A lot of companies, individuals and brands now have a social media presence, but are struggling to engage with their followers and target audience. If you want what you are publishing to do well on social media, you need to think about what you are publishing, and when you are sharing it. You wouldn’t book a peak time train if you wanted the cheapest fare, just like you shouldn’t share something valuable and unique at midnight when most people are asleep.
This guide will quickly cover two things, what you can create that will get shared, and some rules about different content.
What you should be sharing.
List content always works, for several reasons. Firstly, people just love an attention-grabbing top ten headline. Why wouldn’t I read an article telling me ten ways in which I can be healthier tomorrow, or 5 tips for making my content go viral? We as people love to improve, and learn new ideas and tricks.
List posts promise the reader that they are going to get something out of reading the post, which is always a bonus. However you need to make sure you are delivering quality content, this is essential for keeping the reader happy and coming back for more. So, let’s think about two types of frequently shared lists you could post to improve engagement and sharing of your content.
- Six ways to save money this week – This is a great example of an informative list that will only fail if you don’t provide good content and advice that will actually help your readers. The classic list format that is as reliable and easy to write. If you’re a world class knitter, share your knowledge. Are you a savvy bargain hunter, tell people your top tips!
- Four types of people in the workplace, where do you fit in? – this is a really interesting list format as it draws on people’s interest in discovering more about themselves, and also is informative at the same time.
2. Original Content
One of the best things you can do to engage with people on social media, is to create content they really want to share. It is now relatively easy to design your own infographs, thanks to Piktochart (www.piktochart.com) so you can quickly create a sharable and informative piece of original content that will improve your social media standing. Own a restaurant, why not take pictures of your food, share them and also give out the odd free recipe. Have a hair salon? Write a handy guide about cutting your own fringe at home in between trims (video works best here guys!) and your followers will really appreciate it. It goes much further than a retweeted photo that has been seen hundreds of times before.
Above all – It is uber important to make sure your informative is relevant and easy digested. Make sure you are posting something people want to use there and then – there’s no point making a lovely infographic about BBQ glazes in the cold icy winter!
3. Videos (especially how-to guides)
Video is currently taking the crown as content king, all you need to do is look at the pages and pages of recent statistics to see this. YouTube gets over one billion unique visitors…a month. Think about how many videos you watch a week, how many funny cat compilations you have shared in your lifetime, it sure does add up. So, what can you do to share you content using the power of video to engage more with followers?
- Be creative – you need to make something that people haven’t really seen before, or take a different spin on a well-known formula.
- Provide instructions – do you do something well? Are you a world class stylist or a leader in the boardroom who can share tips on growing confidence? Tell people about it. So many videos on YouTube and across the web are there to tell us how to improve in some way or another.
- Make it shareable – funny content is always a winner here, but it isn’t the only option. Just always have the phrase ‘would I watch and share this?’ in mind from concept through to completion.
- Can’t afford the professionals? Then make use of Vine – 6 second long clips that have the possibility of going viral if you fill them with the right content. Are you a bar? Show how to make a cocktail in 6 seconds or under! And feature a new one each week.
People are more drawn to visual content, and by using images as part of your social media strategy, you will increase engagement. If you picture your Twitter feed, you can see rows and rows of 140 characters or less. If you were to post an interesting and unique image in the middle of all this, you will have already broken the mould and gained your followers attention.
It’s not surprising that users are more likely to engage with a brand if they post pictures, when social media really has entered the ‘visual age’. So what key things do you need to remember when posting visual social media content?
- Instagram is the social media platform to be on, with more daily users than Twitter. Brands have really started to engage with the photo sharing platform, but in 2015 you need to be embracing it for all that it can do. Make sure your taking interesting images, hashtag them appropriately, and talk to your followers. A comment can go a long way!
- Canva – this great website means you can make beautifully designed images to go on your blog posts, Facebook headers and Twitter feeds in minutes, with no design background. Make sure your content has a striking visual element to it by spending a short space of time on Canva today.
And finally, the main message running through this blog post is that your content needs to be original, needs to be interesting to your audience and relevant. If you are making sure each and every post ticks these three boxes, then you are already well on your way to making your social media posts engage more and perform better.