More and more social networking websites provide users with tools to publish written content. But how can brands judge if a post has been successful on social media?

Social networking sites know how appealing user-generated content is. Some sites have become so robust that they have evolved to offer publishing features to users, whose work then naturally turns into social media.

We look into some of the most popular social media platforms and sum up the best ways for you to measure the success of your content on social media. Have you learned anything new about gauging posts’ success online? Feel free to share your insights in the comment section below.

Content and Context

Continuous creation of great content holds the key to engaging audiences online. Original and compelling written content made in line with a brand’s marketing strategy creates a big chance for a company or a person to get exposure online, especially if the content has the potential to go viral.

In fact, a recent report by Social Media Examiner shows that [tweetable alt=”@SocMed_examiner says 58% of almost 3,000 #marketers interviewed say written #content is most important” hashtag=””]58% of almost 3,000 marketers interviewed claim that written content is the most important form of content for their brand.[/tweetable]

But even the best of posts can remain unread if not promoted well. In fact, promoting posts is just as important as creating the content itself. Social media is the most immediate source of readership, as billions of people, both influencers and potential customers are actively engaging within channels.

The snowball effect that social media creates for content can be used in many ways– either to promote a brand or a person on social media directly and create a buzz there, or use social media as a springboard, as a means of leveraging the existing community and driving traffic to your website.

In order to decide which of the two ways is more suitable for your purposes, you must answer the following question:

Are you after visibility for your content on your own media or after exposure on social media?

Personal Branding–A Way To Go

Social media can play a major role in brands’ as well as people’s inbound marketing efforts and very much so for personal branding strategies.

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LinkedIn

The professional network is no longer a static business card website (was it ever one?!).

As recently announced on the official LinkedIn blog, the Publishing Platform is a fresh way to publish blog-form content for the purposes of personal branding and ORM strategies or strategies involving the promotion of a power figure, aiming to boost a brand. Through publishing professional insight in blog form on LinkedIn, users can reach new and well targeted audiences.

How Can You Measure Success?

As Social Media Examiner puts it, a piece of content that gathers enough momentum will get on Pulse and the snowball effect won’t be late–a post on Publisher can receive much more visibility than on a regular corporate or personal blog.

So, success for a post seeking to build authority and brand awareness on LinkedIn would be getting on Pulse and outperforming the number of social interactions expected on the blog.

Blog Boost

Facebook

Facebook’s very nature, knitted with imagery, doesn’t assume the use of this network for blog publishing. But if your marketing strategy requires vigorous audience, who’s ready to pick up the buzz, publishing links to blog posts on Facebook combined with inspiring content can mean the difference between success and failure.

How Can You Measure Success?

A recent analysis by SocialBakers provides stats to help brands gauge pages’ success. [tweetable alt=”How much #socialmedia interaction is enough? @socialbakers says 28 interactions for pages with up to 9,999 etc.” hashtag=””]It shows that 28, 118 and 385 interactions are good enough for pages as big as up to 9,999 fans, up to 99,999 fans and up to 499,999 fans respectively.[/tweetable]

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What’s more is that on Facebook that the snowball effect picks up speed to lead to virality. Namely, compelling posts lead to greater engagement rates, which result in greater reach and more people seeing a post.

A popular post can drive many people to a website, where it’s up to you to close the deal. Once users visit your website, a successful blog post will inspire a discussion, make users comment on and share it, and, hopefully, link to it in their own posts. Make sure leaving social signals on your blog is easy.

Big (Buzz) Bang

List articles have been around for quite some time and SEO strategists love them. They are neat, fast to scan through, and have the potential to go viral, especially if humorous.

BuzzFeed

Viral trend aggregator, BuzzFeed based their business model on building a social network around viral posts (user generated content too). Catchy and spicy titles, lively images, thought-provoking stand-firsts–the posts on BuzzFeed are cooked to the recipe of virality.

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How Can You Measure Success?

Measuring success on social media platforms such as BuzzFeed, Reddit, Digg and others can be tough. Indeed, exposure on social media through users sharing content written or at least marketed especially for this type of channel might give your post a fleeting moment of fame, but it might expose it to uncontrolled users frowning on your brand.

Anyway, triggering the virality algorithm and making it to the home page is definitely what publishers are after on BuzzFeed. In order to achieve this for brands, BuzzFeed sells native ads, which are successful as they blend in to the whole web platform.

If crafty enough, these could earn badges and eventually go viral to result in huge brand awareness and travel the web within hours. In this case, it makes sense to publish on this platform.

Josh Constine suggests in his post for TechCrunch that disguising honest ads, the native advertising that BuzzFeed offers, might fail to achieve its goal to offer brands enough visibility and eventually frustrate readers.

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Your Goals: First and Last To Consider

When planning your marketing strategy, always consider your goals first. Publishing content on a social media platform just because it’s trendy or because everyone’s there doesn’t mean that it will work for your goals and your brand.

Sometimes just a whisper suggested to the right influencer might create great buzz for your brand. In any and every case, it’s worth measuring your posts’ performance and success to make sure you’re on the right track.

Longneck and Thunderfoot offer social media management services to build a vibrant audience for your brand across all media channels. Learn more about social media and PR here.

(Main image credit: Chris Potter/flickr)