Many of our clients know they should be doing more with their social media, but claim that they don’t because they simply just don’t know what to do. The downfall to this is developing an ‘All About Me’ profile that doesn’t intrigue or engage an audience, or worse yet, a profile that sits stagnant for long periods of time.
While your number one priority on social media is to promote your business, your products, your organization, your event, and so on; it is important to remember that your audience will quickly lose interest in you if all you do is self-promote. There is a time and place for that, of course, it is the reason you have a social account, but first and foremost, you should use your social media to:
- Build relationships
- Establish trust, and
- Build your reputation as an industry expert.
Working with a variety of business and non-profit organizations, we have developed a brief outline, or go-to list, that has helped us develop active, engaging social media posts across all platforms. We break these posts into two categories:
- Self Promotion – Anything to do with your business or organization
- Curated or General – Anything that doesn’t promote your business or organization but shares ideas and information that will be interesting or provide benefit to your audience.
Remember, when you are using social media correctly, you are sharing 3 to 10 daily posts, depending on the social platform you are using.
Self Promotion Ideas:
We suggest keeping Self Promotion posts to 1/4 to 1/3 of all your social media posts. These posts should be useful, relevant, and creative; they should also be all about you, your product, your business, or upcoming event.
- Call to Action: Encourage your audience to complete the desired task. A Call to Action post can take many forms such as newsletter sign-ups, getting your audience to participate in a contest or promotion you are running, encouraging your audience to come to your store or event, encouraging them to make a purchase or visit your website. The list goes on. Most of your Self Promotion posts will come in this form.
- Share Your Blog Posts: Help direct people to your website where they will see all of the event information.
- Re-share Your Blog Posts: Because visitors change and audience increases with time a good rule of thumb is to share a blog post, share it again within a week, and share it a third time after two to three months.
- Product Photos: Share photos of your products, things you are working on, updates to the store, etc.
- Fan photos: Search for hashtags related to your business/organization/product/event, and share it on your social media platforms.
- Awards or Accolades You’ve Received: Just do this carefully…the idea is to build trust, not to brag.
- Latest Business/Event News: change of hours, new product lines, changes to the event, new volunteers, sponsors/supports, new artists etc.
- Offer a Sneak Peek: Wet your audience’s appetite by showing a sneak peek of an upcoming blog post, contest or event feature.
- Answer an FAQ: Have a question you get asked a lot? Answer it on social media.
- Behind-the-scenes photos: Candid shots of planning sessions, product production, office staff, remerchandising efforts etc.
Curated Post Ideas
The remainder of your social media posts should be curated or general social media posts. These should also be useful, relevant and creative, but they should not focus directly on you, your business, your organization and so on.
- Quotes: Humorous, inspiring or motivational quotes always perform well.
- Statistics or data: Share new, relevant industry statistics or information you think your audience will find interesting and relevant.
- Questions: Pose simple, basic questions that your followers can answer quickly. Keep these fun and light. (Example: Where will you be celebrating Canada Day?)
- Share Blog Posts from Others: Share a link to a blog post you found interesting and intriguing.
- Create Memes: Post a funny or inspirational image with your logo and website URL on it. Getting your customers to laugh with you is a great way to start building relationships. Check out imgflip.com where you can make memes quickly and easily.
- Share Infographics: Find an infographic your audience would appreciate. Check out dailyinfographic.com for ideas.
- Share a helpful resource: Don’t be afraid to direct your audience to other people’s content – even when that content is not directly connected to you or your business.
- Recommend a tool or helpful resource: Share a tool or resource you think your audience would find useful.
- Share a favourite book: Share a book recommendation your fans or followers would appreciate.
- Share random tips: Periodically post a random tip or trick your followers would find useful. Hint: using random tip numbers adds interest to your post (e.g. Pet Owner Tip #129: __________)
- Provide a recommendation: Share the love by recommending businesses you are friendly with or working with, especially when they are sponsoring your non-profit or event.
- Recommend someone else to follow on social media: Share a link to someone else’s social media profile and encourage your fans to ‘like’ or follow them.
- ‘Caption this’: Post a photo and ask your fans to come up with creative or funny captions.
- YouTube Video: Find a cute or inspirational video and share it with your audience.
- Send Holidays Wishes: From Happy New Year to Merry Christmas, every holiday can generate a post.
- Celebrate Odd Holidays: For instance, October 25th is International Artists Day – every day has a unique celebration – find a list of them here daysoftheyear.com
- Promote Someone Else’s Sale: Share a link to a coupon or sale from a business relevant to your audience.
- Share pictures from a recent industry event: Don’t forget to use the event hashtag for maximum exposure.
- Thank your fans: A simple thank you can go a long way to building connections with your fans.
- Hold a Giveaway: This can be as simple as asking the audience to comment, or like enter.
- Post a link to a helpful Social Media Group: If you know of a helpful resource social media, share a link with your audience.
- Promote Events that May be Fun for Your Audience: this can help increase your network, and support your community.
There are all sorts of ways to interact with and engage your social media audience. Don’t be afraid to play around with the variety of combinations these lists provide you. Get posting and engage with your audience like you were old friends, your bottom line will love you for it.