How To Boost Your Engagement With A Social Stream

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A social stream is a powerful way to leverage public posts to grow your audience and engagement. With a social media stream, you’ll regularly have new content to share and ease the burden on your editorial team to hit publish constantly.

How exactly does a social network stream or social media wall help you? Stay tuned because we’re going to cover that next.

What Is A Social Stream?

To explain the value of a social media stream, look at a breaking news example. Imagine your organization is covering a championship event or election. Every few seconds or minutes, new developments happen. It may be challenging for staff to cover these developments.

What if you could easily pull in a relevant Facebook post, a tweet, or other social content to enrich your coverage? Your staff would find it much easier to cover all of the angles of the event thanks to social content curated from a wide range of social media accounts. 

Who knows, you might even find some social media influencers to feature in upcoming marketing campaigns and virtual events!

Social Stream Coverage: How Does It Work In Practice?

Also known as a social media wall, this content technique highlights the amazing content created by your community. Including this community content in your website acts as social proof. Other people can see that your content and organization are attracting interest, and that makes it more appealing to participate in. When the rest of the visitors see that other people are excited about your brand, it makes your website and content more appealing.

Let’s say you are running a professional conference for your members like the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT). The Association created a social feed on its website pulling in social media content using the hashtag #OAVT2022

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This approach encourages event participants to use the event hashtag when they post. A social stream is effective because it encourages your audience to share their insights and promote your event. Furthermore, this type of social media stream can also help you improve your event content further in the future. You’ll better understand the themes and topics that interest your audience.

How Does A Social Stream Work?

The easiest way to explain a social stream is to look at a simple example. Through your market research, you know that your audience loves to use Twitter. That’s good news because most Twitter content is public and easy to search.

Setting up your social stream involves searching for relevant social media posts to find user-generated content relevant to your purpose. Usually, the search process focuses on looking for keywords that use a few specific keywords, like a hashtag. All of these updates are then reposted on your social media stream. To avoid upsetting your audience, make sure that you use a platform with a content moderation feature. Without this feature, you might accidentally end up featuring profanity on your website! Such inappropriate content may distract your audience from converting at best or hurt your reputation at worst.

Take a sneak-peak on how Arena’s Social Stream feature works in the video.

Using a social stream is an excellent way to augment your live blog and provide coverage for a breaking news event. Your social wall gathers content from multiple social accounts on several social networks through keyword searches and other means. That means your team can focus on interacting with your audience and bringing your content strategy to life. 

Four Social Stream Benefits For Publishers And Brands

There are several reasons why curating relevant content from a social media feed supports your organization’s goals. 

1) Give Your Website A Social Experience 

Most of the top websites online today include a social dimension. Without a social component, it will be more difficult for your website. The good news is that you don’t have to build a social media network to gain these benefits. Instead, you can add a social media element by setting up social content aggregation (i.e., a social media wall) on your website.

When your audience sees that their thoughts and opinions are featured on your website, they’re more likely to return. Potential customers are more likely to trust your brand when they see others positively discussing your content.

2) Automate Content Curation

Tracking down relevant content for content curation can be a painfully time-consuming process. Social streams play a powerful role by automatically identifying and sharing social media content. There’s no coding required – you just set up relevant hashtags and keywords and watch the content flow into your website.

Once the content curation process is set up, it just takes periodic monitoring to ensure you are curating content relevant to your goals.

3) Increase Website Traffic and Engagement 

Regularly posting new content to your website signals to people and search engines that your business is active in the digital world. Regularly posting high-quality digital content is table stakes to compete online.

However, there are limits to how much your content team can produce. That’s one way where adding a social stream to your website helps. By regularly posting new content every few seconds or minutes, your website is always sharing something new. That sends powerful signals to search engines that they should keep paying attention to your website. Ultimately, your SEO campaigns will benefit and yield more traffic as a result.

When your social stream features positive interactions relating to your brand, it is far easier to trust your brand. As a result, website visitors are more likely to agree to join your email list and hear more about your offers. 

4) Improved virtual event and hybrid event performance

Organizing a successful virtual event takes significant planning and effort. Getting more positive attendee reviews, leads and audience loyalty make it easier for your audience to interact with your brand. Including a social stream on your website helps event performance because your audience can easily find what other people are saying about the event. 

Is A Social Stream The Right Move For You?

While a thriving social stream can yield amazing performance, some prerequisites exist to make it work. Without these building blocks in place, connecting to the Facebook feed or seeking to optimize your social stream settings are unlikely to yield results. Discuss these four questions to decide if you are ready to launch a social stream.

How many social media followers do you have?

Generating buzz on social media is tough when you have few followers. A general rule of thumb is that a social stream produces better results when you have at least one thousand followers. If your organization has few followers, refocus your strategy to grow your social following.

With very few followers, it will be difficult to stream with ease because there are simply not enough people interacting with your content.

What level of engagement do you have with your followers?

Review your social media feed and look over the last few weeks. How often do your followers meaningfully engage with your content? That is a good signal if you see a steady increase in comments, content sharing, and other interactions. If engagement is low, find out why. Your content may not be connecting with your followers. In that case, running a social stream may not produce many results.

What’s in it for your social followers to talk about you?

Regularly answering the question “what’s in it for me?” is one of the most critical questions in marketing. People in your audience have countless other opportunities to discover information and community online – why should they pay attention to you? There are various ways to solve this question, like offering exclusive virtual events or classic incentives like discount codes for attending your event.

Are you giving your followers a good reason to interact at a point in time?

Social media walls are often run for a short period ranging from a few hours to a few days. Therefore, giving your followers a compelling reason to interact with you intensively while you run the social media wall is crucial. 

Organizing virtual events are one of the best ways to spark high levels of engagement. Planning an exciting virtual event or hybrid event is easier when you start with proven ideas. For additional inspiration, check out our post 8 Online Event Ideas for News and Media Publishers.

How To Choose The Best Social Stream Tool

Selecting the best social stream platform for your website is easier when you know the right features and capabilities to look for. 

Simple Set-Up Process

Adding a social stream to your website should not take hours or days. At a minimum, the tool you provide should provide step-by-step setup instructions. These step-by-step setup guides may take the form of videos, screenshots, and other formats.

Track Record of Performance Improvements

Social media features and platforms are constantly evolving. For example, Instagram is changing in 2022 to better compete against TikTok. The social stream tool you select should be regularly updated to add support for new platforms, API changes, and other changes.

In addition to keeping up with changes, ask about new fantastic features in the pipeline that may make the app even more valuable to you. 

Customer Support

What if your social stream freezes or malfunctions during a significant event? In that case, you need access to technical support resources like a specialized social stream support team. In addition, find out how the support team works (e.g., email only, phone support, hours of support) so that you can plan appropriately.

Key Social Stream Product Features

With those points covered, there are specific advanced features to look for in a social stream tool. Arena currently offers all of these capabilities so that you can save time and grow your audience faster.

  • Auto-posting: Enable automatic posting on your website and have your live blogs run automatically with user-generated content. This means you don’t have to approve each new update manually.
  • Real-time stream and results: Allow content to flow to your stream and track results from social media in real-time. 
  • Content personalization: You have the choice to repost social content “as is” or add your commentary, analysis, and perspective. Periodically commenting on curated content is a smart way to add value to your audience. 
  • Hashtag and Keyword Support: Track hashtags or keywords on social media and have a unified social stream about specific topics or events.
  • Integrations: Create social streams for networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, and personalized RSS feed types.
  • Social Stream Templates: Create and save social stream templates that can be reused multiple times.
  • Publishing Calendar Support: Your social stream tool should fit your schedule needs. Want to schedule content ahead of time for the holidays or weekends? With Arena, you can add specific content to your library for later publishing. This is a smart way to save up content for holiday periods so that your editorial team can take a break.
  • Embed content to your website: Embed a social wall with stream results directly into your website, constantly feeding your fresh audience content. Embedding a social stream widget on your website gives your audience another reason to stay on your website, which means more chances for conversions.
  • Branded Design: Design your stream according to your brand’s style guide to give your audience a consistent experience. Alternatively, you can use the default settings.
  • Use Content Moderation: Some social media content is unsuitable for your brand’s values and goals. Using filters and widgets, you can filter out profanity and other unsuitable content based on your chosen criteria.

To lift engagement even further, use Arena Live Chat to encourage your audience to share their thoughts and questions directly on your website.

How To See A Social Stream In Action 

Watching how other organizations use social media walls and social streams is a great starting point. However, there’s nothing like seeing this technology come to life in your organization. 

Try Arena’s social stream solution by signing up for a free 14-day full feature trial.

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