Working on your social media content? Not that tough, really.
It’s all about what you say, how you say it, when you say it and where you say it. Ok, nevermind. It is kind of tough. Let’s look at it piece by piece.
What you say
Your industry, business, and brand personality will guide you when you select your social media content. Obviously, if you are a bakery you wouldn’t really want to share information about legal technology. So remember to make sure the content you use is appropriate for your target audience and business. If you want to be seen as ‘serious’, you won’t want to share a lot of content that is too funny. You get the idea.
As to the content itself, you don’t need to create new messages every time. There is so much content out there. Like a tweet? Retweet it. Like a post? Share it. Just make sure it is in keeping with your business. For the best response and interaction, content should address questions or concerns your target audience has. Blogging is a great way to create your own content and it isn’t super time consuming. Blogs are simply perspectives, opinions. They do not need to be thoroughly researched, but you don’t want to put anything out there that is completely incorrect either.
A nice balance of retweets/shares will get your business in front of new people to gain awareness. That’s always a great place to start. But don’t solely use that tactic.
If you have more time, you can develop a White Paper or Case Study. White Papers are basically a research paper on a particular topic. Pick your topics so they address questions or concerns that your target market may have. Case Studies are basically a review of your product or service in action, showcasing the benefits you claim.
A general rule of thumb is to incorporate images. Again, you don’t need to create all your own. You can safely use Google Images but make sure they are legal to reuse with modifications. Click on the ‘tools’ link and select ‘usage rights’. Make sure you select ‘labeled for reuse with modification’. Selecting any image can put you in a precarious place with the originator of the image so be certain you are selecting carefully.
How you say it
As a fan of retweets/shares, it’s important to add your own statement or perspective, if you can. You can simply emphasize the same sentiment, add another point, or you can even challenge the statement. But do add your own message to it.
The language you use is equally important. Do you want to be seen as approachable, friendly? Stay away from complex words and thoughts. Simplify. If you want to be seen as an esoteric leader, make sure your language matches that. As you can guess, we are pretty approachable around here.
These rules are for everyone: NEVER use vulgar language. ALWAYS use good grammar. And of course, check your spelling.
When you say it
Ah… timing. Well, unless your business has a daily flow to it, just try various times throughout the day and see when you get the most interactions. If you know of a similar business, you can view their social media posting schedule and mimic it. Your target audience may be different and it will certainly take time to build up your own followers, but learning from others is always a good place to start.
There are some good resources out there, like Hootsuite. As you post, Hootsuite will suggest the best time for each post based on your followers. Again, this takes time but Hootsuite will do the analysis for you. You can also schedule your posts in to the future, up to 30 scheduled posts, with no fee. For more robust social media efforts, you can purchase upgraded functionality and reporting with Hootsuite or Sprout Social, another great tool.
Where you say it
There are so many social media platforms out there! Again, which ones to use and how much depends on your target audience. Rather than go in to it here, check out this great infographic, developed by SocialMediaToday. Don’t make the mistake of going all-in on one platform and ignoring the others. There is a bit of overlap between the various platforms and your target audience. Make sure to use the right content on the right platform too. Those more personal posts and pictures should not be on LinkedIn. Try those on Facebook or Twitter. If you are an image heavy business, like an art studio or graphics firm, Pinterest can be your best friend. Take the time to research the various platforms and user demographics.
The magic to all this? It’s fluid. What works today can change tomorrow. And remember, with the millions of people accessing these platforms, it can be a bit like drinking from a fire hydrant. So take your time. Give your efforts time. Don’t expect immediate followers in the hundreds or thousands. Try different things. Have fun with it! And monitor, monitor, monitor. Change your plan as you see the results.