Content Promotion, Shared Media, Social Promotion
Published By:

When it comes to distributing content on social channels and getting engagement, marketers are still trying to figure out how to connect with their audience in a genuine way.

At times, it can feel like dredging the bottom of the ocean to come up with new, clever ideas. Such ideas have the potential to set a brand apart in the crowded space, but creativity tends to run dry quickly and easily.

Some marketers continually rely on certain detested, albeit effective, tactics for success. Others cringe, criticize the questionable tactics and vow never to stoop to such levels. And yet they find themselves longing for a quick win to gain social traction with their content.

Here are four such social media tactics that marketers hate to love:

1. Ask For What You Want

Whether it’s asking to “like” a page, “share” a post or “retweet” a tweet, when you spell out the action you want your followers to take, it feels like you’re letting them control the game. Instead of letting them naturally decide how—if at all—to engage with the content, you tell them exactly what you expect.

The interesting part? Followers actually do what you request. On Twitter, promoted tweets that ask for retweet see an increase in retweets by an average of 311 percent. Asking for follows and replies also increased engagement.



Referred to as “like-baiting”, Facebook is trying to keep these types of posts out of the newsfeed. To keep your cringe level down and your organic visibility up, use these types of posts sparingly. Try offering a specific incentive for sharing the post, too, such as entering participants into a contest.

2. Click-Bait

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it never really hurt a person. Readers can’t resist fulfilling their need to find out “what happens next” or what it is that they’ll never believe.

Most people crave the unexpected. They want to be surprised. Curiosity may not kill you, but it can definitely entice you. And once your curiosity is piqued, the only satisfaction comes from getting the answer. Click-baiting capitalizes on this need and gets users to click on the article.

Websites such as Upworthy and Buzzfeed often get called out for creating click-bait titles. Some social platforms are trying to discourage marketers from using this tactic by keeping these types of posts from having a good organic reach.


It’s just Decent Person 101, really. – Angie Aker Posted by Upworthy on Monday, July 13, 2015


This tactic, despite its ability to drive traffic, should also be used sparingly. When you use click-bait, be sure that you are sending people to content that they are actually going to care about and find valuable, or else you face the possibility of penalization.

For example, in a 2014 update, Facebook started taking into account how much time a user spends away from Facebook after clicking a link to determine rankings in the newsfeed. Do they stay because it’s valuable, or bounce because it’s not what they thought? Click bait works, but only when it’s not chipping away at your audience’s trust in you.

3. The Selfie

The selfie has gotten a bad wrap. With countless apps and filters available to make sure that every photo is perfect, many have started to wonder about the authenticity of selfies and other visual content designed for social media.

Consider the 2015San Diego Comic Con where actors from future superhero movies appeared on stage with Stan Lee to take a picture.



In one day, the 20th Century Fox account saw 11.9 thousand likes and 211 comments on this single image. A different angle of the same shot on Channing Tatum’s Instagram account has 219,000 likes and 1,155 comments.

Many remember Ellen DeGeneres taking a selfie at the 2014 Oscars that became the most retweeted image of all time.



With that kind of engagement, any marketer should be dying to get a selfie on their page, too. While some loathe this trend, a well-placed selfie can help drive significant engagement and increase followers. The key is to find the appropriate time and place for the selfie to occur. For many brands, an event with a large gathering of loyal customers is a great place to start.

The selfie helps to capture a specific moment with a distinct group of people. By sharing that on social media, you allow your followers to feel like they’re a part of the picture, as if they were the photographer looking through the lens.

4. Buying Followers

The most deadly sin of social media marketing is to use money to buy followers. Any social media expert will tell you that a purchased audience will only result in a mass of fake followers. Many will advise that it’s more important to focus on producing quality content and to just let the followers come.

Sometimes, though, it may actually be beneficial to spend a little money to kick-start audience growth. One data scientist experimented and found that spending even a small amount to gain some followers can benefit you in the long run.

A brand’s follower count is often used to determine its credibility. The data scientist found that while he did indeed gain many fake followers, having an increased number of followers helped his authority, which in turn improved his ranking.

When Google and Twitter announced their partnership to index tweets, brands were excited. Twitter now has an effect on SEO thanks to a focus on indexing tweets from accounts with more followers and a high “social authority.”

Again, this tactic should be short-term and only utilized to get you to a specific point or meet a certain goal. It should never replace the industry-wide best practice of sharing great content consistently to build a genuine audience and following.

Marketers are always in search of the next great tactic that will help their content find the right audience and build an engaged community, but it’s never a quick or easy process. While some may discourage these tacky tactics, when used with the right content at the right time, these ideas can help you gain traction on your social media channels and supplement your greater content strategy.



Sponsored Resources

Want more resources

View all Resources

Most Read


Our publication contributors combine decades of experience with unique insights into the content promotion and distribution industry.
Chad Pollitt Partner, VP of Audience Native Advertising Institute
Jay Baer Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Author
Gini Dietrich CEO Arment Dietrich
Jason Falls Social Media & Public Relations Thought Leader
Joe Beccalori CEO Interact Marketing
Douglas Karr Founder & CEO & DK New Media
Brianne Carlon Rush Content Director Kuno Creative
Janine Popick Co-founder & CMO Dasheroo
Arnie Kuenn CEO Vertical Measures
Pam Didner Global Content Marketing Strategist & Author
Chirag Ahuja Head of Marketing WorkflowMax
Jayson DeMers Founder & CEO AudienceBloom
Erik Deckers Professional Writer Pro Blog Service
Bernie Borges CEO Find and Convert
Jessica Stephenson VP Marketing ExactHire
Michael Ferrari Marketing Consultant Pen Cap Online Marketing
Larry Alton Freelance Writer and Editor
David Tile Founder & Director Nimble Media
Kelsey Libert Marketing VP & Partner
Dan Steiner Co-Founder & CEO Elite Legal Marketing
Joydeep Bhattacharya Relevance Contributor
Jonah Bliss Founder CMO ContentIntent
Andrea Lehr Promotions Supervisor Fractl
Fernando Labastida Co-Founder Content Propulsion
Dan Moyle Creative Dir. Marketing AmeriFirst
Dennis Yu Chief Technology Officer BlitzMetrics
Arnaud Roy VP Marketing Augure
John Rugh Copywriter/Content Marketing Specialist
Justin Spicer Content Researcher, Producer & Editor
Michael Becker Marketing Support Spec. Teradata
Anna Johansson Freelance Writer
Amanda DiSilvestro Content Editor and Writer HigherVisibility
Sujay Maheshwari Founder & CEO
Kelly Coulter Online Marketing Strategist
Taylor Radey Senior Consultant PR 20/20
Rodger Johnson Public Relations Leader & Consultant
Simon Penson Founder & Managing Dir. Zazzle Media
Danielle Wolter Nolan Co-Owner
Fernando Cuscuela Founder & CEO Everypost
Kelly Smith Content Manager CourseFinder
John McTigue EVP Kuno Creative
Yogita Arora Content Strategist Zoomph
Jordan Teicher Associate Editor Contently
Jonathan Crowl Digital Marketing Writer & Editor
Brian Honigman Marketing Consultant, Writer & Professional Speaker Skyword
Katherine Halek Content Strategist
Amanda Drinker Dooley Community Product Marketing Manager Netline
Anton Rius Digital Marketing Consultant More Than Metrics
Matthew Zajechowski Outreach Manager Digital Third Coast
Kevin Bailey Co-founder DigitalRelevance
Peter Chen Digital Marketing Consultant DigitalRelevance
Luana Spinetti Multi-Specialized Freelancer
Kyle Harper Writer Skyword
Elad Natanson Founder appnext
Maël Roth Content & Inbound Marketer Park7
Quin Woodward Pu Marketing Director Audienti
Greg Shuey Co-Founder Stryde
Jean Bansemer CEO My Web Writers
Owen Andrew Journalist
Luke Kintigh Global Content & Media Strategist Intel

In case you missed

Read more of the latest news and insights from thought leaders in content promotion and distribution.


Get the latest content promotion news and insights everyday.

Champion Sponsor

Relevance is proud to present our Champion Sponsor that helps make our site possible.

Cision Logo

© 2017 Relevance | Content Promotion News & Insights

Connect with RELEVANCE

Thank you for subscribing Your subscription has been confirmed.