Every brand wants the same thing – to be found, to be recognized, to gain interest from potential customers, and to turn those potential customers into purchasers and even ambassadors for their brand.
And in 2020, where is this best accomplished? On social media, of course. Why? Because billions of people are on social media every day. Of course, they are there to socialize with friends and family.
Users are Exploring Business Brands on Social Media
Over time, social media users have come to see these platforms as a place to explore business brands too. They want recommendations from their communities; they access the business accounts of companies that sell products or services they want or need; they read what other customers have to say on those company pages.
And if they have looked at any products or services anywhere on the web, they will find that their own social media feed/timeline is suddenly including posts from brands that feature those products or services.
Content is Still King
As a brand, you cannot ignore the growing importance of social media as the place to spread your brand, and you must create content that will both resonate with your target audience, compel them to share that content with their communities, and link to your website for more information about you.
If you already have a presence on social media and are not getting the results you want, then here is a guide for crafting the right content. Use it as a checklist, as you evaluate what you are currently doing and begin to craft post content from this point forward.
#1. Begin with Research
You cannot begin to craft content that will be pleasing to your potential customers until you know everything there is to know about them.
This used to be a complex and time-consuming task, but today it’s much easier. There are big data solutions for all of this, and any number of big data solution services that can provide you with everything from a complete target persona to when and where these targets are on social media.
You can also get information about their preferences for humor, their pain points, and the type of content that resonates. Your competition is using big data – you must too.
#2. Develop a Plan
The breadth of your social media presence will depend on your resources – primarily people (with salaries/benefits). Small businesses should focus on the two platforms most popular with their target customers; mid-sized and large enterprises can obviously do more.
Once you have determined where you will be, the following should be a part of your overall plan:
- Determine how often you will post on each platform. You need a schedule, and you need to stick to it – followers come to expect to hear from you on a regular basis.
- Select broad topic areas that you know are of interest to your audience. Finding these is a matter of research – check out popular post topics of your competition; use tools to find trending topics in your business niche. Generate a list.
- Within those topic areas, generate a list of more specific topics. This will be an ongoing task, as you always want fresh content
- Many businesses generate themes for their social media content. These themes are not meant to promote products or services. They are meant to engage audiences.
Bill Harrison, a social media marketer for the writing service, Grab My Essay, puts it this way: “We use holidays and seasons as a theme for our Facebook posts – very few words and always a discount included. We don’t spend time touring our company – they can read more about us on our website.”
Think about how you will educate, inform, entertain, and inspire your audience – not sell your products. It’s all about them, not you.
#3. Crafting that Content
Creativity and brevity are the operative words here. No one wants to read a lot on social media. They want a creative post with images and/or media.
If you are not creative, and you have many more tasks for business operations, as well as a small budget, then you can contract your post copy out to any number of freelancers (many of them actually use social media to find clients) or to writing services that have creative copywriting departments. You can start with BestEssayEducation or WowGrade. You provide your specific topics or themes and they do the rest.
Here are some general rules for social media content:
- It’s a place to build relationships between your brand and your followers. Tell stories about yourself and your company.
- Feature happy customers
- Feature team members – “A Day in the Life of….” all through photos
- Use humor appropriate for your audience
- Never post without some form of media – photos, infographics, videos, etc.
- GIFS and Memes are hugely popular – use them
- Tell stories through photos/videos, not words – headlines and captions should be short and creative
- Feature your commitment to social causes – have you participated in a charitable event? Do you have ongoing support for a cause? Is your production method environmentally friendly? These things matter.
- Run contests, quizzes, and surveys – highly popular
- Provide incentives for sharing your posts – a discount, a freebie, etc.
- Above all, be brief – no more than 180 words for Facebook and even less for Instagram and Twitter posts.
#4. Set Your Posting Schedule
How often is your competition posting? This will give you a good idea of how often you should. When you set a schedule, however, you must stick to it. The best of all worlds is to create as many posts in advance as possible and then use an automated posting service – a big burden off your shoulders.
#5. Do the Analytics
You have to know if your posts are working or not. Track likes and shares and those who link to your website from each platform and specific posts. All social media platforms offer these reports. Review them carefully so that you know what you may need to change.
#6. Get a Social Monitoring Tool
You want to know when followers respond in some way to your posts – comments, issues, other feedback. You cannot check your posts all day. But you can use a social mention tool that will alert you to follower comments, so that you can follow-up with your own response.
In the End…
Establishing a solid social media presence is not an option. It puts your brand “on the map” if done right. The goal is to gain followers who then become customers. To do this, you must focus on what they want to see, not on what you want to sell. The word “social” is key – be human, be social, have fun, and use these six steps.