Good content is nothing without the proper promotion. Companies (us included) love social media because of the reach we can get. We love being able to share something and have it reach our own audience as well as others who may not have heard of us before.
Social media marketing is about finding the right content and promoting it. Nobody wants to follow a business’s Twitter account if all they do is post about their services. It’s not enough to post a few times a week, you have to step up your game if you really want to make a difference with your social media efforts.
How do you go about finding the right content? How do you write the posts and post them? What are the best tools?
Let’s go over all of that now!
How to Find the Right Content
Learn About Your Audience
First off, you need to know your audience. Don’t just assume you know who they are. There are a few exercises you can do to find out more about your customers.
- Survey them: You can do this via email (given that you have an email list).
- Interview them: This takes more time and goes in-depth. You’ll want a handful of customers that are willing to spend 30 minutes or so talking to you.
“Ok, but what do I ask them?” Great question! You don’t want to ask just anything and you also don’t want to have leading questions. Below are a few resources with questions you can use on a survey or in an interview.
Not that you have some qualitative info about your customers you can use this to craft a buyer persona.
Buffer has a great guide to help you build your first persona. In the article author Kevan Lee mentions, “Building personas for your core audience can help improve the way you solve social media challenges for your customers.”
This may seem silly, but it really can help you start creating consistent, focused posts that resonate with your target audience. It’s a great exercise that you should try at least once.
Finding the Content
Now that you know more about your customers and have a buyer persona, you can start doing some research. You’ll want to research what competitors are doing, figure out what your customers engage with, and which platforms they’re on. You don’t want to invest tons of time on Instagram if your customers are not on there.
First off, do some competitive research. Just grab a sheet of paper or a Google Sheet and list out your competitors.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, you just want to put ideas to paper. Also check out what big brands are doing on different channels as well.
Here are some of the top content ideas you can try out:
- Links to articles
- Share testimonials
- Share customer photos
- Take photos at your business
- Share info about staff (Birthdays, big events, promotions, etc)
- Your services/products
- Your blog content
This is just a sampling of ideas. If you want more, here are 120 ideas from Keyhole.co.
For our fictional dog grooming and boarding company, Dog Gone Mad, we created a Google Sheet to start out our content creation process.
Again nothing fancy, you just want something to help you get all your content for the month organized. Take your topic ideas and spread them out throughout the month. This is the best way I’ve found to fill up your month of content and not have multiple posts in a row about the same thing.
Now, you start filling in the content and urls! In the URLs section you can also put the name of images you plan to post too. Add relevant hashtags (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as well. This may require some additional research to see which hashtags are popular among your audience.
You will want to have different sheets for different platforms. Posts for Facebook won’t necessarily be good for Instagram, which is image based. You’ll need to create a new tab on your sheet to make posts for the other platforms you plan to be on.
Give yourself around 1-2 hours to create content for each platform. Since this is your first time, don’t worry if it feels like it’s taking a while, you’ll get the hang of it after doing it for a few months. It’s all about figuring out what to post, having the content, finding the best websites with great content, and creating good post copy.
Here are some useful sites for finding content:
- Instagram (Repost customer photos and credit the photographer)
- TripAdvisor & Yelp (Screenshot and share the reviews)
- Feedly (Create a feed of popular sites in your space)
Posting the Content
Now it’s time to bring all your social media content out into the open. You’ll want to invest in a social media tool if you really want to get serious. We use and recommend Hootsuite. It allows you to manage all your profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram) and queue up posts for each one. It will also show you different feeds for your profiles so you don’t have to log into each one separately.
At a glance we can see our Facebook timeline, Twitter mentions, keywords, and new followers, and if we scrolled down more we’d see our LinkedIn and Instagram. Up top on the “compose message” bar is where you copy and paste your posts. There are options to add links, images, location, and schedule the post.
Give yourself around 30 minutes to 1 hour to queue up the posts for each platform.
Analyze the Results
Now that you’ve got your content all set up, it’s time to sit back, engage with your audience, and analyze what posts are getting the most feedback. It will take time to get it right, but don’t get discouraged. Social media is a long term strategy, and it’s more about engaging with your audience than it is about selling.
Any questions? Comment below or reach out to us at MARKIT-Group.com