Creating Engaging Social Media Content

Social media is a tricky area to produce content for. The time of day you post, the actual content you create and then actually getting your user base to engage with it is a difficult task. But, there are a few key things you should bear in mind when creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for your business.

Facebook

First of all, don’t use your Facebook page to endlessly promote your products or services. Users quickly tire of this kind of content and will swiftly unlike your page. Stick to two or three sales-type posts a week and in between post things that they will genuinely be interested in and want to share with their friends. Maybe you could share an interesting article about your industry, write a blog post, host a competition or ask them a question and start a debate. Here are some great examples:

NET-A-PORTER

This post shows Net-a-Porter’s understanding of their followers and love of fashion. It isn’t selling anything but engages their users through a common love of fashion and style. A simple question includes them in a discussion and encourages them to comment.

netaporter facebook

Innocent

Original content will always prevail and this fun and informative post from Innocent shows how you can create something that people will want to share. Receiving hundreds of comments, 533 likes and 145 shares, it proved to be a really popular post.

Innocent smoothies

The example below is also another great way to include information in an infographic  – this can then be shared across all kinds of social media streams. It’s easy on the eye, packed full of info and promotes their work with Age UK.

Innocent smoothies.2

Twitter

Twitter is a great platform to directly and instantly engage with a huge audience, as well as customers or users. The strength of your social media presence can have a massive impact on your brand and services so you should never overlook it.

So who uses Twitter well? The top five, according to Forbes, are a pretty varied bunch…      

1.Joomla

2. Barack Obama

3. Twitter

4. YouTube

5. Lady Gaga

Let’s take a look at the top two to see how they use their Twitter accounts effectively.

First up is Joomla!

Joomla is a content management system that helps both novice users and expert developers to create powerful websites and applications. Not particularly glamorous, but let’s look at how they secured that number one spot and 47,425 followers.

–  They post frequently with links to original blog content

–  They post pics of their events which creates a feeling of community

–  Most importantly, every tweet is relevant to their audience and provides them with interesting information.  This should always be at the forefront of your mind. Don’t just tweet for the sake of it; instead think about what your followers will get from it. Knowledge, a prize, a laugh…?

Joomla!

Barack Obama

The Barack Obama Twitter account is run by Organizing for Action staff but the President does write some tweets himself, signing them off with BO so there’s no confusion. Ok, so being the president of the United States got him off to a pretty good start, but their tweets are informative, interesting and inclusive. Here’s a few examples:

–    The use of sharable infographics with statistics is relevant and interesting to all followers

–    Links to petitions help to keep users informed as well as helping Organizing for Action to communicate with a huge amount of people, instantly.

–    There are multiple opportunities to ‘get on a call’ with Barack himself – a phenomenon that would have been unheard of before Twitter.

Barack Obama

Reactive vs Planned

It’s great to be reactive and to tweet as and when things happen and these can make the best posts. If something has happened in the public eye or in your industry, why not tweet about it and ask your users what they think? Retweeting what others have said and mentioning influential people in your posts using an @xx, will help you to get more visibility.

Scheduling posts gives you the time to create some great content that people will want to share. If you want to create an infographic, for example, you’ll need to make sure the content is accurate and interesting as well as incorporating it all into an attractive, eye-catching design. You can also schedule blog posts and post them on Twitter and Facebook.

Do you run your business with a small team? Try scheduling posts on Facebook for days or even weeks in advance. If you’re out of the office, you can still be posting. You should also think about linking both channels together so whatever you post on Facebook is automatically posted on Twitter – it just helps to keep things active.

When to post

As I mentioned earlier, the time that you post on Facebook and Twitter has a big influence on how much engagement it receives. This handy infographic is a brilliant way of checking you’re posting at the right time. Print it out and stick it on a wall in the office so the whole team can refer to it.

social media inforgraphic

Take Home Tips

–   Don’t overload your users with sales-type posts. Break them up with fun, original and engaging content that will genuinely interest them.

–   Present interesting content in an infographic – displaying information in this way is easy to share and pleasing to the eye.

–   Think before you tweet! Don’t tweet for the sake of it – instead think of what you can tell your reader or how you can start a conversation with them. Posts such as ‘good morning’ or ‘what are you up to’ are a waste of time.

–   Schedule posts that require a bit more forward planning but also don’t be afraid to be reactive. Did something just happen in your industry or in the news? Tweet or post about it and start a discussion.

–   Get to know your user and post at a time of day that makes sense to them. Between 1-4pm is best for Facebook, and between 1-3pm for Twitter. Experiment and see which times get the best results.

Other tips and tricks:

When sharing URL links shorten them with bitly. This will help to keep the length of your post shorter, plus it will look much neater.

You only have 140 characters in a tweet, but this isn’t an excuse for sloppy grammar and punctuation. Avoid abbreviations and write clearly and concisely, spell checking in Word before posting.

Statistics, figures and facts will get more shares and it will interest the user much more than a fluffy tweet.

Photographs are a great way to get engagement on Facebook. Post something funny or that gives an insight into your team.

Do you have any hints or tips for creating great social content? If so leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

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