There’s no way around it.
Your business can’t have a meaningful social media presence without great content.
Understanding this is pretty easy.
Doing it – well, that’s another story all together.
Creating great content is as easy or as complicated as you want to make it.
But first, here are 7 key factors you need to have a handle on before you can create great social media content…
1. Know your social media goal.
Before you do anything, you need to set a goal.
Otherwise, you can get caught up creating content that wins you an engaged audience without really knowing if they are the right audience.
Is your audience engaged for reasons that line up with your ultimate goal?
Do you have an ultimate goal?
Your ultimate goal will likely be to grow your business.
But, how do you want to do that with social media?
Do you want to grow your email list?
Do you want to drive more traffic to your website?
Do you want to increase attendance to your events?
Do you want more people to download your free app or trial software?
What does social media success look like to you?
Have a goal in mind first, and then reverse engineer your content to align with your goal.
2. Know your social media audience.
Now that you have a goal, you need to know what target audience aligns with your goal.
Who is your audience?
Who do you want to reach and engage?
Who are these people who you’d eventually like to convert into paying clients or customers?
Don’t say “everybody.”
If you say “everybody” you are trying to be everything to everyone and you are diluting the impact of your message.
When you try to be everything to everyone, you end up losing your credibility.
(This is true in marketing, in business, and in life – but I digress).
People who drink Starbucks don’t want to hear about people who drink McCafe, and vice versa. You have to pick a side.
Know everything about your target audience. This includes your audience’s demographics, such as:
- marital status
- education level
- geographical location
…as well as their psychographics, which include:
A helpful exercise is to envision your perfect client (it may be someone you actually work with, or it may be someone you haven’t met yet – such as an influencer or a celebrity – or it may be someone completely fictitious) and then go from there.
Sketching out an “ideal client profile”, sometimes called an “ideal client avatar,” will help you determine your perfect target audience.
3. Know what problem you solve for your audience.
Now that you know who your target audience is, you need to identify what problem you solve for your audience.
The best content fixes your audience’s problems.
Every audience has problems – even if the problem is that they are bored.
Chances are, as a business owner, you get asked a lot of questions all the time from your clients or prospective clients. There are probably a bunch of questions that come up quite frequently… these are the questions you need to be addressing with your killer content!
If that tactic doesn’t do the trick, just ask them!
Throw out a question on social media, asking your audience what you can help them with today.
You may be surprised at how many ideas for blog posts, infographics, and videos you will get.
4. Know how to walk the line of controversy.
Controversy gets more clicks on social media – no doubt about it.
However, when you’re running a business, you don’t want to be controversial just for the sake of being controversial.
That is an amateur approach and will eventually come back to haunt you.
Always be professional. But, don’t be afraid to be a little controversial.
Pick a side, have a point of view, and backup everything you say so your following will feel more connected to you.
Don’t be afraid to target a specific audience while alienating the rest.
You can do this by defining what it is about yourself and your business that stands out from the rest.
This goes back to not trying to be everything to everyone.
If you’re not the only person to deliver a particular product or service to a certain group, you’d better be doing it in a way that stands out.
Similarly, have a deep understanding of why you, your business, and your product or service are different.
The problems you solve are not only unique, but the way you solve them needs to be unique as well.
Once you figure out what makes your business, product, or service different from the rest, you can create content that will stand out from all the rest.
Because, let’s be real… there is a LOT of content on the Internet – how are you going to stand out if you and your message is just like all the rest?
5. Know how to communicate with your audience.
Knowing what to communicate with your audience is just as important as knowing how to communicate with them, and where.
Knowing how to communicate is to know what tone and language to adopt so that your audience can relate to you.
For instance, you may want to use industry jargon if it makes you look credible to your audience. On the other hand, depending on the situation, if using technical lingo goes over your audience’s heads and loses them, you might want to consider breaking down your content so that it’s easier for them to digest.
Knowing where to communicate means you have to know your platform. You have to know where your audience hangs out on social media. Are they active on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? YouTube?
And finally, in what format do they prefer to get their information?
Do they prefer written blogs? Some audiences prefer, long in-depth blog articles, while others prefer if you’d keep it brief. What length of blogs does your audience prefer?
How about videos? Should you produce long videos or shorter videos?
Your audience might respond to videos or images better than they do to blogs.
By the way, just because one social media platform or one media format works today, doesn’t mean it’s still going to have traction down the road. Always be testing and adapting.
Don’t be afraid to try new things and stay a couple of steps ahead of your audience!
6. Know what else is out there.
When you are creating content for public consumption, you need to be aware of what else is out there.
You need to know what your competition is doing and what your peers are doing.
To be clear, you don’t need this awareness so that you can be like everyone else, but rather, you need to know how you can stand out and better gauge what’s working and what’s not working.
Also, you need to have an idea of the industry climate. Observe business trends and know how they affect your social media presence.
And, while politics and social issues ideally have no place in business, you can’t expect to always be able to take the “social” out of social media.
Unfortunately for some, social media doesn’t operate in a perfect vacuum, and you might inevitably have to walk some lines and pick some sides.
Don’t be the proverbial ostrich with its head stuck in the sand.
Remember your audience. They are affected by their environment. And, you are trying to share this environment with them.
Be aware of the social media climate – which will often be saturated with political and social issues – if you want to avoid the “bad kind” of controversy.
7. Have a call-to-action for your audience.
It is hard to measure the effectiveness of your content if you don’t ask your audience to do anything.
Furthermore, if you don’t ask your audience to do anything or stay in touch, you’ve effectively wasted an opportunity.
Asking your audience to do something for you is really easy AFTER you’ve given them great content – they’ll want to do something for you or stay in touch since you’ve helped them with your valuable information.
Never take for granted that your audience is automatically going to follow you on Facebook just because you gave them some great content – you have to ASK them to follow you on Facebook.
Asking your audience to do something is called having a call-to-action (or CTA). Your CTA ties in with your goal.
An effective CTA could include:
- Download my ebook
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel
- Follow me on Instagram
- Leave me a comment or ask me a question
- Buy my course
Creating great content doesn’t need to be complicated, but you do need to follow a few key principles. First, have a goal for your content. Next, know your target audience. Know the problems your audience faces and how you can solve these problems. Take a stand with your point of view – don’t be afraid of being a little controversial. Know how to communicate with your audience and know what kind of content appeals to them. Be aware of what’s going on all around you on social media. And finally, finish off with a strong call-to-action.
If you’re ready to put together a powerful social media strategy for your business, “DIY Social Media” is the online video course that will give you an immediately actionable game plan. Sign up for your free chapter now.