Tag Archives: Winning Content

Social Media: The winning content happens by accident

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I have read hundreds of articles about social media. The advice is very vague and looks more like a point by point and blow by blow guide to a big question mark. Yes, certain social media channels might work better with your audience than others, and yes you have to pay attention to which works better. But, it is about having winning content.

Sometimes you will write one thousand blog articles and a handful will just be popular. They might be your worst written articles, but people might just like them. And some articles might do well if tweeted on Twitter. Of five thousand tweets on Twitter, we have a lucky three that we found by trial (twial) and error (twerror) that worked like a miracle. The stuff that worked was not serious material at all and very poorly written. It was just ridiculous content we drummed up by reading facebook posts about industry specific goofy content. Funniest things that happen to signing agents is our all time hit. I write it a few years ago. It is a random assortment of rewritten Facebook commentary. It’s not even a real article. Honey, I notarized the kids is our other best seller. It has no valuable information and is just one big dumb joke — people love it.

So, my advice is, read less blogs about how to do well on social media, and EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT. You won’t know what works until you find out by accident one night at 3am when you are going through your analytics reports!

What is the best social media network to test your content?

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Doing well at social media marketing is all about having great content. Popular content draws in the crowds and increases your interaction rate. Having lots of followers doesn’t benefit you on social media unless they interact, click, share, etc.

The problem is: what does well on one social network doesn’t always do well on other ones. Some social networks are more text oriented such as Twitter while some are more balanced between text and graphics like Google+. Others are much more photo oriented such as Stumbleupon and Pinterest. Putting aside the differences in networks, if you want to do well, you need to publish content that you know ahead of time will be popular. So, what is the trick?

Google+ is a growing network. They don’t have as many “active” members as Facebook or Twitter. My definition of “active” includes people who post several times a month, although Google+ has a high volume of members who visit their account at least once a month which is another metric of “active” that I don’t find useful. Google+ has less overall content on most topics that I am interested in. So, if you post on Google+, you might be a lot better off finding content that you obtained on a different network.

Finding Content
You can find great content anywhere. You can use Guy Kawasaki’s tips and use alltop, or some of the other content networks. I did not personally have good luck with these because their articles were not focused enough for my industry. You can Google article topic keywords. You can look on Twitter. Or you can make a long list of your favorite blogs and post their content and see what happens.

Testing Content
Being good at finding winning content is a very important part of the social media game. And yes, it is a game. Testing your content is the next stage of the game. How and where do you test your content? I recommend making a weekly list of one hundred or so articles that are very relevant or somewhat relevant to your industry or the interests of your followers. The only type of non-relevant content that does well with my networks includes travel articles with stunning pictures as almost everyone likes that. Make your list and then post these articles one by one.

Testing on Google+
I feel that Google+ is a great place to post really good content with stunning vertical photos. Photos that are horizontal, or that are not stunning tend to not add so much to the appeal of the post and don’t get that many more clicks than just publishing a really good article. Additionally, Google+ decides how many people to show your posts to. If you publish too many at once, they will not be seen by that many. You need to spread posts out on Google+, perhaps at least one hour apart for best results, even if you publish your posts on huge communities.

Testing on Twitter
I feel that Twitter is the best place to publish posts. If you publish more than two posts at the same time, you will lose followers quickly as they will be annoyed that you are monopolizing their feed. On the other hand, I had very good luck spreading test posts out every 3-10 minutes on Twitter. I got excellent feedback and did not lose hardly any members. It is not recommended to post more than 25 posts a day on Twitter or else Twitter will slow down how many profiles get introduced to your profile. However, if you did 33 posts a day for 3 days, or 20 posts a day for 5 days, you can test your 100 posts.

Analysis for Test Posts
After you post your posts, you can see which ones got favorited, shared, commented upon, etc. Keep a chart on paper or excel as to which posts got the most retweets, favorites, and comments. Guy Kawasaki puts the greatest value on retweets, while I feel that intelligent comments are more valuable as you can have a great dialogue and develop a much more close following with someone who interacts well. After you tally up the results for your 100 test tweets, pick your top five or ten and put them on Google+, Facebook, and your other networks. Please note that if you had content that performed in the top 20%, but is not on your top 5 list, but has a stunning photo, it will do better on Google+ because of the visual appeal, so you might add that to your Google+ publishing list.

By publishing only top, tried and true content, you will have a much more popular social media account. Additionally, you will save yourself the time of publishing junk on all of your networks. Yes, it takes time to test out content on Twitter, but once it is tested, you can use it on all your networks and you an use it more than once. Moreover, you can write your own blog articles based on topics that did well (that others wrote) that you published and learned were top performers on your particular network(s). Good luck!