You’ve created a website, social media pages, updated your LinkedIn profile, started a social media content calendar… but you haven’t yet found quite the right flow to harmonize your online presence in general and more specifically on social media. It looks easy when other people do it, but it’s not so intuitive after all! Let’s have a look at the right anchors and the different categories of content you can share.
1. One crucial element to keep in mind
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When you’re working on a piece to communicate on your business, always keep in mind both your target audience and the projected goal of what you’re posting. Communicating just to communicate is a waste of time, money and energy. Communicating to inform, support or help your target audience is much more useful!
Before you start working on the material, take a few minutes to remember who it’s for and what you want it to bring them. Doing so will help you make choices. But remember, it’s important to consider things from your target’s point of view, not your own! It’s only natural to want to share information about your product/service, but overtly advertising it across your social media pages will be of little use. Only a small fraction of your audience would take any interest at all in your posts. The ideal is to have a handful of prospects with whom to discuss their day-to-day challenges, questions or practices. Take a physical trainer wanting to shine the spotlight on the in-company services they offer, for example. It would be more beneficial for them to talk about the positive effects of regular physical activity on employee efficiency, team cohesion and self-discipline when companies provide regular sports sessions, etc. This subtly positions the trainer as an expert on the topic so they can make a case to back up their view and perhaps win over prospective customers, without looking pushy. In the process, they even provide employees wanting to suggest hiring a physical trainer for the team to their higher-ups!
2. Do not reinvent the wheel
Once this is firmly in your mind, once you know who your target is and the topics/points they will be responsive to, it’s time to delve into what you intend to offer them! What I recommend are two methods I wrote about in another article. It’s a good place to start 😊
Rest assured, the idea isn’t to feed your social media pages every single day. It’s not even to produce all the content yourself! There are three major categories of content you need to be familiar with, so let’s take a run through with their pros, their cons and a few tips.
“Dense” content you create
- What it is: Dense content is more for entrepreneurs who want to have a blog on their website. Dense content refers to long-ish pieces of writing, at least too long to be posted “as is” on social media.
- Pros: You can elaborate on your topic without being limited by the stiff structural requirements of social networks, and ”register” the content right on your website. That means anyone who reads it is only a click away from finding your services 😉 The content will also be easier to share since it has a fixed address, plus it’s good for your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). That means Google will find your site more attractive (and gradually boost it upward in search results) if new posts arrive on a regular basis.
- Cons: Writing articles takes time and not everyone is good at it. So if you start, making a habit of posting regularly for your efforts to pay off.
- My tips for you: You’ll spend time on it, so make it worth it! Be sure to post on your social media pages and plan to re-post one or more times in the future (ex: when the context is right, following a request, in relation to a news event, etc.).
“Light” content you create
- What it is: Social media contents without any external links. “Light” because they’re usually short and direct.
- Pros: It’s easier to write than a blog article and usually takes quite a bit less time! You should still plan it into your social media content calendar and be mindful in how you design your light content.
- Cons: It has to be clear and concise, or you’ll risk losing your audience. Ideally, light content should be designed for the network you’ll be posting on and retuned to each one.
- My tips: Aim for a picture (a visual of some sort) with a short text (nothing too long, people have a short attention span on social media!), maybe a few hashtags. Think of it as a way to enliven your online presence with more spontaneous, “transparent” posts. It’s a great opportunity for some storytelling about your entrepreneurial adventure!
Content you “re-post”
- What it is: The title says it all. This is the easiest type of content because you don’t create it yourself! You simply share an article, an event or another media item relevant to your target audience.
- Pros: Very little time preparing! Do, however, spend some time on the introduction you write for the link so your audience can see its value. This is a great way to feed your social media pages even when you’re pressed for time.
- Cons: Since the content isn’t your own creation, it will not help position you as an expert in your area. Do not fall into the trap with this type of practice and stray from your target audience by oversharing outside links. It can’t be the ONLY content you post (it’s easy but not as effective!). Plus, even though you didn’t write it, reposting implies that you support the statements, so be extra careful to check sources and stick to your editorial approach.
- My tips: Start by finding some reliable sources with relevant content, and check in on them regularly. If the content isn’t directly related to a current event or specific context, you can plan to use it at a later date when there’s a gap in your calendar (use tools like Buffer or Later for this). And don’t forget an introductory text!
Of course, a healthy balance of these three content types would be ideal. The best way to achieve this with minimal headaches remains the social media content calendar if you ask me (What’s that, the third time I’ve brought it up 😇? Probably, but it’s for your good! Every entrepreneur I’ve coached who has tried it is smitten.)
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