Creating social media content has become an essential marketing function. However, it can be difficult to know what content will be the most effective. The general rule is that it is always quality over quantity. If you are not careful, your content can easily start hurting your business instead of helping it. The most effective content will be carefully chosen and created for your specific company. Potential customers make a lot of assumptions based on the content companies produce. From this, they will determine who the company is, what they are offering, and whether their products or services are worth the price.
This article will discuss how you can create the most effective social media content for your business. It will also discuss the benefits of public relations for SEO results.
Content Creation Strategy
The first step to having successful content is having a social media content creation strategy. This strategy will help you identify what goals you are trying to achieve from your content. Having goals also gives you a guide for what your content should be telling customers. Some of the most common goals are increased brand awareness, improved lead generation, and increased engagement. You will want to start with your overall marketing goals. From there, decide how you can use your social media content to serve those goals.
Next, you should do an analysis of your current content. Look at which posts performed the best, whether it’s in views, likes, or engagement. There are social media tools available to help you or many platforms allow you to do this directly. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Business all allow you to export your post analytics directly from the platform. From here you can analyze which posts met your goals. If you were looking for brand awareness, you can see which posts led to new followers. This will tell you what kind of content helps expand your audience.
You may also want to do a competitive analysis to see what your competitors are doing. Do they have a larger following than you? Do their posts get much more engagement than yours? You can analyze what they are doing differently than you that might account for this difference. It may also show you what isn’t working for them and will likely also not work for you.
Then, you will want to create a social media content calendar. A calendar will help you visualize your strategy and also make sure that you are adequately prepared. It will be an easy way to see where your posts are going and making sure you are sharing adequately on each platform.
Finally, you should always track your results. Although you can look up effective social media content online, these are only general guidelines. To find out what works best for your business, you need to use your metrics. After a certain amount of time, analyze which posts were the most successful in helping your social media goals.
Why do People Engage with Content?
Before you can create effective social media content, you need to know what motivates people to engage with it. Many companies will add social media content to their advertising or marketing departments. However, marketing and advertising are very different from social media content creation. A study by the NY Times Insights Group showed the top factors that contribute to people engaging and sharing content. The reasons are:
- To define ourselves to others
- To bring valuable and entertaining content to others
- To grow and nourish relationships
- To get the word out about causes and brands we care about
With these motivations in mind, we will discuss some content ideas you can use to make your social media more effective.
Share User-Generated Content
This is one of the easiest ways to “create” content. For example, say you are a clothing boutique and your customers tag you in pictures of them wearing your clothes. Reposting these images is an easy, quick way to come up with content. In addition, these posts show your followers that you have happy customers. These kinds of posts are also very successful because the audience believes that this content was created by someone like them. This belief makes them more likely to engage with the content. Another way to do this is to share reviews or testimonials by customers. Always ask permission before you share others’ content as some people may not be comfortable with it.
Campaign for Social Causes
Social causes really resonate with people. Everyone wants to contribute to bettering society in some way. Many businesses also want to better society somehow. Whether or not your business is explicitly tied with a social cause, you can still use this in your social media content. Your company may not be like Bombas Socks, which donates a pair of socks to people in need for every pair they sell. That doesn’t mean that you can’t also get involved. For example, your business could sponsor a local fundraiser or organization.
Being involved with social causes gives customers another reason to spread the word about your company and the initiative it is supporting. However, we should caution that you should never exploit a social cause simply for your social media content. Only use this type of content if it is something you and your business genuinely are concerned about and want to support.
Personalize Your Content
Having personalized content helps you connect more meaningfully with your followers. Addressing people by name when they leave comments on your accounts is a good place to start. Personalization can also be more general. To do this, analyze what your audience needs. What problems are they trying to solve? If you know this, you can make sure your content specifically addresses those needs.
Public Relations for SEO
One of the benefits of public relations for SEO is that it builds your authority. If thought leadership is important to your strategy, public relations can help you achieve this. Press coverage will give you another place where your name is linked to keywords. Another benefit of public relations for SEO is that it can create backlinks. Press coverage will generally include a link to your website. Backlinks are extremely important when search engines are deciding where to rank you. Press coverage also improves brand recognition. Brand recognition is becoming more and more important for search engines. Being featured on third-party websites with press releases gives you even more exposure. There are many outlets where you can reach out in an attempt to get a press release or press coverage for your business.
Interact with Users
There is no better way to create a personalized experience than to personally connect with your users. Think of this as going to your customers instead of trying to bring them to you. Replying to peoples’ comments on Facebook and Instagram make customers feel seen. It can also be a place to put negative reviews to rest and rectify them. You should always tailor your replies to each person to make it more effective. If someone notices that all of your responses are the exact same, it takes away the sincerity and can reflect poorly on you.
Less Promotional Content
This might seem counterintuitive to some people, but consumers don’t like to constantly be bombarded with overt sales posts. Your posts should focus less on selling your product or service and more on helping your audience. This is not to say that promotional posts can never be used. They can and should. However, posting them regularly can make consumers feel like they are being spammed. This quickly turns your audience off of both your brand and your products and services.
Depending on the industry you are in, tutorials and “how to” videos can be very useful. These are some of the most popular posts that get shared to lots of other people. For example, if you are a clothing boutique, you could create a “how to style a blazer” video. This will show customers how your blazer can fit into their wardrobe.
The first step to creating a good tutorial is to research your audience. Figure out what topics they may want information on. Another example is for a travel agency. Creating a video like “how to travel to ____ on a budget” can be very helpful for people. These how-to videos may be the catalyst that finally makes them buy your product or use your service because they have seen it in use.
We all know the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Social media is no exception. People are naturally drawn to images. For example, tweets with images get an average of 150% more retweets than tweets without. Images are also more effective on Facebook. A study of 100 brands showed that 92% of all their interactions came from posts with either photos or videos attached. Presenting facts and statistics using visuals is always more effective than using it in text. Visuals make it much easier for your audience to understand and internalize the information being presented.
Instagram and Twitter both have poll capabilities. These drive a lot of audience engagement because they’re quick and easy. It also feeds peoples’ curiosity. Many will click the poll just because they are curious what other people answered. Certain polls can even be created that are useful for you. Again using the clothing store example, you might post a poll that asks “blazers or jackets.” This might seem like just a fun post for your followers, but you can use that information to tailor what you carry in your store. Now that you are aware of all of the different ways and methods that people share social media content, you will have no problem making your own excellent content.