This is part 1 of a series featuring Social Media Tips and Tools to Post Smarter. In this post we're going to talk about the importance of content.
We already know that social media is a way for us to engage and interact with our audiences online. We're familiar with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and might be active on one or all these. We know that social media isn't just a fad - it's a mainstream reality. But social media is about more than just posting once or twice a week.
This post is beneficial to you if:
- you already have working knowledge of social media platforms,
- have already chosen the channels that are right for you,
- and you're looking to take your accounts to new heights.
We're going to cover:
- Why content matters
- How to create content that resonates with your audience
- How to create content that engages your audience
- And how to build a social media strategy that works
Why Is Content So Important?
Many of us have heard the term 'Content is King', but we hear it often for a reason. The internet and social media has changed the way people find and digest information. We live in the information age. So much information bogs down news feeds, you wonder how anyone will ever see or care about your posts.
Today, our audiences have a short attention span. They your feeds and website while waiting in line to order their coffee, commuting to work, or downing mouthfuls of lunch at their desks. So, we need to get straight to the point.
Knowing how to build successful content is the key to any great social media strategy. Good content helps you stand out and ultimately, make your message heard.
Without pointing fingers, there are companies that share but they fail to provide any real value. They focus on quantity and not quality. In fact, 69% of content out there lacks quality 1. The goal of social media is not to be a posting machine. Instead, the goal is to build a great content brand. So, how can you do that?
In general, content that you share should meet any or all of these criteria. It should:
- Help to solve a problem
Identify your audience's challenges, needs, and concerns
Offer a glimpse into company life, your products, industry news etc..
Offer information on new programs, products, advances in the industry and more.
Current news such as product recalls, new product launches, anything timely.
Find the sweet spot of topics you know best, and intersect it with what your audience cares about. This will make you a credible and reliable source of information.
Content Ideas Generators
- Consider hosting a round table discussion in the summer with Department Heads and Managers to find out what's important to them. Questions could include 'What are the most common questions you get in your department?', or 'What are some upcoming projects you are really excited about that we can help to share?'
- Surveys are another great way to engage your audiences and it shows you value their opinion. Simple polls on Facebook or tools like Survey Monkey are easy ways to get feedback. Ask questions like 'What topics do you find most interesting?', 'What information do you find most beneficial'. You could get interesting results.
- Analytics and insights from Social Media are a true reflection of how your posts have performed. Twitter makes it easy to see top tweets based on engagement. Facebook lets you see which posts get the most reach and engagement. Analyze this information to discover hot topics and what interests your users. Find what they're eating up and keep dishing it out!
- Google Analytics enables you to drill down and see which pages visitors are most interested in. You can see peaks and valleys for topics and seasonal trends. Use this information to plan content ahead of time. The goal is to always be proactive, instead of reactive.
- Look at your annual calendar for key milestones for your company. Identify the yearly events and build your social media strategy around those. Again, be proactive instead of reactive.
- Identify common inquiries that come via your website or by phone. See any trends? Publish content that answers these inquiries. Chances are there are plenty more people asking the same question.
Social media is a great way to engage and educate the people you care about most. Your audiences also have different needs. It's your job to identify their needs and craft strategic ways to meet them.
Just remember to ask yourself; do my posts educate? Will they help to solve a problem? Will they entertain? Will they inform?
If you can focus on this, people who consume your content will really like it. And then they'll share it with other people... who like it.. and share it, which is the goal!
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