Maybe you know, think, or have been told that you need to post on social media, you’re doing it but you don’t feel like you really know what you’re doing, in which case you’re going to find it harder to get it right! Or perhaps you’d just like to check back in with the basics to see if you are covering all or most of the bases with your current content.
Here’s a run through of the basic principles of a strong approach to your social media presence.
Firstly, check in with what you want to gain from your social media content, are you engaging in social media purely to gain followers, are you trying to build connections, directing traffic to your online store, or is it something else? Knowing why you’re doing it and what your aim and message is, is a great place to start!
So, what are the basic principles? In a nutshell, you want to be posting consistent, regular, valuable content for your followers and viewers.
What does this mean?
Keep it regular. You needn’t stick to the exact same times, although you can work out the best times of day to post by using the basic analytical tools that come with your social media business accounts, but ensure its regular, daily at least. Try to avoid dry spells, and then posting all of your content at once; keeping your account updated regularly and consistently shows that you are an active user with something to offer.
Keep it relevant. Loop back to your aim, the reason you’ve set up your business social media accounts, is what you’re posting relevant? We don’t even mean directly connected to your brand necessarily, but is it relevant, are the individuals who followed your account, to who’re interested in your coffee brand or HR blog or architecture and design startup, going to be interested in what you’re posting? Ask yourself ‘Is it industry related?’ and/or ‘Does each post have a point?’ even if the point is just to be humours, ensure there is one; it’s easy to post for the sake of posting something, anything… but it does matter what you post so just give it a read before you press ‘Send’, ‘Publish’, ‘Post’ or ‘Share’!
Keep it varied and valuable. Why do your followers follow you? What are you giving them? If the answer is nothing, then you’re at a high risk of losing them! Give your followers value, give them something that’s going to keep you safely on their follow list.
By value, we mean that your audience learns something from what you have shared: a fact, about a new event, opening hours, discovers a new blog you shared, or even just laughs at a funny GIF. Quality content will have something that the reader can take away.
Give them information on your brand, by all means, you’re running a business account to get your business out there, so, yes, you can self promote, but this should account or less than half of what you’re putting out there, offer useful, interesting and varied information from other sources too! In fact the 80/20 rule is often referred to as a good gauge for content generation; 80% industry news, user generated or informative (basically not about you and your brand) and with the remaining 20% feel free to sell yourself. The 5:3:2 rule on the other hand suggests your ratio your content, (5) industry related, informative content for your users, (3) content you have created and (2) humanising your brand using fun or comical content or real life insights into your workers or office.
Mix it up. This doesn’t come to everyone easily, but think outside of the box; if you’re a coffee company then you can offer updates on your coffee shop, coffee facts, celebrate days and weeks like #nationalcoffeeweek, support your local community of shops and even competitors if that’s the kind of relationship you have with them, blogs on the coffee industry, hot drinks tips or the city you’re based in. Also ensure that you’re mixing up your mediums, so this means sharing text, video, images, slideshows, GIFs, creating polls, using emojis in your text, if that’s your style, and utilising the live and stories features we now have! The list is endless, just remember to mix it up!
A checklist of content ideas:
- You and your business – this can be offers you have on, things that are happening in the shop or office (humanising the account), products etc
- Your Blog or Youtube Videos
- Other company blogs and thought leaders in your area
- Industry related content or thoughts on industry relevant topics (Try making your own infographic to share industry information)
- (For Twitter) Retweet and select ‘with comment’ to put your own value to it
- Jump in on conversations and offer your opinion or support
To summarise all those quick points: Post regularly, post a variety of content using a variety of mediums and ensure your audience is going to find it relevant and valuable in some way and you’ll be off to a good start!