There are some definitive policies and best practices we adhere to when posting content on external websites and social media.
Some are just common sense practices, others are based on less obvious principles. We focus on search engine benefits in everything we do. Why not build long-term benefits into your short-term goals if you can.
The guidelines below help you to learn habits that benefit your website long term while maintaining a high standard of online marketing etiquette and professionalism.
Starting with the Dont’s:
- Don’t SPAM – this should be fairly obvious and self-explanatory. Trying to use comments to promote your products and service without any contribution to the page or post is blatantly self-promotional. I need not explain further!
- Deliver what is relevant – your audiences time is precious. Don’t abuse it by offering content that isn’t relevant to your audience’s interests. Another obvious point!
- Deliver something different than what you promise – if you are talking about something in a post and then link to a page on your website that makes them think “where is the thing that was promised – what I was looking for?”.
- Don’t make them work to find what you promise – same as above, if you are sending someone to a page/post from offsite content, don’t make them have to search for what they expected to see.
- Do post quality (don’t worry about quantity) – you don’t need to feel pressured to post too frequently for the sake of it. Unless you have something meaningful and helpful to post, don’t post it. The saying “unless you have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, comes to mind. A better policy should be “if you don’t have something interesting, relevant or helpful to post, don’t post anything at all”. Quality always beats quantity!
- Create intrigue – your content can be a teaser, use the AIDA principle: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Create attention, build interest, desire and then lead your attentive audience to the next step with a call to action.
- Do use tags or @ from trending topics or accounts so your posts can be seen by more people.
- Do post quality not quantity – you don’t need to feel pressured to post too often. Remember quality always beats quantity!
- Do post crisp clear images and text. Blurry pictures and text shouts “amateur” to visitors. If an image isn’t crystal clear and professional, don’t use it.
- Do be comfortable with “negative”. That means don’t be scared to address pre-purchase concerns publicly IF that gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and willingness to help. It means you’ll be able to position yourself as an authority on the subject OR at a minimum show that you have thought about an issue before for your customers. As an example. You can even point out a product improvement you have made based on a valid and previously voiced concern. Problems are awesome to solve in a public way because a lot of your competitors will be too scared to do so, and it’s a powerful point of difference if you are clearly confident in your knowledge and ability to deal with any concerns your tribe might have.
- Do offer longer, more comprehensive versions of your posts on your website and link back to them. Train people that if they click to your website, they can find even more “goodies” at your site.
- Do post links where you can. Think “link building” (more on this in another lesson). Sites like Pinterest and Google Plus allow links from these types of posts. These links are recognized by Google. So if other people share these posts, and they link back to relevant content on your website, you’ll be boosting your website’s authority in Google by multiplying the number of links to your website. Practice noticing any opportunities you get to build/encourage links back to your website. You’ll find they are everywhere when you start looking for them.
- Do add links to other platforms in your posts. For example, have you ever seen a Facebook post that includes a “pin it now” or “save to Instagram” link? Example below. If your post has a Pinterest or Instagram worthy image in it, why not give people the opportunity to share it – and therefore the link (signpost) back to your website?
- Do be helpful and demonstrate your willingness and intent to help your customers choose the best thing, the thing that is right for THEM. Take every opportunity to demonstrate your expertise on your topic by being useful.
- Do repeat posts that aren’t time sensitive. We use MeetEdgar or Crowdfire to post and repost content because only a small percentage of your audience people get to see your Facebook posts or Twitter tweets each time they are posted. If your post makes sense to re-post later, add it to your MeetEdgar library to be posted again by Edgar later.
Use 150- to 300-Word Descriptions
While the image remains the most important part of a post, your description is important for 3 reasons:
1. Ranking in social media engine algorithms.
2. Ranking in Google and other search engines.
3. Building interest and desire in your readers to improve traffic quality and increase conversions by pre-conditioning your audience.
Descriptions give more information about what someone can or will find when they click on a link in the post. The posts content is there to convince users to click – a teaser if you will for what they will find if they click to read more. It’s also an opportunity to add in searchable keywords for Social Algorithms, and especially on Pinterest and Google Plus.
Using between 150-300 words tends to be the sweet spot for descriptions (except for Twitter tweets of course).
The audience you’re trying to reach and the type of content you’re trying to promote will affect your optimal description length.
Test the length of the descriptions you use in your posts and see what resonates with your audience.
In the majority of cases you won’t want to use more than 350 words.
And the number one Do is…..
HAVE FUN POSTING! When you don’t feel pressured to do too much at some it is much easier to work and know what needs to be done!