate results. For instance, if you’re looking for news related to social media, your keyword should read “social media news” and not just “social news”. The latter will cover a whole range of unrelated topics, affecting the relevance of the suggested posts.
3) Measure performance
How do you know if your posts are really reaching your desired audience? Without measuring your account/page’s performance, it is difficult to gauge how effective your content is and whether your choice of content is enabling you to achieve your goals. Social media platforms come with built-in analytics tools that can be used to monitor specific key performance indicators (KPIs).
For instance, on Twitter you can monitor KPIs like retweets, engagement rate, and link clicks, on your Activity Dashboard to determine the effectiveness of your social media efforts. Facebook also has an analytics tool, called Facebook Insights, which offers KPIs like page likes, post reach (number of individuals who have seen a content), and engagement. All of these allow you to track performance, and understand what type of content your audience is most receptive to.
Engagement on social platforms requires you to not just be present, but active. It’s more important than ever to actively create content that people will find engaging, and content curation is one tool in the marketer’s tool box to accomplish this.
You can make better use of content curation tools by understanding your audience and the content they seek, identifying the right keywords, and employing analytics to measure the effectiveness of your approach. Following these steps, will encourage your followers to engage with you, and will help you improve your visibility on social media.
Jessica has a keen interest in social media and content marketing, and writes extensively about it. She represents Godot Media, a leading blog writing firm.