Whether looking to increase website traffic, increase sales or build a stronger brand, strategy is what drives the communications vehicle. If you are a PR or marketing communications professional, chances are you have a long-term communications strategy for your brand, business or client. It is important to understand how social media fit into the long-term communications strategy. One area that should never be overlooked is providing fresh content for each of your chosen social media platforms (generally Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and, coming soon, Google+).
As I have mentioned before, providing fresh content can sometimes be a challenge. The smaller the business or brand, the more difficult it may become to think of new and engaging content to post on each respective social network. In particular, Facebook can be a challenge because of the algorithm it uses in its news feed.
Facebook uses an algorithm called EdgeRank to keep your news feed from getting out of control. Without getting into great detail, EdgeRank basically has three pillars: 1.) An affinity score (users who interact with you more are more likely to see your posts); 2.) Likes and comments have high importance; and 3.) Timing (newer posts take precedence). You can read more about EdgeRank here.
Knowing that Facebook uses EdgeRank as an automated “gate-keeper,” providing fresh, engaging content at the right time of day is very important. The same concept of posting fresh, engaging content can be applied on other social media platforms as well. On Twitter especially, Tweeting thought-provoking content, enticing (clickable) links and adding a little humor or anything that might encourage re-tweets becomes important. With Twitter though, there is no algorithm to maintain a more manageable news feed, and therefore, sending out more tweets at the right times become important. Again, without getting too detailed, the best times to Tweet are generally noon and 6 p.m. and at a rate of 1-4 tweets per hour. For more on timing, view an infographic from KISSmetrics.
Understanding the importance of frequency and timing of engaging posts on social networking sites, I have a daily content calendar I maintain for KVSC-FM. I have been the Director of PR & Social Media for two years at KVSC-FM and have done a number of social media marketing campaigns in promoting upcoming events/programming and have performed a lot of social media contests along the way. However, even if a long-term social media strategy is set, coming up with 2-4 posts for Facebook per day and 1-4 Tweets per hour can be a bit of a challenge. For this reason, I have developed a daily content calendar to help in generating ideas.
Some of the daily post ideas have become something listeners of the station look forward to each week. For example, Music Monday, where I simply post a music-related article or Trivia Thursday, where I ask a random trivia question (this is also a chance to be sneaky and relate the question to a current promotion). Again, the idea is to generate conversation and, ultimately, build a positive relationship with your followers. Building a daily content calendar is not difficult, you just need to sit down and think of a few ideas you can share on each social networking site each day. For more ideas on providing daily content, read my article “30 Ideas for Providing Fresh Content in #SocialMedia.”
Image: Ray Kowatch’s Blog.