In 2020, it's common knowledge that social media has countless benefits for any business, including small businesses. Whether you’re seeking to increase brand awareness, generate reach or leads, to fully benefit from social media and its many platforms, your accounts need to be up to date and active. To effectively achieve this, you need to consistently and regularly post content.
With that said, how do create compelling content which encourages your followers to engage with your business and brand?
In this piece, we explore some critical pieces of advice for crafting quality content for each of your social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Before starting, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Have identified my customer base within the digital space?
Do I know which platforms my customers enjoy spending time on?
Am I doing everything in my power to reach my audience with engaging and relevant content?
Should you have answered no to any of these questions, you could be missing out on significant opportunities.
How do you connect with customers on each social media platform?
As a small business owner, you probably already have a decent idea of where your customers are from your daily interactions with them, so let’s explore the four big names in social media.
People tend to use Facebook for entertainment, news and connecting with friends and family. Perhaps your business is service-related, i.e. accounting or IT, Facebook might not be the best space for your business. However, should you sell things which are useful to people every day, then Facebook is the best place to be. Industries such as food, clothing, events and the entertainment industry are perfect for Facebook.
Currently, Facebook has the largest audience in South Africa; however, if you want people to see your content, you’re going to have to pay. Facebook’s organic reach has plummeted drastically over the past half-decade. You might not have to spend too much to reach a small percentage of your followers, but to reach optimal amounts of people, you need to budget for ad spends.
Does your business develop beautiful things? Are your customers in a younger age demographic? If so, you need to be on Instagram.
Instagram makes the use of hashtags, which helps in building your audience organically. However, you need to be smart about the hashtags you use and avoid using too many. Ensure that you follow the right people and engage with your audience. It’s also wise to consider some ad budget for Instagram as it’s owned by Facebook and has certain similar aspects to its algorithm. When boosting a post via Facebook, you also have the option of adding a placement on Instagram.
Twitter is not the platform for selling. It’s a social network where users look for up-to-the-minute news and event coverage. Moreover, it also tends to be the place where they follow and interact with their favourite musical artists and other celebrities or authoritative figures.
Perhaps your small business is being an influencer; Twitter could be an excellent fit for you. If you sell arts and crafts, consider using Facebook and Instagram instead.
Last, but definitely not least, is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the ideal platform for connecting with decision-makers. If your business is in the B2B arena, LinkedIn is a must.
It’s also the best platform out of these four for establishing yourself as an industry thought leader. Consider sharing blog posts here as they’re likely to be seen by other businesses and potential clients.
How Frequently Should You Post On Each Platform?
With Facebook, we recommend posting between once and three times a week, but be sure that you have a budget to promote posts worth promoting. As for other platforms, we recommend playing around. Twitter is the platform where you can tweet multiple times a day, Instagram should be posted between once and three times daily and Linkedin should be used only when you have relevant and informative content to post.
Crucial Rules For Posting On Social Media:
1. Use visuals to capture your audience’s attention.
Of course, the best media for social media is video, but not everyone can afford the cost and time in producing slick video content. That being said, try always to include striking imagery with your posts. If you’re not great at photography, invest in a photography course or an in-house or freelancer photographer to get started. We advise avoiding text-only updates at all costs, even Twitter.
2. Ensure your content is useful to the target market.
Whatever content you produce should add value to the people consuming it. Ensure that everything you post adds value, be it handy tips, advice, exclusive deals or entertaining posts. If you fail to add value, people will naturally ignore your content, and ultimately they could stop following your brand.
3. Always add CTAs (Call-to-actions)
Always strive to give your audience something to do to encourage engagement. Perhaps you need to post a picture of a product, ensure that you provide a link to purchase it. If you’re posting about your services, encourage them to get in touch with a strong call to actions. A post that goes out lacking an invitation to do something is a wasted post.
4. Create content plans
It’s wise to spend a few hours per month planning and crafting a content plan which outlines what you’ll be posting. It saves time in the long-run as you won’t waste time trying to brainstorm ideas for a specific day’s content. That being said, try to be flexible and follow the news and trends, and be ready for ad-hoc content.
Remember to include holidays, observances, sporting events which affect your content on certain days. Lastly, have fun, develop themes and content pillars and always strive to be relevant and authentic.
5. Play with new things.
Crafting fresh content does not need to be a laborious task. If your content isn’t performing, it does not mean social media isn’t for you. Play around with different approaches, try different platforms, keep experimenting and have fun. If you need to employ the help of an expert do so, while it might be costly at first, it will benefit in the long run.