Having a presence on multiple social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest is a good idea for companies large and small. You’re increasing your chances of being found online, making it easier for customers and potential customers to contact you, improving SEO, and building name recognition and a community. But what should you post on social media?
Whether your company posts daily or hardly at all, there are times you run out of content ideas. The important question is what should you post that will have the greatest benefit, making your time (and possibly your social media advertising dollars) well spent?
If you want social media to work for you, your company has to have a strategy. Before you choose the content that will influence your audience, make sure you first determine who your audience is and what platforms they’re using.
The most valuable platforms for businesses, in order, are Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. Instagram is fifth and is actively growing in size and popularity. Other sites that currently benefit brands are Google+, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Each platform has its own style of posts—YouTube is obviously all video—but a few basic principles can apply to all.
According to the Clutch 2017 Social Media Survey, the three most engaging types of content on social media—by a huge margin—are written articles, videos, and images. (View the full report at https://clutch.co/agencies/social-media-marketing/resources/social-media-survey-2017.) The following ideas should help you come up with social media post plans.
If you don’t have a blog on your website, get one. That’s where you need to be writing content, and then sharing it to social media. Keep in mind that written articles should always include relevant images.
- Write an article of tips. If you regularly offer educational information in an accessible format, you’ll build a genuine community with your company positioned as the expert. It could be a how-to, a list of things to avoid, or tips for the current season or holiday.
- Disagree with a popular opinion. Is there a misconception in your industry? A popular product you don’t like or a popular method you take issue with? Write it up.
- Answer a question. When people call up your company, what questions do they ask? Pick one and write out your answer.
- Do a review or a compare and contrast.
- Interview a customer or post a testimonial with your own commentary on the project.
- Walk through/around a completed or almost completed project, discussing what has been done (great for Facebook Live, also YouTube).
- Interview a happy customer (YouTube).
- Take a tour of your company’s headquarters, introduce staff, talk about how customer service is handled (great for both Facebook Live or YouTube).
- Take a video on location before a project and another video after, and edit the two together (YouTube).
- Make a video at a trade show (Facebook Live).
Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without. Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets. Articles with an image once every 75-100 words receive double the social media shares. (View the full BuzzSumo study at http://buzzsumo.com/blog/how-to-massively-boost-your-blog-traffic-with-these-5-awesome-image-stats.)
- Photos before, during, and/or after a project.
- Photos that illustrate trouble areas.
- Photos of the team at work.
- Event photos.
- Product photos.
- Take photos in and around the community.
Make sure that all social media posts have a relevant visual element—photo, infographic, or video.
Join the Conversation
In addition to posting your company’s tips and stories, it’s a good idea to search for groups and conversations to join. On Twitter and Instagram, check out hashtags that relate to your industry. What are people talking about? What questions do they have? What stories could you comment on and share? Even branching out into conversations about your city or your state, local events, or local news will show that your company is a part of the community and approachable.
Most social media experts recommend posting between 3-15 tweets per day, and around one post per day each for Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Having a strategy and planning ahead are essential for staying on top of this schedule.
In the end, determining what to post, where to post, and how often to post can be tricky. The best course of action is to run experiments. Spend a couple weeks making two Facebooks posts per day, followed by a couple weeks making two posts per week, and check the “insights” that Facebook provides. Which frequency had better results? What content got the best engagement? Every platform offers insights or analytics to help you move forward and make the most of social media.