Creating sharable content isn’t always intuitive. Read on for our top 10 foolproof content tips.
Whether in our professional or personal lives, we’ve all experienced it: you think of something witty, culturally relevant and fantastically enlightening, post it on social media, and wait with baited breath. One hour goes by, two, three, and before you know it, it’s been nearly a day and the ‘like’ counter never seems to rise. You try not to take it personally, but you know it’s time to face the facts: you’re no good at social media marketing.
The good news is that you can learn. Not even Mark Zuckerberg was born with an innate ability to create excellent social media content. The pros have learned from the sweat and tears of failed content attempts, and by standing on their shoulders, you, too, can become social media savvy.
1. Know the Five W’s of Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience in a vague sort of way isn’t always enough. You need to make an earnest effort to know them better than their closest friends, get familiar with what makes them tick, what makes them laugh, their worst fears.
Focus on the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why.
- Who: Who are they?
- What: What would they want with you anyway? (As in, what do you have to offer them?)
- When: When are they online?
- Where: Where are they located and which social sites do they use?
- Why: Why do they come online in the first place? Problem solving? Entertainment?
Once you’ve got a solid grasp on the answers to these questions, use them to inform your content generation.
2. Write a Killer Headline
In a 2013 Conductor study, researchers found that headlines with numbers (Top 10 Social Media Content Tips) and headlines that address the reader (How You Can Create Shareable Content) were most likely to grab attention. You can also use the language your audience is most likely to use when searching about your topic (How to Generate the Best Social Media Content).
3. Use Visuals
The power of visuals should not be underestimated. While we’re pretty sure the phrase “show, don’t tell” is widely overused, but it’s for good reason.
4. Solve a Problem
One of the top reasons users come online is to solve a problem. There’s a reason this video on opening a bottle of wine with your shoe has almost 10 million views. Tackle a problem your audience is likely to face and your content will get shared.
5. Go Mobile
According to a Q4 Social Sharing report, mobile sharing doubled in 2014 alone. Yes, the mobile-pocalypse is here, and the only way to ensure you don’t go down with big boxy TVs, VHS rentals and corded landline phones is by adopting a mobile-first inbound marketing strategy.
6. Facebook Share
The same Q4 report also found that Facebook sharing surpasses sharing activity on Tumblr, Pinterest and Twitter, among three other platforms.
7. Instagram It
The above-mentioned study did not, however, take Instagram into consideration. Instagram’s user engagement rate blows Facebook share rates out of the water. So as long as you’re posting visuals, make sure you’ve got an Instagram account to post them on.
8. List It
‘Listicles’ are one of the most frequently shared types of content. Lists are easy to read, highly scannable, and usually keep the message short, sweet and easily digestible.
9. Time It
Timing is everything. Since you already know when your target audience is online from your research, use this information to time your posts. In addition, this infographic by Neil Patel lists some interesting information about the best times to post on various social websites. Who knew that the best engagement on Google+ happens at 9am on Wednesdays?
Finally, repurpose your content to reach as many people as possible. Take your topic and wring it like a rag to squeeze numerous blog posts, infographics, SlideShare presentations, webinars and e-books out of it. When you think you’re done, give it another squeeze. You may be surprised at what comes out.
You may not be a social media marketing wizard now, but with a little practice, your mom won’t be the only one liking your posts. For an expert’s insight, consider reaching out to a professional marketing consultant to help get your content shared and your users coming back for more.