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Optimal Posting Practices for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in 2021

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optimal posting practices for facebook twitter and linkedin in 2021
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While social media has played a significant role in our communications landscape for the last decade, many organizations still struggle to understand the best practices, and effective versus non-effective approaches on the various social channels.

I mean, it can be complex. The platforms and their algorithms are always changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with the various best practices and shifts. But the fundamentals of each platform generally remain unchanged, and can be a solid starting point for your respective strategy.

So as a quick overview, here are some current best practice notes for three of the major social platforms, which could help to better inform your approach, in order to maximize performance in 2021.

Facebook

First up is Zuckerberg’s big blue beast, the most-used social media platform in the world, which provides you with the widest potential reach and distribution for your messaging. If you can get it right.

Facebook may be the most difficult to master because it’s hard to be prescriptive with Facebook posting advice. A lot of what works best is reliant on audience knowledge and intuition, ‘reading the room’, as it may be, to determine what will generate the best response.

The basis of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, which defines how far and wide your posts reach, is underpinned by these key elements:

  • Who posted it? – How often a user engages with a profile or person plays a role in determining reach. So if you regularly Like or comment on posts from a Page, you’ll see more of its posts, while if someone you regularly interact with shares a link, you’ll also be more likely to see it.
  • When was it posted? – Timeliness remains a factor in Facebook’s News Feed, so initial post response will also play a role in determining reach. That means you need to grab attention among the people who initially see it, which is why you need to understand when your audience is online (through your analytics) and what they’re likely to engage with.
  • How likely each user will engage with it – Facebook also works to determine what each users’ engagement habits are, and will optimize its algorithm to maximize their specific behaviors. As per Facebook: “For any given story, we predict how likely you might be to comment on that story, or to share that story”. Facebook will also estimate how long it thinks users might watch a video for, or read an article, as further indicators of likely engagement.

Basically, Facebook wants to keep you active on Facebook for as long as possible, so the more you’re commenting and engaging – or undertaking activities that keep you, specifically, in-app – the more it can use those cues to feed you more of the same.

Those are the technical considerations, but what really gets people on Facebook engaging?

Trending news is (somewhat concerningly) now the most shared content type on Facebook, but outside of that, various studies have shown that the posts which perform best on The Social Network are those that trigger an emotional response, prompting users to Like, comment or share with their friends.

Back in 2019, Buffer analyzed more than 777 million Facebook posts from Pages and found that the posts which saw the most engagement, and subsequent reach, were either inspirational, funny, or practical.

Of course, aiming for these elements is one thing, actually creating a universally humorous, on-brand post is another thing altogether, but the main point is that you need to trigger emotional reaction. What will get users engaging with this content?

That, unfortunately, is also what’s lead to more polarizing news coverage. News outlets will get more clicks by being divisive, and prompting debate, than they will via balanced reporting. It’s also how US President Donald Trump has dominated Facebook – Trump’s approach is entirely divisive, focused on emotional response, and designed to trigger people who see his updates. Truth can become relative in such campaigns, which is why Facebook can be a dangerous platform as well. But the bottom line, overall, is sparking emotional response.

BuzzSumo identified these post types as key engagement drivers in their 2017 study of two billion Facebook posts:

  • Practical Hacks
  • Inspirational content
  • Food and recipes
  • Cute animals
  • Music videos
  • Quizzes
  • Travel and Adventure

Not all of those post types will apply to your approach, but it provides some further context on what works best.

In terms of specific posting guidelines, shorter text descriptions generally work better, with research showing that the optimal length for a Facebook post is 25 to 55 characters. That’s not definitive, but part of the logic here is that posts of more than 80 characters are auto-truncated in the mobile app (giving you that ‘See more’ prompt at the end of the initial text), which can subsequently decrease engagement.

Video is the best performing post type, with live video seeing the most engagement, while posts with images do better than straight text.

Also worth noting – when you add a link into the Facebook post composer, it will automatically generate a link preview, using the header image you’ve added to your post on your site. You can then delete the link from the text, and the preview will remain, which can be better for driving traffic (as your whole image is now clickable).

Also, while Facebook has more recently put increased emphasis on hashtags, the jury is still out on their effectiveness. It may be worth experimenting, but there’s no clear best practice on Facebook tags.

Posting frequency depends on your audience, but Facebook has previously advised that Pages should not be overly-concerned about over-posting, as the News Feed algorithm will limit exposure from individual Pages. That’s not guaranteed, and you could still annoy those who’ve chosen to specifically follow your Page. But as a guide, there’s no definitive impact to posting more often.

Twitter

Twitter is all about short-sharp messaging – a couple of hashtags, and away you go, right?

Not necessarily. In fact, more recently, Twitter has been advising brands against the use of hashtags, as it can distract from your focus goal – i.e. getting people to click on your links. If you’re adding hashtags, that’s more things for people to potentially tap through on, and you really only want them focused on one CTA. So maybe, no hashtags is the answer, dependent on your goals.

If you are looking to tap into trending discussions via tags, then you need to research the hashtags relevant to the discussion (apps like Hashtagify can help), and ensure you add capital letters into your tags for clarity (e.g. #WednesdayWisdom). This also ensures screen readers can better communicate the relevant tags for vision-impaired users.

Twitter’s algorithm is less sophisticated, and influential, than Facebook’s, which is why organizations have traditionally relied on hashtags to increase their reach, especially when starting out. It can be hard to get that initial following required to then boost your tweet distribution, but engaging with other profiles within your niche, either by following or replying, will help early on. You can also look to engage in relevant Twitter chats, and partner with leaders in your industry to boost initial awareness.

In terms of tweet content, Twitter adheres to a ‘three C’s’ approach for optimal tweeting:

  • Concise
  • Clear
  • Conversational

You’ve only got 280 characters, so you need to be concise, but it’s important to also be clear, and to look to prompt discussion among your audience.

In terms of content formats, tweets with video see the most engagement, followed by tweets with GIFs, photos than plain text.

Also, when you add a link to a tweet, if you put your link right at the end of your text, and your website has Twitter cards enabled, it will automatically generate a link preview and remove the link text from your tweet, giving you a broader link click area in your message.

The tweet stream moves fast, so frequency has generally been considered less of a concern on the platform, but this will be informed by your audience and how much you have to share. You can use apps like Tweriod or Followerwonk to get insights into when your followers are active, and use that as a guide as to when to post, relative to the amount of updates you’re looking to share.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the professional social network, where business folk go to learn about the latest happenings in their industry, and career developments among current and former colleagues. And while you’ve likely seen an increasing number of Facebook-like posts on LinkedIn, some of which end up seeing big engagement, that’s probably not the approach you want to take for a business or organizational account.

LinkedIn posts can be a little longer than on Facebook and Twitter, but it is again worth noting that your LinkedIn post will be cut off at 140 characters in the mobile app. As such, shorter is likely better, but LinkedIn’s audience is a little more ready to read longer updates, if they’re relevant.

Hashtags are now also a bigger deal on LinkedIn. Over the past couple of years, LinkedIn has been working to increase the usage of hashtags on posts as a means to better categorize content, and highlight relevant posts to each user. There’s no definitive, optimal number of tags per post, but a couple of the most relevant tags may help with distribution, without impacting readability.

Focusing on professional and industry development will likely see better response – though as noted, there are a number of light-hearted, comedic type posts that have also done well. How you approach this will come down to your own branding approach, and how you want your organization to be seen – and also what types of people you want responding to your updates.

‘But reaching more people is better, right?’ Yes, casting a wider net will mean getting your message in front of more potentially interested users, but where you draw the line on such will come down to your own brand guidelines. It is possible to get good response from an inspirational story or update, but that may not be as closely related to your overall branding and approach.

LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to share a video on the platform than any other type of post, with again, image posts coming second ahead of plain text, so it’s worth considering your posting practices. Like Facebook, LinkedIn will also generate clickable link previews when you add a link into your post text in the composer, which will remain even if you delete the link text, which can make your updates look cleaner.

LinkedIn’s algorithm is a bit more unpredictable than others, with some older updates re-surfacing weeks behind time, which can relate to posting frequency. Posting more than twice a day could be too much, but relevant content will still work, if you have a steady stream of updates.

More recent additions like LinkedIn Stories and polls can also help foster engagement, though Stories seems like less of a focus in its initial stages. Also, you can now attach documents to your LinkedIn posts, and they’ll generate as preview images, which means you can also create organic, swipeable carousels within LinkedIn posts by adding PDF documents that are visually focused. Another option to consider.

Engaging with the comments is also key – if people respond to your post, respond to them to help foster community engagement.

These are generally the key platforms that organizations start with on social, before considering Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. Instagram is also hugely popular, but at a basic, general level, these are the key platforms you’re likely looking at, and seeking to master to build your core social presence.

Hopefully these tips provide some guidance.

Socialmediatoday.com

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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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