Want to know the first steps to creating a winning content plan? What about how to best utilise hashtags to maximise your content’s reach? Ravi and Lucy are here to help! Ravi Shukle is an experienced social media marketing expert and the UK and Ireland Manager at Agorapulse, a social media management software company. He was also the first social media manager to work on the London Olympics with Samsung UK in 2012! And we’re guessing you know Lucy Hall – Founder of Digital Women, digital skills trainer and all-round social media expert. Their live Q&A series will be streaming once a month on Digital Women’s social media to help answer all of your burning questions around social media marketing, content marketing, using social media tools and more.
We’ve taken 12 commonly asked questions from Lucy and Ravi’s latest content marketing Q&A to help you level up your content game. If you want to watch this month’s full video and soak up all of their top tips (and we recommend that you do!), you can find it over on our YouTube channel or in the Digital Women Facebook group now. And make sure to subscribe to Ravi on YouTube for even more social media tips and tricks.
What is content marketing?
The real purpose of content from a marketing point of view is what message it has and what role it plays. Content marketing is all about creating a piece of information for your audience – this content could be visual, audio or text-based, but most important it has a goal. Content marketing is learning what types of content to create and what results you want to achieve from it in your wider business.
What’s the first step to creating a content marketing plan?
The first step is establishing your company goals (KPIs). What is the goal of social media for your business – it could be increasing traffic, increasing sales, building trust, etc. Then, look at what content will help you reach those goals
Do third party apps cause a reduction in reach and engagement of content?
No, there’s no correlation between using a third party tool and the reach your content will get. Using tools is great to help save you time and implement your wider content plan more effectively.
How often should you recycle content and should you post the same content on all platforms?
In marketing, we refer to something called evergreen content, which is a piece of content or a social media post that is timeless and won’t become outdated. When you have those types of posts, that’s something you can recycle and you should be recycling regularly. You should recycle content, especially evergreen content, across each channel, but make sure you edit and tailor the content to each individual platform and its audience. Certain platforms like Twitter need more regular recycling, while others require less frequent recycling.
Should you be using all of the social media networks in your content plan and always using Stories?
Some businesses will have more engagement on a few platforms, so focus on these first. If the content you’re posting is popular on those platforms, then repurpose it and share elsewhere to try and expand your audience. You should be posting stories on the available platforms in real time – no one’s going to read essays or full content on stories, so use them to hook your audience in and drive them to content elsewhere.
Is there a ‘right’ number of posts on LinkedIn?
There’s no magic formula for how often you should post on any social media platform. Your analytics will tell you what the ‘right’ number is for you, but it’s also worth noting that it’s not how many posts you do that is important, but what you post. If you spend lots of time writing a 5-paragraph and posting it on LinkedIn and it gets loads of engagement, then that’s the right formula for you. Don’t be afraid to try different styles and continue posting whatever type of content gets good engagement. Again, analytics are the way to do this effectively.
When you have a quieter channel, should you direct them to your more popular channels?
There’s not a straightforward answer to this. It’s worth noting that users enjoy the way they’re using particular channels (that’s why they’re there), so make sure you’re appealing to them and engaging with them appropriately. Don’t alienate them by overly driving them to other platforms or not putting the effort in to engage them on the platform they already use. Simply say, ‘if you want more information or advice, join us on our more popular channels’. Let them make the choice. Ultimately, the ideal location to drive people to is your website anyway, but if you want more followers on other channels you can give them the option to engage with you there too.
When hosting Q&As or interviews as a brand, do people respond more to live content or pre-recorded? Would you suggest one over the other?
You shouldn’t put pressure on yourself if you’re not comfortable going live – just find what you’re comfortable with. Live allows you to interact with your audience and get feedback in real time, so embrace live if you’re comfortable with it. However, if you prefer to have things more planned, then pre-recorded also works well. It really does depend on the individual.
What’s the best strategy when it comes to hashtag?
You should be using hashtags and tweaking them depending on the platform. All hashtags work best in real-time (e.g. utilising what is trending on Twitter), so you should always adjust them. Always review your analytics to see which hashtags are giving you the best engagement, too. If you can utilise something that is trending by making it relevant to you, then that’s ultimately a great use of the hashtag.
Do you think post performance/engagement varies because of the platform? For example, if a certain time to post seems to be working one month it may not be as great the following month, even if the type of content is the same? Does the algorithm regularly change to keep us on our toes?
The algorithm is not actually there to prevent you from getting engagement on social media. Yes, the platforms are built to drive advertising, etc. but the algorithm has more to do with your organic reach. I wouldn’t focus on the algorithm – there’s a lot of false information on how to ‘beat it’, but if you chase that bandwagon, you’ll only end up confused and lost after a few weeks. Great content is always going to win. Use analytics to keep an eye on the types of posts that are performing well comparatively; engagement will vary, but you will know what content is liked by your audience. Consider ads if engagement is down, but definitely don’t chase the algorithm.
Is there a best way to find trending hashtags on different platforms?
They’re all built in, believe it or not. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have the ability to find trending hashtags in-platform and on Instagram it shows you how many people are using each hashtag, so you’ll want to pay attention to that. If you see something in particular is trending and want to learn more about it, you can see all the conversations around that particular hashtag and evaluate if it’s something you want to participate in and a conversation you want to be a part of. Ultimately, only you know what’s best for your own content, so use trending hashtags only when they are relevant to you.
Do you always use all 30 hashtags?
Yes you do because, depending on the hashtags’ reach, an ideal scenario would be to split your 30 hashtags into 3 groups of 10. The first group could be hashtags with 0-50k reach, the second could be 100lk-250k reach and the third could be 250k-500k reach. The reason you do that is you hit the algorithm differently with each set of hashtags – your posts will be hitting the different types of audiences using each scale of hashtag. Ultimately, the goal here is to get your content onto the explore page which will increase its visibility even further.
Got a question that wasn’t answered here?
You can hear all of the other questions asked during Lucy and Ravi’s content marketing Q&A in the full video on YouTube or in the Digital Women Facebook group now. If you’ve got a question you’d like to ask Ravi and Lucy, they’ll be hosting their Q&A every month (the next one will be streaming live on 30th March at 12.30pm), so keep an eye on Digital Women’s social media for further dates and details.