The creation of social media content is a great way to earn attention or reach your target audience. Although it is good to be adventurous with your content, it is worth asking yourself the following five questions both during the brainstorming process and after it has been created. That way, you will write with a clearer focus, increasing your chances of reaching out to your target audience with just the right words.
Who exactly are you writing for?
When writing for social media, it’s easy to get carried away and forget who you are writing for. If the wrong tone of voice is employed, e.g. colloquialisms are used when the tone should be formal, it can be detrimental to your brand and you run the risk of alienating your existing fans and followers.
If you want your content to engage members of your target market, speak their language from the very first sentence. First, be clear whether you are writing for a consumer or trade audience. Then arm yourself with the right information regarding the demographic in question.
Will your readers appreciate the use of acronyms or would they rather you write using full phrases? Are they busy young professionals with little time to invest, or are they of a demographic with more time on their hands?
How is your content useful?
All successful content intrigues in some way by holding the key (or simply teasing) to a piece of information. People feel good when they learn something new, so take this opportunity to write something useful. Writing with a sense of humor (within reason) is a particularly helpful skill to employ when trying to convey information as it can bring boring subjects to life and add personality to your writing.
For instance, being an expert on your target demographic enables you to communicate information with confidence and research topics that you know will entertain and appeal to your followers. If your content elicits emotion, chances are your audience will remember your brand and share your posts with others across social networks.
Is your content visually impactful?
With image-led networks Pinterest and Instagram growing in popularity, the need to be visually arresting on social networks is more crucial than ever before. Don’t forget to incorporate pictures with Facebook posts especially, as the use of imagery here will trigger more clicks.
As your accompanying image is likely to draw the attention of your audience in the first instance, be selective and ensure it adheres to the house style of your brand. Use high-resolution images created specifically by your marketing department for social media or find appropriate visuals from online libraries such as Getty, Shutterstock and Thinkstock, thinking carefully about how each image conveys the key message of your post.
To spark interest, use imagery that creates a sense of intrigue. If you have a group of statistics you wish to share, why not transform these into a piece of artwork with a compelling infographic?
Is your content share-worthy?
Of course you want your blog post to be fascinating enough that people share it, your tweet to contain enough spark that people retweet, but just how share-worthy is your social media content? Your target audience has invested time in reading your text, so make it easy for them to pass it on.
For articles and blog posts, make sure your social media sharing buttons are highly visible. Incorporating these buttons at the end of your piece can act as a subtle call to action at this point, as readers will be looking for ways in which to share across their social networks.
With the limited characters offered by Twitter, it is often a good idea to signpost to further content by providing a short link, or to simply include the abbreviation ‘RT’ as this will trigger readers to retweet this information thus gaining the attention of other Twitter users if it should be of interest to them.
How often will you post content?
To maintain a high level of engagement across your social platforms, make sure your strategy is reflected in a well-developed content calendar. This will help you cover relevant and timely topics while scheduling content at regular intervals every week. Monitor this for a few weeks and take note of which days your content receives the most likes and shares and which days are less popular.
Some brands post several times a day whilst others post a few times a week. If you are new to uploading content, it is recommended that you start with a few posts a week to gauge the times your target audience are most likely to engage with your content.
Whether it be a Facebook post receiving more likes, a retweeted Vine video or a blog piece shared across multiple networks, take just a few of these tips into consideration and you’ll soon find your social media content engaging with your desired audiences.
About the author: Erica Whiteman is an account manager at integrated PR, social media and SEO agency Punch Communications. She has over 16 years of digital marketing, PR, communications and events coordination experience, including blogging, social media and SEO activity. You can find her hanging out on Twitter, snapping photos on Instagram and networking on LinkedIn.