What to Post on Social Media For Business
Not sure what you should post on social media for your business or brand? Ask yourself this one crucial question first:
What Are My Business Goals?
You have to know what your goals are before you can create any content to serve those goals. Otherwise you'll just be posting for the sake of posting. But that isn't to say if your goal is to sell more products, every post should try to sell a product.
Whenever I work with a new person, I start by making three lists: one with their business objectives (including some they might not have necessarily considered), one with the platforms they're currently on or should be on based on their audience, and one with the types of content they could post. This helps me make sure their content strategy not only serves their business goals, but also makes sense for the platforms they're on. Read on for how I take these three lists and bring them together to create an individualized social media content strategy:
How to Decide on Your Business Objectives
This is pretty straightforward, but it's still important to make sure you have this list in hand. Make sure you choose no more than 3-5 goals to focus on at a time. Even 5 is a lot, but some of your goals should work hand-in-hand with each other. Here's an example of what your list might look like:
1) Sell More Products
2) Increase Business From Repeat Customers
3) Increase Brand Awareness
4) Increase Community Engagement on Social Media
Goals 1 and 2 will be your primary focus, but Goals 3 and 4 will play a supportive role to the first two goals. In other words, if you do a good job delivering your strategy, Goals 3 and 4 should lead to Goals 1 and 2 and vice versa.
If you find yourself with too many goals, pick just a few to be your primary focus and a few to play a supportive role. Remember: this isn't forever. It's just to give yourself some direction as you work to create your social media strategy.
How to Decide Which Social Media Platforms You Should Be On
If you've never used social media for your business before, I recommend starting with just 1-2 networks. Otherwise you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed and you will struggle to make an impact anywhere.
For most businesses, the top two platforms you should consider being on are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is the King of the current social media arena. If you get your business on just one social media network, let it be Facebook.
However, with their purchase of Instagram, Instagram has started to morph into Facebook 2.0 in terms of its relevancy.
From there, a lot depends on what you're trying to do. If you put out lots of video content and want to take advantage of Youtube's search engine capabilities, put your videos up on Youtube. If you're trying to work in the B2B space, consider LinkedIn. Trying to reach a very young demographic? Snapchat might be right for you.
How to Brainstorm a List of Content Ideas
When you sit down to brainstorm a list of content types you could create or post for your business, some will automatically come to mind. Write those down, but don't stop there! Dig deeper!
I recommend creating a list of 20+ different content types. Some might immediately seem like they won't work for your business. Maybe that's true. Or maybe you just need to get creative. Either way, you want to have a long list because you'll end up eliminating some items because they either a) Don't serve your business goals or b) Aren't a fit for the platforms you've selected or C) Might be too time intensive without generating a high ROI.
I also recommend checking out the competition. If you're a local business, don't stop with the competitors in your town. If I have a business selling pizza in the Washington D.C. area, I also want to see what the top pizza places are doing in NYC, LA, SF, Chicago, etc. The great thing about social media research is you can see right on the page how their different types of content perform because the likes/share/comments are right there for you to see. Take what you like/what works and add it to your list.
Bringing Your Three Lists Together to Create Your Strategy
Once you have your three lists created, take a hard look at them together. What types of content work on the platforms you've selected? Eliminate any that don't make sense. Now compare your shortened list of content to your business goals. You want to make every type of content you're considering creating or sharing has a tie to at least one of your business goals.
The last piece of the puzzle will be to figure out how frequently you'll be posting. If you've never done social media for your business before, start small. If you start going to the gym five days a week when you haven't worked out in two years, you're going to get burnt out, hurt, or both. Start with manageable goals and work up to more frequent posts.
Now that you know a) what your business goals are b) where you'll be posting content c) what you'll be posting and d) how often you'll be posting, you can start planning out your first week of content. Congrats! That wasn't as hard as it seemed, was it?