Content is what makes the web go around.
Content is what makes people visit your website, it’s what encourages people to follow you on social media and it’s what eventually turns your visitors into fans rather than just followers.
Your social media strategy should largely be about sharing content and creating engaging content.
That means directly posting images, videos and text to your social media accounts but it also means posting to your blog or website and then sharing that on social media.
But this strategy will only work so long as the content you are providing is top quality and highly engaging. So now the question is: how do you ensure that this is the case?
Quality Blog Posts
In a future step we will be talking about the importance of providing value. We will discuss the difference between generic content and content that makes people want to come back, makes them want to share and generally keeps them engaged.
But what’s also important is that the blog post itself is high quality. The aim here is that when someone clicks on a link you share to Facebook or Twitter they can rely on themselves getting a certain level of quality and having a certain experience.
So how are you going to ensure that this is the case? Here are a few tips:
Your writing quality needs to be good. Poor standards of English can actually seriously undermine your message and even if the content of what you’re saying is good, you’ll risk losing the trust and losing the authority that you need to build that audience and gain their trust initially.
So how do you write well? What makes written content ‘good’ in the first place? The tip is to remember what the purpose of writing is in the first place: to convey information, which is value and that means you want to do this as quickly and efficiently as possible so that the reader is getting the maximum ROI. ROI is return on investment with the investment here in this case being time.
This means you shouldn’t fill your pages with jargon, flowery language or just plain ol waffle. Forget showing off and forget demonstrating just what a great writer you are.
Instead, focus on delivering that content efficiently. The purpose of using a larger vocabulary or jargon should only be to provide additional meaning with fewer words. In other words, you might choose a different word because it implies a subtly different meaning and thereby makes your text more nuanced. Only when it serves this purpose, should you get ‘fancy’.
You also need to make sure that your writing is arranged in such a way that it won’t put off your visitors. That is to say that you shouldn’t make your blog posts consist of a single wall of text, as this will put your visitors off of reading and many of them will be instantly driven away.
Break your text up with lots of paragraphs and headings. Make sure that you use a large and easily readable font and think about your site’s mobile friendliness. Remember that a lot of people are going to be reading this content on their mobile devices rather than on a computer!
Making Your Posts More Shareable
Having done this, your content is now going to be more readable and people who visit your pages will now stay on them for longer.
This is a good start!
But you also want to make sure that as many people as possible see that content to begin with. Remember that if you share something through your Facebook page, only around 10-20% of your audience will see that come up in their home feed and only a small percentage of them will pause long enough to notice!
So, you can’t rely on your followers – you need them to share with their larger network and bring in even more visitors and you do this by making your content more shareable.
Some ways to achieve that include:
Using the Right Meta Descriptions:
A good meta description can go a long way to bringing in more visitors. This should outline why people should visit your blog post and it should provide a brief summary so that it’s clear who the post is for.
This is the text that is going to appear underneath the headline when your content is shared, so make sure that it does its job and really reels in those visitors!
Using the Right Title:
Using the right titles for your posts is incredibly important if you want to ensure that you get the most clicks possible. The aim here is not to create clickbait (meaning that your articles ‘trick’ people into clicking them) but to create content that is genuinely click-worthy and then sell that content in the title.
You do this by explaining how the article provides value in a subtle way and by making sure that people can see how and why it is different from other content on the web. At the same time, you need to make sure that the content has some kind of emotional hook and gains an emotional response because it’s emotions that makes people click, not logic!
Using the Right Images:
Using the right images is also crucial if you want your social posts to really stand out and get clicked. The reason for this is that your images are going to appear alongside your link and the
title and this is going to be one of the first things that people see.
Images are content in themselves on social media – especially on Instagram or on Pinterest. To sell your content and get people to click, your links should include images that are high definition, that are the right dimensions (ideally 16:9) and that manage to stand out and get attention.
The way that an image stands out and gets attention is by featuring something that naturally draws the human eye. The very best thing for doing this? Human faces!
Creating Great Images
Okay, but what if images are the main thrust of your content like for carpet cleaners? What if we’re talking about an Instagram profile here?
In that case, you need to know how to create truly stunning images that are going to really stand out and get attention and to do that you need to know how to create an image that offers value.
Value through images is a little different to value through text since you don’t convey information or provide ‘entertainment’ as such. Instead, most images should provide value by being inspirational in some way, or by being attractive in and of themselves.
This starts with the right technology. If you’re going to run an Instagram account as a major aspect of your social media push then you should make sure that you have a great camera to back that up.
It is possible to have success on Instagram with a smartphone, but you’ll have significantly more luck if you use a camera such as a DSLR or a mirrorless camera with a good lens. The results will be much crisper, more dramatic and better quality all round. You should also take time to think about lighting and composition.
Do take the time to learn what makes a great photo. Very often this means taking images that tell a story in some way and that are dynamic and exciting. In other words, your images shouldn’t just be squarely focused on the ‘subject’ with that element right in the middle of the frame.
If you have a square photo with an image of a product or a person in the middle, it will be dull and unexciting. On the other hand, having a photo of the subject in the foreground off to one side with something more exciting in the background infers some kind of link.
Do you want a type of content that is inherently high value and that is perfect for social media?
Then create video.
Videos allow you to convey more information in less time, and requires less attention and effort from the viewer. Not only that, but videos allow your viewers to feel as though they are really getting to know you and getting familiar with your values and your persona. This helps to inspire more trust.
Video takes a lot more effort to create however and this means that you can actually raise the reputation of your brand. After all, anyone can make written content, but making video is significantly more challenging so simply by producing video, you demonstrate your organisation to be professional and capable of offering high value.
Content On Social Media is Two Way
If you want to create great content for social media, then it is not enough to think of it purely in terms of what you want to sell, or what you want to say.
You also need to engage with your users and viewers by responding to what they have to say and by inviting them to contact you or get in touch. This is important because it is what will drive a sense of trust and it can greatly enhance your brand’s appeal and engagement.
So how do create content that is two way? Here are a few suggestions:
· Use Facebook Live and go live on Instagram, Periscope – this lets your viewers interact with you directly and can be highly trans formative in terms of the way it engages people with your brand.
· Start polls, questionnaires and competitions – or even run AMAs. Answer questions and invite your followers to converse with you rather than just watching and reading
· Seek out your followers – follow others, comment on their videos and pictures and respond to their comments
· Post in social communities and get involved in the discussion
There are many more ways you can do this, but just try to get out of the mindset of ‘set and forget’.
Social media is an ongoing discussion and you need to be constantly vigilant in order to maximize the engagement. The more time and effort you invest in creating quality and consistent content, the more your brand will grow!
It might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people think they can get by simply by posting the same generic, low quality content.