|4 Tips for Making Your Association Content Upworthy
- 9/1/2015 -
4 Tips for Making Your Association Content Upworthy
Is your social media content too conservative — even stuffy?
Here’s how to make a big splash on social media while keeping your
association’s professional image intact.
By Mary Hiers
You’ve worked hard to help your publications’ reputation for
depth of thought and editorial integrity, but at the same time you’d like to
take full advantage of social media so the mass market can discover your
association content. Well, you’re in luck, because you absolutely can go
viral without watering down your content — but a dry, stuffy approach to social
media won’t get you there. Here are four ways you can make a big splash on
social media while keeping your professional image intact.1. Mix deeper, longer articles with lighter updates. Some
trade publications feel that they must maintain their image as an authoritative
content provider by emphasizing longer, more in-depth articles at the expense
of shorter, lighter posts, which they dismiss as fluff. To some extent, the
numbers would seem to agree with this strategy as a means of getting that
content shared more frequently; a BuzzSumo study of
100 million articles found that 3,000- to 10,000-word articles achieved nearly
twice the share rate of articles under 1,000 words. But you must also consider
those potential sharers who don’t have time to read a large chunk of content.
You can maintain a higher online profile and reach a wider audience by posting
a mix of longer authoritative articles and "fast” pieces.
2. Consider visual impact. You can always spruce up the
visual appeal of your online articles without sacrificing their editorial
integrity in any way. Adding a dramatic photo for emphasis sharpens the impact
of your words instead of diluting them. More importantly, it grabs the
audience’s attention long enough to get them reading (and potentially sharing)
How the piece is laid out can also have a profound impact on
how readily people flock to it and pass it around the Web. A lengthy, detailed
article may not grab your online audience’s attention if it takes the form of a
solid wall of text. This approach may work for print pieces, but online readers
are interested in content that’s easily digestible. Break up your article into
bullet points or numbered lists, and you’ll present a much more user-friendly
picture ready for sharing with a mass audience.
3. Piggyback on top influencers’ traffic. Going viral with
an association article isn’t just a matter of posting serious,
authoritative, compelling content; it’s also a matter of broadcasting that
content to the widest number of viewers in the shortest period of time. To
achieve this goal, look beyond your own readership to those of the top
influencers in the relevant field or industry. These pundits have vast armies
of loyal followers who can take a popular post viral pretty much at will. You
can attract the attention of these top influencers without sullying your
publications’ integrity. If they’re relevant in your industry, then it’s
perfectly natural that you might write an article featuring their latest
endeavors or success stories. It’s also perfectly natural that they’ll want to
take that story and run with it. Enjoy the ride!
4. Schedule strategically. Choose the right time to post to
each of your channels. The bigger a splash you can make with your posts in the
first few seconds that they hit the Web, the better chance you have of getting
tons of social media shares and likes. But that means knowing when you should
upload posts for maximum effect, and understanding that each social media
channel has different peak traffic days and times.
There are some general trends you can expect, of course. For
example, Fridays are generally not a good day to share
association updates, simply because people aren’t as likely to be
concerned about business-related matters when they’re thinking about the
weekend ahead. Nighttime postings also tend to capture relatively few eyeballs
on any social media channel.
But there are also some specific waves you can ride by
scheduling your updates wisely. For example, if you’re posting to LinkedIn,
you’ll want to do so on Tuesdays through Thursdays to get the most attention.
Peak times for Twitter posts are Monday through Thursday in the early afternoon
hours. Afternoon Facebook posts attain higher average click-through rates than
those posted at other times of the day.
Take these tips to heart, and you’ll find that your
publication has a better chance of going viral without sacrificing its
relevance or reputation.
a freelance writer based in the Nashville area. This article first appeared on www.realmatch.com.