Why Good Social Media Content Fails – And How To Fix It
So, you’ve found some great social media content to share. You’ve edited the text, attached an image, scheduled it in for the optimal posting time. And yet, when it comes to finally sharing that post…it flops.
It’s not a great feeling. Nobody wants their work to go unnoticed. Unfortunately, though, it’s all too common.
Social media is brimming with good, interesting content. In an ideal world, simply sharing the best of what’s out there would be enough to attract followers, interest your audience and grow your presence. In reality, though, this is only part of the process. If you want maximum exposure for your social media posts, you have another priority: visibility.
So, how do you fix your posts, and get them seen? That’s the question we’ll be answering in this blog post.
Why Good Social Media Content Fails
To see how much results on social media can change with just a few tweaks, here’s one we made earlier.
On the face of it, this looks like a perfectly good social media post. In fact, it’s ticking a lot of boxes. It has some hashtags, it mentions the author (me), and has a big, branded image to go with it.
We shared this post over the course of three months using Quuu Promote. The performance was fairly good, but nothing groundbreaking.
However, when we repeated this same strategy with a new, improved version of the post, we saw drastic improvements.
This post saw a 90% increase in clicks. It had fewer shares overall, but many more people who saw the post visited the site. This tells us that, to our audience on Twitter, this post has more value and relevance to.
It also has a higher score on CoSchedule’s Social Message Optimizer for the platforms we wanted to use (namely Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+). This is before:
And this is after:
Why? Let’s break it down.
The first tweet has quite a generic image and isn’t particularly eye-catching. The colors in the photo are muted, and the image itself is a widely used stock photo. The only thing that does stand out is the text, but not enough to make a real impression.
Enter the bright green, custom-made graphic we replaced it with. The bold color and simplicity of this image are much more likely to get someone’s attention. It’s the first thing you notice when looking at the tweet.
Images, especially moving images, have a huge impact on visibility. According to Cisco, 80% of the world’s online traffic will come from video content by 2019. We could have made our tweet even better by adding animation or video presentation.
If you’re not sure how to create appealing images and videos, fear not! Platforms like Twitter have made it super-easy to add relatable and humorous GIFs to your post for free, and tools like Lumen5 can help you create videos out of your blog posts in a matter of minutes (no equipment required!).
While there are more hashtags in the first post, they’re also weak hashtags. They’re incredibly popular, and in the case of #traffic, actually relate to more than one topic. Sadly, that probably means our post got lost in the hubbub of traffic complaints!
The second post has just one very specific hashtag, that directly targets people interested in this topic. It isn’t as widely used, but that’s a good thing – it means the tweet will get discovered by people who are much more likely to click, share and engage.
You can quickly find more targeted hashtags for your own tweets by using tools like Ritetag, which will automatically tell you if the ones you’re using are too popular or too niche.
A more influential mention
The first tweet mentions yours truly – which is no bad thing. Mentioning the author of a piece of content is a great way to get a retweet, which sends your post out further to a wider audience.
However, this is where followers and influence come into play. A retweet from me isn’t going to make as much impact as a retweet from a recognizable company with 10 times as many followers to share it with!
If there are a few people you could mention, compare and see which one is most likely to engage with your post.
More powerful share text
There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the phrase ‘Short on time? How writing fewer blog posts could actually increase traffic.’ But it does lack one thing: power.
Twitter is a busy, overcrowded and noisy place – how you use those 140 characters is key. In this case, we needed to strip away the inessential and focus on the value this blog post has.
Get rid of the fluff, and swap some weaker words for stronger ones, and you get something like ‘How writing less could grow your blog’. Put the most powerful word (grow) near the beginning, and you get ‘How to grow your blog by publishing less’.
Writing good social media posts is a skill in its own right, but if the text is clear and appeals to your audience’s most pressing concerns or desires, it’s on the right track. In this case, it’s a double whammy: saving time and increasing traffic.
Again, CoSchedule’s Social Message Optimizer and their Headline Analyzer are excellent tools for writing better titles and social posts for all platforms.
So far, so good…but how else can you prevent social media content from failing?
More ways to fix your social media posts
Make sure your content looks trustworthy
have you saw a post on social media and thought it looked dodgy? It’s seriously off-putting. But you’d know if your posts looked like that…right?
These days, it’s really easy to end up with an untrustworthy-looking profile over time. This is often down to an overuse of social media automation. Automation is a really convenient tool, and great for productivity. But if you rely on it too much, your profile can start to look spammy and robotic.
So, how can you benefit from automation while still looking authentic and trustworthy?
Use branded links
Sometimes, a strange-looking hyperlink can be all it takes to put people off clicking on some great content you’ve shared. Using a branded link from Rebrandly increases trust and can help solve this problem.
Personalize your posts
If you use a browser extension to schedule all your content, you can end up with pretty generic-looking social media posts. If you have time, try to put your own spin on them.
If you use automation, use it wisely
It can be tempting to set up an automation tool and then let it do its job. However, this can leave you with a profile that feels a bit…robotic.
If you want to really master automation, take a look at how successful brands are doing it, most brands use it these days. If you’d like a shortcut, check out our case study on Rebrandly, Mention, Pro-Papers, MeetEdgar and more.
Harness people power
One of the biggest mistakes I made when starting out on social media is – wait for it – not being social. In my defense, it’s a surprisingly easy mistake to make!
You hear that social media is great for sharing your content…so sharing your content is what you do. You schedule posts, follow people, chip in on a trending hashtag occasionally. But, ultimately, you miss out on the most powerful thing about social media: people power.
Here are some easy ways you can prevent posts from failing by being more social:
Things like Twitter Chats can yield amazing results. Simply attending one and asking a few questions can boost your reach by thousands. When I participated in Quuu’s #QChat in September, this happened:
Boosting the number of impressions you get on Twitter and other platforms increases the likelihood of people following you, which in turn increases the chance of people seeing your content. If there’s a natural time for it, you can even share your content there (though always keep in mind the golden rule: give, give, give, then take.)
Almost every social media platform has a ‘group’ component, whether that’s Facebook Groups, group Pinterest boards, or Twitter Lists. Join the ones that look active, relevant and useful for you, and start pitching in. They can require a little more investment than a chat event, but if used wisely, can reap big rewards when it comes to getting more exposure for your content.
If you’re not sure where to start with online groups, here are some great guides on using Facebook Groups, Twitter Lists, Pinterest Group Boards and LinkedIn Groups.
We’ve already demonstrated how the right mention can amplify your social media posts. However, you can create even more opportunities for this by creating collaborative content.
Take round-ups, for example. By collaborating with influencers on a piece of content, you can pretty much guarantee they’ll share the finished product. This means a larger audience for you, and less chance your content will flop. This also applies to things like interviews, reviews and product tutorials.
The secret ingredient
‘If there’s one thing I would tell people about social media, especially entrepreneurs, it would be patience.’ – Gary Vaynerchuk
It’s not something we often associate with the fast-paced online world. However, patience is essential for growing a following. You can try all the tricks in the book to make your content successful, but ultimately, real engagement takes time to build. There are no shortcuts!
Keep learning, and keep trying. And if there’s anything you want to know about making social media content successful, let us know in the comments.
Guest Author: Amy Murnan, Quuu
Amy is the Blog Editor at Quuu, a service that provides curated content suggestions to share on social media. She has created and grown online publications for a variety of startups and non-profits.
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This Article is About:
- Good Social Media Content
- Promoting Social Media Content
- Reviving Social Media Content
Originally Posted: September 12th, 2017.
Post Updated: October 11th, 2021.