Constant testing is something we love to do at Buffer. So I’m always keen to hear about new tests to try.
There’s no shortage of intriguing new social media strategies.
I’m excited to share 10 of the latest ones I’ve been interested to try here at Buffer. Do you think these might work for you and your social media marketing?
1. An animated way of saying thank you
The strategy: Include an animated GIF in “thank you” tweets
In our latest Twitter strategy post, Nicole Kohler shared that thanking Twitter users for sharing her content led to 1 in 4 of those thank you tweets resulting in a follow. A 25 percent conversion rate is incredible!
To boost this even further, Jason at GrowthHackers.co adds an extra element: an animated GIF. Click the picture below to see the animation.
— StreetExclusives.Net (@StreetExcIusive) November 9, 2014
In the post explaining his strategy, Jason mentions that he uses an automated system of including this GIF in a thank you to each new follower.
- He connects Zapier to Buffer so that every time someone follows him, a thank you tweet is sent or scheduled.
- The tweet includes a fun animated GIF from giphy.com, hosted on Jason’s website.
- After a certain period of time, he has Tweetdeleter.com delete older thank you tweets so that the Tweets & Replies timeline stays relatively clean.
Whereas Nicole’s strategy was to thank curators for sharing her content and hope for a follow back, Jason’s strategy is to thank those who have already followed his account and hope for a retweet, which will lead to more impressions for his brand. The GIF appears to work:
In our tests approximately 65% of all new followers either Favorited or Retweeted or both.
The takeaway: A mix of the two strategies—Nicole’s and Jason’s—could lead to some interesting results. Try thanking those who share your content, and include a fun GIF in your tweet reply.
2. Share & schedule 150 tweets in 5 minutes or less
The strategy: Upload your scheduled tweets in bulk to a social media scheduler like Buffer.
Michael Grubbs has fine-tuned a system that helped him go from spending three to five hours of content distribution each day to 30 minutes. At the core of the time-saving tips is this bulk upload feature.
Michael created a spreadsheet that contains tweets to blogposts and pages on his website. Each blogpost/page has three variations of tweet. Using a randomizer in the spreadsheet, Michael pulls a balanced mix of tweets into a new sheet and exports the list. He then uploads the list to BulkBuffer, which adds all the tweets to his Buffer queue.
The ability to just “drop” a big list of Tweets into Buffer and it will sort them into our pre-defined time-slots is huge for us. While everyday we put out fresh Tweets with the new content, 150 other Tweets are scheduled between the 4 accounts and are slotted to be published with only about 5 minutes of work.
The takeaway: If you plan on resharing content to Twitter, you can plan ahead and save time by queuing content in bulk.
3. Where do your social share buttons belong?
The strategy: Experiment with the placement of your social sharing buttons on your site.
Venture Harbour tested the location of the social share buttons on their blogposts, finding that a floating sidebar with sharing buttons increased the rate of sharing by 52%.
They went on to conclude that there is no single best position for share buttons. The right answer will depend on your specific blog.
We’ve adopted the floating sidebar with share buttons on our Buffer blogposts (via the Digg Digg plugin). Copyblogger shows its share buttons exclusively at the top and bottom of posts.
Then there’s an even more outside-the-box strategy: Removing share buttons entirely. Blogs like James Clear, Paul Jarvis, and others have adopted this strategy. Smashing Magazine is one of the biggest names to do so. Here’s their result:
The takeaway: Test the best spot for your social share buttons. Maybe it’s a floating sidebar. Maybe it’s no share buttons at all!
4. Tweet the same content six times or more
The strategy: Tweet the same content more than once
Wisemetrics analyzed 1 million tweets of reposted content to see the impact of a reposting strategy. The results:
On average, the second tweet about a news get 86% as much performance as the first one
The more one repeat the less the performance he gets, but even after 6 repetitions, we’re still at 67% of the first tweet.
Wisemetrics’s analysis of Facebook posts led showed that you can still get engagement on reposting the same content on Facebook, although with greater drops at each successive update. For instance, the second repetition on Facebook drops 38 percent, compared to Twitter’s 14 percent.
The takeaway: Share content more than once on Twitter and Facebook.
5. Are you trying too hard on social media?
The strategy: Be conscious of the way you compose your social media updates
Back in May, Axe body spray partnered with a marketing agency to create a fun tool called Social Effort Scale. In effect, it told you whether or not you were trying too hard with your social media sharing on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The scores are based largely on the way you format your updates. Some of the factors include:
- Number of hashtags
- Percentage of capital letters
- Amount of emoticons
- Exclamation marks
The resulting score gives you an overall view of how hard you’re trying on social media, plus individual scores for each of your updates.
The takeaway: It appears there are several factors that could make your social media posts come off wrong. Be aware of hashtag use, emoticons, capital letters, punctuation, and exclamation marks.
6. More followers might not mean more shares
The strategy: Don’t chase a high follower count. Focus on quality content.
BuzzSumo studied the content and shares of two of the biggest marketing blogs—Social Media Examiner and Coypblogger. One particular area of focus was on follower count on social networks and share count.
According to BuzzSumo’s findings:
The number of shares on each network does not appear to have a direct relationship to the number of followers the publisher has on that network.
For instance, one network in particular that confirmed this finding was Google+.
Takeaway: Promoting you content is valuable on every network, no matter your follower size.
7. Take advantage of what’s happening right now
The strategy: Use current events to boost your Facebook post visibility
Among the many considerations in the Facebook News Feed is timely, trending content. Current events are a great source for this kind of post.
Aaron Lee is a big proponent of this strategy for sharing on Facebook.
Why should you post about current events on your Facebook page? The main reason is they are the stories your fans are already talking about!
Aaron has three categories of current events that he thinks of when sharing timely content.
- Holidays – Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, etc.
- Special events – The Oscars, the Super Bowl, Cinco de Mayo, etc.
- Special interest – No shave November, Origami Day, etc.
The takeaway: Find a current event that applies to your audience, either a broad holiday or a specific special day. Create content around the event.
8. Influential people love your content
The strategy: Find the biggest influencers who are sharing your content
A strategy used by many marketers—Michael Grubbs mentioned it in his post above, too—is to find influencers in your niche by searching BuzzSumo’s content analysis tool. Generally-speaking, you can search keywords and URLs for stories that get the most social shares. On a deeper level, you can see the influential people sharing the type of content that is most relevant to you.
BuzzSumo’s Steve Rayson shared this tip in a SlideShare on content research and planning. The influencer strategy begins at slide 25.
Basically, you’ll perform a search for a certain keyword that fits your niche (“social media” or “content marketing” for us) or for a certain URL, either your own or that of a competitor.
On the search results page, you can click the “View Sharers” button to see who has shared the content. On the sharers page, you can refine and sort the results by the following:
- Page authority – The Moz page authority for a user’s URL
- Domain authority – The Moz domain authority for a user’s URL
- Followers – The total number of followers each user has
- Retweet ratio – The percentage of the user’s tweets that are retweets
- Reply ratio – The percentage of the user’s tweets that are replies
- Average retweets the user gets
The takeaway: Go deeper into who is sharing your content to find influencers to connect with.
9. Custom messages on the content you curate
The strategy: Add your own personal messaging to the links you share on social media
A super neat tool that has helped a lot of marketers get more return on the links they share, Snip.ly shortens link and adds a custom message that you control onto the page you’re sharing. Brad Knutson describes the tool in this way:
Snip.ly gives us the opportunity to place any call-to-action on any website.
To see a live example, you can click through to this link and view the bar at the bottom of the page.
Where this might come in handy is with sharing links to social media, and adding additional calls-to-action on the content you share. If the strategy seems a bit too intrusive, you can add the Sniply box or bar only to the content from your own site. If you wish to capitalize on other content you share, you can add a Sniply box or bar to any link you find interesting or that meshes well with your company’s niche and product.
The free Sniply plan comes with all the basic features you’d need to test out this strategy and see if it works for you. Paid plans include additional features like integrated forms for email capture as well as custom short URLs.
The takeaway: Make sure your links are well-optimized for conversions by adding a Sniply call-to-action either to the content you share from your site or the content that fits your niche on other sites.
10. A reservoir of tweets and updates that work
The strategy: Save your best tweets and updates in a waiting room
One strategy that I’ve come to quite enjoy lately has been creating a backlog of tweets and updates that have done really well on the Buffer social channels. I can then pull from these greatest hits when I’m doing my reposting on social media.
The trick for me was in finding a fast and efficient way of going about it. Here’s what I’ve tried so far.
- I created a test account on Twitter and a test page on Facebook and connected both to Buffer.
- Once per week, I’ll go into my Buffer analytics for the Buffer Twitter and Facebook profiles and see which posts performed the best—in our case, it’d be 200 or more clicks on Twitter and a Facebook post that reached 1,000 or more people.
- When I find one of these posts, I drag it into the test account.
- Then later on when I need to fill the queue, I drag the post from the test account over to the main account, edit the update text a smidge, and I’m good to go!
Note: On the test accounts, I remove the schedule so that none of the updates ever actually post. This keeps everything I save in the main queue. I can also then shuffle all these updates to get fresh ideas on which greatest hits to reshare.
The takeaway: Find your best content and keep it in a place that’s easy to reshare—a test account on Buffer, a spreadsheet, or anywhere that best fits your workflow.
It’s a privilege to learn from the awesome strategies of others to see if we can improve our social media marketing. There’s so much interesting and useful advice out there.
Did you see a favorite new strategy to try from this list?
What strategies have you been experimenting with lately?
I’d love to hear what you’ve been working on! Please do share any thoughts at all in the comments.