Social media engineering is more than the art of scheduling tweets, navigating Pinterest and getting more Facebook clicks. Actually, it’s the roadmap to those strategies that make us informed engineers.
If you’re not spending at least an hour per week testing out new creative tweet formulas or discovering new ways to recycle content, you’ll never grow as rapidly as those that do. In the spirit of making your marketing lives a little easier, here are ten quick experiments you can try today.
1. Use hashtags on Instagram
I’ve found that adding #NYC to any Instagram post will get you new likes and followers in seconds. Lucky Magazine uses Instagram to snap fashion shots from the racks and windows of high-end stores. They ask popular fashion bloggers to guest-post on their Instagram account and their most popular hashtag is #fashion.
2. Post your blog post to someone’s wall
Write a post that high-fives another business (small and local is always good when possible). Use your page to write on their’s, where you’ll leave a nice comment and a link to the article where you mentioned them. We often see a high rise in likes, comments and SEO when we try this strategy.
3. Tweet during the day, post to Facebook at night
In a new study from Buddy Media, posting tweets during the “busy hours” of the day, 8am-7pm got 30% more clicks, whereas Facebook posts saw a 17% increase during “non-busy” hours. This applies to weekends too.
4. Tweet on Saturdays
The same study said that publishers get 29% more engagement from their followers when they tweet on Saturdays, even though only about 7% of tweets coming from publishers actually arrive on a weekend.
5. Forget the title and use an excerpt
Re-tweets happen most often when something of value is given away. That’s why excerpting from your article might be even more effective for getting clicks than the title of your article. Example: “The color of a Hydrangea doesn’t come from your seeds; it’s determined by the pH of your soil”.
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6. Use this formula: Really enjoyed this article from [@username] on [topic]
You can do this on Twitter and also tag a business through Facebook. Virtual high-fives like this not only garner the attention of the person you’re talking about but also enable a lot of re-tweets and shares since everyone likes a good recommendation. You can also use this formula to your advantage by highlighting your editors when they write posts on your blog.
7. Install more social bookmarking plugins
If you run a website where users might be inclined to “pin” your articles, you might want to take a look at the Pin It plugin for WordPress. AddThis also has the functionality with a little elbow grease. Adding this button not only makes it easy for people to “pin” your articles, but it also makes sure that a link back to your website is always included. This slims down the popular error where users pin the link to your image instead of your article.
8. Add keywords to your YouTube videos
YouTube is the world’s #2 largest search engine, so it only makes sense to optimize the videos you’ve posted. Today, go back into at least five of your videos to add niche keywords to your video title, description and tags.
9. Schedule posts for different times of the day and week
Watch closely, because after you’ve shaken up your scheduling routine, you may discover click-worthy trends to follow going forward. For testing, use recycled posts that you can schedule them at different times in the upcoming days and months. Perhaps today you schedule your tweet for 10am and 3pm, and next Tuesday you schedule it at 9am and 5pm, and the next Tuesday you post it at 2am and 11pm for international readers. Do the same for every other day of the week. Then you can look back regularly to see which times brought in the most traffic and begin to work on a more calculated schedule.
10. Add “follow” and “like” buttons to your thank-you pages
What happens when someone unsubscribes from your email newsletter? They’re gone, possibly never to return. But what happens if you provide them links to “like” you on Facebook or “follow” you on Twitter? Well it’s not such a bad deal if they unsubscribe from your email newsletter, because they’ll still get your updates and links via social media. Thank-you pages are also great places to collect happy, eager new readers.
Have any more tricks to share? Begin a collaboration of social experiments in the comments!