Whether you are a blogger, sole trader or SME, it can seem that all you are told to do these days is to create content. Content is king. Regular content is essential. Content…content…content…
It is exhausting and can be mind-numbing. You are told to engage your followers, your readers, your clients…but how? How can you offer content 5 (if not, 7) days a week and still be interesting and varied?
It is hard, especially as you probably have about 100 other things to do – more directly related to your actual business – so creating 5 Facebook posts, with beautifully crafted Canva images to go with each of them can seem like the impossible dream.
However, I can’t deny that creating regular content, especially for your social media platforms is really important…in fact, essential. Otherwise, there is not much point in having the platform. So, what can you do to help creating content for social media a little bit easier? A little less boring? And, hopefully, a little more effective?
Firstly, get your mindset write – don’t start thinking, “oh goodness, I need to post something on *insert names of social media platforms here* and schedule posts for the rest of the week.”
Instead think about the reasons you are creating the content and the benefits for your business social media holds. If you’ve forgotten, these include:
- a low-cost form of advertising
- a way to instantly communicate with clients and potential clients
- a flexible way of sharing information about your business
- a method to drive traffic to your website
- the possibility of global promotion, as well as direct, location-specific promotion, if necessary
- a fast and efficient form of communication
- an analysable format – allowing you to look at analytics and date, see trends, compare competitors and evaluate the effectiveness of your posts, your campaigns and your adverts
- a way to build a loyal following which helps you to get to know your target audience and identify your ideal customer.
Choose your perfect platform
Creating content for a platform that you enjoy using and that seems to draw a reaction from your followers is sooooo much easier than having to create content for a platform where you feel invisible. Therefore, there is no point trying to be ‘everything to everyone’. You will ‘fall between stools’ (one of my favourite sayings!) and end up appealing to no one.
Do a bit of research and find out which platform works best for you and your business. Consider (and research if necessary):
- Which social media you use most?
- Which social media platforms your ideal client/target audience use most?
- Which social media platforms work best for you in terms of what you want to share? If you love giving snappy quotes or reactions Twitter might be better…if you are all about the imagery, Instagram might be the one…if you are more in to videos perhaps Facebook will help…or LinkedIn, if you are trying to reach professionals or have B2B business/services/products.
You don’t have to only have a business presence on one of the platforms, but you also certainly don’t need to be on all of them. Also consider which content could work well for two or more, as well as what you think you should keep for a specific platform.
It might take some trial and error and that is fine too. Start with the ones you are most personally familiar with. It will probably make it easier for things like learning how to post and schedule, etc. Also take time to do some research into specific advice for specific platforms. They each have their own nuances and their own special ways of making a post more effective to drive more engagement and more reach.
Content ideas for social media
Once you have convinced yourself of the benefits and chosen the right platforms for you, now is the time to start creating the content. The number of recommended posts per week for a business varies hugely, depending on the platform (as well as the person writing the advice, to be honest!)…so again, do your research, seek advice and also experiment and see what seems to work best for you, your business and your followers.
Here are 10 content ideas to help keep things interesting:
- Pictures – this means anything! Photographs, illustrations, memes, slideshows…just try to give your written post something visual to support it and ram home the message you are making (or a call to action, at least)
- Shares – you don’t always have to create content from scratch. Remember to share other people’s interesting (and relevant) posts, with your accompanying thoughts or introduction. Remember you don’t have to share something as soon as you see it. You can save items on most platforms and share or schedule at the most appropriate time for your target audience
- Your ‘other’ content – whether it is your latest blog post, website update or newsletter, tell everyone about it via social media too
- Polls – run a poll. It can be serious or fun. Ask questions, garner opinions and get people to make predictions. A simple click can often persuade people to engage rather than having to comment. If your chosen social media platform doesn’t have a ‘polling format’, then pose your question and offer 3-4 options, labelling them A-D, and ask them to simply comment with one letter. It’s amazing how being asked to do very little can drive much more engagement that asking an open question and expecting long replies
- Sales posts – don’t be afraid to write good old-fashioned sales posts explaining what you do and what services and products you offer. All of the algorithms on the social media platforms mean you have very little control over who sees which posts, so catch their eye and tell them something about your business. For those that know your business inside and out they won’t worry and will expect the odd sales post…it might even remind them of a product or service you offer that they had forgotten about
- Offers – social media is a great place to advertise offers. If you don’t usually do offers – think about running one! For the sake of different content options, as much as to drive sales
- Other pages – do you follow other pages and find them really interesting, fun, engaging, informative…perhaps it is a client’s page or supplier’s page>? If you think your target audience would find it of interest then share the page with your followers and encourage them to like/follow too. …you may find the said page reciprocates the kindness
- Reviews – have you received a testimonial, review, endorsement or recommendation? Whether it is on the social media platform you are creating content for or not…tell the world about it! Create an image with an excerpt or key phrase from the original testimonial and reflect on how getting such a great review makes you feel
- Video – the thought might want to make you curl up in a ball, but video is fast becoming the most effective form of content across many of the social media platforms. It doesn’t have to be live, but do consider a video of some form, even if it is just an introduction. You don’t even have to be on camera – perhaps you could offer a guide or a tour of your workplace, location or products…but definitely consider it if video is not one of your regular content inclusions at the moment
- Throwback – when you are feeling a little desperate, consider a ‘throwback’ post – this is where you re-share something you have posted before or talk about an old blog post or article – reflect on it and reuse it.
Get help – outsource
I really enjoy scheduling my weekly social media posts but it is time-consuming. I can’t deny that. So, do consider calling in the experts. Many great social media managers can schedule a week’s worth of posts in a very short time – saving you time and effort – and, most likely, making you money in the long run.
I am no social media expert, but if you want to see some of my content, check out my Facebook page here.