So you’ve created some content. Shiny, fresh, and hot off the press, and now it’s time to use that content to generate leads for your business. What better way to do so than with social media? The way you position your social posts is the key to how successful they'll be in driving people to your content.
The trouble is positioning is not a one-size-fits-all matter. The way you position your content is a function of who you're targeting, what channel you're promoting on, and what action you're trying to influence.
The question is: What types of positioning will generate the most demand from your social audience? This can be a very difficult task. That's made even harder when you're on a network with constraints, like Twitter's limit of 140 characters per tweet.
For your content promotion to be successful, you will need to inspire both attention and action.
Let's explore five of the best ways to position your content for optimal engagement. And to show you it's truly possible, I'll demonstrate how by using Twitter -- yes, even though it has that pesky character count.
1) The Straightforward Approach
Let's start with the basics. One easy way to position your content via social media is to just use the title of your content or a brief, actionable description of the value it provides. That's it (besides, you know ... the link)!
What you're aiming to accomplish here is to get across a clear understanding of the content. If you feel that you've crafted a 5-star title for your content, then let the title sell itself! The benefit of the straightforward method is that it's ... well … straightforward. Just be clear and make sure that your audience knows what they'll be getting by clicking through.
2) The Content Sample Approach
Another fantastic way to make your audience crave your content in 140 characters or fewer is to give them a snackable sample of the content. Tantalize them with a juicy quote, fact, or statistic that leaves them hungering for more.
Quotes are most effective when they come from an industry thought leader or if they contain a profound assertion. Statistics are most effective when they provide statistical proof of something interesting, relevant or counterintuitive. The key to nailing this approach is to remember your target audience: What interests them? What do they care about?
Be sure that whatever bite-size piece of your content you use in this approach is well-suited to the people who you're targeting.
3) The Visual Approach
Here's where things get sexy (that's right, people -- sexy). Luckily, for us marketers, most social media sites give you the ability to add an image to your posts. Adding a visual element is a perfect way to make your social promotions stick out, and as we've seen, including images in Tweets leads to 55% higher lead conversions.
So, let's think about the kind of image you want to include. Here are some questions to ask when contemplating using this approach:
Is your audience young, tech-savvy consumers? If it is, a meme could be the best way to attract their attention.
The nice thing about the visual approach is that there's never really a bad time to use it -- not to mention that it can be used to complement any of the other approaches listed here.
4) The Hook Method
Have you ever found yourself browsing through a social platform when, all of a sudden, you stumble across a headline that leaves a burning question in your mind? Blogs like Upworthy do a great job of employing this method (here's a prime example).
The hook method is when you make a statement without context that is written to beg an immediate question from the reader. Imagine reading this headline: "The revolutionary new method that marketers are using to triple their lead conversions." The immediate question that comes to mind is, "Well, what is this method?"
You can also add an actionable statement at the end of your hook that addresses the presumed question that the reader is asking. "Marketers are experiencing all-time lows in their email conversion. See why." This example takes the method one step further and lets you know that the answer is just a click away.
5) The Personalized Approach
Here's the thing about social media marketing: It's evolving. Yesterday, it was all about posting statuses and tweets with the hopes that people would pay attention. Today, it's about listening to conversations and engaging with people who may or may not already know what your business can do for them.
With social monitoring tools like Social Inbox, you can track mentions of specific keywords, which can empower you as a marketer to promote your content in the most relevant way possible.
The personalized approach is all about tailoring your positioning based on context. Understand who you're talking to and what their needs are. Address those needs. Make them feel loved. Take them out to dinner. Well, maybe not dinner, but you get the picture: Be lovable!
Which approach should I use?
Each of these approaches comes with pros and cons. Which one(s) you use is entirely up to you. There's no exact science for how to position content on social media.
I know, I know -- bad answer. But keep this in mind: These approaches are not mutually exclusive. What I've laid out here are five different ways to approach positioning -- the way that you choose to use each method depends on your content.
Think about it: Your title might double as a compelling hook statement. Same goes for a quote or statistic from your content. What's important is to keep your positioning contextually relevant. Know your audience. Know your channel. Know your content. Put it all together.
Originally published Nov 21, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated November 29 2017