Now that you’re done with all of the hard work of planning your program, setting up your profiles, and building your follower base, you’re ready to get started on the fun part of social media marketing: content! Most businesses adhere to the 80/20 rule: 80% of the content you post on social should be informational or entertaining, and 20% of content should relate to business promotions, events, and updates. This strategy makes sense: If you share valuable content, your followers will be more willing to engage with your business-related posts than if you only sell, sell, sell to them on a regular basis.
The 20% of business-related content will come easy-but what about the rest? How do you create great social media posts that will engage your followers? The answer depends on a variety of factors. Here are a few to consider as you develop your content plan:
Start with Your Audience
What questions do your customers ask about your industry? What problems do they have that you can help solve? What topics of interest do you share in common with them? Thinking about your audience and what will engage them is the best way to come up with relevant content.
Consider Your Messaging
How can you present information to your audience in a way that's compelling, appropriate, and reinforces your small business's vision or mission? The way you convey information is just as important as the content you share. For example, if your small business provides financial services, your messaging will be very different than a small business who sells children's clothing.
Capitalize on Your Blog Content
If you’re already writing articles for your small business’s blog, social media is a great way to promote that content and drive traffic back to your site.
Make the Most of Timely News Stories
People get excited about trending topics, whether they're local news or national headlines. When it makes sense, feel free to share news articles with your followers and use them to start a conversation.
Share Articles from Relevant Sites and Blogs
Read an article for education? Watch an entertaining video? The content you find valuable will often be of value to your audience as well. If you’re a hair stylist who finds a great how-to article on a fancy up-do, share it! If you’re a restaurateur who reads an interesting piece on dining trends in the local area, share it! While your patrons may not work in your industry, that doesn't mean they're not interested in learning more about it.
Bring Your Business to Life with Photos and Videos
Reality shows are evidence that people love behind-the-scenes glimpses into other peoples’ lives. So why not share the inner workings of your business’s life? Photos and videos that give followers a better sense of your staff, your process, and your inspirations are great content to share—especially Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and other visually-oriented social channels.
Showcase Customer Quotes and Accolades
Social networks are the new forum for word-of-mouth recommendations. If you’re getting great customer feedback via email, online review sites, or in person, you can highlight these comments on social media (if your customers aren’t sharing their feedback there already). You can also brag about awards and accolades you receive from other organizations; tagging those organizations in your posts gives you the opportunity to be reshared as well, which can get your business even more exposure.
The Bottom Line
The possibilities for social media content are endless. Just make sure to keep your audience in mind as you create and curate posts, and you’ll see your engagement metrics improve in no time!