Getting More Out of Your Social Media Content

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Getting More Out of Your Social Media Content

TYPE html> Getting More Out of Your Social Media Content

If you’re looking to streamline your content production, consider adopting a system that maximizes what you produce while putting less of a strain on your time and taxing less of your limited resources. Think strategically about the main content you craft to make sure it conveys your key messages and leads readers to some kind of action. Then look for ways to break that content into smaller pieces or to use it in different ways.

Here are some ways to get more out of the content you’re write.

Start with longer form content

Think of your blog posts as the hub where you can post the most details to properly convey your message. Include calls to action so your blog posts serve a purpose such as encouraging people to contact you to hire you or to sign up to receive your emails or to attend your event.

If you are announcing something, such as a new product or service or an event, and have a press release, convert that into a blog post. You can do this by changing the format to more of an article and adding details that you couldn’t include in the shorter release. If you published a white paper, excerpt it as a blog post and include a link to download the whole thing.

Pro Tip: Put an "email gate" in front of the download link. Asking that people submit their email to download a white paper is standard practice and a great way to build your email list.

Cut it down to bite–sized pieces

Now pull apart the key points you’ve included in your blog post. Turn your longer form content into smaller bits of content. Use the shorter bits for your Twitter account – usually one to two sentences and a call to action – and slightly longer excerpts for Facebook and LinkedIn. You can add a few more sentences and some relevant hashtags for Instagram posts.

Wherever you can, include a link back to the longer blog post to provide anyone who clicks on the link with more details. Each post should stand alone as well and not be reliant on having to read on to get the message. Every post should include a call to action of some kind to encourage clicking on the link.

If you are a beauty products company and write a blog post about healthier skin, your posts should share information that will attract attention and position you as an expert. The call to action could be "Learn more about healthier skin" or be more direct such as "Learn more about our natural skin care line" followed by the link. Think of leading people down a path from your social media post to your blog post to learn to your online store to shop.

Make it graphical

With people’s attention stretched to the limits, words can only go so far online. Not many people take the time to read longer form content so breaking up your content into smaller pieces is helpful. Illustrating your words is even more effective in terms of attracting attention.

Any visual element in your blog post or social media posts should be eye–catching, clear, and relevant. Whether you hire an illustrator or use attractive illustrations from royalty–free stock image sites, the graphics you choose can help you communicate your message.

Try to avoid computer clip art when sourcing illustrations from the Internet – they tend to look cheap and unprofessional. Most royalty–free websites have vector graphics and other illustrations that are more sophisticated and suitable to represent most businesses.

Record it as audio

With the popularity of podcasts and audiobooks, you could opt to record you – or someone on your team – reading your blog post or talking about the main topic of your post. You also don’t need sophisticated recording and editing equipment to get a recording that you can use online as another way of getting your message out.

Record using the voice memo app on your smartphone. Most voice memo apps include a simple editing feature to trim the audio clip you record to the section you want to save.

Upload your recording to an audio hosting site such as Soundcloud or convert the audio into a video using an app online – just search Google for "audio convert to video" or "MP3 convert to MP4." The resulting MP4 file can be uploaded to your YouTube channel and a photo or graphic of your choice will be displayed while the audio plays. Once your audio is hosted somewhere, you can then link to it or embed it in your blog post to enhance it.

As you can see, there are many ways to leverage the content you create and convert it into different forms to reach different audiences. Don’t just think text. Think multimedia. By using your main, longer–form content as your starting point, you get the added benefit of staying on brand and on message.