A Dash of Social Media Content Advice

Every business—small or multi-national—needs a social media content strategy with far reach, yet make the customer feel close. One that resonates with the audience and attracts them by offering great advice or something notable to contemplate. You want your posts to resonate with consumers and zero in on their needs and likes. First identify who your target audience is and find out what they want. What problems do they want solved? What do they need and want? What are their interests?

How do you know what they need and like? If you’re selling a product or service, you probably have a fairly clear picture in your mind of what the majority of your customers are like. If not, then write up a needs analysis. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your audience. You might call this an audience analysis.

What is his education? What is the age range of your target audience? Are there social and cultural similarities among your audience? What problems do they have that your product will solve?

A really important aspect to consider about your audience is his or her time and how they spend it. Ask yourself, “What kind of schedule do they have?” For instance, are they employed full-time? If so, think about the time best to reach them. Some social media experts suggest timing your posts not on the hour, but just a little bit past or before the hour. That way you catch them on their lunch break or between meetings. This information is useful when scheduling tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn posts, etc. The competition is fierce, so you’ll want to catch your audience at their prime time.

After you identify your customer’s problems, then you’ll be able to zero in on the appropriate content to offer them in your blog posts. In your posts, solve their problems, answer the questions that you think they’d want answered. I’ve been studying DITA for over a year, and if my target audience were beginners of DITA, I could think of several questions going through their mind. For instance, What is DITA? What is the DITA OT? Do I need to learn DITA for technical writing? Where do I start in learning DITA?

Be a valued resource

So the main message here is to make sure you offer valuable advice in your blog posts; something they can take with them. This establishes trust between you and your customer and it shows how your company is the one that will solve their problems. If you go in with a hard-sell tone in your blog postings, your message will fall flat or worse yet—be ignored. Your goal is to be added to their news feed and show up daily in their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram feed. [RELATED topic: How to set up a news feed]

When you’re writing social media content, think of it as “What can I do for you?” rather than “Here’s our product, blah, blah.” Ask yourself before writing a post: “What purpose am I serving?” or “What value does this post provide?” This will put you in the right mindset before churning out a post.

Remember, the average Facebook viewer has around 1,500 posts to view per day in their Facebook news feed. That’s a lot of competition for their eyes. Make sure your post stands out as something they “need” to see right now.

Be “local”

There’s no way you can be local to all of your customers, but you can seem “local” in your approach and tone of voice. You want to sound personable. You don’t want to sound like a starch-collared stiff in an executive suit. You want to sound like the friend at the water cooler. You can achieve this tone by simply thinking about how you would tell this blog post to a friend and write it that way.

After you define your social media voice, maintain it in every post. This creates a familiar voice.

Be consistent

Consistency is everything in social media marketing. Make sure to post at least twice a week. You don’t want your customers to think you’ve gone out of business. That’s exactly what they’ll think if all they see are outdated posts from months ago. Sometimes it’s more feasible to hire a social media writer to keep your posts current.

Several tools exist that can help you schedule your social media posts and tweets. My favorite is Hootsuite (hootsuite.com). It’s robust social media dashboard is easy to drive and so far for me glitch-free. (I’ll post an article soon about how to use Hootsuite.)

Another way to get the most out of your social media content is to recycle or “repurpose” it into separate posts across social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest). You can do this by reorganizing an article or turning it into an online video or even a PowerPoint slide show to be shared via SlideShare.

I hope that these tips will help you in your social media endeavors. I’ll post more tips as I learn them.