The RebelMouse Audience Development Playbook
Story trending? Here's how to take advantage
Introduction and Overview
The RebelMouse product suite is packed with tools to help you develop your audience. Our obsession is getting content in front of the people who are most likely to love and share what they read and see.
The purpose of this article is to highlight what you should be doing to take full advantage of our platform and grow your audience as quickly as possible.
A Story Is Trending: Now What?
- Don't be afraid to spend some money to boost or promote a trending story. Make sure you're using Discovery in the Entry Editor to get it in front of the right social audiences.
- Post the content to social five times over three days. If it's not timely news content that would be odd to promote past its expiration date, come back to it periodically. By doing do, you could go viral on social with it anywhere from one to six months (or more) later. And don't forget: If it was viral once, it can be viral again — especially if there are updates to the original story.
- Use email alerts to deliver the content directly to your loyalists. Send a "Going Viral" type of email linking to the story that reaches all of your subscribers.
- Feature it in the splash/hero portion of your site's front page to ensure that your loyal users won't miss it.
- Dig deeper into the Social Discovery tool to really get the most out of the different angles around the story.
- Look at the stats on the page and take advantage of the moment when lots of Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts are linking to it. Pick a post from the biggest accounts to share back to your own audience if you can. Try to find the email address of the person who runs social for these big accounts. Comment on their post and share their share of your post.
- Make sure the writer of the story knows it's trending — sometimes they realize too late. Ask them if they see any opportunities to come up with follow-up stories, or to add to the story as it develops to make its virality go further.
- Make sure there is a call to action on the story for social sharing!
- Use the A/B Testing tools built into the platform — both on site and across social — to optimize the story. During a big, viral moment, a small percentage increase in clicks can mean enormous growth for your property.
- Go into the body of the post in the Entry Editor and manually add related links to the story. In addition, you can add a bold header which goes beyond just outlining "Related Stories." If your story is about a penguin doing flips, you can change the header to say "More Stories of Animals FLIPPING OUT!" — something with personality and flair to grab attention. Taking a moment to do this with your top-trending story can radically improve your bounce rates in real time.
To get the most out of our Social Discovery tool, you need to get really creative with tags and search phrases. If you write a story about a football team, find the key athletes on the team and search for them to get to their fans, the state they represent, the league they're in, and tags related to the sport itself. If you write a story about a dog playing piano, find tags like "beagle" and "music" and come up with creative variations of the two. If there's a story about a designer, research the styles they use and then find all of the social pages that love those styles, too.
From there, dig into the statistics and relationships. Figure out how to send traffic back to key sites and social accounts. The RebelMouse law of traffic exchange is: The more traffic you send out, the more you will get back. These people will notice, and you'll get paid back for paying it forward. You then grow exponentially as the cycle continues.
Use our SEO tools! The trick is to think about search on a sociological level. Don't try to win the obvious phrase that is too specific and is never searched for. Don't try to win short-tail keywords that are not specific at all and incredibly difficult to compete for, such as "food" or "football." Instead, try to win queries that are both relevant to your content and something someone would look for, such as "food for football games." Play with understanding the underlying search phrase beneath a story. Imagine if you were walking past two people talking about a story. What would you search when you got back to your desk? Now do the same for your content.
The (call to action) CTA tool can be tremendously powerful, and causes properties to lift up their share rate by 80%. But how you use it is really important. Figure out a clever angle that gives readers a real reason to share your story. A classic example is the Dodo's story about the 103-year-old Orca that was spotted several years back. The CTA wasn't "wow, this is such a cool story" or "let your friends know Orca's get old," it was "Stop SeaWorld! They say Orca's die at 35."
Your content won't always have such a great, direct match, but there is always an underlying reason to share any story, and you can find it with a little effort. And when you do, you will see results.