2.56 billion people around the world are mobile social media users* – that’s a huge captive audience for your business to tap into. Social media can be a low-cost way for businesses of all shapes and sizes to build brand awareness, nurture relationships and convert people to paying customers.
You probably don’t need us to tell you all that but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to creating a schedule of engaging content for your business, especially when you’re short on time.
So to lend a helping hand, here’s our 5 steps to creating top notch content!
1. Create images that stand out from the crowd
Make sure every post is supported by an image or video. Every image you share should be immediately attention grabbing to help your posts stand out in a busy newsfeed. Whether it’s high-res photographs or beautifully designed artwork, investing time in your images will help to drive engagement. Keep any text on images to a minimum and make sure your key message is prominent so it immediately catches the eye. When taking photos, consider the lighting in the room, what (or who) is in the background of the shot (remove anything you don’t to capture) and keep a steady hand to ensure focus.
2. Keep copy short and sweet
Ideally social posts should be between around 50 and 250 characters, depending on the channel (Twitter currently allows only 140 characters). Keeping your character count to a minimum means you can clearly summarise what you want to say in a nutshell without long and waffley posts that users switch off from reading. When planning your content, take the time to consider what you want each post to do – do you want people to share the content, like it, or leave a comment? Are you looking for more clicks through to your website? Do you want users to go to your blog and read a particular article? By setting a goal for your posts, you can then track and monitor their effectiveness to replicate or amend on future posts.
3. Don’t focus on sell, sell, sell
Social media platforms are a great place to promote your latest sales, discounts and new product lines or services but don’t bombard your audience with constant sales posts – or they’ll soon switch off to you and your brand. Instead, strike a balance between informative content (80%) and sales promotion (20%). Informative content includes blogs, videos, relevant tips and shares from other reputable and relevant people and businesses – all of which will help to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise within your industry.
Hashtags are used widely across social media channels, particularly on Instagram. These keywords or phrases tie conversations from different users into one stream which can be found by searching for a hashtag or clicking on one, for example #myhomestyle or #catsofinstagram. Get your content in front of the right people by using carefully considered hashtags on your posts. Take a little time to research popular hashtags that are appropriate to your industry and keep a list that you use and regularly update.
5. Create a two-way conversation
Social media is all about encouraging people to be social – frankly, it does what it says on the tin! Ask questions, run a poll or tease users with sneak peeks of new product ranges, bearing all of the above steps in mind. That way you’ll inspire users to share their thoughts and feedback, tag their friends and spread the word. Don’t forget to respond to as many people’s comments as you can and get those conversations flowing!
* Think Digital First – http://www.thinkdigitalfirst.com/2016/01/04/the-demographics-of-social-media-users-in-2016/