Targeting Outreach and Influencers for Social Traction

Social shares are what amplify your message beyond a publisher’s landing page. The more shares you earn, the more eyes see your brand and the wider your pool of prospective customers becomes. But which influencers earn traction on which social networks – and in which verticals?

Understanding how verticals, publishers, and platforms work together will help you pitch the right content to the right publishers and amplifiers to earn the most shares possible. Targeting your promotion efforts to maximize your potential for social traction is an important step in creating an effective and efficient viral strategy.

To get you started, BuzzStream and Fractl analyzed 220 websites from 11 major verticals that actively produce content:

content verticals

Using BuzzSumo, we examined the content and influencers in both top-engagement and low-engagement publications to see which ones earned the most social traction for each vertical – and which earned the least. We found that there are five factors that work in combination to attract social shares, making your strategy less like tossing content confetti and more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

  • Content Keywords
  • Social Platform
  • Publishing Date
  • Influencers and Amplifiers

These primary factors determine whether your content will resonate on social platforms or sit idly on a publisher’s page. While it may seem complicated to put the pieces together, doing so will help you make sure your time and energy will earn you the most content marketing ROI. Here are just a few of the insights we gleaned in this study:

Content isn’t working on the weekend.

One of the most consistent themes that emerged from our research was that all verticals received much less social interaction on Saturday and Sunday. On both top-engagement and lower-engagement sites, the weekend generated only 11% of all social shares for the week. When it comes to weekday publishing, however, there are nuances to which days see more sharing; the food vertical peaks on Mondays, whereas people tend to share the most news content after Tuesday.

best day to publish content

Don’t ignore your social second-string.

Both top- and lower-engagement sites received the majority of their social media shares from Facebook. The only exception was top-engagement food sites, which gained more than 50% of their total social shares on Pinterest. But rather than putting all your social eggs in the Facebook basket (or Pinterest, if you’re marketing food), a wise strategist will pay close attention to the secondary sharing catalysts:

  • Education: While top-engagement sites only earned 5% of their shares on Pinterest, lower-engagement sites earned 22%.
  • Technology: Lower-engagement sites earned 31% of total shares on Twitter.
  • Business: LinkedIn earned 20% of total shares.

social media shares by network

Set your sharing goals according to your vertical.

It’s important to understand both the potential and the limits of the vertical you’re pitching. While a good strategy should aim to achieve the most shares possible, that number of total shares will be different for those pitching in the health vertical versus those pitching to news organizations. News sites receive 14x more shares than health sites, and your benchmarks for content marketing success should reflect that in order to accurately assess your efforts and outcomes.

social media shares by vertical

A vertical-specific content strategy will earn more shares.

Understanding the nuances of each vertical will help you achieve the most social shares for your content. Your strategy for finance pieces should be different than your approach to food content, and if you don’t consider the differences then both your targeting and our outcomes will suffer. Take a minute to scroll down and flip through nine of the verticals we researched, and how the five factors for social traction vary for each.

via Targeting Outreach for Social Traction

Want to learn how to earn the most shares in lifestyle and tech verticals? Download the free infographics and target your outreach for social traction.


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