13 Feb Ideas for your content
In a recent poll I conducted on Facebook, I asked people what they struggled most with using social media for business. 67% of people said that they found it difficult to come up with ‘ideas for content’, so I thought I’d put together a quick guide to help inspire you.
What to say
I mentioned the main pillars of content marketing recently. What are these you might say? In essence, any social media content should aim to achieve any of these goals; inspire, educate, entertain and engage or peak their curiosity.
Inspire: Give your followers a little bit of inspiration with an idea you’ve created within your business. Inspire them to take action as a result of your post. Pinterest is perfect for this. This could be a project you’re working on or have completed. A stunning photo of the local landscape covered in snow for example, which inspires people to take and share their own. An act of kindness or support for your local community which encourages others to do the same. Your social media pages have the potential to influence and inspire people to take positive actions.
Educate: Informative, fun, wacky or surprising facts and statistics often top the most popular of posts. Tell your audience something new. How does it relate to them? Does it help them to make a decision or teach them something new? Can you inform them on updates which may affect them?
Examples: UK or industry news, changes in legislation. Perhaps even a statistic that help them add value to their property.
Entertain: We could all do with a little more humour and laughter in our lives. What I love about social media is the ability to show our human side, which is often overlooked on business pages. Of course, make sure that the content you’re posting or sharing is still professional, but a little humour appeals to our emotive side. It’s well known that pet photos and videos gain a high level of engagement… perhaps you have a business mascot who isn’t shy of the camera? You may not think you’re marketing what you do in these non-sales focused posts, but you ARE encouraging brand awareness and giving people a feel for who your brand is.
Engage: Engagement… the buzz word of 2018. It’s not just about how many people you’re reaching anymore, but how many (and who) engages with your content. Engagement is typically measured on social media platforms by post/photo clicks, likes, shares/retweets and comments. I often have clients who say they struggle to get people to do more than just ‘like’ their post. How often have you put yourself in your audience’s shoes and thought, “would that make me like, share or comment”? Involve your audience in your content by creating polls, asking questions and doing live videos. Once you have some comments, make sure you acknowledge their comment (unless they’re just tagging a friend). Open a dialogue of conversation. Thank them for their comment or feedback, answer their question. On Facebook, this kind of engagement tells their algorithm that “there’s something interesting going on here…. this post is attracting some attention, we’ll bump them up in the news feed”. Social media is of course a very unpredictable marketing avenue and results aren’t always guaranteed, so don’t be disappointed if people don’t react to your posts straightaway. Keep going with it and remember to review your posts in the analytics/insights section. Do more of the content that people like and less of what they don’t.
When to say it
The time of day that you post content can have a massive impact on your post’s visibility and overall performance. For your post to get the best possible chance of being seen, you have to place it in front of people when they are more likely on social media. Typically early morning, lunch time and evenings are when people are scrolling through their social media news feed. Most platforms (or third party software) give you the ability to schedule your content and ensure your audience sees it at the right time. This can be a life saver if you’re running your own business and have no time during the evening to post. To see when people are more active on your page, check out the insights/analytics information and go from there. This evaluative tool can be scarily detailed when it comes to who your audience are! Be careful with scheduling some content. If your post is scheduled far in advance and has the potential to change (e.g. time or weather sensitive), make sure you update or remove the post BEFORE it’s published.
How to say it
Each social media platform has its own style. Don’t be tempted to link all of your accounts to save you time. On Facebook you can be more informal and add varying options to your post (feeling status, photo album, poll) with no character limit, whereas on Twitter where the majority are users are B2B, your message needs to be short and succinct. Don’t forget to add in those hashtags too! On Pinterest the focus is on the image with text overlay recommended to get your message across quickly. LinkedIn gives you the ability to add articles – a great place to share your blogs. This platform is completely business to business, so remember that your style may need to be more formal. You may even be able to speak in industry terms that your connections will understand, whereas your Facebook followers would not. Like Pinterest, Instagram is heavily visual and relies on good images supported by an engaging caption and relevant hashtags.
Whatever you say in your content, make sure it inspires, educates, entertains or engages with your followers. Stockpile ideas and keep an eye on what news is trending and what’s going on in your industry.
Wishing you the best of luck!