Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. We use it in our social life and work life; I can’t go to the toilet without checking Facebook and Twitter. The majority of businesses with any online presence will use social media as another tool to help them market themselves as well as a handy tool for SEO. Social media is a great way to increase your search engine rankings as its simple and it gets users engaged with your brand. When you share, like, retweet, post, comment, or pin anything on social media the content in question and the site it is has come from is being backlinked. So well done you’re helping people without even knowing it, you’re a modern day saint. This is why social media is a great tool as it’s not obvious with its intentions. It promotes user engagement, improves customer relations, and improves SEO, and most importantly, when managed well, it demonstrates a brands personality, at the same time as being fun.
When we look at other forms of marketing and advertising, very few offer the same sort of engagement as social media. It’s a lot harder to interact with a magazine or TV advert than it is on social media, although most traditional channels are trying to bring an element of social media to their campaigns, giving a multi-layered effect. Best of all, the user is choosing to follow the brand in question and are investing an interest in them rather than being forced to see an ad.
So the million pound question is how to get your audience to engage. Dan Zarella “The Social Media Scientist” has not only answered this, he has made some pretty graphs to illustrate his finding too. So I am going to attempt to forward his knowledge onto you as best I can, if not a link can be found at the end.
Dan has been looking into the science and statistics behind what gets shared, liked and retweeted. He has looked into everything from length, hashtags, and common words. I’m not going to delve too deep into this because it would turn out to be a very long post and I’m really not an expert. Instead I am going to find a few simple, yet important things you can do to help your social media presence expand.
Dan looked at the length of tweets and which are more likely to get retweeted. His finding shows a slow rise from 0 characters to 115 characters with a few spikes along the way. Then a sharp drop at 130 characters and after which they’re rarely or never retweeted. The question behind this is why does this happen? Without doing a lot of surveys and a lot of analysis it will be impossible to tell you why this is but we can make an educated guess. Even though 130 characters isn’t very big in the scheme of things, on twitter that is near the character limited so on a news feed it seems long when seen next to shorter posts. The likely hood is that people want their information fast and easy and if a tweet is too long it could put them off retweeting it or reading it all together. With this in mind it would be a good practise to try to condense your tweets as much as possible or expand them to the 100 to 120 character make.
With shortening tweets in mind another of Dan’s statistics was very is interesting. Dan looks at which url shortening website was most likely to be retweeted when compared to a random sample of retweets. Although the results seem random and pointless, when compared with the idea of tweet length it is very interesting and supports the theory of having tweets at the ideal length are more likely to get retweeted. In Dan’s findings using bit.ly is 9.28% more likely to get retweeted opposed to using tinyurl.com which is -5% chance of being retweeted. So combining these two tactics could significantly improve your chances of getting retweeted.
My final slice of knowledge cake with extra awesome icing for this post is I’m going to be looking at Dan’s findings on the most and least retweeted words and there is a definite trend. With the most retweeted words there is a much more positive feel to them. Two of the top 20 words are asking people to retweet. Although it might seem obvious it works and should be used. Don’t use it with every post but don’t be scared to use it when required. As expected the least retweeted words all tend to be negative like work, bed, night, bored, tired, sleep. These words do not stimulate the audience and they are less likely to retweet them. After reading this it would be a good idea to aim for posts to be positive, upbeat and to engage users, which should in turn encourage them to participate and interact.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of possible tactics and measures that can be taken to ensure that you are increasing your online presence and to give you the best opportunity to get your content, products, links etc. out there in the social media ether.
It’s time to move the game on.
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