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Streamlining Social Content Promotion

christina-zila
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What do Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn all have in common? The social networks all use metadata to pull in a preview of your content.

Often, we see content creation as a piecemeal endeavor – write a blog post, make an infographic, develop a white paper. But because content has to be promoted and shared socially, creation can't occur in a procedural vacuum. Everyone working on content should know where that content is going to provide the best possible presentation of your content.

There are three systems of creating and sharing content:

  • Content is shared by content creator.
  • Content is automatically shared with automated feeds.
  • Content is shared by social media department.

In each of these organizational types, there's communication between the writer and the social media department. Ideally, everyone knows exactly which piece is promoted on which channels.

Reality is more compartmentalized, leading to content that misses basic building blocks for social sharing.

While it's easy for the social media department to create a tweet here and a post there, it's much harder to manage on a large or long-term scale. Companies need to think about the information given to their content creators in a larger context to reduce the work of other employees along the content promotion chain.

Content Shared by Creator

When the content is shared by its creator, there should be a seamless work flow. Your writer already knows and understands the subject material – they wrote it after all!

However, if they aren't SEO-savvy, they may not know why the post introduction on Facebook looks strange or doesn't appear at all.

In this case, it's simple to explain to your content creator/s the importance of meta data and where to include it in your content management system. Remind your writers each time that you'd like a description as well as their main body content.

Content Shared With Automated Feeds

While automatic posting sounds efficient, it only works if the content is properly prepared. Meta tags send the right image and summary in Facebook and Google+ posts. Sites can't pull what's not there, so you must have a meta tag.

Ideally, that tag should be populated with a unique description for that piece of content. When the description tag is missing, incorrect information can appear. Users are less likely to share your content if their preview shows something that doesn't match their understanding of the article.

Recent research by KISSmetrics shows that you may be able to benefit from automation in Twitter if your titles are sufficiently juicy and spread throughout your feed. Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming a one-trick pony and looking like spam.

Other studies show that automating with a third-party app can decrease exposure by 70 percent. Facebook uses a proprietary system called EdgeRank to determine who sees which posts. Posts created natively in Facebook retain EdgeRank, while items created and posted from third-party sites may not retain that edge.

Content Shared By Social Media Department

The third system happens in larger organizations and looks like this:

content-shared-by-social-media-department

This system is inefficient because one person in the social media department has to read the full content and summarize it for a post. If the organization has one person per social media channel, multiple people may need to read and reprocess the content to include the promotional introduction. While this isn't bad, it can waste time on a repetitious action.

To seamlessly share your content via any channel, it should have the meta description, a tweet, and a Facebook/Google+ introduction ready. Include the requirements in your creative brief to shift the workload from your social media team to your content team.

Since your content team is already creating and drafting, especially in the case of blog posts or other written material, an extra five sentences or so are easily added to the workflow.

Sample Briefs

Here's a sample creative brief template for pure content creation and for social-ready content creation:

Plain:

Client:

Target Audience:

Keywords:

Purpose: (raise awareness) (branding) (increase sales)

Content Type: (blog post) (white paper) (infographic)

Published on: (blog) (external site) (main site)

Social-Ready:

Client:

Target Audience:

Keywords:

Purpose: (raise awareness) (branding) (increase sales)

Content Type: (blog post) (white paper) (infographic)

Published on: (blog) (external site) (main site)

Promote with: (tweet) (FB/G+ summary) (blog summary)

With this additional information, the content creator can already include a tweet, Facebook post, meta description or all of the above. Then the social media folks can simply post the content without needing to re-read or reinvent the wheel. Additionally, automated social media receives the right feed information along with the fantastic content.


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