So, you’ve decided to take the plunge into the world of social media. Buckle up as the ride can be a bit bumpy—but it can also be incredibly fun and productive if you follow the right strategies. You may have already used a personal Facebook or Instagram account, but creating and managing a brand presence is a whole different world. Instead of a built-in audience of friends and family members, you now have to build a following and entertain them so that they hang around. Whether it’s fatigue from seeing too many posts, boredom from the types of posts or aggravation from unrelated content, social media users can be a fickle bunch. They also aren’t afraid to unlike or unfollow a brand they’ve grown tired of.
Now, don’t panic. There are a handful of tried-and-true methods you can deploy to help your posting strategy and aid your efforts in developing a healthy following. In part three of our educational series on how small businesses can best leverage social media, we’ll break down three quick ways that you can develop quality and attention-getting content.
Stay in your lane
Here’s a quick exercise to underscore what we mean by this point. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, take a second to check out one of your favorite brands and scroll through their feed to look for themes. For those of you that don’t, imagine the types of content that your favorite sports team, brand of hot sauce or electronics company might post. Interviews with players, recipes that feature the hot sauce and videos of the technology in action would all make sense. Beauty tips, advice about gardening and infographics about gerbils would not.
One of the fastest ways to annoy someone on social media is by posting unrelated content. Take the time to create a social media strategy that outlines the types of subjects you think your audience wants to read about. And don’t be afraid to do some research either.
If you own a small house painting company, check out the social media accounts for some of the top interior designers to see if there are any seasonal colors they’re promoting as the next “it” color. Not only is that relevant to your audience, but you could package it with any specials you’re running to increase bookings.
It’s important to mention that relevant content doesn’t have to be just about your products and services. Many small businesses try to remain close to the community, so any local news that might be important to your audience is fair game. Are you sponsoring a local walk-a-thon or the nearby high school football team’s awards banquet? Social media is a great place to remind your audience how entrenched you are in your town.
Create content that users want to share
It’s called “social” media for a reason, right? The entire crux of social networking is to connect with others and talk about any shared interests. If a brand isn’t creating content that someone wants to talk about with their friends, that brand’s content strategy needs work. The easiest way to talk about a brand’s content is by “sharing” it on Facebook or Instagram and “retweeting” it on Twitter.
You might be asking, “But, what type of content do people want to share?” Generally, things that make them happy. A BuzzSumo study found that awe, laughter and amusement were the most common emotions invoked by articles that were shared. Meanwhile, an Ipsos study found that 61% of people shared things they found interesting, while 43% shared funny content.
When you’re deciding what to post, perform a gut check on yourself by taking off your business owner hat. If you were a customer of your business (either existing or potential), would you be inclined to share this content with your own network? Would you find it amusing? Funny? Inspiring? Interesting? If the answer to those questions is no, it’s probably best to move on to something else.
Mix up the types of content you post
You may have seen this quote floating around the internet: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” While the quote’s creator likely didn’t intend for the quote to describe social media posting habits, it very well could have. What we mean by that is that you must vary the types of content you post if you want positive results. In full disclosure, the platform does dictate some of this. For instance, Instagram is mostly for posting photos and short videos, no lengthy text.
However, if you think posting a daily diatribe on Facebook with no visual is going to grab the attention of a user, you’re wrong. Photos, videos, infographics, memes, polls, GIFs and live footage are all ways that you can use to mix up the types of posts so that you aren’t repetitive. Studies have also shown that visuals tend to receive more engagement than text-based posts.
Developing quality social media content shouldn’t be scary
It’s normal to be apprehensive about bringing your brand to a platform like Facebook. In some ways, it can feel like the Wild West. Faceless names can say whatever they want, whenever they want. The reality is that brands have more control than some may think on social media, and a smart and strategic approach based on developing quality and attention-getting content is a great way to engage with targeted audiences.
If you have a home service business and you’re looking for other smart and strategic ideas, you should check out WHERK’s new software. We’ve made time- and labor-intensive tasks like scheduling and invoicing automated and easy-to-execute. To learn more, schedule your free demo with WHERK today.