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TIPS ON HOW TO WRITE GOOD SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
- To provide entertainment. In today’s consumer centric society, it’s no longer enough to only post about your product or service. You’re also selling a brand, a personality, a set of values. ‘Entertainment’ is a broad term but what we really mean by that is providing something of interest to your audience. If you have an engaging social media presence, it’s likely to result in more traffic on your website.
- To receive feedback. In the past, you would have to send out customer surveys in order to evaluate yourself, which are still useful, but social media has made this a simple and ongoing process. People can easily make suggestions (or criticisms) which is both a curse and a blessing but ultimately it means you’re always being given new ways in which to improve. Social networks are also a great sounding board for your ideas. As an owner or employee, it can be difficult to take a step back and see things objectively but putting out content online means you can easily gauge the reaction of your audience.
- To generate more interest. In theory, social media should be a relatively low-cost way of reaching a large number of people and attracting more custom. It just takes the right person to share the right post at the right time and before you know it your audience is expanding exponentially. Of course, many can testify that this is usually not the case and it can be much harder to master the art of social media content.
The fact is that nowadays there are few businesses left who aren’t taking advantage of social media platforms. Our timelines are so inundated with posts from brands that we see more of them than we do from our actual friends and family. So, how can you break through the noise and deliver good quality content that will actually get noticed?
- Draw on emotions. It’s a basic technique we learnt way back at school in our first creative writing lessons yet it’s something that’s often forgotten when writing content for social media. You should always aim to make your audience feel something. That way, they’re more likely to remember the post and as a result, the organisation who published it. Think about the things close to people’s hearts. Family, friendship, the everyday struggles we face.
- Get involved in the debate of the day. Leading on from the last point, if you want to get engagement, you need to post about issues that are currently affecting your audience. Twitter is a great place to see what’s trending and open up a dialogue. And don’t shy away from controversial topics. More so now than ever people want brands to stand for something. It is OK to have an opinion on things. Of course, be mindful about what you say. Your position should be agreed as a team and should be in line with the company values rather than just giving your social media manager carte blanche to put their two pence into every argument they come across.
- Make it personal. People are interested in people. No one wants to engage with a nameless, faceless Instagram page. Tell stories about your journey as a company, your employees, your customers. Write from the heart. If all your content sounds like marketing, people are going to switch off. Equally, if you’re just pretending to care about something, they will see right through it. The human element is what’s often missing from social media so try to let your personality shine through and show your audience that it’s not just a machine on the other end. Draw on your own experiences. People respond better if they can relate to what you’ve written.
- Embrace longform. Social media execs often put pressure on themselves to make content as short and snappy as possible so as not to lose people’s attention but what we’re seeing recently is a transition to larger amounts of text. While concise posts can be great, article or blog style posts allow you to explore a topic in more depth and show your audience what you’re really about. Perhaps in a backlash to years of being fed bite-sized pieces of content on social media, people are now much more willing to take the time to read longer posts. Longform content is also more likely to be shared, as after having invested time in reading, people want to show others what they have read.
- Add value. Interacting with social media audiences is a two-way transaction. You shouldn’t just be thinking of what you can get out of it in the way of shares, likes and follows, but you should also be aiming to provide your audience with something of value. This doesn’t just have to be tangible value such as free or discounted products or services. Think outside the box. What could your business specifically offer? Tips, advice and support? Information, insights or a new perspective on current issues? Entertainment? There’s always something. Brainstorm with your team and try to think of what you yourself would like to see as a consumer.
- Be creative. Don’t just replicate posts or campaigns from other brands that you think did well. It can be a challenge but try to find your niche or specialty. What do you have more knowledge about than anyone else you know? Originality is rare on social media now, so, if you can achieve anything close to that, you’ve succeeded. Directors sometimes think it’s not worth investing time and resources into social media content but it only takes one post that you’ve put a lot of effort into for it to really pay off.
In summary, the key to producing good content is actually less complicated than you might think. It’s really just about being genuine, honest and above all, human. Businesses often think they have to put out an ‘everything’s great, here’s another promotion’ exterior all the time and maybe that works in TV advertising or on your website, but social media should be where your audience can get to know you a bit better. In today’s current climate, more than ever, people want to see the compassionate and personal side of businesses.