A lot of businesses start using social media simply ‘because’ and often haven’t put much thought into what they will post, to whom and how often. We all have the best intentions when we start a social media page, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or another platform, but at some point we run out of ideas and the place is deserted. You’re not sure what to post on social media? Not ideal. If you want to build a community and benefit from your social media platforms, it’s going to take a bit of time.
The biggest question clients often ask me, is what to post? Where to find new and engaging content?
Firstly, I think it’s important to choose the right platform and ditch the one that is unlikely to work for you or one that you just have to put too much effort in for not much return. Think about where your target market ‘hangs out’ and pick up to 3 (maximum!) platforms on which you will focus your time and energy. For some it’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for others it might be a blog, Facebook and Pinterest. A lot of them compliment each other, but when you are just starting out I would recommend choosing a small number and put your focus on getting it right first. Do one thing, and do it well.
Now let’s look at where to find possible content. Online news sites are a great place to find the latest news and current affairs either locally or worldwide. Also your local news, community forum or radio site can be a great starting point.
To become more strategic and appeal to your customers, think of all the sites that are relevant to your industry. I don’t mean your competition, instead look at your suppliers, brands, products etc. You need to work out who you want to speak to, who your want your content to appeal to and then think ‘if they like my product/brand/service what other content would they like?’
A few examples:
- If your target market is women aged 25-45 and you are a Beauty Salon it is likely that your target market would also be interested in fashion, health, food and travel.
- If you are a travel agent your clients may be interested in backpacks, hiking, adventure sports, health and beauty, outdoor clothing, books, mobile technology. There are many interests to choose from.
- If you are a wedding planner your audience may be interested in photographers, stylists, venues, jewelry, travel, time management… the list goes on.
Try to avoid talking about yourself too much, the general rule is 80% non-related business content and 20% business content. You wouldn’t talk about yourself all day, every day in the real world so why do it online?
Mix it up with interesting facts and content about other things that matter to your audience. Don’t be afraid to share content from other business’ Facebook pages, blogs, pictures, websites etc if it relates to what your target audience would be interested in. If you are a local business, it’s a great opportunity to share what’s going on in the community. When you are sharing content, just make sure you use the share button so the original author is credited. Always credit images correctly.
The best way to keep track of what is going on in your industry is to follow other business who are targeting the same or similar audience. Tools like hootsuite make it easier to keep track of what’s happening.
You can also set alerts through google alerts to notify you when certain words appear in new content online. This is great for keeping on top of what people are saying about your business and for keeping tabs on your industry.
Keep an eye out for more social media tips, or if you would like help with your social media strategy, feel free to contact me.