Digital marketing has been around for a long time, and like any gold rush, this means that literally billions of words, free whitepapers, e-books, and actual marketing books have been written about the digital marketing basics. Everything you need to know about the basics of digital marketing can probably even be read in a slick little, “tips list,” for those of you with little time for actual learning. This means questions like the following have not only been answered in detail, they’ve also been answered in videos, podcasts, and even in listicle format, strictly told with animated Keanu GIFs.
And who doesn’t want to get rich quick with a massive social media following? This is why all of us digital marketers are guilty of a few of these types of searches in the past just like you:
“When is the best time of day to post on Twitter?”
“How many times per day should I post on Facebook?”
“How do I schedule instagram posts to get the most likes?”
“What social network should I focus on for my ____ company?”
These are not questions you are going to find answers for in this particular post. I’d spend 10 minutes or so familiarizing yourself with some of these answers by Googling them if you haven’t already, and then come back to this point when you’re ready to continue…
Now that you’re an expert on digital marketing from those Keanu GIF listicles over at the socialmediabros.com, we encourage you to actually try some of these overblown tactics on your own accounts. If any of them lead to any measurable difference in your revenue or social media following, great! You don’t have to read any more of this article, and we encourage you to stop reading at this point and move on with your life. (Also, congrats on the VIRAL success!)
time to get real, if you do social media marketing, you know that none of these tactics lead to more followers, anymore
This is what leads us to the point of this whole blog post, Y-O-U and… your company blog.
“But we have a blog already, and we haven’t really seen any traction with it…”
Followed up shortly thereafter by…
“We used to have a summer intern here who set up the blog, but they’re gone now.”
This is a sentiment that we regularly hear, and unfortunately it’s because someone at the company read a top 10 list, saw that you should be blogging to get more followers, and immediately started churning out shit. Buzzshit that makes you look like you don’t give a care, and don’t know what you’re talking about.
This is what is commonly known as shitposting. (It even has a Wikipedia page!)
In May 2016 The Daily Dot wrote that a shitpost is “a deliberate provocation designed for maximum impact with minimum effort.”
That is a perfect definition of every single poorly written, low impact company blog post I’ve ever seen from a prospect client who read one of those social media tips lists.
There’s a few reasons we end up with shitposting like this. Primarily, I blame Buzzfeed, and the interns. (The only thing they know is click bait. Sorry kids.) 3 months of an internship later, and they’ve only gained 100 more followers, and it has literally had no impact. That is the part where the company blog dies.
What I’m talking about isn’t quite exactly defined the same way. The key to a strong social media following is a loyal, REAL audience of people who click on your links, share them, respond to them, and retweet them to their followers, or even BUY YOUR SHIT.* Yes that’s right, if you have a real audience or following, then they should take action when you need them to. The geniuses over at Cards Against Humanity have built such a strong brand that people literally did just that.
If you want 50,000 followers on Twitter or SnapChat, then guess what, YOU CAN BUY THEM. Dirt cheap. Hire one of those bot farms out of the Philippines or Russia, they’ll use their fake accounts and like your shit 20,000 fucking times. Problem solved.
So how do you write good content? What constitutes good content? Should I just write long-form shitposts?
Good quality blog posts earn links, shares, and more social media followers if they’re original, entertaining, informative, and according to what we’ve read, at least 1800 words in length. For content that’s not as sticky in terms of earning links, supporting your written content with links back to you from other top level domains (TLDs) from sites like Reddit, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and even more important are links from other websites related to the subject of your blog post. This means that you’re not done with the work after you hit the publish.
Not doing any legwork to get your content out there is just as bad as copying and pasting a Wikipedia entry into a keyword jammed generic headline that sounds like it was written by Alexa on acid.
That’s how we end up with shitposts. Cliche ideas, 200 word articles, where half of the words were copied and pasted from a better source with soulless commentary. (Looking at you social media tip experts)
And just because you can write 1800 words on a topic, doesn’t mean you should, and it doesn’t mean that Google’s going to like it.
Great content has purpose. It’s original. It has a clear voice. It has clear goals for the business and is tied to the business goals. After that content has been published, and posted to all relevant channels, it’s not quite over if you truly want to build an audience with your post. That means getting links! (From people besides yourself)
Posting it to relevant communities, re-purposing it for other open-publishing formats like Medium, Huffington Post, and other industry-specific websites, (We work with music festivals, so for our clients, that means music blogs and music communities) is all required and just as important as the initial work that went into publishing the original article.
That’s a start.