Last updated on February 8th, 2021
Your content rocks.
You know it. Your coworkers know it. Maybe even your boss knows it, too.
But does your target audience know it?
Content promotion and distribution is a key element of content marketing success, and yet far too many companies fail to put a comprehensive content promotion and distribution strategy into practice.
There are many tools you should be using to promote your content, such as email marketing and paid advertising. Another tried-and-true technique is social media.
It’s well established that social media offers a tremendous opportunity for small businesses to get their product or service in front of a large and active audience in a pretty cost-effective way (free!). On the flip side, social media can also be a massive time-suck and waste of resources if not done thoughtfully.
In other words, this useful tool can become a burden if you’re not careful.
So what’s the key to making the numerous social platforms out there work for you rather than against you?
Well, as with most things, there’s no one-size-fits-all silver bullet. But if you follow a few simple guidelines for promoting your awesome content on social media, you’ll be off to a good start.
1. Get in character (use the right voice)
We use the phrase “social media” as an all-encompassing umbrella, but the reality is that all of these platforms are unique and each one attracts a different audience—and therefore requires a different mindset when promoting your content.
Think of it like this:
Promoting your content on Facebook or Instagram is like being at the playground with other parents watching your kids play. Casual is the name of the game. The difference between the 2 platforms is that Facebook allows you to have written content and an outbound link, whereas Instagram is primarily picture-focused.
Of course, sometimes keeping it casual can be challenging.
For instance, say you run a medical office and regularly create content about COVID-19 cases in your community. This is not a casual topic, and therefore it might come across as callous and insensitive if you tried to present it as such.
Our recommendation is to at least try and keep the content of your Facebook or Instagram post broad on the surface. Then, you can dig into the more serious business on your website, which the person will only see if they click the link and enter your site.
If Facebook and Instagram are like being at the playground, Twitter is like being at Happy Hour. You have a limited number of characters to say your piece, so it has to be brief, succinct and attention-grabbing. Just like most people wouldn’t go too deep in any subject at Happy Hour, you don’t want to attempt to dive too deep on Twitter.
However, you can make Twitter users aware of a topic that you’d like to dive deeper into on your site. As with Facebook and Instagram, just because the introductory post you put on the social platform is light, doesn’t mean the content at your website has to be.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, is like being at the office or a seminar. This is where you can talk about some serious stuff.
Conversely, if you run a B2C and sell recreational products, LinkedIn might not be the platform where you’ll have the biggest impact. People tend to scroll through LinkedIn with their work game face on, so talking about something fun and relaxing might not receive the same level of response as it might on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Social media marketing means that you are, in a sense, on stage. Any actor will tell you that a big part of performing well means “getting into character.” When you’re in character, you can react spontaneously and be effective.
So when you promote your content on social media, pause for a moment to envision yourself on the playground, at Happy Hour or at a seminar—and then decide how to structure your social media post accordingly. It’s all about remembering your audience.
2. Consider your timing
You might have to do some trial and error to figure out which days and times result in the best conversions, and on which social platforms. That said, there are some common threads that have emerged in studies of the most popular times of social media engagement.
Here’s a dirty little secret (that might not surprise you):
Most people do their social media browsing during work hours.
It doesn’t matter whether the purpose is recreational or professional, many people go on their social profiles while they’re at the office or perhaps on a break. Though the data isn’t in yet, it’s likely that the vast shift in remote working and telecommuting during the pandemic has only made this common work distraction even easier.
What does this mean for you?
Consider how a person in your target audience might be behaving on social media. If you offer something recreational, they might not be in the mood to look at it first thing on Monday morning when their to-do list is long. But what about on Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., as the office winds down and the weekend is near?
Also, consider that there is likely more casual browsing being done during lunch hours and breaks. Interestingly, the half-hour or so before a break (i.e., 11:30 a.m. or so) is another time period when casual browsing tends to tick up—likely as people look to kill time before lunch.
Weekends might be the time when you want to connect with your target audience on social media. A Saturday morning post might be highly effective as people relax from their week and catch up with friends on social media, but maybe try late morning to allow for people sleeping in. Then, bookend your weekend posting with some Sunday night content as they wind down and get ready for the workweek.
Test to see what works best for you.
3. Find ways to engage
An effective social media post goes beyond timing and voice—it also invites readers to engage with a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA). It’s simply not enough to share a link to your site on social media and click “Post.” You need to offer something to the user in return.
The most direct way to accomplish this is to write eye-catching copy that stops the user from endless scrolling and entices them to participate. Asking for comments or running an online poll are a couple of great ways to boost engagement.
And the initial engagement is just the beginning.
As you see readers engage, look for opportunities to follow-up. Most businesses have a core group of people who love them—the folks who regularly like and share your posts. As you identify who these individuals are, consider reaching out to them to let them know that they’re valued.
You might also consider reaching out to so-called “influencers”—people who have large social media followings and are popular among your target audience. Mention and tag them in your posts, or reach out to them to propose a partnership. If you’re lucky they’ll share your posts with their own audience, which not only expands your reach immensely but it also gives you credibility through what’s seen as an implied endorsement of your service or product.
4. Know your end game
Before you begin a social media campaign, have a clear idea in mind of what constitutes success. For example, is your goal to boost your number of followers, or is it to refer social media users to your website landing page? Or perhaps you are looking to generate “buzz” online about your company.
Defining success is essential to achieving it.
For example, let’s say you run a paid social media marketing program through Facebook Ads. Your goal is to draw people to your site for the first time, to pick up their IP address with the cookies you’ve installed on your site and then begin the process of having your Google Ad campaign repeatedly served to them. In this case, you might consider prioritizing social media promotion of general, wide-sweeping and trending content that will interest the most number of people.
On the other hand, perhaps you want to reward your loyal followers by offering a coupon for returning customers. Or maybe you want to grow your social media followers by giving a special offer for liking or following your company profile.
As you can see, there are many ways to leverage social media to generate the results you are looking for, but knowing how you define success is an important first step.
5. Automate where possible
Part of the appeal and attraction of social media for businesses is how it provides a “direct line” of communication to current and prospective customers. This benefit hinges on maintaining a human element in your interactions with followers and fans.
However, marketing automation has come a long way in recent years and there are some valuable tools out there to boost your promotion and distribution efforts while still maintaining the personal connection that many social media users still want.
For starters, consider using any of the following popular social media automation tools to streamline posting and scheduling:
- Sprout Social
Most of these tools (and many others) allow you to schedule and post social media posts across multiple platforms in the click of a button—that way you don’t have to clock into work on a Saturday night and go through each platform to publish a post.
Simple tools like these can be a game-changer in making your social media promotion campaigns more effective, more consistent and less of a headache.
Social media content promotion and distribution statistics
- The most common content marketing delivery mechanism is social media, used by 87% of marketers (source)
- 73% of B2B marketers use YouTube to distribute content (source)
- Facebook is the primary content distribution channel for marketers today. (source)
- Companies tend to use Instagram and Facebook much more heavily for the promotion of media assets (90%-100%), while only around one-third of their posts through Twitter and LinkedIn contain media assets. (source)
- Salespeople who are highly active on social networks snag 45% more sales opportunities; plus, they’re 51% more likely to reach their sales goals. (source)
- Sponsored content on social media is one of the top 2 methods of content distribution used by B2B marketers. (source)
- 96% of the most successful B2B marketers agree that their audience members see their organization as a trusted, credible resource. (source)
In summary, our keys to social media success are as follows:
- Adjust your voice depending on the platform (and your audience)
- Promote content at the best possible time
- Actively engage users with strong CTAs
- Define success and design your campaign accordingly
- Utilize automation tools when possible
Promoting content on social media is simple, but measuring its success and doing it efficiently is significantly more challenging. Every business will be different, but hopefully these guidelines will at least get you started on the path to success.
For professional advice on optimizing your social media campaigns, we invite you to learn more about how our SMO/SEM solutions can help.
Do you have any other proven tips for promoting content on social media?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.