How to… create Social Media content

Every single week, I speak to business owners offering fantastic products and services who complain that they’re just not seeing any results from their social media activity. Their complaint is simple (and always strikingly similar!) – the time and effort they put into their posts just isn’t converting into increased sales or brand loyalty.  All their hard work is getting lost in the noise of the newsfeed.

Some of these business owners lack a defined strategy for their social media (if this sounds like you, why not take a look at my blog ‘A good Social Media strategy… where to start?’), whereas others know exactly who they are talking to, what they want to achieve and what they want to say, but are still missing the mark with their content and posting material that doesn’t catch the eye or stir the soul of their audience… it’s all just a bit boring.

So how can you create content that stops a potential customer in their tracks and gets them to actively engage with your material?

Here are my top tips:

Track down the people who influence your audience…

Which magazines do your followers like to read? What television shows do they like to watch? Are they likely to follow bloggers or ‘influencers’ online? One of the fastest ways to get your business in front of a larger audience of potential customers is by working with people who already have a following of individuals who fit your customer demographic! Some influencers may want paying to promote your products/services, others may be happy to do a skill/product swap, so why not identify and get in touch with a few appropriate influencers, and find out how the relationship could work for your business?  Just ensure that their ethos and ideals ‘fit in’ with your own. Even if you choose not to collaborate, if your audience are following an ‘influencer’ in droves, you should too. Interact and engage with their social feeds to increase your visibility with their (and your!) audience, and make sure you share their content if you see something particularly interesting!

Take time to produce great (and thoughtful!) content

If you go into a pub and talk about just yourself, whether you like it or not, people will get bored and switch off pretty quickly, but if you widen the conversation they’ll chat to you for longer. It’s the same with Social Media. What else can you talk about other than your business to keep the conversation going? What might they be interested in? How can you add value for them? These questions will really help you to start thinking about where you can find content and what kind of content you should be creating. A Yoga studio, for example, may want to talk primarily about Yoga and the range of classes they offer, but information and tips about general health and physical and mental wellbeing are likely to interest the audience too! A Wedding venue may predominantly post beautiful pictures of their venue, but articles on ‘how to host the perfect hen-do’ or creating hand-made wedding favours will also be useful and interesting to the audience.

Don’t just stick to text only posts!

There are so many apps out there to help you create eye-catching and engaging content, like Canva, Legend, Lumen5, and Pixabay to name just a few! Varying your types of content will help to keep your audience engaged and keep your newsfeed looking interesting.

Save time and schedule

I know how easy it is to accidentally lose an hour or two to a social media platform… you log-on to make a thought-provoking post on your business page and find yourself, three hours later, watching videos about cats in boxes… we all do it! If you’ve got limited time to dedicate to manual posting, why not use a scheduling tool (We LOVE ContentCal) and get some content scheduled in for the coming week/month. If you’ve got some great content scheduled, it gives you the flexibility to react to things in the news, local events etc. that happen that day and frees up your time to engage with your followers and those influencers I mentioned earlier. Respond to comments and start conversations with your followers and influencers, as social media works best when… guess what… you’re social!

Test, Test, Test!

Even when you know who you want to talk to, how you want to talk to them and what you’re going to talk to them about, don’t rest on your laurels! The best Social Media strategies are dynamic and responsive and they evolve as you develop a greater understanding of what kind of content really resonates with your audience! Make use of the analytics features of your social media platforms to see what kind of content is working, and what isn’t. Are certain types of posts getting lots of engagement and reaching a large number of people? Which platforms are driving the largest number of relevant customers to your website, and is this consistent? Statistics are your friend – by identifying the most popular and positive types of post, it’ll provide focus for your content sourcing and creation.

I know we’re all short of time these days, so spend yours wisely and don’t waste time and effort on social content that isn’t focused, interesting and relevant to your audience. It really is worth putting some time aside and working through these steps to make sure that your carefully created and curated content isn’t falling upon deaf ears in the noisy world of social media.