A steady stream of useful and entertaining social media content is a must for your business to connect with its audience. Learn the essentials here:
You might be wondering why, despite being on social media, your business doesn’t seem to be getting as many followers and fans as you were expecting. “Why is this happening,” you are probably thinking to yourself, “when social media is supposed to be my business’s best friend?” Off the top of my head, though, I’d say take a look at your page again. Or rather, what your page is sharing – what does your business have in terms of social media content?
Content: To create or to curate?
“But Liz,” you say, “I make sure I post on a semi-regular basis, because I know that being active on social media is important! In fact, just this morning, I shared our menu/company outing photos/catalogue of services/! Isn’t that enough?”
Well, my friend, the frequency of your social media content updates is only one aspect involved in maximizing the potential of your online presence. The actual meat is in the kind of updates you share.
Generally, you’ll want your social media content to be a healthy mix of five types:
There are two ways you can generate your social media content – you can either create or curate.
Content creation involves making your own branded content from the ground up, which you can then share with your social media fans. Creating your own content is effective for generating leads, as you can come up with original content offers (such as eBooks or case studies) for your followers to download.
Content creation also ensures that the content you share belongs to you. You are free to add your branding elements to it, or prepare it in a manner consistent with your brand’s established voice and identity. With original, search engine optimized content, you can drive more traffic to your site, increase your audience size, and even position yourself as a thought leader in your industry!
The downside to creating original content is that it can get quite stressful to pull off on a regular basis, which will in turn affect the consistency – and overall quality – of your social media content. This is where content curation comes in:
It’s the process of sharing existing third-party content (such as blogs, news articles, or social media updates from other brands) that are relevant to your audience. Through the effective use of curated content, you can build and strengthen connections with your audience, positioning yourself as a knowledgeable brand that is up to date with current trends and understands the needs of its fans and followers. Plus, it saves time!
You don’t have to choose one or the other. In fact, I recommend a healthy mix of original and curated content following the Pareto principle (only a fifth of it should be focused on marketing your brand).
Planning your content
Of course, you can’t just share updates without a unifying element to them (or at the very least, a goal in mind). Prepare an editorial calendar for the month, mapping out your content updates. To ensure that your content is useful and relevant to your audience, use these five “W” questions as your guide as you prepare your editorial calendar:
Being a good follower on social media
Of course, being on social media means that your business won’t be doing all the taking. You need to give a bit back, too. Start by being a good follower – [tweet_dis]share updates by other brands that are relevant or amusing to your audience, and give due credit.[/tweet_dis] You may also try establishing contact by participating in ongoing discussions about topics you are knowledgeable about or relevant to your business.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
Managing your content (and your expectations)
Apart from sharing your original and curated content, you also need to show that you are involved in the process of running your pages. Make sure that your content is free of typos or poor phrasing, and be available to respond to inquiries from your potential customers as soon as they come in.
With the aforementioned editorial calendar, you can easily take a look at it and find out what’s due this month, or in the next three months. This should make managing your content much more efficient.
However, if you feel that you don’t really have the time to devote to regular social media content management, you may want to consider using social media management tools to make the job easier or even outsourcing the work to a social media manager of your own.
Lastly, don’t expect results to improve at the drop of a hat! Remember that much like any other significant undertaking, results will only become apparent over time. Pay attention to your metrics, stick to your planned content, and make sure that you remain consistent in generating and posting content on your social media pages.
Liz Azyan is interested in the ways new kinds of social data and technology introduce challenges and opportunities to society. Get involved with Liz’s latest project here.