It is a no brainer today that in order to make the best use of your social media accounts you must create content that engages people, especially if it is for a business or personal brand. Posting aimless crap on your personal Facebook means nothing compared to creating real content people love. Shockingly, I have had little experience myself on doing so. I have paid people to do it for my brands and hired freelance content creators to create brilliant content for clients. I have always been great at thinking up an idea and then letting people carry out the execution. That is something that I am changing in 2018, getting more hands on with everything than I have before. Social media, blogs, podcasts all make the new digital world go around and around. Though we are just a few days into the new year, I am quickly seeing how tedious and challenging creating powerful content actually is for something as generic as a personal brand, far more challenging than that of a specific topic for a brand.
Knowing What To Say
If you are like me, you generally have a whole lot to say but when you put yourself in the spotlight you are like “ah crap, what should I talk about?” I guess it’s a good problem to have but definitely something I don’t prefer. When it comes to finding out what to talk about I look back through my task-lists and think back on challenges that I had completing what needed to get done. I also tend to scroll through Instagram or do some research on top topics that people are engaging with, and sometimes are not engaging with. The latter is to challenge myself, can I talk about the topic better? Do I have more to offer that people may appreciate? Well, luckily you don’t know until you try right?
Another option to this would be to regularly bookmark posts that you see come through newsletters, be it newsletters directly or blog posts. Once you have compiled a 5 to 10 sources read them through and make note of what your immediate reactions are to the articles. With that, you can then start to hone in on what exactly it is that is engaging you. This would also be similar to asking 5 to 10 people a set of questions to help you compile something of value to your followers. You are not the only person with the same questions, there are always many others, and with every answer there becomes new questions which not only gives you more ideas to write about in the future but also content to engage with likeminded followers.
Ultimately, when creating your own content you are trying to share you message of experience without sounding like you are bragging. People want to engage with invigorating content, not just another motivational meme or pictures of your food when you are not even involved with the food/hospitality industry. Keeping your content true to your personality is key, but also hard. It is easy to replicate what is trending on social media, but it is not always the best route to follow.
Make Your Content Actionable
Having content that encourages followers to respond to you is pretty hard, especially when people are just sitting on the pot scrolling through and hyper-liking posts based on visuals. Your content not only needs to stand out visually but also needs to invoke the mind. Once you are engaged with a follower be it email, DM, comments, etc. you have a better likelihood of them referring new followers to you. This can also go extremely bad if you use content that enrages people.
Actionable content is also content that gets people talking outside of their head. What? Right. You want to offer content that is valuable to your followers so that they feel like they are learning something which they can take with them. A random pictures of some food at a restaurant does not help you out much. Look at the top reviews on Yelp! vs the ones hidden at the bottom. The more details you offer from your experience then they better reaction you will get from people. This applies to personal experiences in life as well, or even experiences customers had with your products or services.
The flip side to this is that if you create actionable content for your followers then you need to make sure what you are talking about is something you truly understand and are passionate about so that when you do become engaged with a follower in conversation you can then hold up the conversation. I have seen plenty of people make posts on a topic that they knew little to nothing about, but since it was trending on social media they made the post anyways in hopes to score a few new followers when all it actually did is got them publicly engaged with someone else debating the topic and ending up looking like a fool because they had no idea what to actually talk about.
Creating Consistent and Frequent Content
When doing business, I like to think of myself in the customer or prospect’s shoes before I go on with my pitch. How will they react? What are they expecting? What type of pushback will occur? These are all some of the questions I go through mentally to prepare myself because I know that I need to provide a clear and consistent message to them to achieve the desired results. The same applies to creating engaging content for your followers. You not only need to create content that they can engage with but you need to provide content on a regular schedule that is always on topic.
This of course circles back to creating content itself, but it is good to keep in mind when creating content the frequency that you will need to provide it on. Don’t create something thinking it will be a one hit wonder, you need to create content that can be built out over a period of time. If you know you want to talk about apples then you should know that you need to talk about different types of apples, where they are grown, health benefits they offer, and any environmental impacts on them 2 to 3 times per day over the next 2 to 3 weeks. When week 2 rolls around you better have a solid idea of where you are going next.
Far too often people will post a great post with engaging content and then go missing in action for a week or two before they make another post. Over time you start to see their following drop, their engagement quickly drop, and they end up just losing control over their brand altogether.
Make It Your Own
In conclusion, if you are wanting to grow your personal brand or the social reach of a company then you need to actually sit down and plan out your content including but not limited to social media posts, blogs, podcasts, and newsletters. We live in a world where nearly everyone is hungry for more, so give it to them!
One last bit, if you are looking for an extremely in-depth read on creating better content then I suggest this magnificent article by Neil Patel: LINK