The first question that just about everyone asks when they start thinking about running a social media campaign is “what would I post?” This is followed up pretty quickly with the question “will people really care about what I’m posting?” Honestly, the answer is maybe, maybe not. Trust me, I’ve posted plenty of content to social media that no one has given two licks about – fortunately the content that I post that people do care about gets enough attention to make up for it.
We all want to create great content for social media that’s inherently shareable and “bound to go viral”. The reality, however, is that very little content that we share through social media actually goes viral (and when it does it’s important to capitalize on it as best you can) but here are three steps to take to ensure that your content has the best chance at making an impact.
Know Your Audience
I talk about this in just about every “how to” article that I write. Knowing your target audience is so important, especially when it comes to creating content. Remember that people use social media to express themselves – everyone has a personal brand strategy (whether they’re aware of it or not) and it shows through what they share on social media.
Spend some time to get to know some of the people in your own network that you can identify as your perfect clients, customers, donors or sponsors and really explore what they share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. and look for any commonalities between them. Are they all sharing political posts? Posts about camping with dogs? Posts about kids?
Once you know what the audience you want to reach is posting, you’ll be able to identify some ideas for content in the future. Don’t think about yourself and what you want or don’t want to share (of course there are limits to this) but focus on what they share and you’ll be able to create the right kind of content to be shared.
Make Sure That It’s Useful
We all love funny cat videos but those are only going to get you so far…unless you’re a pet store or an animal rescue or something. Make sure that the content you’re posting is actually useful to people in their day to day lives. List style infographics tend to work well for this very reason – they give people relevant information that they can consume quickly and easily.
Remember when it comes to social media to drive home the four “Es”: Entertain, Educate, Enrich and Engage.
Make Sure That It’s Easy to Share
When it comes to posting to social media, we’ve all become a bit lazy. At first we had to copy and paste a link with a thoughtfully written description because there were really no other options. Today? I just wrote my first status update in about four months…it just doesn’t happen as much anymore when it’s so easy to simply click on a button on my website.
That said, make sure that there are share buttons on your site and on your content. Remember, any barrier to sharing content will frustrate people to a point where they’ll just give up – until they find something similar to your content that is easy to share.
If you do a search through the web you’ll find countless articles on creating content – the top 10 rules, the 25 best ways…it’ll go on and on. If you’re serious about your social media campaign I’d encourage you to dive in and get to know the information that’s out there. Starting with these three tips will get you well on your way to creating social media content that gets shared.