You just wrote a brand spanking new blog post! And it’s a doozy!
What processes are in place to distribute this wonderful new resource on social media to maximize its impact? And, more importantly, what processes are in place to get LONG TERM impact out of this wonderful new resource?
The truth is that most blog posts have the lifespan of a mayfly.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With the 6-step social sharing process I’m covering in this case study—your blog post will live a long and fruitful life. 😉
Our process not only notifies social connections as soon as a post is published, our strategy ensures that the post will continue to cycle through our social feeds days, weeks, and months after it’s been published.
View the text steps of this article by clicking on one of the links below to view the explanation for that step:
Let’s start with the infographic… (Click the image to enlarge or download the PDF version)
And here is the text version…
As you know…
Product Splintering is the process of breaking off bits and pieces of your core product and selling them a la carte.
But splintering isn’t only for core products—the same process can be applied to any piece of content you create.
When your piece of content is published and ready for sharing, you have all the source material needed to splinter shareable content for social media posts.
Look to splinter the following from your blog post…
(It’s not necessary to use all 5 for every post, but if the opportunity presents itself, take it.)
For example, this is a recent article (written by CRO expert Justin Rondeau) with the headline “[Checklist] 5 Image Elements Worth Testing on Your Landing Page“…
Here are 4 splinters we pulled from this blog post for use on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc:
- [Checklist] 5 Image Elements Worth Testing On Your Landing Page >> LINK
- “An image is only as powerful as the value it communicates.” – Justin Rondeau >> LINK
- Is Justin Rondeau spitting in the face of best practices? Find out now >> LINK
- The elements on your website need to do 3 things. What are they? >> LINK
Ok, now that we have some text content to share on social media, it’s time for…
If you don’t know, now you know—visual content is necessary to drive engagement and clicks on social media (Buffer saw an increase of 18% in clicks, 89% in favorites, 150% in retweets using images!).
We’d be leaving a lot of distribution reach on the table if we didn’t incorporate images into our social strategy.
The feature image (which appears at the top of our blog posts) is always the first guaranteed visual asset to share on social media channels.
But one image isn’t enough. Create a visual asset for every possible splinter.
We use quote images on sites like Facebook and Twitter…
We created our own branded quote boxes for organic content distribution (and gave you the templates to make some of your own), but don’t think you’re hindered by a lack of graphic designer or templates.
The beauty here is that we’re able to share content and engage with our audience… all for free.
Ok, now we have our visuals locked and loaded. Time for…
Now that you have your splinters and visual assets, you need to create your social sharing links, and share the post on social platforms.
How to Create Your Social Sharing Links
You cannot optimize what you don’t measure, right?
UTM parameters are simply tags you add to a URL — when your link is clicked, the tags are sent back to Google Analytics and tracked.
Creating UTM parameters to track your post performance will give you great insight to how your post performs with different audiences and the journey they take once they read your post.
These are the UTM parameters we use on every post we share—you’ll notice there’s a different UTM link for each platform and distribution method.
For example, here are the UTM parameters for Twitter organic traffic…
- utm_source= the social network (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc)
- utm_medium= the distribution method (is this organic/free distribution or paid?)
- utm_content= We add the “slug” or extension here to differentiate the performance from post to post
- utm_campaign= This is the largest bucket and remains constant for all organic and paid traffic respectively
The slug is the extension on the post…
So, for example, this is what some of our other UTM links look like…
Facebook Promoted (These are the links we use when we use ads to send traffic to our content)…
Using UTM parameters allows us to track the performance of our campaigns in Google Analytics…
To build links with UTM parameters, use Google’s URL builder tool.
Once we have all our tracking links created, we put them through…
Once each link is set up with its UTM parameters, they can be posted into Bit.ly to make shortened sharing links. These don’t give us the same information that Google Analytics will, but they’re a speedier method for regularly tracking performance based on clicks and sharing—more on that in just a minute.
Label your links by platform to make it easier when scanning through bit.ly’s reporting…
Create a document (whether it be a Word document, Google Sheet, or—DM’s personal favorite—a .txt doc) easily referenced and keep all of your content links in it.
Broadcasting on Facebook
When we have all social sharing links ready, we broadcast our content.
We create our Facebook content copy based on the benefits and point of the article, and we close with a hook or curiosity based question. Maintain a consistent personality and tone on your pages—where possible.
If you’re usually fun and address them with banter, appeal to them with your content the same way.
If you’re usually more serious and to the point, don’t waste their time being wordy—give them the goods straight up.
During your first broadcasting of the content, utilize the feature image:
Do you have other pages or handles? If so, share wherever it is appropriate.
For example, we utilize the Ryan Deiss Facebook page and Twitter account to distribute DigitalMarketer’s content. He’s a personality associated with our brand and it makes sense for him to distribute our content to his followers.
We create different sets of copy for the DigitalMarketer and Ryan Deiss page, even if it’s just a small variation, so that people don’t become accustomed to just scrolling by one of our updates because they think they’ve seen what we have to say in an update from the other page.
For the second broadcast, we use a different visual asset to distribute the content.
When sharing for a second time, make sure to change copy to remove any “today’s” or “new on the blog” and condense copy to make for a shorter, more direct post.
(NOTE: If you’re a DigitalMarketer Lab member, you can learn more about how we do Social Media Scheduling on this Office Hours call.)
Broadcasting on Twitter
We use Hootsuite Pro as one of our social media management systems so that our entire content team can be logged into all social accounts, publishing, monitoring, and networking throughout the day.
(We don’t use Hootsuite to broadcast to our Facebook pages because we’ve found that there’s much more control for specific time scheduling, monitoring, and formatting directly on the Facebook platform.)
On the day of publishing, we create 3 tweets that will be published every couple hours:
- Headline >> LINK
- Quote >> LINK
- Question the post answers >> LINKS
Tweets are scheduled to publish from the DigitalMarketer account and Ryan Deiss account at different times. We currently only schedule the headline tweet to go out from Ryan, and once #2 and #3 publish from DM, we retweet them from his account.
Broadcasting on LinkedIn
The beauty of LinkedIn is that posts shared on LinkedIn have a habit of continuing to be shared long after after they’re posted (even if they’re not using the link you provided). When you share with your connections, you’re sharing with a smaller audience of people that have already indicated they’re interested in your happenings.
We also tag the author in our LinkedIn status update to give them the nudge to share it on their stream as well. It’s a free and low-effort way of saying, “Here’s what I’ve been up to, here’s the content I just created.”
But how do you keep your content on your audience’s mind once you’ve broadcasted it the first time? We’ll be talking automated scheduling in just a bit.
For now, you need a good way to people’s attention with your post, especially if they’re mentioned in it…
When we’re broadcasting a post, we tag people and brands wherever it makes sense.
For example, Justin Rondeau doesn’t have a Facebook fan page, so we didn’t tag him there – however, he has a Twitter account so we tag him in the tweets, giving him an opportunity to retweet and share the link.
But check out another post by Justin that gave us ample opportunity to tag others — and without having to ask them to contribute anything!
We were able to tag the owners of these blogs (and automate this distribution so that we’re driving traffic to the post, while continuing to drive traffic the owners’ blogs).
Most of the social media action will occur in the first 48-72 hours.
This is where Bit.ly comes in.
Monitoring campaigns (using UTM parameters) are the key to tracking long term performance, but Bit.ly is our favorite tool for immediate performance tracking.
- Who’s clicking?
- Where are they clicking?
- Who’s sharing?
- Where are they sharing?
- Which broadcast performed the best?
- Which platform performed the best?
Bit.ly tells us all of that.
During the initial 24-48 hours broadcasting of links, you can use Bit.ly….
- To see how many people are clicking your link from each platform.
- To see what time your post performed best.
- To figure out where in the world your content is reaching (and % of clicks they contribute to the total) — you want your content to broadcast when the people who are reading it are awake and active.
- To see which of your tweets performed best (helping you determine which copy speaks well to your audience and giving you ideas to test).
- And to see which platform it performed best on.
However, Bit.ly is only good for short term tracking here. People tend to click Bit.ly to read posts, but then share the post with either a basic URL, or directly from a sharing plugin — especially on LinkedIn.
So while it’s good to track who’s clicking your link on different platforms, don’t count your post as a loss if you don’t see tons of clicks on your shortened link.
After the first 24 hours a post has been broadcast, one of the best ways to increase engagement is to check and regulate comments. Whether that be…
- On your blog post on your site.
- Comments on the Facebook posts you broadcasted the post on.
- Tweets sent out SHARING your post.
- Tweets sent in reply to your post.
- Comments on your LinkedIn update.
Tweets have a short lifespan, once you’ve published them, they’re already being buried by someone else’s content. The perks of retweeting someone who shared your content, or replying back to them, is that it puts your content in front of your audience with the added social proof that other people in your audience like the content you’ve been sharing.
Finally, we take Step 6 — the step that ties all your efforts together and ensures that your content stays alive and kickin’ for days, weeks, months (and sometimes YEARS) to come.
This is the behavior of a normal piece of content on social media…
Big spike… then vanishes from the face of the social Earth. 🙂
That’s why long term automated distribution (scheduling) is necessary.
This what a piece of content looks like in a 6 month snapshot with scheduling and automation built into it.
Scheduling your content into a social media management tool results in perpetual sharing and content distribution with no action needed from you after loading it into your library.
We use MeetEdgar for our scheduling and automation across Twitter and LinkedIn. We’re able to make categories, and choose what time content publishes using those categories — the library will randomize itself and post content in rotation so that you’er not bombarding people with the same tweets day after day.
When you’re broadcasting your content, you have everything you need to schedule your content. After we’ve loaded our three tweets into Hootsuite the first day our content is published, we take those same splinters and immediately load them into MeetEdgar.
The other feature that’s really helpful is similar to what Bit.ly does in short term monitoring. Using MeetEdgar, we can track tweets performance over time.
This tells us when copy is getting fatigued and if we should update it—it’s also where quote images come into play. Content blurbs get tiring and are easily ignored. Image based tweets will keep your followers on their toes and clicking your content.
And that’s that! Use this 6-step distribution system to keep your content in front of your audience and give your content everlasting longevity—and don’t forget to swipe the infographic for easy reference!