You’ve written something so wonderful and amazing that you’re positive lives will change, people will cheer your name and erect a statue in the center of town in your honor.
Except for one little problem; no one has read what you wrote. Creating great content is great but without the benefit of social media, it becomes harder and harder to get your content to the right people.
Probably the most daunting task of writing something is making sure it gets in front of the people you want to read it. While you could just publish your content and let the chips fall where they may, try out some of these tactics for making your content buzz worthy.
Start building social media buzz early
Even before you complete your project, you can start creating a stir about it. Think about the topic of your project; is it controversial? Evergreen? Holiday or niche related? Utilize your social networks and begin asking questions about your project topic. Glean information and opinions from others in your social networks by asking to quote them. If you find a credible or knowledgeable source consider an interview. Tease your audience by posting bits of information from your project and encourage them to engage. Don’t forget to circle back to anyone that you quoted or interviewed for your project when you publish. Your subjects will likely push out the content to their audience as well.
Create a visual
In this day and age of media overload, eye-catching images still stand out better than a post or article with no pictures at all. Couple your headline or title with an interesting or relatable photo and you’ve just upped your buzz worthiness. Studies have shown that people are more apt to click over and share content with images than those without. It’s worth repeating: strong content requires strong visuals. If you’re not handy with a camera, there are a number of free stock photo sites available for finding the right images. Just be sure to get permission and assign credit when using a photo that isn’t yours.
Thanks to saturated social media sites, there is a bigger need than ever to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible. Even if you’re a magazine writer or newspaper reporter, content is everywhere. In order to stand out in a crowded medium, it’s paramount to utilize as many platforms as possible to promote your content. Are you on Facebook? Share your content to your newsfeed. The same goes for Twitter and Pinterest. If you’re content is of the How-to variety (like this one), social networking platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ are oft overlooked as applicable platforms. Since you’re likely to network with some of the same people on multiple platforms, create original teasers for each platform that you promote to. No one wants to read the same introduction over and over again.
Now that your content is out into the great wide internet, get the comments coming in. Much like you did before you started the project, get people to comment by asking pointed questions. People like to share their own thoughts, experiences, and opinions, asking them what they think or how they’d react to a situation is a great way to get people talking. At the same time, don’t leave comments unnoticed. Use the comments to spark new comments. Example: “Mary S says she likes the new common core education standards. Do agree with her?” Once again you’re asking a question and asking people to weigh in.
Use a hashtag
For the longest time, my sister refused to use hashtags. To her it was the number (or pound) sign on a phone. And while I agree, hashtags have rapidly become digital trackers for new media. Nearly all social media networks have adopted hashtags into use, making it easier for you to find information on topics or discussions you’re interested in.
To create a hashtag or hashtags for your content, type the number sign (#) followed by a relevant keyword or phrase with no spaces after it. You can safely insert up to three hashtags without looking spammy. Using our common core comment from above we could use the hashtags #commoncore #education #commoncorestandards followed by our teaser intro and link to the content.
Whether you use these suggestions individually or in combination of one another, your content will have a much broader reach than if you had just hit publish and walked away from it. Sometimes promoting the content after you publish is the most important work you can do but pays off in the end in the form of new readers and new customers.
What are some of your suggestions for getting social media buzz about your content?
photo credit: Ethan Hein via photopin cc