You need to start by understanding the people you want to reach, and sharing things you know they want to see. It really is quite simple.
Your clientele are business owners or employees from the businesses you deal with – this immediately gives you a connection. Quite simply, it’s business. Anything business related, especially if it’s related to the industry you’re in, can add value to your social media followers. Remember… It’s not only your customers that will follow you on social media, it’s also prospective customers and they don’t know how they feel about you yet.
The purpose of the content you share is for the benefit of the people that follow you. You must always keep this in mind – the goal is to add value and share things they want to see. If your goal is around wanting customers, sales, referrals… you will likely turn people away. The interactions will not be as good as you want them to be. Your audience will be very good at working out whether or not what you share can benefit them or not, and they can tell when your content is only there to benefit you.
Firstly, you need a follower profile. Anything you can come up with about people you want to follow you, and people that do. Age, gender, geographical location, interests, etc. You may think it’s hard to gather this sort of information but it’s not. Start with your major commonality – business and your particular industry.
You also need a business personality. We all want our businesses to be seen as professional, but when engaging in a social world you can’t seem like a human-less enterprise. A business being presented in a social world needs to have a personality or people will not connect with you. It is also important to note, if your personality is deemed ‘too unprofessional’ you will also likely turn people away. The goal of your business personality is to be relatable to your audience. The one thing that works time and time again on social media is humour. Not political, crude or offensive, but humour relating to life challenges and even those specific to your industry and business in general.
This leads us to the next point – working out your content. What information would interest people in your industry? Think about problems they may relate to, content that can help them enhance their businesses, etc. This sort of content will make up the bulk of what you will share via social media. As said earlier, what you post is not actually about you… it’s about your followers.
A detailed plan could include links to articles, images or memes you intend to share with your followers. Or, you may just have a rough idea of the kind of content you want to post and that they would like to see. If you really are stuck at this stage and have no idea what would work and what wouldn’t, check out social media profiles for competing businesses – you may get some good ideas.
This is a hard one to give definitive direction on as it greatly depends on your audience and the kinds of things you wish to post. As a start, consider the nature of the post (whether it’s work or social related) and think about when the best time of day would be for your followers to see the content. I.e. Sometimes weekends and evenings are better for social content to be seen however your followers may avoid work related content at these times. On the flip side, some people react to social content during a working day to have a break from work, and only find time for business development/enhancement outside of business hours. You need to test your content to see what will work best for your followers.
There are some general rules of thumb when it comes to successful social media content – here is some basic information.
- Videos and Images gain more attention than plain text posts. Even if you want to publish a text based post, you should always include an eye catching image.
- Images with high contrast colours to the platform’s colour scheme (typically blue) will stand out more. Images with a positive focus will generate the right feelings in your followers when they think of your post. There can be exceptions to this where a negative image is more appropriate, but consider the message you’re trying to send. You can find great free stock images from websites such as Unsplash, or create great images yourself easily with Canva.
- Your posts should be made up of a mix and rotation of different types of content. I.e.
- Funny, relatable, lighthearted posts (can be created by you or shared from other sources)
- Business tips, ideas, strategies, trends (can be created by you or shared from other sources)
- Sharing information about things happening in your company – updates, behind the scenes, new and exciting additions, changes, testimonials, etc. This content is important because it helps with the connection. Some of this content may be promotional, but the promotional content should only be a small portion of these kinds of posts.
Many social media platforms have great tools to help you analyse the success of your content. You may want a specific type of interaction or reaction from your audience, or you might simply want engagement in general. Analysing the results will help you work out what resonates with your followers and what doesn’t.
Analysis can be one of those areas where people become discouraged or decide they really don’t understand how all this works. You may think you’ve figured it all out and then your next post crashes and burns without any indication why. Analytics are seriously the best thing ever, when they’re used in the right way and approached with the right mindset.
There are so many factors that will affect whether your post is a hit or a miss. And pretty much all of these factors are out of your control. You will post something that doesn’t gain the traction you were hoping it would – it happens to everyone. It’s important not to feel discouraged and put it aside as a miss. What is important is that you keep posting, you keep engaged, and you don’t take it all too seriously. After all, the goal is simply to connect with your people.
So, what result is a good result? You need to evaluate the performance of your content on a case by case basis. If you want to really measure your results, do some research into what conversion rates you should be aiming for relating to the goal of your post. If it’s likes, comments, shares, conversions… what is a good audience to engagement ratio? This will be different depending on your industry, audience, content and the kinds of responses you’re looking for.