In today’s world, content is king. There is a great demand for new and exciting content that keeps the business “relevant” and engages the audience. There is a common expectation among businesses that they must create and spread content in order to gain customers and boost sales, but not everyone capitalizes on the opportunities that social media provides.
Social media accounts give companies the opportunity to interact and form a professional relationship with their potential customers and reach a wider audience outside of their current followers.
There are a lot of social media accounts that do not take advantage of social media’s full potential, or do not use it correctly, For example, inconsistent branding (such as the company’s voice, or choice of graphics or content) or infrequent posting damages the company’s reputation by having a confusing brand identity and a disinterested audience. I will create a post dedicated to consistent branding – stay tuned! Additionally, businesses do not often utilize a content planner, and this results in incoherent content and risks creating an increasingly unengaged audience.
For the time being, let’s focus on content planning. Content planning saves time, reduces stress, and ensures that you aren’t scrambling to create a post at the last minute. Planning ahead also gives you the opportunity to put some real thought into what it is you want to share with your audience and all of the potential customers that are a part of that group. Providing varied content means that you have fresh content that keeps your audience interested in your brand.
Finding Your Voice
The type of content that you post will depend on the type of business or brand that you are representing, what kind of relationship you want to have with your customers, and the level of professionalism that you need to show in order to maintain that brand identity and relationship. This is referred to as your brand voice; your brand’s unique personality that comes out in the way that you communicate with your audience and customers (although it should be the same in person, too). Everything that you write (Facebook posts, Instagram captions, the language that you use during webinars and live videos, etc.) will be represented by that personality.
Before you begin planning your content, decide on your business’s personality by thinking about which characteristics you want to showcase and which ones best serve your audience and attract the type of people that you want to interact with. You can do this by writing down:
- your catchphrases
- your most commonly used introductions and sign off’s
- your core values
- your message
- your target audience (not sure who that is? Check out this article on finding your dream customer)
- how you want your business to be viewed
What to post?
So what kind of content should you post, anyways? There are lots of options! Combine some of the ideas below or come up with some of your own to create your own personalized content.
Make it fun
Add some personality to your content; incorporating humor can increase the number of times your audience engages with your posts, pictures, statuses and tweets.
- Motivational Monday
- Wisdom Wednesday
- Funny photos
- Funny quotes
- Inspiring story
- National or international holidays
- National or international days relevant to your business (such as National Entrepreneur Day)
Show your audience that there is someone standing behind your company willing to interact with its customers.
- Out of office
- Try it Tuesdays
- Ask your audience a question
- Answer a question
- Create a poll
- Webinar or Facebook live
- Host a contest
One of the keys to building an interested audience and gaining new customers is education. Depending on your company and the product or service that it offers, your audience may need to learn more about who you are and what it is you offer.
- Details about one of your products or services
- Sneak peak
- Relevant information about your industry
The usual go-to for businesses, posting offers and promoting your products or services have the potential to make you money – but remember, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience by offering promotions non-stop.
- Offer or promotion
- Product/service description, review, or customer testimonial
What not to post
This might go without saying, but there are some things that have no place on your professional Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts. I don’t have a list, per se, but basically if you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it, and you wouldn’t say it to a customer in person, then you definitely don’t want your potential customers to see it or hear about it, either.
At the beginning of every month, sit down and plan out your content. It is best if you have a detailed list or actual calendar or planner (like this one) that you can use to visualize and write down the content that you will be sharing. Use your planner to:
- Create monthly goals
- Determine what you will share
- Color code each type of content (such as videos, photos, text, etc.)
- Actually gather and create the content
- Track posts and promotions
Work on the posts ahead of time by:
- Taking the necessary photos, or finding free images on sites like Pexels or Pixabay
- Figuring out wording
- Writing out answers to common questions
- Determine the date for promos or videos
Keep everything in one place
Use a binder to keep all of your content ideas in one place, and use the same planner every time. A content planner can also include the number of followers that you have at the beginning and end of any given month, and the traffic that was generated from your posts; this type of information will give you a better idea of where most of your traffic comes from, and what type of content works and what doesn’t.
Download the Social Media Tracker
Include this simple tracker in your planner and use it to monitor your social media successes and the sources of traffic to your site.
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