3 ways to get past the ‘spray and pray’ social media approach

By: Brian Pittman
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2015

As many communicators rely on “spray and pray” content marketing to keep up with competitors, the resulting flood makes it increasingly difficult to get your worthy content to stand out.

Here are three ways to beat the content glut and achieve real results every time you post:

1. Re-imagine existing content on Slideshare. Repurposing corporate assets is an extremely easy and affordable way to create content to share on social media.

“The quickest way to do this is to repurpose an existing white paper into a more visual, sharable asset on Slideshare,” says Peter Barros, digital content strategist at IBM. “This adds new life to existing content that might otherwise go unseen.”

He recommends repurposing white paper content in a magazine-spread format with ample room for data visualization to provide greater readability and comprehension.

His team did precisely that when it transformed an IBM white paper into a Slideshare titled “How to Outgrow Your Competition in the Cloud.” It quickly earned over 21,000 views on Sildeshare and over 1,000 shares on Facebook.

Watch the PR University webinar “ #ContentMarketing That Soars: 20 content ideas to skyrocket reach and engagement ” to learn how to increase social media results and ROI.

2. Post at optimal times. There are certain days of the week and times of the day, by venue, that will get you the most reach and engagement.

Barros recommends using schedulers such as Hootsuite and BufferApp to post in advance. He also shares these rough guidelines for post timing:

  • Facebook : Best day to post is Saturday; next best is weekdays during lunchtime. (Source:kissmetrics)
  • LinkedIn : Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays have the highest reach and engagement, especially 7–8 a.m. and 5–6 p.m. in all U.S. time zones. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Twitter : Nearly 50 percent of Twitter users are in the Eastern time zone and most retweets occur after 5 p.m., Barros says. Most click-throughs occur around noon and 6 p.m.
  • Instagram : Post Mondays and during off-work hours for greatest reach. (Source: HubSpot)

3. Always include a clear call to action. With every post include a distinct, clear instruction that tells your audience what they should do next, says Barros.

Strong calls to action include:

  • Please RT
  • Chat now
  • Read more
  • Click here
  • Subscribe now
  • Please share
  • Leave a comment
  • Buy now
  • Download

“Whether for an online ad or a regular social media post, a strong [call to action] will help increase reach and ROI,” says Barros.

Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. IBM Digital Content Strategist Peter Barros shares more content marketing secrets in the PR University webinar, #ContentMarketing That Soars.

3 ways to get past the ‘spray and pray’ social media approach

By: Brian Pittman
Published: Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2015