What makes an interesting social media post?
If you run a business, what makes interesting content for a post on Facebook or Twitter, your blog or Instagram account? The answer is deceptively simple: post something potential / existing customers want to read / see! Easy… isn’t it? Well, not really. Here’s your dilemma:
- How do I tell my customers about what I do if I’m not supposed to be talking about me, me me?
- What are my customers actually interested in anyway?
If you can answer those two questions then you’re well on the road to making your social media presence interesting, lively, shared and followed. If you can’t then it’s time to get out of the social media kitchen!
Read on below for 5 tips for creating interesting social media content
1. Think about your audience – it’s a no-brainer!
As a journo, writing for your audience is second nature. But it’s suprising how many businesses I come across which have never asked themselves these questions: What age are my customers / potential customers? Are they male or female? Tech-savvy or dipping their toe into social media? What are their interests / buying habits / social media habits?
2. Think about what off-line media your customers like
Hate to sound like a print dinosaur (OK, I’m biased) but newspapers and magazines, radio and telly are still important in people’s lives. If you run a tourism business, for example, your guests may be into walking / cycling / mountain biking / bird-watching / fishing. Connect with publications representing those interests online and repost interesting content from them. See?
3. Think about the news agenda (act like a reporter)
News stories, polls, awards for local businesses, community initiatives – they all make interesting content to post about, whether you run an industrial business (maybe think government statistics / surveys) or a tourism business (think food awards, hotel awards). Think like a reporter and repost news about your field of interest swiftly. Your customers will appreciate it, even if they’ve seen the news elsewhere.
4. Follow interesting people & repost content
The internet is full of bloggers and experts, journalists and members of the public with interesting things to say. Collate and paraphrase, link to their interesting articles and blogs around your field of interest. It will make your own feed more lively and interesting, and potentially draw you to the attention of their followers. Engage with the blogger / reporter in question and don’t forget to credit them.
5. Five don’ts – don’t get caught out by any of the following…
- Don’t assume someone is doing social media well just because they’ve got tons of followers.
- Don’t annoy people with inane, unhelpful, automated posts.
- Don’t link Facebook and Twitter – they’re different communities. If I’m on Twitter I don’t want to know you “posted a photo on Facebook”. I really don’t. What does that tell me? That you don’t care what I think!
- Don’t over-post. For Facebook 4-6 posts per week is enough, and for Twitter 6-8 tweets / retweets per day will suffice.
- Don’t retweet or re-post without reading the content first – check for spam, potential libel, authenticity.
These folks know their social media biscuits!
This is my bonus tip. No-one knows everything there is to know on this subject, but these folks are worth following so you can keep up to date with social media trends, concepts, ideas and inspiration…
- Mark Schaefer’s Blog, Businesses Grow – pithy, concise, well thought-out social media commentary
- Heather Mansfield, Nonprofit Tech For Good – up-to-date how-to guides for all the main social media platforms, useful tips for all