Today’s readers engage with your content across several channels. More than ever, readers find, read, and interact with content on social media, email, and in mobile apps. The most successful publishers employ a multi-channel strategy to foster engagement and connect to their audiences. Here are some best practices to increase reader engagement when leveraging channels outside your website:
Include a preview
If you want people to take an action, include a preview of what to expect. Incorporate images when appropriate including screenshots and visual graphics. You can use tools like Pablo to create engaging images on social media.
When sharing a story about the general election in the UK on Twitter, The Financial Times included a screenshot of a comment that captured a common sentiment from readers in a concise fashion.
Utilize a strong call-to-action
A strong call-to-action is clear, direct, and concise. Provide some intrigue without resorting to clickbait (otherwise you may lose your readers’ trust). Here’s a recent tweet from The New York Times about their comments section that went viral:
So this happened in our comments section today https://t.co/Ls7lx2Z5lJ— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 26, 2017
The headline utilized a strong call-to-action that was easy to understand and provided enough mystery to encourage readers to learn more.
Publishers like NPR utilize mobile push notifications to deliver breaking news stories to readers. Timeliness is critical but also requires striking the right tone to convey the importance of the event.
Tailor your message for each channel
For any given message, tailor what you say depending on the specific audience and mode of interaction of the channel. On social media, audiences are more attuned to reacting, sharing, and participating in conversations as it happens. Instagram is more visual than LinkedIn. Snapchat is more raw than YouTube. On email, audiences are less interactive and more focused on completing tasks.
Knowing these differences will help you optimize your calls-to-action and improve performance. Check out this great guide from Buffer that’s full of great examples and insights on tailoring your message on social media.
In the next chapter in our guide to increasing reader engagement, we’ll talk about how to recognize top commenters to retain them. To follow along and get notified via email when we publish, subscribe to our blog.
For now, tell us your best tips for promoting comments on external channels 💬