What should I post on social media? It's a question you probably ask yourself every day.
... and then you get distracted by someone else's post and forget, right?
We're here to give you some ideas based on three categories for what you should post about, and an oh-so-handy list of specific ideas that you can implement.
First we need you to do a little soul-searching.
When you get distracted (as we all do) on social media, what is it you get distracted by? Is it photos? Reading long captions? Or is it video?
You can likely guess what we think your answer will be. Maybe we're wrong, but statistics show that more and more of us are not only watching video more, but we engage with it more, and that's an important part of being on social media.
With video you can grab people's attention in the first couple of seconds and keep it. You can even do creative beginnings and ends so that your video loops seamlessly and viewers watch several times, increasing total watch time.
So that's number one. Video. Is. King.
But don't run away from us yet. If you're really not into video, it doesn't have to be all video all the time (and here are some tips that might help). Try baby steps. Entrepreneurship is all about stepping outside of your comfort zone, right? This is your next step.
Once you've warmed to the idea of making at least some of your content for social media into video, you can think of content in these three categories:
Connect, Inform, Sell.
(Learn about these three strategies more in-depth here.)
Just to spice things up, we're going to look at these backwards, because we know that most people are thinking about selling first.
We are businesses, after all, and we want to make money.
Selling on Social Media
So on a day of the week that ends with Y, you think, "what do I post? What can I show people to sell? What's on sale? What's popular right now?"
And these aren't bad questions to ask yourself. However, we want you to think about this category less frequently. Or, at least, we want you to think about it less in this way.
If you have your e-commerce set up through Instagram and Facebook Shop, that's awesome and we absolutely want you to make use of that tool. But don't get caught thinking that this is all your social media should be.
Social media is not about creating a catalogue. It's about building a community.
Keep the outright selling posts to about 10-20%.
If you're having a limited-time offer or sale, share that in your stories, which are available for only 24 hours.
When concentrating on selling in a post, remember that you don't always need to sell a product or service, you can (and should) sell your brand.
So here are a few Selling ideas:
Show us what's new (maybe with an unboxing or giving hints and sneak peeks).
Share customer reviews of your business.
Tell us the story of a product or service and the journey it took (ethically sourced, made in _____, inspired by a friend, etc) to land in your business.
Selling doesn't always have to be, "Here! Buy my stuff!" It can be more subtle, which will go over better for your audience. We are all wise to outright pitches and sales, and we don't have much patience for it, especially when scrolling passively on social media platforms.
Using Social Media to Inform
Social media is a great place to show your expertise. Did you know that you're an expert?
You are! There is so much that your audience can learn from you.
This is also a great way to get organic reach and engagement on social media if you are sharing tips and tricks that people might want to share with friends and family or save for later. People are always grateful when you share your knowledge freely, and they are likely to show their appreciation with likes, comments, shares and saves.
(And while we don't post on social media for Likes, etc., these things are social media currency and they are important.)
Even if you're showing a DIY process, there will always be people who would rather do it themselves, but there are just as many, if not more, people who would just prefer to buy it from you, but enjoy seeing your process and your passion. Things that are created by hand are made more special, more valuable, if we know the process and the creator.
Informing your audience on social media works to build familiarity in seeing how you think and work. It also creates trust because they are able to see that you know what you’re doing.
So, here are a few ways to think about how to Inform your audience and share your expertise:
Think about your FAQs and answer each one in separate videos.
Show us how to use your product or how to prepare for/maintain/enjoy the service you provide.
Share an industry insider tip, no matter how small or well-known you think it might be.
People love free information. It makes them feel seen because it can solve problems they've struggled with for years, or solve a problem they never even knew they had. If you can put yourself out there and make life easier for your audience, isn't that the greatest marketing of all?
Connecting on Social Media
When you are connecting on social media, you do one of two things:
you put yourself in your audience's shoes, understanding where they're at and the difficulties they are facing.
you humbly invite others to step into your shoes to understand where you are mentally, emotionally, and understand you better.
Putting yourself in your audience's or customers' shoes makes them feel acknowledged and valued.
Use your brand values to connect with how people are feeling and what's on their minds.
For instance, if climate change and environmental issues are something you strive to improve, through your business, you can talk about these things. If this is a focus of your business, it is likely something on the forefront of your customers' minds, in particular your ideal customer.
Level with your customers and talk to them like a friend. Think of them as someone who embodies similar values that you and your brand do.
When it comes to
allowing others the opportunity to step into your shoes, you might close up a little. You might think that we want you to cry on video, but that's not what we mean.
If you are struggling and feel passionately about what you're going through, maybe that is something that you can share.
Something that is much easier for people is showing your sense of humour. This is still being vulnerable. This is letting people into your world and how you think.
It's hard to identify with blank professionalism, but with someone who makes dad jokes? That's something people can connect with through a laugh or a groan.
There are so many ways to connect with people beyond being sad and upset. There are so many more emotions that you can share.
You can connect by recording the sound of rain from inside your business which always makes you smile and feel cozy, or words or music that you love (or even hate).
We've gone over a few abstract ideas for connecting on your social media, so here are three concrete ones:
Find a quotation that resonates with your brand values and share it explaining why it's meaningful to you.
Share the story of how you got started in this business and telling us what it is you're passionate about.
Connect to how you are feeling about life, and consider that others may be feeling the same and may connect with your struggles or feel uplifted and encouraged by your optimism.
Connecting isn't easy. Being vulnerable isn't easy. It's much easier to take a photo of something in your business and sell. It is one of the things you, as a business owner, do best.
However, people are desperate for connection. There is a growing push to have intention in where we put our money. Your audience, your customers, want to know that their money is going to a greater purpose, or a great person.
And whether you believe it or not, they will see that awesome person in you, if you let them. And they will want to throw their support behind you.
So with that in mind, and because you're awesome, here is a list of content ideas to inspire you and help you hit those Connect, Inform, Sell goals.