The Trick to Balancing Social Media

November 04 2015

The best thing about news lies in the name itself: it’s new. As you compete for traffic to your site, you have the benefit of displaying new content on your website everyday, or whenever breaking news happens. But news isn’t all that you have to share with your audience to gain traffic. What you carry is more than just a news article, what you share touches the lives of your audience. You talk about schools, families, relationships, politics, sports, business, miracles, tragedies, arts and entertainment, and holidays. Is each category making it into your social media posts? Are you showing your readers all you have to offer, or are you bombarding them with the same types of stories all day every day?


The Benefit of Balance:

Balancing your social media posts shows your readers that you are the experts on all types of news. While you may cover certain topics more than others, you cover more topics than your main talking points.

Imagine if you were a bakery, and all you ever advertised were your delicious chocolate chip cookies. People would come to you to get your chocolate chip cookies, because that is the only thing they heard you advertise. Yet, sitting on your shelves next to the cookies are rows of cakes, eclairs, danishes, and doughnuts. What a surprise to your guests that you are more than just a cookie shop! However, the people who saw your advertisements, but don’t like chocolate chip cookies will never know that you sell other pastries because they will never set foot in your store. You will miss out on all the doughnut lovers, eclair connoisseurs, and danish devourers.  The same can be said about your publications. If you only advertise your political articles, you will become the political newspaper. While you will build your political brand, you may never entice the reader who wants to know more about local businesses, even though you carry content about that.

Diversifying your social media posts is a simple way to reach out to new audiences and show that you are more than a one-trick-wonder. Yes, you may have a brand and a forte for a specific niche, however, that doesn’t justify ignoring the other aspects of your site.

As you diversify the content you share on social media, you will attract the eyes of new readers who never knew that you had such proficient lifestyle, sports, or opinion columnists.

One of the biggest challenges of any company is to stay ahead of the competition. By diversifying the content you share on social media you can separate yourself from your competitors by highlighting areas of interest that your competitor chooses not to highlight. You can see examples of this all the time in fast food burger restaurants. Both restaurants start out advertising their burgers, but then as a strategic move, Restaurant A highlights their chicken nuggets while Restaurant B highlights their new healthy chicken wrap. Both restaurants are in the business of selling burgers, but both want to separate themselves from their competition and can do that by diversifying their portfolio. By highlighting these alternative meal options, they are trying to win market share and appeal to different audiences. Everybody knows they sell burgers, but if they can show alternative options, they might sell more burgers and more chicken wraps.

Looking at your competition, what type of content do they claim to report the best? See how you can differentiate yourselves from your competition and find new ways to stand out in your industry, and then share those on social media.


Different channels:

If your audience isn’t actively visiting your site, you are going to have to find ways to draw them to your site. Using social media works as an incredible medium for driving new traffic to your site. There are a few places as a media publisher that you need to be posting your content. Facebook stands alone as the most important form of social media for getting your content viewed. Facebook drives 25 percent of all internet traffic. If you aren’t using Facebook, now is the time to jump on and get started. But chances are, you already have a Facebook page and are adding content to it regularly. You don’t want to oversaturate your Facebook page by adding too much information onto it each day, so you have to be selective. Research from different websites shows that you start to lose engagement and clicks drastically after your fifth post in a day. However, different companies and different industries find different results. Test it out and see what works for you.

Besides Facebook, there are a myriad of social media channels to help you distribute your content. The popular and obvious choices include Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is incredibly useful for sharing news, but the lifespan of a tweet is about 24 minutes. That means you have to tweet, retweet, and tweet again in order to get the news out you would like. Instagram becomes quite difficult for news because you can only put one link in your profile, so you have to be smart about where you direct traffic from Instagram.

Some other less used social media sites, but still critically important to finding new and devoted audiences include:

Pinterest: Second on the list of social media traffic drivers, Pinterest directs 5 percent of all internet traffic. The next closest social media drives less than 1 percent of internet traffic. One secret to tapping into Pinterest is to create infographics with nice layouts. The majority of Pinterest users are female, so take into account what type of content you pin onto Pinterest.

Reddit: Maybe you don’t consider Reddit social media in the traditional sense, but Reddit is a haven for news of any kind. Have an article about politics, events, or sports? There is a subreddit for that. You already have a targeted audience with Reddit, but you can get banned incredibly quickly if you aren’t participating in the community as a whole and only promote yourself. Take the time to develop your credibility in Reddit and share your articles there, as it can effectively drive traffic to your site.

StumbleUpon: StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site that allows you to add articles, stories, videos, images that will randomly pop up on users screens as they click the Stumble button.

SnapChat: SnapChat can be difficult to use if you don’t have the time or resources, but provides an authentic feel to your followers. You can create a Snapchat story which stores your video and images for up to 24 hours, but disappear after that. Forget the professional cameras, your cell phone will do the trick to bringing authentic perspective to any situation. The staying power of Snapchat isn’t strong, but if you can constantly update your Snapchat story, you could find loyal followers.

Yik Yak: Anonymity reigns over Yik Yak.  There are specific rules there, and for the most part, I would stay away from Yik Yak as it provides an incredibly difficult challenge for businesses to brand themselves, but if you have a go at it, you can leave comments related to topics you have covered in the news to generate interest. It could lead people to do more research where they stumble upon your content.

Tumblr: Tumblr is a blog platform that allows you to post anything from anywhere onto it. Tumblr generates a lot of website traffic and may be worth looking into if you want to have one more voice out there touting your content.

There may not be enough time in a day to manage all of these different social medias, so the trick is to experiment with them, see which ones work for you and find out what type of content works on each one. People on Facebook are probably looking for different things than people on Snapchat. See how you can get your content out there, because as you branch out by sharing new articles, you will find you attract new and loyal visitors.

Social media was built for being social and connecting, and the information you share can bring together an entire community that looks up to you for the best and most relevant information on the web.