**DISCLAIMER** This is not your typical content marketing post. It won’t help you to create a content marketing strategy, or create a Gantt chart of activity that will never get completed, or even come up with ideas that will eventually get sh*t-canned at the 10th content strategy stakeholder meeting.
This post will actually help you to DO something useful, something that will help you to get more shares, links and likes for your content.
Here’s the deal
Like many people, I struggle to promote our content as much as I would like. Using Hootsuite, together with the Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Open Site Explorer I have managed to find a quick and easy way to gather content and automate the creation of updates on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus etc to increase the level of engagement in this content.
It’s completely free and should take no longer than half an hour. Read on to find out more:
What you’ll need
- A site with some shareable content and/or a site with some inbound links going to it.
- Twitter/Facebook/Google Plus/LinkedIn accounts.
- A Moz Account.
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
Step 1 – Grab your content
There are 2 types of content you can use, content on your own site, and content from other sites that link back to you.
Your site’s content – Screaming Frog
The excellent Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool can help you to grab all of the URLs and associated data from your chosen site. Download it and enter the URL you would like to crawl.
External content – Open Site Explorer
If you don’t have one, to create a free Moz account to access the export functionality required to produce your updates. Once you have done this, go to opensiteexplorer.org and enter the URL of the page/domain that you would like to find links to. Once you have done this, click the option to ‘Export to CSV’. This will then produce a spreadsheet with amongst other things, the URL and title of all pages linking to your site.
Step 2 – Sort your content
First up, Screaming Frog. Once you have completed the crawl (could take a few minutes for big sites) you can export the data and sort it using a spreadsheet.
Find the pages that you want to tweet by sorting them alphabetically. On our blog, for example, posts start with: /post/, so I can quickly find these and delete all of the other, irrelevant pages.
Next, delete any of the irrelvant data to leave you with the URLs and the Page Title/H1 tag. Depending on how your site is set up, you may be able to use either of these, if you are doing this correctly, the H1 tag, which is the title of the page, should be the most compelling and therefore the best to use for the content of your Tweet/status update.
Open Site Explorer data – Delete everything except the first two columns. Filter out any pages that you don’t want to include and if you have time, edit any page titles that you think could be improved.
Step 3 – Check and edit your updates
Once you have your data in the 2 columns, use the following formula in a third column to check that the character length will not exceed Twitter’s limit of 140 characters: =LEN(A1&B1)
If there are any that exceed this, edit the copy to ensure that they are under this limit, otherwise Hootsuite will not be able to process the file. If you have any spare characters, add a hashtag or two for even greater exposure. The more time you spend editing your updates to make them as compelling as possible, the better the end result of your sharing.
If your site is anything like ours, you will probably need to remove any pages that are not ‘evergreen’, For example, I have removed any blog posts mentioning Google Panda and Penguin updates as these are not relevant any more.
Step 4 – Import into Hootsuite
If you’ve not already got a Hootsuite account, create one, login and configure with your Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn account details.
Next, in the left hand column of the dashboard go to: Publisher > Scheduled and download the sample CSV.
Once downloaded, you will find a 3 column sheet with following:
Column A – Date – in mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm or dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm format
Column B – Tweet Copy – Page title or H1 tag
Column C – URL
Copy and paste the data from your sheets into columns B and C and then edit Column A to send this out at an appropriate time. You could trial, for example, sending out the same update on 3 different days at different times – or sending out a different update at the same time every day for a month.
When you are done, save as a .csv file and upload at the same dialogue box where you downloaded. NOTE – Hootsuite can be picky about the type of files it accepts, taking a few minutes to read this before you upload could save you a lot of time.
Step 5 – Monitor and refine
Hootsuite can show you how well your tweets do in terms of engagement. Now that you have the raw data, it’s easy to tweak your messages and the time of day etc. when they go out for maximum impact.