How to Get Your Social Media Content Creation on Track
Help I have nothing to say on social media is a comment I often hear. Creating effective content is one of the biggest hurdles companies have with implementing a social media marketing strategy. In my experience the problem arises because the employees are too close to the company, product/service or issue.
Creating great social media content requires understanding your social media audience. To this accomplish this it’s useful to develop a marketing persona. If you’re not sure what your market is interested in, examine what others in your category are covering and ask your customers for their input. Having a marketing persona enables you to produce content for a specific person with a name and real attributes. Additionally, an editorial calendar helps you to plan for annual events, monthly themes and regular columns.
Here are seven questions to get you started generating ideas from which to build your social media content offering.
- What’s your product or service offering? Go beyond specific names and functions. Think in terms of the customer needs you fulfill? Consider your offering’s benefits, both hard and soft.
- What are your customers interested in? Remember social media content isn’t about you and how great your products and services are. It’s about paying-it-forward and helping your prospects and customers.
- Are there related topics you can leverage? This is particularly is important where your offering’s focus is boring, has negative associations or requires a level of privacy.
- What type of information will persuade your customers to buy from you? Research shows that 70% of customers check for information about products and services online before their buy (regardless of where the purchase is made, online or offline.) Here’s how customers use social media content to make purchases.
- What related content is needed to enable buyers to maximize your product or service’s productivity? Many companies overlook the need to help customers after they’ve purchased the product. Yet, well-crafted post-purchase content can lead to related or additional sales.
- What keywords or categories are you using for your website or other content? Think in terms of search optimization that may be a related issue.
- How can you involve your prospects, customers and fans? Consider how you can feature your customers with a photograph, have interviews or show off their handiwork. But don’t assume that your customers will want to create your content without an incentive.
To show you how to use these questions, consider my brainstorm session for a student doing social media for an accounting practice. Realistically, most people don’t want to be reminded of their taxes while they’re socializing on their favorite network. Added to this, accounting is a pretty dry topic with limited annual events like tax day, April 15. The bottom line is taxes can’t be the focus of her social media content. What can you use in lieu of taxes?
How about focusing on budgeting, personal insurance and retirement planning? Since many people have an image of the shoebox filled with the receipts they bring their accountant, why not tie this image into your social media? If you don’t have expertise in the related fields, ask other professionals to submit guest posts (because it gives them exposure to new prospects!) Alternatively ask clients to tell how they’re making their money go further.
The key to engaging social media content is creating useful content your target audience finds interesting and meets their needs. For many organizations, this means getting away from their usual marketing promotions and talking to people in their language about their problems.
Do you have any other suggestions that you’d add to this list? If so, please include them in the comment section below.
Want some additional help creating engaging social media content? Try these articles (BTW, don’t forget that blogs are social media!)
Photo credit: Mel B. via Flickr