Social media is here to stay. As the newest and now most powerful consumer communication channel, how do we use it best to interact with customers, new and old? What do they want to see? What makes them stop, look and interact? And how can you maximise your impact on these fast-paced platforms?
Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand to wave and know what your customers are thinking. And while each social media platform is different, and content should be tailored to suit both the platform and the audience, there are some general guidelines for creating engaging content.
Content planning on social media
It’s crucial when creating content that you have a plan so that your feed is filled with content that excites your audience and relates to your business.
A content calendar is the best way to streamline this process. It allows you to plan and organise your content schedule ahead of time ensuring consistency and frequency. This can be done in a variety of ways including using an offline document, directly through some of the native platforms such as Facebook Creator or via third-party scheduling software. Some examples of these are Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Later, as well as many others. These platforms allow the management and mapping of multiple social platforms in one place.
A social media content calendar allows you to plan :
- What you want to post
- When you want to post it
- Where you want to post it (what platform)
It can take some time and practice to figure out when the best times to post are and what platforms best suit your audience however, having a plan is a great start and you can always monitor and adapt your content to what is working best.
Creating social media content
Content should always be created and designed with the aim of catching the attention of a target audience and to share, engage and connect with them.
Content is primarily made up of two elements, text and imagery which when cleverly paired together can motivate your audience to act. For example, a video of a person happily eating an ice cream paired with a caption outlining the taste of the treat and where to find them can motivate a potential purchase.
To create consistently engaging content on social media it is useful to follow some basic guidelines. To catch follower’s attention text should be brief with the important information upfront and a call to action at the end. This can be as simple as “Sign up”. Images or visuals should be on-brand, incorporating all-important brand elements including colours, logos and sounds.
When creating content, it can be helpful to write it with the following three ideas in mind – does it engage, educate or excite. Ideally, your feed should be a mix of each.
There are many approaches you can take to build your brand on social media however, posts that engage are one of the best ways to do this. Use this type of post to tell the story of your business. Focus on things like your business’ startup story, how your business has grown and what you’re doing now, or even a business walkthrough. Ask your audience a question or get their opinion on your latest range. These tactics can build a community and genuine engagement reaping large social media rewards.
To create an engaging post, for example, share an image that shows off your store layout and product variety, with a caption that highlights some business history or ask them what their favourite item is.
Educational posts are about providing information or ‘how to’ instructions to your consumers about your products, themes, organisation or issues that they may not find other communication channels. Educational posts are a great way to incorporate videos into your feed. Things like “how-to” videos or “behind the scenes” can serve to provide much-loved insight into your business and brand. Use this type of post to highlight the features and benefits of your products and make them stand out against competitors.
An example could be a time-lapse video of how to assemble a product, with a caption that suggests the benefit of this product.
Posts designed to excite are possibly the most likely to capture follower’s attention. These posts often showcase something big, often in regard to a product or service. For example, a new product launch, a promotion or a sale event. This is also a great avenue for engaging in topics that matter to your community. These might be events locally or in the wider industry.
An example would be posting a popular product and a caption offering an exclusive discount.
Creating exciting, engaging and educational content is the most important part of managing your social media accounts. It’s the reason audiences like to use social media. However, it is a constant challenge and sometimes it can be difficult to know what content best represents your brand and resonates with your audience.
To help with this challenge, we will leave you with some snappy tips!
- Keep it short
- Prompt action
- Use hashtags
- Create a DIY studio to elevate content quality
- Balance your shots
- Experiment with angles
- Design videos with sound as an irrelevant factor
- Shoot for mobile
- Use apps to improve content creation
Still feeling like you don’t know where to start? Get in touch with the team at Purple Giraffe and we can help you plan your social media content in no time!