Ben Silverman

The final steps of writing your blog are proofreading, touching up the formatting, hitting the publish button, and sitting back and watching the traffic come in. Right? Not even close.

Before you can even come close to enjoying the benefits of engagement and qualified traffic, you first need to shop your content around and find the proper social venues to host it on. Without distributing it properly across the right social channels, all that hard work of researching and creating a piece of content could go to waste. Here’s how to map your content to the proper social network, based on topic, format or medium, to boost your brand’s engagement.

Writing about lifestyle, food or home? Pinterest & Facebook are your best bets.

Facebook and Pinterest are meant for casual browsing. Lifestyle-themed content will find success on Facebook because the network is so deeply integrated into our lifestyle and serves as a digital home for almost every aspect of our lives. It’s a personal network that people use to connect with family and friends more so than with their colleagues.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is a simple network to connect people with things, while most other networks focus on connecting people with each other. The lifestyle category is rooted in B2C – and Pinterest excels in this field by clearly, cleanly displaying the things that people want to see, with as little friction or distractions as possible. Plus, Pinterest posts are well-represented in Google Image searches, and pictures shared on the network link users directly back to your website.

The picture always stays front and center on Pinterest. The text is an afterthought because users can change the caption when they share or save a Pin. The site’s CEO, Ben Silbermann, even hesitates to refer to it as a social network, instead choosing to call it a “catalogue of ideas.”

Focusing on technology, business or industry? LinkedIn & Twitter are the networks for you.

LinkedIn prides itself on being the network for professionals. People come here with the intention to read and learn about their industries. When they share your published work on the network, it helps to build your reliability and thought leadership where it matters the most. Content about serious or complex topics might otherwise fall flat on networks like Facebook, where it will have to compete with cats, music, memes and sports.

Twitter, even though it has a casual side like Facebook, it is also widely used by professionals. The content you publish is catalogued for easy discovery using hashtags, allowing users to find and engage with your posts even if they aren’t following you. Twitter is where news breaks first and its users know this. They check the network on a regular basis, and are quick to share. Because of Twitter’s public nature, its content is often crawled and ranked by Google, and can even show up on SERPs as AMP results.

Publishing a video? Try Facebook.

Facebook’s autoplaying videos are easily shareable, and users can post them to their own walls for their entire networks to see, or to their friends’ walls, for their entire networks to see. A study from Quintly found that native Facebook videos receive over four times as many interactions as videos embedded from YouTube. The network is also the most significant rival to YouTube, as Forbes reported its users are now watching about 4 billion videos per day, rapidly catching up to YouTube’s 7 billion daily views. Facebook videos can now be embedded externally as well, so people can host them on their own sites. When users click on the videos, they are directed back to your Facebook page.

Publishing a poll? Twitter & Facebook are best.

Twitter and Facebook both have a built-in functionality for polls, which allows people to easily take your survey without exiting to an external polling site. When they don’t have to leave the network, they are more likely to be willing to take the poll. Both networks are also tools for expanding your survey’s reach and sample size because of their shareable nature.

Sharing a long-form study or opinion piece? Use LinkedIn.

People visit LinkedIn looking for content that is immersive and detailed. LinkedIn posts often boast high word counts – usually between 3,500 and 4,000 words, according to Kissmetrics. In fact, articles in that range average about 250 shares, while content with under 500 words only garners about 140 shares. Articles that perform best on LinkedIn typically offer in-depth advice about professional topics including management, business, office life and leadership. Many are framed with actionable terms for self-improvement like “tips,” “habits,” “mistakes” or “improvements.”

Posting your brand’s photos or graphics? Try Instagram.

Photos will boost a post’s performance on any network, but Instagram is designed specifically for promoting images. Instagram has a powerful discovery tool that makes use of location-tagging, hashtags, people, and trending events and topics. Users can like and comment on your content, tag their friends, “regram” it and embed it on external sites.

Engaging and targeting your audience on the right network is only getting more challenging as the noise of social media grows louder. As of 2016, about 78 percent of Americans have at least one social network account, up 5 percent from 2015, according to Statista. Social networks are converging in terms of their capabilities, services and media. Their user bases, however, are still very diverse, so certain industries, formats and topics will continue to lend themselves better to particular networks. Knowing what networks to map your content to will help you maximize your engagement and make the most of your marketing efforts.