No matter what social media platform you’re using, high-quality content doesn’t mean much if your audience doesn’t engage with it.
Social media platforms are constantly modifying their algorithms to deliver the best, most interesting content to their users. And these algorithms measure engagement as a major factor in determining whether or not your content deserves attention. Look at recent changes to Twitter and Instagram, where content will be shown by the level of engagement rather than chronologically. “The best content will be shown first” – or should that be, the most popular content will be shown first?
The point is: whether or not your content is seen on social media is much like a popularity contest. And for your content marketing to work for you, it needs to be seen!
Flash back to your high school’s cheer squad. Cheerleaders wore attractive uniforms, had outgoing personalities, waved eye-catching pompoms, yelled through megaphones, and engaged with their audience regularly. Their job was to produce a response from their audience. Everyone knew them—or, at least, felt like they did. Cheerleaders were set up to be confident people who attracted attention—and, therefore, became popular doing so.
My challenge to you is to make your content the cheerleader.
Make your content:
- confident, outgoing, engaging, and attractive to readers so that they feel moved to react to it;
- eye-catching and friendly so your audience relates to it;
- more personal so your audience feels like they know you.
All of these factors will help your content win the popularity contest, just like the cheerleader does in high school.Create content that attracts attention and popularity like a high school cheerleader.Click To Tweet
As much as it pains me to write this, engaging content outweighs quality content. Celebrities prove on social media that public opinion determines popularity, which outperforms quality most of the time (even if we don’t like to acknowledge it). Whether it’s us regular people or big name celebrities, the fans decide what is popular, and that determines what content gets attention.
After all is said and done, the more popular your content, the more it gets noticed on social media. Even with Facebook ads, if your ad’s Relevancy Score is low (aka unpopular), the less your ad gets displayed and the more it gets viewed as spam. What I’m telling you is that even when you pay for visibility, popularity takes precedence!
Here are eight tips that you can use to make your content as popular as a cheerleader. Goooooooooooo team!
1 – Relevant hashtag
Everyone knows a cheerleader by their uniform. Hashtags have a similar effect. People recognize hashtags, helping your audience to have a general idea about your topic.
Just as we can spot a cheerleader in the crowd, hashtags make your content easier to find and more likely to be noticed.
Just like pom-poms, emojis in your content help catch the attention of your audience within the newsfeed or timeline. Aptly named, emojis also evoke emotion, which can prompt a response (aka engagement).
3 – Image
Watching a cheerleader encourage support for the team is a highly visual experience. Their gear is branded in school colors to heighten school spirit.
Content is no different. Humans process images faster, and studies prove visuals make your content more engaging and share-worthy.
4 – Animated GIF
With all that jumping around and movement, it’s tough NOT to notice a cheerleader during an event. Same goes for animated GIFs. As users scroll through their timelines, they’ll notice the movement from an animated GIF…just enough to make them pause to read your content. Movement attracts attention, so using an animated GIF signals our brain to stop and look.
Here are resources to help you easily create your own GIFs:
OR…try using an animated GIF that’s already been created if you don’t have time:
5 – Emotion
A cheerleader’s job is to get the fans engaged, responsive, and participating. They use cheers and motion to elicit a reaction. In the case of content, you want to evoke emotion through words, images, or context to create the desire to respond. (Think humor, empathy, compassion, fun.)
6 – Videos
Cheerleaders are seen and heard from in person frequently. In an online world, the fastest method to have a similar affect on your audience is via video. For both you and a cheerleader, you are tasked with engaging your audience in a one-to-many conversation.
According to internal Twitter data, people are three times more likely to engage with tweets that contain videos and photos.
7 – Challenges, Contests, or Quizzes
Cheerleaders challenge the fans to shout louder, stand up, and be heard by the team. To entice engagement, give your audience time-based challenges, quizzes, and contests in which to participate. People love to share this type of content, which makes it even more popular.
8 – Curated Content
Working as a team, cheerleaders support one another as part of their routines and as members of the “in” crowd. By sharing other people’s content and tagging them, you are perceived as supportive by your peers and as part of the people who are “in the know” in a specific niche or industry. This is often referred to as “influencer marketing.”
Wrapping It Up
Do you agree that social media content is like a popularity contest? I’m curious to know. Please tell me in the comments!