When it comes to social media marketing there is not a one size fits all strategy, which means that businesses must test a variety of tactics to discover what resonates best with their audiences.
That said, there are dozens of effective posting tips that every marketer should keep in mind. By adhering to these 16 click-worthy strategies for the social Web, you'll be sure to increase your brand's visibility and garner more clicks from its social community, whether they be through likes, retweets, shares or comments.
1. Appealing Copy
If you want click-throughs and interactions with your posts, you better attract the attention of your audience with appealing copy. Consider using the same rules that content publishers use for headline creation, such as keeping copy clear and to the point, using lists and numbers or noting usefulness (ex. DIY or how-to). In addition, using verbs rather than nouns in copy can impact fan interaction with posts, as verbs, by nature, are actionable. In fact, a recent study from Buffer reveals that tweets with adverbs and verbs receive higher CTRs than tweets with more nouns and adjectives.
2. Ask a Question
This tip is pretty straightforward. By asking an open-ended question, brands are setting themselves up for fan interaction. Plus, posting questions doesn't necessarily mean that your goal is to obtain comments. Take Simply Measured for example. The company asks a question, however, pairs the question with an answer that comes in the form of a link.
3. Don't be Too Promotional
If you're using social as purely a promotional tool, you could be actually hurting your brand. While social networks are great places to market your enterprise, they are also great for fostering conversations and becoming more relatable to consumers. Marketers should create a plan to balance content types so that consumers can expect more from a company than simply the latest sale update.
4. Request an Action
It may seem cheesy, but the best way to get a click is by simply asking for it. According to Twitter, Promoted Tweets in timelines that clearly ask for downloads and are paired with links increase URL clicks by an average of 13 percent, while Promoted Tweets in timelines that ask for retweets increased this metric by an average of 311 percent.
5. Get Controversial
Every industry has its fair share of controversial topics. By simply opening the door to a discussion regarding one of these topics, brands can see their post interactions shoot through the virtual roof. Social media marketers can use online reputation monitoring tools to monitor online chatter and current sentiments about a topic or brand and then leverage the information to start a conversation.
6. Repost Content (Sometimes)
Reposting content is a slippery slope, because some fans may call you out on it while others will be glad to see something in their newsfeed that they may have missed earlier. Before you start testing this strategy, keep in mind that not every status update should be reposted. Also, reposting is typically a strategy that is better suited for Twitter, as the news feed moves a lot quicker, which makes it a lot easier for followers to miss a tweet. Take TMZ for example. The entertainment site shares big news multiple times on Twitter, but prefaces the reposting with words like "Earlier" or "Yesterday".
7. Leverage Hashtags
When marketers use hashtags correctly they can increase their visibility on social sites, as their statuses will show up in any search for the specified hashtag. This puts your company in front of a larger audience, which gives your posts a better chance at obtaining clicks. Learn how to do Facebook hashtags the "right way."
8. Be Visual
People like social networks, because they provide easy-to-browse, real-time newsfeeds, which helps them discover entertaining content, and visual content just so happens to stand out better than plain text. In fact, HubSpot data reveals that images on Facebook generate 53 percent more likes and 104 percent more comments than the average post. This is why posting images and videos (think Vine and Instagram) should be a regular part of any social media strategy.
9. Fill in the B____
Fill in the blank statuses typically perform well, generating participation in the form of comments for brands. In fact, a study from Simply Measured reveals that Jet Blue obtained 182 percent more comments when implementing a "fill in the blank" strategy over a six-week period. And, within two minutes of posting the fill in the blank status featured below, The Food Network generated 189 comments.
10. Be Silly (When Appropriate)
Although this strategy is not be appropriate for all brands, adding a little bit of quirkiness to your social postings can help increase fan interactions. Skittles, for instance, rarely posts a serious status, and in doing so, generates a lot of interactions.
11. Shock with Stats
Statistics not only grab attention, but can also be very influential. And by pairing stand out stats with a link, like Kabbage does, brands stand a better chance at increasing their click-throughs.
12. Create Polls
As seen by the aforementioned strategies (fill in the blank, asking questions, etc.), interactive status updates tend to perform well, and this holds true for polls. In fact, fans may be even more inclined to participate with polls because it requires minimal thinking and just a simple click.
13. Launch Contests/Sweepstakes
Although contests and sweepstakes should not be your only social strategy (they can get expensive and lose their appeal), these tactics do generate clicks (and leads).
Sometimes a simple social interaction can be all a consumer needs to make a purchase. Luckily, Facebook has made it easier for Page managers to interact with their fans by enabling comment replies. Zappos Couture uses this functionality to its advantage by replying to almost every comment on its posts. This tactic not only makes Zappos a more relatable company, but can also help push consumers through the buying cycle.
15. Highlight Big Names
Content marketers often use guest bloggers or interview industry professionals for their articles. If these professionals or guest bloggers are big names in your industry, then share that with your audience along with a link to the article. In testing this strategy you should find that the bigger the name, the more clicks you will receive.
16. Stay on Trend
There are a variety of trends flooding the social-sphere nowadays, including Throw-Back Thursday and Follow Friday. Just because you're a business, doesn't mean you can't participate with these trends. Participating with Throwback Thursday (TBT), for example, can result in an abundance of interactions due to fans reminiscing about the good ol' days.