Social media seems to be more prevalent than oxygen these days. You can’t go anywhere without seeing someone on their phone liking something on Facebook or tweeting about their day.
Although some people bemoan the current state of our society, this is good news if you have a blog. Whether you’re a company trying to sell a product or an individual committed to a cause, there’s no point in writing a post if nobody sees it.
That’s where a data-driven social media strategy comes in handy. Everyone is online now, practically giving away goldmines of information for free. When you have a strategy that uses that information to better optimize your blog for the web, you too can triumph on your next digital marketing campaign.
Find Your Audience
The first step you need to take in your data-driven social media strategy is to identify who your target audience is. More likely than not, a specific group of people will be more responsive to whatever you’re trying to promote.
This can easily be done by scrolling through social media feeds. By seeing what people are liking and commenting on, you can easily narrow down the group of people you should be marketing towards. Restaurants are already taking advantage of this by using restaurant digital signage to revolutionize the food industry.
Through the use of digital signs, restaurants stream live social media feeds that display posts about the positive experiences customers have had. This not only gives new customers an extra vote of confidence, but also shows the owners of the restaurant who their target audience should be.
So, instead of wasting time and energy (not to mention money) trying to get everyone to like your blog posts, focus on the few who will truly resonate and commit with what you’re saying. The demographics of your audience will play a major role in the content you create as well.
Age, gender, occupation, and location are some of the many factors you need to think about when creating content. A mother of four will think much differently than a 16-year-old boy in high school.
Your posts need to reflect those differences. Once you have a target audience nailed down, it will make writing effective blog posts that much easier.
Good Social Listening
If you’re not already on social media, you need to be. Many people are active on at least one or more social media platforms, which is why data-driven social media marketing is so important. Now that you have a target audience in mind, you need to find which platform they use the most.
Yes, different target audiences are more active on certain social media platforms than others. Casting a wide net over many platforms will not be as effective as focusing on the one where most of your audience is on. Once you discover which social media platform will be most beneficial to your data-driven social media strategy, it’s time to research.
Research what your target audience is liking, sharing, or tweeting about. Figure out which keywords and hashtags are trending to see what’s at the forefront of people’s minds. All this information about what people like or dislike or are curious about is real time.
You can’t get more current, relevant information than this. It makes it easier for you to tell which online campaigns are succeeding or failing and why. From this research, you’ll also be able to derive what kind of content grabs the most attention.
Another thing to keep in mind is that all this social media interaction is happening on people’s phones. If your blog or website is not mobile friendly, do not expect to get a lot of traffic.
Recent trends are showing that most online searches are occurring on people’s phones rather than on their computers. When they perform these searches, the first results are always compatible with mobile devices. Don’t be last on the SERP’s list; opt for mobile optimization.
Now you have all of this information. What do you do with it? When you know who your target audience is and which social media network they’re active on (plus all the information that comes with that), it’s time to create blog content.
According to a resource by Rutgers University, content is becoming more important than ever to the success of a blog. Although some may see this as obvious, the standards of what is considered “good” blog content have been raised considerably and is worth taking another look at.
To make content that is more likely to be shared, it has to resonate with either a person’s emotions or intellect. Sounds too hard to do? Here are some easy ways to create customer-winning content.
Some have concluded that a blog post’s title is so important that it should be given the same amount of time and consideration as actually writing the entire article. This may be because, more often than not, the title of a post is what is shared rather than the blog post itself.
After one study analyzed 100 million headlines, they’ve concluded that good titles not only tell you what the post will be about, but they will inform readers what kind of impact the content will have on them. If your audience is more active on Facebook, then titles that evoke emotions and curiosity are the way to go.
Just make sure that your titles match the tone of your content since Facebook demotes posts with titles that are overly emotional. When it comes to Twitter, titles that focus on new and upcoming things receive the most engagement. Tribal headlines should also be considered due to their rise in popularity.
Tribal headlines are titles such as, “10 Things only an Artist would know.” These titles are attractive to people who identify with the subject and will give them the extra push to share your article on social media. Don’t underestimate the power of numbers either.
List headlines are some of the top trending titles, especially if the list number is 10. The number of words in your title is also important. Studies have shown that titles having 12 words and over are the ones that receive the most engagement.
Although this may seem long, the point of a title is to clearly state what the content will be about. With a 12-word title, people should have a pretty good idea what they’re about to read. After composing an award-winning title, it’s time to write content to match.
How to Create Content
The words you use is just as important as the subject you write about. Use action verbs instead of passive phrases to get your readers motivated (not to mention continue reading your blog post). You want emotion to be a part of your content strategy, but boredom should never be something readers feel when looking oatyour article.
Some of the posts you should include in your blog repertoire are reviews. Since a lot of things can’t be tried out before being bought, reviews are the next best thing when trying to make an educated purchase. When people can expect your blog posts to include informative reviews, you can expect a loyal following to grow.
Also, keep in mind the length of your posts. Nobody wants to read an overly long article that will take more time than it’s worth. Although Google appears to favour more in-depth posts, keep your writing to the point (at 1,800 words or less) with only relevant information.
Posts covering controversies also receive a lot of engagement and are a good way to build a following. However, be careful on the opinions you state and make sure you err on the side of neutrality. You never know how controversies will end and how that could affect your image.
Speaking of images, your post is going to need them. A lot of them. Relevant images offer a visual break for readers to take before continuing to read an article. Plus, inviting images might give that extra incentive for someone to read your posts.
Opt for Optimization
Now that you have great content, it’s time to better optimize it for internet searches. One of the ways to do this is by adding keywords. Keywords are the search terms people use when looking up certain things on the web.
When these keywords are strategically used in your blog posts, your articles are much more likely to appear in search results for those terms. First, you need to decide on one or two keywords that best fit your blog post. More specifically, you should use long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are keywords with three or more words, like adventure books for adults. The reason why you would want to use these keywords is because not only will you drive more relevant traffic to your site, but you will also have less competition since long-tail keywords are more specific.
Make sure your keywords are in your title (specifically in the first 65 characters of your title) and also in the headers and body of your post. Keywords should be found in the URL of your post and in the meta description as well.
Optimizing your blog post doesn’t stop at just what you write; your images can be better optimized for search engines too. This is done through alt text. An image’s alt text lets search engines know what the image is.
The more descriptive you can be, the better. This makes it easier for the images in your post to be found and is also useful when an image can’t be shown or when individuals with poor sight use a screen reader.
When you have a data-driven social media strategy in place, the sky’s the limit. Not only will it inform you of the kind of audience you should target, but also what that target audience likes and dislikes. This makes it easier to create relevant and shareable content. Then all you have to do is sit back and watch your blog take off.
Devin writes from his garage, only rising to fix his feeble Wi-Fi connection or to experiment with his friends’ cars on his own dime. He shares his perspective with anyone who will listen, most commonly his dog, Scrummy. You can follow him on Twitter.