The Scripted Podcast is a show created for content marketers and content writers featuring real Scripted writers. We'll talk about best practices in content and SEO, our favorite marketing tools, how to find and hire writers, and all the fun and misadventure that comes with being a professional freelance writer.
In this episode of The Scripted Podcast we continue our conversation with Scripted writer Brian Penny on content promotion, specifically using social media to promote content through industry specific groups and knowing the difference between good and bad click bait. Brian has been a professional writer for over 10 years, working as a content marketer, blogger, and ghostwriter for technology, business, money, marketing, and a variety of niche topics, such as cannabis, cryptocurrency, virtual reality, and more. Listen below!
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Gregory: [00:00:24] Hey, listeners, thanks for tuning in to another episode of the scripted podcast. In today's episode, we're going to be continuing our discussion on content promotion. If you didn't listen to the last episode, we started the series off talking about how to write extremely shareable content. In today's episode, we're shifting to actually talking about how to promote that extremely shareable content. And we're going to be joined by the scripted writer Brian Penny to do so.
Gregory: [00:00:46] To start, we're going to be talking about how to optimize your headlines and effectively share content on Facebook for that BDC crowd. And then we'll end the discussion by turning the coin over and covering content promotion on LinkedIn for the B2B crowd. So to start this discussion off, Brian, you write a ton and for many different reasons. But I'm curious, do you ever write for certain social networks specifically?
Brian: [00:01:06] I haven't when I've done blog content and I do a blog content. The goal is to hopefully be shareable across everything. When you're lucky. But there are. When you're working on the social media sites themselves, like sharing the same article across like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, for example, there's different ways you have to go about that because there's different audiences that you're reaching on each of these places. And so even though you're I guess it's the bridge, the social media, kind of the bridge of your building between your content and the ultimate readers, because it's just one of the ways that you have to go about getting found. And Google, it's as easy as not easy, but easy as do we get semantically correct. Basically, as long as everything is semantically correct, you will fit into Google where you belong. But social media is different. Social media is one of those things where I mean, like Twitter, for example, you have a very short form in which to get your point across and you've got to almost sensationalize it a little bit because you're kind of screaming out into this void where there's no structure, I guess, to how Twitter works. Whereas like LinkedIn and Facebook, you have groups, you have hierarchies. You could see how your content is being shared a little bit easier. And, you know, like, for example, if I, I could take the same article, the same basic article, share it in one group that has more of a business, I guess, aspect of it, and focus on that part of the article, then go to one that's more kind of political and focused on that article. And it's knowing how to navigate those social networks more than anything else, is knowing like where you are in there, where within it's a share, even if it matters more than the actual I mean, would it change the content itself. I would just change how in presenting it as the short answer to that.
Gregory: [00:02:47] Gotcha. That actually brings up a topic that I want to hit really quickly, and that is just a topic of headlines. How should you approach that? You obviously don't want click-baity things, but I'm curious why you have a say so.
Brian: [00:02:57] Click-baity is kind of a funny thing because there's good clickbait and bad click bait. You don't want to be the type that's doing the sensationalized rag magazines at the grocery store that are available to make other fake news that's on there. You don't wanna be that kind of person, but there is like a science to the click bait. Again, that goes back to the tools when you're when you're thinking about the order of how you're phrasing something like there's got to be some kind of thought into how I as the reader am going to view that, basically. So I guess a Coronavirus, we use that as another example. There's Coronavirus. There's COVID-19. There's a novel coronavirus. It's a pandemic or an outbreak or a lockdown down, depending on how you want to look at it. So all of those are true. It's just which one of those you choose to describe what it is you're doing are going to greatly affect what audience again, who you reach and what and how they feel about it. There are tools on this, too.
Brian: [00:03:56] There's where you can get the sentiment of the other emotion against whatever it is of the title and kind of do some analysis on the title itself just to make sure that the headline that you're writing is describing what's underneath while also still kind of being click-baity, because you do have to compete against the BuzzFeed quiz world. You are trying to get your message through all of that. And so you do have to kind of cater to it a little bit. It's just again, it goes but your brand, like if you want to have a serious brand like that, like The New York Times, for example, you don't want to be that click- baity style person. But I mean, if if your brand is all about fun, if your Red Bull, for example, click bait away, do whatever you have to do because it's end of the day, you've got people that are doing a bunch of things that have nothing to do with the energy drink that you're selling anyways. Go ahead and do it. It fits in your brand.
Gregory: [00:04:50] Stick to the brand. I really like that idea. And then I want to jump back because you started talking about different platforms. It really depends on where you're at. I'm on a network and the type of content providing and how you present it more than anything when moving from platform to platform. I wanna dive in a little bit and start talking about this a lot more specifically. So, do you have a lot of experience with Twitter, Discord, Telegram. A lot of those others that people haven't talked about. I want to touch on those. And the first just obviously, lets hit the big ones. So Facebook, we could start there. I know that you have quite a bit of experience with Facebook groups, I'm assuming, and then talking about B to B, B to C type of stuff. I would love for you to talk a little bit more about how you approach sharing stuff on Facebook specifically.
Brian: [00:05:31] Yes, so the thing about Facebook is that you have your own Facebook profile, your page for your business. And that's one place to share some stuff. And that's what a lot of people just kind of stop there. They just put a bunch of ads out and they put everything out there. But Facebook, at its core, was always supposed to be about the interactions. And when they started doing the groups, the groups in Facebook are probably one of the biggest things, the biggest overlooked aspects of Facebook, because there are some large groups, first of all. Then there are groups that cover everything. There's every single topic that you could possibly imagine. So, by joining these groups or even creating one of your own, the people that like I said, that's two things, that creating your own group is a fantastic thing where you can build that community. That's what it's all about. It's about building this community that, you know, has the same shared interests that you could continuously kind of control the messaging in there. And it's a little bit hard when you don't own the group because you're dealing with these moderators that they're a very anti-spam kind of thing. You know, you don't want to be that guy that's running around, like, constantly just throwing ads at people.
Brian: [00:06:37] So you have to be more subtle in the Facebook groups and be actually I mean, it helps when you're actually a fan. So you have to be knowledgeable and understand what it is like. If you're in a movie group, talk about movies, understand the movies. If your business is somewhere along the movie industry, then occasionally throwing stuff for your links and all that kind of stuff. But as long as you're being natural and you're being real about it all. I mean, all the forums work like this. I mean, LinkedIn has groups too. It's the same kind of basic thing. And participating in those groups goes a very long way. It does. I've learned this through my own sharing that if I just share my articles on my own page, I get a certain level of engagement and I know what to expect off there, when I throw it into groups I can get 10 x, 100 X. It's an easy way to go viral very quickly with your content, get it out to as many people as possible just by catching them at the right time in these groups. And it would save you a ton of money on Facebook as easily mean. Facebook and Google are the two biggest and most expensive places, I guess, to pay for paid clicks and all that.
Brian: [00:07:41] And it's only gotten worse since COVID-19 Facebook. And they're raising their prices because we're all going online. So the people who are trying to find out if your business is trying to get its marketing budget more under wraps, just blindly throwing money at Facebook is one way to do it I guess, to spend your money. But I mean, when you go through there and you really build those connections through those groups. It's free. I mean, it takes your time. It's I mean, nothing's free forever. But when you have a dedicated, you know, response team that goes into these groups and really makes use of them, it's like Reddit. Reddit is probably the single best place to get content driven through. But it's a very particular audience. You have to be fast paced, at a high level. But if you can't do it once. I mean, it takes a little time. It takes some doing. But once you do it, you build a community on Facebook that can be easily used for your business. I've found it to be one of the best places to mine for content, for my own personal uses, especially when I want to as a writer, when I'm trying to sell myself to a client, I have to show them that I can bring engagement basically to an article.
Brian: [00:08:53] And Facebook is one of the places that I do that, because I know that anything I put there in the right group, I'm gonna get clicks. I'm gonna get likes, I'm gonna get reads and it's going to show up on their graphs somewhere in the backend, And that's going to show that I'm doing something, that it's working. And Instagram is also owned by Facebook. So is WhatsApp. They are integrating all of this stuff somewhat. They're in the process of doing that. So when you're reaching out on Facebook, it's not just even Facebook itself that that you're talking about. You're also talking about anybody that's on Instagram or WhatsApp that might be sharing whatever the live things are. There is much to do with a live video at this point. So, I mean, you're not wasting any time by putting some sweat equity into participating in those groups, building up your reputation on these groups to the point where you're a trusted and valued member of these groups so that when you do share your information and your stuff on your blog, people will trust you and they will click those things.
Gregory: [00:09:49] Makes a ton of sense. I think there's this huge thing about just providing value. Like it's not about going in there spamming people, like read my stuff, read my stuff. At the end of the day, you just want to help them, and that's why you're in business in the first place. Provide that value, meet your customers where they're at in those groups. I love that.
Brian: [00:10:04] Exactly. You can have the best, best article in the world, the best content on your website. But if you're out there, like, feeling like you're hard selling it too much, you're going to turn off too many people that aren't ever going to see it. And that's where I've been. I really like Facebook for that, for the ability to build those relations. And you can't do that anywhere on Twitter. It doesn't have groups. Twitter, it's like a scream at the void kind of place. Instagram is the same thing, it's you just hope that you build up your audience. You just keep saying things and throwing hashtags out there and hoping that the hashtags connect or that somebody's looking through one of those hashtags likes your photo versus everybody else. Then this huge thing on there. And I mean, Facebook is a much more organized version of that where you're still targeting these people. And I mean, even the way Facebook is doing it, their algorithms push the group posts above, like your normal friends post. They have things that are built in to do that. So it's, in my opinion, it is the best place for any kind of B to B or B to C, because there's plenty of businesses to do a lot of these things. Well, I'm going to do something like a video game or even a vaping thing. It's a good mix of people who are consumers in this. They were the kind of fans of that topic versus the people who are serving them. So it's not even just you that will be doing it. You'll be networking on there with other people who are in that business as well. And I've seen it on all of them and the tech forums and the movie forums, travel forums. I mean, it's a 50/50 shot of who you're reaching on there and it's worth the effort.
Gregory: [00:11:30] That's a great point. And then I want to take this and segue into talking a little bit more about LinkedIn specifically, you know, talking about businesses, networking, things like that. A lot of B to B happens on LinkedIn. I want to discuss it. I don't know how much experience you have on LinkedIn, but there are some specific things like should you be writing onsite blog posts? Should you be publishing on LinkedIn? What are those type of things? Just tell me a little bit of how you approach the LinkedIn strategy.
Brian: [00:11:56] So LinkedIn does have a lot. First of all, they're constantly growing, too. And it is worthwhile. It's like people aren't as proud to say that they have a LinkedIn as they are to say that they have a Facebook. But we all have one. We all have LinkedIn also. And so Pulse was there. I don't know if it's still called Pulse, but that was their blogging platform that they were using to take over on site LinkedIn content and kind of syndicated out to all the other RSS feeds and things. And on that end, it is worth doing, because when you're blogging on LinkedIn, they have their own level of promotion that they're doing to this to keep themselves in business, basically. And so you do benefit from the platform just on that end of it. Most of what I've always done with my personal LinkedIN was use it to kind of repost things that I've already published on other platforms. And that's more of a time thing, because at the end of the day, I don't own LinkedIn. It's not my blog. My own channels are the ones that I focus all my original content on. But from a business perspective, it's worth it because you're getting that, it's like a repeater for networking where you have a signal. It's going through. It can only go so far. So halfway through you put another one that grabs that signal and just repeats, broadcasts it even further. It's doing that. That's what LinkedIn is accomplishing. The hard part about LinkedIn is that it's more purposeful, I guess, like you have to go out of your way to say, even when you're getting the premium, the premium LinkedIn thing account, you've got to do it purposefully as a job seeker or as a business.
Brian: [00:13:44] And then when you're doing a business to do it this way or this like they have, it's almost so regimented to the point that it's kind of a pain for certain people to use. But it is still I mean, it's a fantastic way for networking. It's a great place to pick up. I mean, you could pick up gig workers off of that, off of it. Now they're doing a lot of integration. So you have to have a presence there. It just depends on what your budget is, you may or may not. If you don't have a lot of budget, LinkedIn wouldn't be the first place I would put original content. I would focus that more on even Medium probably would be a better place than LinkedIn because it's got kind of a broader reach. But LinkedIn still is worthwhile for the networking aspect more than anything else, because I've definitely used it for connecting with people and testing the connections that you already have to see if they're serious about business and sometimes have been able to do that off of LinkedIn. But having those conversations on there, it's probably the redheaded stepchild, I would say, of all my social media networks, because it's like, I guess, the boring one of them all. But it's highly useful. I would not ignore it. I mean, I, I use it, obviously, just not as much as I do Facebook or even Twitter for my personal social networking.
Gregory: [00:14:58] Redheaded stepchild. Oh goodness. Yeah. Thanks so much. Love it. Love it. That's going to wrap our discussion up for this episode.
Gregory: [00:15:04] But just to recap real quick, when it comes to headlines, so there's good click bait and there's bad click bait, you have to really describe what's underneath while also being somewhat click-baity. Just because there's a competition there and you have to compete with people that are, you know, creating that bad clickbait. So the key to it is to remember your audience, because you're intended audience determines how you frame your content. So, for example, the Coronavirus could be related to a pandemic, an outbreak or a lockdown, depending on how you want to look at it. So ask yourself, which way of framing something relates closer to your audience and to your brand. Now, when it comes to promoting content on Facebook, you can promote content on your Facebook profile, but you can go so much further. The best way is groups. Many people underutilize Facebook groups, Facebook groups are a great way to provide real value to your intended audience quickly and would utilize the Facebook groups or any forum for that matter, you can very easily have content go viral when done effectively. So the key is just to keep your audience at top of mind. Don't spam the groups you're in because you will be kicked out.
Gregory: [00:16:01] Instead, answer people's questions. Add to the discussion. Just provide value to your audience. And every now and then, sprinkle in a content piece from your company, but only when it makes sense before you know it. You'll have that true audience you're looking for. And when it comes to promoting on LinkedIn, it's worth blogging directly on LinkedIn because they are doing their own promotion of your content to keep their growth up as well. So the thing with LinkedIn is that you have to work within LinkedIn very purposely due to the regimens that are in place. So the key is not to focus on promoting original content specifically, but really just utilize it more for just growing connections and testing the quality of the connections you already have. To further expand and strengthen your audience in general. And that about wraps it up. In the next episode, we're going to be taking this discussion one step further to discuss promoting content on Instagram, utilizing social media landing pages and working with other various platforms like Reddit, Discord and more. It's gonna be awesome. And I look forward to seeing you there.
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