20 Nov 2015, 09:11

Content promotion on social media


I didn’t come up with the ideas here, these are my notes from a talk on lessons learned in how to do social media by Google’s social media team.

Social media is a way for you to deliver your content to your audience. It’s a way for you to find your audience and for your audience to find you. It allows you to have a conversation with your audience. It allows you to learn about what your audience likes, and what they want more of. This can help you to produce better content that they will like more. It’s also a way to build a community with your audience around your content, and shared interests.

General lessons

Questions to ask for each post:

  • Is this engaging?
  • Is there a call to action?
  • Will this foster and facilitate conversations?

Just like everywhere else, it’s a good idea to try out different things to see what works and what doesn’t, and iterate on the stuff that does work.

Other general learnings

  • Posting scheduling and consistency
  • Comment/reply management
  • Re-sharing/influencer engagement

Think about the split between native on the platform and off behind a link. Images, GIFs, and videos may work much better natively.


Targeted & Technical

  • Long-form content including small code snippets
  • Video embed
  • Photos, GIFs, albums

Think about how your links will populate on G+.

  • Does the image get pulled through?
  • If it looks good, then use it
  • If it doesn’t, maybe use a photo, and add link in the post


Quick & engaging

  • GIFs to drive brand awareness or accompanied by a link to more Content
  • Photos or memes
  • Live blogging
  • YouTube links no longer populate a video
  • Use a GIF of the video
  • Make sure to have room in the tweet for an image and link

Using Twitter to promote long-form content elsewhere is a great way to engage people on both platforms.


Potential growth… with investment

  • Native video upload
  • Incremental reach

Pay-to-play, need to spend money to get views. Native uploads are more engaging on Facebook.

Organic growth on Facebook

Video & call to action (ask to like the page) will help to grow organically.


Good for in-depth content, maybe less personal, whereas the social platforms may be better for a more personal, conversational. Depending on what you are doing. If this is a personal blog, then it should be personal. If it is a corporate blog, then maybe it’s more of the official corporate channel, and the voice should be more of a corporate voice.


  • Forum for a more opinionated, personalized voice
  • Emerging space for written long-form content

More personal, and conversational, while still allowing for long-form in-depth content.

“If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.”


It is worth engaging with your audience as much as possible in the comments. Obviously, ignore the trolls, and the comments that don’t add value. If you can’t say anything that would add value to the current conversation, then don’t, leave it there. Engage with the comments that provide good feedback, positive or negative, and contribute to the conversation.

It’s also worth re-sharing other people’s content that you think is good. Just don’t go overboard with the re-shares.

Tracking and measuring

Doing social media is throwing spaghetti at the wall. Tracking and measuring is the only way that you know when something’s working, especially when you’re trying a bunch of random things.

  • Outline objectives up front
  • Identify potential data points to prove impact
  • Think of ways to make the data meaningful (e.g. Q/Q growth)

Know your audience. Pay attention to what they’re engaging with and do more of it. If you’re really unsure, ask. This is where tracking can come in handy to help growth. Social media is not just about reach. It’s about thoughtfully engaging.


  • Reach - how many people saw our content?
    • followers
    • impressions
    • page views
    • modeled reach
  • Engagement - how many people interacted with the content?
    • types of engagements
    • engagement rates
  • Sentiment - did the content have positive brand impact? May not really be part of the funnel, since it’s so hard to measure.
    • positive
    • negative
    • neutral
  • Conversions - SDK downloads docs visits
    • GA - referrers
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