Creating content for your social media pages can be a tedious task and a struggle to keep up with. Creating engaging, high quality content is even more daunting. With the possible digital marketing content combinations of text, picture, video, meme’s, polls, news articles, and so much more available, how do you determine what the right mix of content is? Digging a little deeper, once you determine the correct mix of content when, where, and how are the best practices to post your digital content?
The first ‘best practice’ is an easy one: Post. First and foremost you have to commit to posting on a regular schedule and when we say commit, we don’t mean for a few days or weeks, but months and years. It is not going to be easy. Make no mistake about it, content creation is real work. As we like to say here at BartenMEDIA, if it was easy everybody would be doing it. Content creation is no different than going to the gym, eating healthy, or writing a book. People start out motivated and driven. Doesn’t it sound so sexy to be an author? Wouldn’t you love that beach body, ready for summer days at the beach? Everyone can answer YES! to this question initially, but for most the faithfulness wears away within a short period.
To avoid the New Years resolution syndrome lets start with something simple. Once you have resolved to post on a regular schedule (personally we are huge advocates for once a day minimum), start jotting down your ideas. Make a plan. Open a calendar app on your phone, or if you prefer pen and paper, stop down at your local office supply store. Grab a calendar of your likening and start penciling ideas into each day. Remember you want brand cohesiveness and message unity, so don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Find your core competencies, those half dozen to a dozen things you and your team do really well and create as many ways of demonstrating that as possible. It does not have to be complicated. It can be fairly repetitive, although you want to work to make sure it doesn’t feel that way to your customer.
Once you have a plan in place, start looking for ideas that resonate with your values and your firm’s brand messaging. The ideas may come in many different forms and at different times and places, but start taking note of what you like and start making it your own. Now please understand, we are not encouraging plagiarizing or stealing someone’s idea, but the hot new meme out there this month may be easily modified to support your brand, or someone in a different industry may inadvertently create an image or a blog post that also crosses over into your space. Take that core idea and make it ours. If the post is so good that you just have to have it, give the person credit for creating it and/or send them a direct message (DM), requesting permission. Our teams do this a lot and people typically love the added promotion of their hard work.
Once you get comfortable with the burden of creating content, and realize the potential for success, begin to consider personalizing your content further. You always want to keep a portfolio of static images or cookie cutter content for those days when life (or meetings) get the best of you, but personalized content is truly the most engaging. Personalization of content may include actual photos of you, your team(s), your product, your service, your facility, etc. Stock images are often more than adequate in a pinch, but people like authenticity. Tell your stories, congratulate a team member on a work anniversary, post a photo with a long standing customer. These types of posts have the benefit of being two-fold. They promote your brand and they make the people immediately surrounding you feel good and excited to be doing business with you.
When speaking with customers directly keep your sales pitch to a minimum. It does have its time and place, but if you want people to constantly and consistently engage with your brand you need to make sure you are offering value. Value can take on many forms, demonstrate what you know about your field. Give your customers a tip or trick that would allow them to do your job themselves if they wanted to. For example, if you’re in the tech field, perhaps everyone knows if your iPhone starts acting up, the simple first step is to turn it off and back on, however does everyone know you can hold the power and home button at the same time to perform a soft reset if for some reason you are unable to access the power slide bar through normal operation? This a key piece of advice for anyone at home Googling their phone symptoms and come across your page. You have immediately helped a potential client and likely gained a follower for a long time.
Create public service announcements, do-it-yourself guides, or add a comedic element to your work, if you’re funny and its appropriate. I like to use video to accomplish this. According to the American Marketing Association (AMA.org), “Social media video content is about to explode.”* The time to embrace this medium is now. There is opportunity in social media video content creation this very minute, because while it is growing rapidly, there is a lot of room high-quality video content across the digital platforms. High quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive equipment (although it can make your life much easier), most current smart phones have impressive camera capabilities, pair this we a strong post-production strategy and relevant messaging, you can get your content noticed quickly and stand out from the crowd.
Social Media is not new, but it continues to grow exponentially in terms of registered users and user engagement. PLEASE HEAR THIS: There is still time to get in on the ground floor of social media marketing and there is still opportunity to capture customers inexpensively and grow your brand awareness at the local level using very simple, yet power tools. Create content. Be authentic, engage with your customers, and keep putting your content out there for the world to see. Once you’ve mastered content we can talk about paid advertising, tracking metrics, and measuring return on investment (ROI).