One of the most common questions my clients ask me is "what content should I be posting on social media?"
Creating engaging content can be a full time job and can be overwhelming to many small business owners.
It's important to remember that social media isn't about the tools – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Blogs – it's how you use those tools to connect with your customers. And it's the content that provides the connection.
Here are 3 simple content ideas to keep your social media efforts current, conversational and creative.
If you're pressed for time or lacking inspiration, share a quote. Readers love quotes and the best part is, you don't have to write them!
It's easy to search for industry relevant quotes using Google. There are literally thousands of quotes on line. When you find one that is appropriate and that you think your readers will appreciate, copy and paste it to your blog, tweet it, post it on Facebook and share it on your Google+ page – but be sure to credit the author.
Here are some suggestions for searching on Google for quotes. Substitute your industry terms where applicable.
Are you getting the picture? "[Your Industry Term] + quote".
If you know a quote you like but can't remember the entire quote or who coined the phrase, Google that term. For example, I've always loved the famous "If at first you don't succeed" but couldn't remember the whole thing or who originated it. Here's what I found:
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it." – W.C. Fields (Source: www.brainyquote.com)
So not only did I find out who the author was, I discovered that there was more to the quote than I remembered.
Quotes can be shared on all your social media platforms including your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn (although I'd keep LinkedIn very professional!).
2. Infographics, Videos and Photos
Sharing infographics, videos or even inspirational quotes made in to photos (lots of apps out there for this) can be rewarding. I sometimes post a quote as text only and sometimes as a block image (see myFacebook page below). Note that I've included my website URL to create more awareness of my website. It's a helpful marketing tactic.
Here's an example of an infographic I recently shared:
3. "This or That" and "Fill in the Blanks"
People are passionate about products and services they love, so spark a conversation by asking a "This or That" question. Obviously you need to make it relevant to your industry. Some examples relevant to my industry include: Mac or PC? Blogger or Wordpress? iPhone or Android? Safari or Chrome?
If you are a hairdresser you could ask: Long or Short Hair for Summer? Foils or Steaks?
If you are a florist you could ask: What's the best gift, a Bouquet or a Boxed Arrangement?
Fill in the Blanks is also another great conversation starter and I love seeing the creative responses:
"My favourite thing about summer on the Central Coast is ________________"
You've heard me say it before, but I'll say it again "Content is King" and this remains true for social media marketing in 2014. Hopefully these simple tips will give you ideas for your own social sharing and make the whole task of maintaining a regular social presence on the web much less daunting.
Author: Jody Sharpe, Branding & Online Marketing Specialist at Sharpe Design Solutions
Jody Sharpe has over 20 years experience in marketing & branding and is passionate about helping local small businesses grow.