In the last Kiers blog post I talked about the importance of cadence – or timing – in your social media efforts. I mentioned that you should pay attention to the types of posts you are sharing and how they space out across your channels. What are the ‘types’ of posts you ask? Well, let’s break some down right now.
These are posts we’re all familiar with. More common on personal social media profiles, these are the ‘general’ update type posts that pose a question or make an observation. If you’re going to utilize these types of posts for your brand/business, make sure to establish a consistent voice and quality to what it is you’re posting. Set the bar high and always hit the mark. Remember the audience you’re striving to reach and make sure to write your posts appropriately.
In addition to ‘off-the-cuff’ observations or musings, these posts can also be used to convey changing or updated information such as business hours, early closures due to weather or other circumstances and things of this nature.
Videos are very popular – and statistically speaking – a very effective way to engage with your audience on social media. Remember – your video will be a direct representation of your brand or business, so make sure you bear that in mind when deciding on your budget. Here’s a few different types of video posts and examples on how to employ them.
We’ve all seen these – videos that provide guidance of some sort on how to use a product or service, or how to employ a methodology of some type to whatever the subject is. These can be very effective when done well. Make sure you script out our video and address common questions or problems people may have with whatever it is you’re demonstrating. Remember production quality counts here too – if people can’t see what you’re demonstrating, or hear you speak, the video is useless.
Videos that provide detailed, credible information and/or education are very popular as well. You can use these videos to help establish your expertise or credibility within your industry by demonstrating successful projects or problems solved for your clients in the past. Relaying truthful, useful information that your existing and prospective customers can use is a great way to build a following and awareness of your brand which can translate to increased sales.
First-Person Reporting/Update Videos
Videos of yourself or staff members speaking directly to the camera in ‘selfie-mode’ can be very effective as well, but should be handled with care. Production values tend to drop dramatically, and while some of this can be overlooked in favor of the direct and ‘live’ nature of the video, it should still be kept in mind that components like camera shake, sound quality, poor lighting and a lacklustre delivery on the part of the speaker can all detract from your video’s positive reception.
Make a point to be consistent with your First-Person videos. Practice holding your camera and aiming it effectively to include what is relevant to the audience. If possible, practice what you’re going to say once or twice as a rehearsal to see if it sounds right and covers the points you need to hit. If someone else can film you and/or provide feedback on your ‘rehearsal’ all the better.
These usually fall into one of three categories:
- Your own content – your website or blog post – or one you’ve found.
- Content by others related to your industry or audience. Sharing useful, knowledgeable content relevant to your audience can help you grow your following and establish your expertise in your field.
- Content by other brands, organizations or individuals who represent the business ethos you are trying to embody. Examples could include vendors of complementary products to your own or charities or non-profit organizations you may choose to partner with.
Make sure not to portray someone else’s content as your own and always provide a courtesy link, tag and/or mention whenever possible to give credit to the proper sources. You may wish to go so far as to check with the original source directly for permission/ok to post their content on your channels. This is also a great way to engage and network with other members of your industry online.
‘Sales posts’ – for lack of a better term – are posts that deal directly with promoting the product or service you are directly trying to present to your audience. While the end result is the desired ‘conversion’ – be it a ‘sale’, or an email contact – the manner in which you present these types of posts can still be subtle and doesn’t have to be over-aggressive or ‘salesy’. Examples of these types of posts could include:
- Product info about new or existing products/services – specifically anything that might distinguish you from your competitors.
- Details about past successes/case stories where your product or service solved a problem and/or had a positive net result for a client/customer. It’s always best to get the ok from your client/customer before featuring them in a significant way, to make sure that you represent their experience truthfully and honestly – additionally, it’s a great way to get your message to a wider audience if they are willing to re-share your post from their social media channels.
- Special offers, sales, limited-time pricing, etc. and campaigns of this nature.
Remember, the key is to intersperse your more ‘salesy’ posts within the other types that we’ve discussed so followers don’t become annoyed that they’re always being ‘sold-to’.
Social media contests (Like and share, tag, retweet, etc) are popular ways to increase the following on your social media channels and can also help create awareness for a new product or service you want to promote. Remember, that contests should be used sparingly so as to not reduce their effectiveness. Also, each social media platform has specific rules regarding the running and use of contests, so make sure to respect guidelines that are in place on these platforms. Details on contest rules and regulations are usually found in their Support Forum sections.
A straight ahead contest can be used to increase follows and/or awareness of your brand, but a contest could also be used in conjunction with the launch of a new product or service as an effective contest can garner some ‘free’ advertising outside your normal reach in the form of shares from followers.
Wrap it Up, I’ll Take It
These are all great examples of content to share on your social media channels, however, make sure to maintain a variety in these types of posts as well as the others discussed to keep your audience engaged in different ways.
Mix up your different content/post types and pay attention to what is performing well with your audience. Remember things that do well – including tasteful humor, posts that provide information, a service or a tip – ultimately give your audience something that they feel they need, want, or can use effectively – otherwise why would they follow you? No one wants to just be ‘sold-to’. Content is King – in many ways the customer has never been more King – give them social media content that resonates with them and they’ll be loyal customers and stewards of your brand or company.