Content is the backbone of social media and great social media marketing is driven by great content.
Whether it’s a witty and engaging post, an informative blog or video, a clever Twitter quip or inspiring image, great social media content will increase your chances of social media success.
There are some businesses out there that seem to be nailing social media content every time they log into their social media accounts, but more often than not, generating consistently good content is what brings many small businesses and their social media marketing undone. The good news, however, is that generating social media content doesn’t have to be so hard, it just takes a little bit of planning.
Here are some quick tips to help you develop great social media content, every time.
ALIGN YOUR STRATEGIES
Before you start, you need a social media strategy which will guide your content strategy. If you are already elbows deep in your social media efforts, take a step back and assess whether or not your social media marketing strategy and content strategy is on the same page. Let’s take a closer look at what this means. Say your social media marketing strategy is to deliver great customer service, then you should be posting content that helps a customer interact with your business, inform customers about your business, resolves consumer complaints and high-fives customers who post great feedback onto your platform. However, if your content is all about funny cat videos and photos of your breakfast, then you have a disconnect between your social media strategy and content – the result – those who follow you on social media will slowly disengage.
PUT SOME THOUGHT INTO YOUR CONTENT
Before you post, think about the content and understand what purpose is it serving? Are you looking to inform, entertain, surprise, reward or educate your followers? Is it relevant, (which it should be if you have aligned your strategies), and is it content you would want to see from a similar type of business? Don’t forget to think about what you actually want people to do once they have interacted with your content – share it, like it, comment, download or purchase and tell them – sometimes you have to spell it out.
LEARN HOW TO CREATE GOOD CONTENT
There are many ways you can create social media content, some easier than others. If you are hell-bent on creating your own, original content then give some thought as to how you are going to do this and commit to it. I have witnessed many small business owners, with the best intentions, set out to generate their own original content – and then it gets too hard, or time-consuming to keep it up. Before they know it, their social media updates become few and far between and they kind of give up. So, before you head down this path, honestly assess if you have the capabilities, resources, skills and time to do this, and if you don’t either invest time in learning the skills, or adjust your content plans accordingly and give thought to curating content to support your original material.
DON’T BE SCARED TO SOURCE & CURATE CONTENT
If you’ve thrown your hands up in despair over always creating original content, don’t panic. There is nothing wrong with sourcing and curating content that already exists and trust me, there is a mountain of content already out there you can draw from. Not all of it will be relevant, so learn how to identify what’s right for your business and social media audience.
Here are three easy ways you can source and curate great content:
- Industry networks – This includes business chambers, industry blogs, tourism associations, government sites, business blogs, fashion networks, or a retail industry body for example.
- Social media – Follow others within your industry or business stream who post interesting and relevant content. For example, if you are a restaurant, this could mean fresh produce suppliers, recipes sites, other businesses in your local area or food bloggers. Fashion retailers could follow magazines, designers they stock, fashion weeks from around the world, trendspotting sites or sartorialists. There is a mountain of content out there, chances are you can use some of it for your own audience.
- News sites – Most of us read news online, so if a news story catches your eye and would be of interest to your audience, grab it and post it onto your site.
To make the process easier, set up alerts for content containing keywords relevant to your industry or brand, and once you see content you like repurpose it to suit your audience. You can do this simply by adding your own voice to it via a comment or opinion. Don’t forget to attribute your content to its original source, and where possible tag the original source to increase the reach of your post.
GET INTO THE HABIT OF REPURPOSING & REUSING CONTENT
A simple way to extend the shelf life of great content is to repurpose it into other formats and publish it across other platforms. Most content can be turned into one or more formats, extending its use and, importantly, its reach.
Here are 4 ways you can repurpose content:
- Long copy informative blog post – can you turn it into a video for YouTube (great for how to posts) or an infographic to tweet or pin?
- Surveys, such as Facebook surveys or consumer questionnaires – think about turning the survey results into a series of posts or tweets, or a blog for your website or LinkedIn.
- Industry data and statistics – these make great infographics or ‘did you know’ snippets on Facebook or Twitter.
- Images – turn great images into memes for Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Don’t make social media marketing harder for yourself by just jumping in and hoping for the best. Having a clear social media marketing strategy and a deep understanding of your audience will make the task of content much easier; the result will be great social media content that is limited only by your imagination.
Do you have any other tips for creating great social media content? We’d love to hear from you.